Iceland, the country of fire and ice, has always been an aspirational destination for daring adventurers. People visit the country searching for breathtaking natural beauty, wild landscapes, and the possibility of witnessing the magic of the Northern Lights. When it comes to experiencing Iceland as a Black traveler, though, here’s how a few avid travelers feel about this winter wonderland. 

Iceland Offers Otherworldly Experiences

Iceland is not just a destination for those who thrive on adrenaline-pumping activities or seasoned mountaineers. It’s where anyone with a penchant for adventure can find their groove. Like all others, Black travelers visit Iceland to chase their unique experiences, and boy, do they find them. 

The magnificent scenery of the country’s mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls provides some remarkable moments for Black visitors. Consider yourself standing behind the thunderous cascade of Seljalandsfoss, where the water appears to dance to its own beat. Or, take a hike across the black sands of Reynisfjara Beach, with the raging Atlantic as your backdrop. These experiences leave travelers of all backgrounds in awe.

Because of this, the fact that one Black visitor chose to get married there after falling head over heels for its beauty should come as no surprise. Interacting with the Franny the Traveler blog post titled ‘Traveling While Black: Iceland Black Owned Guide,’ reader Yasmir recounted her wedding at the stunning Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik’s center.

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik's center
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik’s center. Picture credit: Einar H. Reynis

“Pink Iceland did an excellent job with our wedding, and our reception was at Harpa,” she said. “My husband and I have been to Iceland several times, and our trips keep getting better. We’ve actually been talking about eventually moving there, but understand that the process isn’t very straightforward. We will be going again in December of this year and cannot wait. This will be our fourth time lol.” 

Warm Hospitality Is A Hallmark Of Icelandic Culture

It’s not just about the breathtaking scenery; it’s about the people, too. Icelanders are renowned for their warmth and hospitality. Black travelers often recount heartwarming encounters with locals who go out of their way to make them feel welcome. From sharing stories over coffee to offering tips on the best spots for a memorable selfie, the Icelandic people are vital to the travel experience.

Jewells Chambers, the creator of the website From Foreign To Familiar and the podcast All Things Iceland, is a Black woman from Brooklyn who moved to Iceland. Speaking to The Reykavík Grapevine, she discussed her experiences as a Black woman living and traveling in Iceland. Chambers has expressed that her experience in Iceland was one of complete safety, acceptance, and comfort. She also spoke highly of the welcoming and diverse Icelandic people and their language, culture, and way of life.

Jewells Chambers
Jewells Chambers. Photo credit: @allthingsiceland / Instagram

It’s true. While Iceland’s natural wonders are undeniably appealing, the island also has a vibrant cultural scene that draws Black visitors. The capital, Reykjavik, is a creative and artistic hotspot. The city’s museums, galleries, and thriving music scene offer an intriguing view of Iceland’s present culture. Black travelers frequently engage in local arts and culture, developing a greater appreciation for the country’s creative spirit.

While everyone’s experience will be unique, Iceland has something special for you. Embrace the experience, savor the moments, and let the natural beauty steal your breath away.