A Cozy Winter Evening with an Icelandic Storyteller

by Judy Zimmerman

Iceland has developed a unique tradition for storytelling and literature, beginning with the esteemed Icelandic Sagas of the tenth and eleventh centuries.  They are landmarks of world literature still widely read today.


Ever since, Iceland has produced a number of talented writers.  Its capital, Reykjavik, was the first non-English speaking city in the world to be named a UNESCO City of Literature in 2011.

Perhaps this history of gathering together to read aloud and share stories, particularly during the long winter months, is the reason why Iceland publishes more books per capita than anywhere else.

In order to let their visitors experience this slice of Icelandic culture, the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura hosts Icelandic bedtime story evenings.

The perfect way to spend a cozy evening, these bedtime stories are free and are presented in English.  Hotel guests are encouraged to wear their pajamas and are handed a cup of hot chocolate and some blankets to snuggle under during the readings.

Each week’s bedtime story features a different theme from Icelandic literature, including readings from Nobel Prize winning author Halidor Laxness or the burgeoning genre of Icelandic crime fiction.

The bedtime story evenings are held on Thursday evenings at 9 p.m. in the hotel’s auditorium.  All guests are welcome -whether with striped pajamas and bunny rabbit slippers or not!

This unique opportunity to experience Iceland’s culture is only one of the reasons I chose Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura while attending a recent conference in the capital city.

On arrival, the hotel also offered a welcome panacea to overcome my jet lag by providing a first class spa with swimming pool, sauna and hot tub.  Following a warm long soak and float, a deep body massage with a special blend of wild Icelandic herbal ingredients did the trick!  I was ready to explore.

The in-house restaurant with its own delicious Icelandic culinary style of fresh local flavors was another surprise I had not anticipated.

Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura is a member of a group of eight Icelandair hotels where you can experience aspects of an authentic Iceland experience in every part of the country.


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