Battling the elements from behind the wheel, Director traverses the moody, mountainous lava fields around the glorious Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel
If you’ve ever wondered what inspires the ethereal, glacially paced art rock band Sigur Rós, a few days taking in the bleak but beautiful landscape in the south-west of their native Iceland will soon provide the answer.
Director did exactly that recently, courtesy of an adventure travel programme co-created by Land Rover and Abercrombie & Kent, with the former’s Discovery model serving as our carriage and the Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel in Selfoss, just shy of an hour’s drive from
the capital, as our base.
It’s hard to overstate what an extraordinary hostelry Ion is. Formerly serving as accommodation for workers at a nearby geothermal power plant, from the front it resembles a giant animatronic insect stalking the craggy lava fields that surround it.
Inside, though, the deft touch of achingly hip design studio Minarc is immediately evident: think classic Scandinavian organic minimalism with locally foraged driftwood playing a central role.
It’s also proudly sustainable, being powered by geothermal energy and furnished from recycled materials (they even used recycled rubber for the bathroom basins).
Farm-fresh cuisine at Silfra Restaurant and Bar and the partly exposed Lava Spa, a stargazer’s perfect spot, will also delight those retuning after a day of hardcore adventure.
And hardcore is the operative word here: fierce, fickle winds and tough terrain conspire to make driving a hairy experience in these parts.
Whether your destination is Lake Þingvellir (excellent for brown trout fishing), the volcanic marvels of Mount Hengill, the famous Blue Lagoon or any of the towering waterfalls in the region, even in the luxury interior of a sturdy vehicle you feel almost enveloped by Mother Nature in a corner of the world that shows off her wilder side.