Viking Women: A travel experience that will last for a lifetime
By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Viking Women
Viking Women is an Icelandic travel agency, which focuses on women’s only trips, creating unforgettable memories in breathtaking surroundings.
It began with an idea that had been in Saga Líf Friðriksdóttir’s mind for some time. A travel guide since 2014, she ran several tours all over Iceland, and had noticed that women-only travel groups had a special atmosphere. So, during the pandemic lockdown, which made all travelling impossible, she decided to do something about it. She founded her own company, Viking Women, organising travels all over Iceland for women only – or at least mainly focused on women, as Viking Women welcome all genders.
‘What’s the worst thing that could happen?’ she thought to herself. Sure, she would be limiting the market by focusing only on women, but since no one else was doing that, and she herself had seen how the dynamics and experience in a group of only women was very different compared to a mixed one, perhaps there would be an interest for it. And she was right.
The plan was to run these trips during the summer, and in winter to work as a guide for other companies. But as it quickly turned out, her customers wanted to explore Iceland in all seasons. So, just two years after founding the company, she and her business partner Rebekka Levin began offering year-round trips.
Togetherness and friendship
The trips range from three days to almost two weeks. Some are hiking tours in the highlands of Iceland; some include glacier-walking and ice-climbing, while others are road trips with a bit of everything. It is possible to tailor your own adventure, but what they all have in common is the unforgettable memories they create.
“It’s not like I invented the wheel with these trips, but the fact that it’s just women really adds another dimension to it. Bonding, friendships, and a sense of togetherness are formed when you share an intense experience in such unique surroundings. You can join the tour as a group of friends, mother and daughter pair, or even alone. Plenty of women come here alone, but leave with friends who often become future travel partners,” says Saga Líf Friðriksdóttir.
Most of the travellers are from Western Europe and Northern America, but women from Russia and India have also journeyed with Viking Women before, and they hope to attract women from all over the world to join future trips.
Leaving your comfort zone
Both Saga Líf Friðriksdóttir and Rebekka Levin are experienced guides who know the Icelandic landscape like the backs of their hands. They are specialists in the Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk Fimmvörðuháls trails, as well as the Laugavegur hike, named one of the 20 Best Hikes in the World by National Geographic.
There is simply no other place like Iceland. With just 370,000 inhabitants, the majority of them living in or near the capital, the country has so much unspoiled nature to offer. The volcanic eruptions and the change of light make Iceland seem like a different country from season to season, which is one of the reasons why many travellers book repeat tours with Viking Women.
“There is a special energy here, which makes walking around in Iceland feel like walking on a breathing dragon. People just surrender to the beautiful nature, get lost in time and space and feel peace – it’s like a kind of therapy,” says Saga Líf Friðriksdóttir.
She always tries to include some activities in the tours that challenge the group a bit, because in order to achieve great moments, you will have to overcome some obstacles. That is why she encourages her clients to be in a good shape, but above all, to bring a brave mind. “If your mind is ready to face the obstacles and if you’re brave enough, then your body will follow, because we are capable of so many amazing things when we leave our comfort zone.”
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