Icelandair has long been one of the more inventive European airlines. It has to be—people used to believe that Iceland is too far off the beaten path to pay attention to. But for half a century, the country and its airline have successfully worked against that belief, first by offering low-cost stopovers there, and later by expanding flights to Reykjavik to many moderate-sized American cities. Now Iceland is among the most popular destinations for North American Millennials.
Add one more bright idea to its campaign to prove how lovely and friendly Iceland is: From now until April 30, if you use Icelandair to make a stopover in Iceland, you can sign up to be squired around by a local who'll show the good stuff. And if there was ever a place where you'll benefit from a local to show you the good stuff, it's Iceland, which has nearly 40,000 square miles of breathtaking landscapes but barely 323,000 humans in residence.
This cheerful idea is called the Stopover Buddy Service. Once visitors know when they're going to be there, they can choose a buddy by a "theme"—adventure, food, culture, health, nature, and so on—and within 72 hours, Icelandair will let you know if that buddy is available to show off Iceland to you for one golden day. (You pay the food and admission expenses—but the buddy is free.)
Who are the Buddies? They're Icelandair employees, all of whom are fluent in English, who want the outside world to know how fantastic their country is. You can sample the menu of Buddies through their video introductions on this page.
The caveat here is that if the Buddy you want is booked, you're out of luck or you'll have to try for another one. (Which may not be so bad, because Iceland is a stunning place to visit with or without a Buddy—just take a look.) Our advice is to reserve this one as soon as possible to avoid being disappointed.
(And our Frommer's guide to Iceland was published only a month ago—it's the freshest guide on the market. Click here to buy it.)
Photo credit: Greenland Travel/Flickr.com