SNOWMOBILING through an Icelandic blizzard is an experience I’ll always remember.

But the terror I felt at losing sight of the vehicle in front . . .  that’s one I’d rather forget.

Riding through a whiteout in a convoy, eyes glued to the guy ahead, a thick gust of snow suddenly dropped the visibility to zero, and I was lost.

I’d arrived on the icy island the day before as part of Icelandair’s Stopover initiative.

The programme encourages travellers flying to North America via Reykjavik to spend up to seven nights in the country at no extra cost to their ticket price.

Plus, the airline is offering passengers a Stopover Pass to a series of free performances until March 18.

I was lucky enough to see the island’s top stand-up comedian, Ari Eldjarn, perform in Icelandair employee Josh’s lounge.

Imagine Michael McIntyre, John Bishop or Peter Kay performing in your own home and you realise how unique an opportunity this was.

Ari poked fun at Iceland’s Nordic neighbours in a light-hearted fashion and between bouts of laughter, I made myself at home on Josh’s sofa, drinking Icelandic beer and eating cured meats, deep fried fish and tuna steak skewers.

After a great night’s sleep at Hotel Reykjavik Marina — a stylish spot that mixes Icelandic design with objects salvaged from the nearby harbour — I rose early for an action-packed day.

While it’s possible to have a great mini-break in Reykjavik, it’s worth venturing further afield.

We took a two-hour bus ride to the north-west to go snowmobiling and see the ice tunnels at Langjokull glacier — the second largest in Iceland and Europe.

To reach the entrance, 4,300ft above sea level, we swapped the bus for mean-looking 4x4s.

Our driver Benni handled the bumpy ice trail with nerves of steel as Icelandic blues band, Kaleo, blasted from the speakers.

Conditions at base camp for our Into The Glacier tour were bleak to say the least. We hopped aboard our snowmobiles and the further we travelled, the closer we came to experiencing a full-on whiteout.

I wore every single item I’d packed as well as the special suit provided at base camp, and I was still freezing.

There were a couple of hairy moments. Like cruising on one ski before losing sight of the snowmobile in front.


GETTING THERE: Return flights from London to New York with Icelandair, including a stopover in Reykjavik, start from £395pp. Return flights from London to Reykjavik with Icelandair cost from £107.40pp. See

STAYING THERE: One night room-only at the Hotel Reykjavik Marina costs from £90pp based on two sharing. See

I panicked and opened up the engine, only to find myself inches away from crashing into the back of our guide.

One thing you can’t fail to notice is the Icelandic people’s relationship with nature and the environment.

When we got into the ice tunnels, guide Ace talked us through their creation and the features within, like an ice pond and eerie jagged crevasse, before performing a haunting Icelandic folk song in the tunnels’ very own chapel.

Less perfect was our boat trip out of Reykjavik marina to try and see the Northern Lights — they didn’t come out for us.

The natural phenomenon is famously elusive and visibility is reliant on weather conditions and cloud cover. But that’s not to say the boat ride wasn’t fun and we all enjoyed a few drinks onboard.

The final morning was spent in the geothermal pools of Blue Lagoon.

Just a 15-minute drive from Keflavik airport, it’s the perfect place to unwind before the next part of your journey on to North America or back home.

For around £72pp, the lagoon’s premium package will get you access to a robe, flip-flops and towel, entry to the lagoon, a drink at the in-water bar and a reservation at Lava restaurant.



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With temperatures of 40C, the pool will soothe away all the aches and pains you have gathered from more taxing pursuits.

If you plan to holiday in North America, a stopover in Iceland is a chance you won’t want to miss.

Just try not to get too lost in the magic — or a snowstorm — because you might not make your onward flight.

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