Experience development for Iceland’s first-ever tourist route, the Arctic Coast Way

The Arctic Coast Way stretches for 800 km along the coast and around the peninsulas of North Iceland – through 21 villages and 17 municipalities. We’ve been working on experience development for the new route, which launched to consumers in June 2019.

The route aims to encourage visitors to explore beyond Reykjavik and the Ring Road, and experience the remote uncrowded beauty of Iceland’s Arctic coast.

We worked with regional tourist board Visit North Iceland and a Steering Group of stakeholders representing communities, businesses and agencies along the route, helping them to identify and develop the distinctive experiences of the Arctic Coast Way.

Our work included creative and interactive workshops, site visits and one-to-ones with providers. We looked at best practice in tourist routes and visitor experiences elsewhere, drew up guidelines, advised on market opportunities, developed the propositions for sections of the route, and wrote and designed an Experience Development Toolkit for the industry.

Part of the project was dedicated to food tourism and included producing advice for food producers and providers, and a Food Tourism Story to guide investment and use in marketing.

Across four trips we drove hundreds of kilometres and experienced nature on a breathtaking scale: magnificent snow-capped mountains, black sand beaches stretching for miles, wide glacial rivers flowing into the sea, frozen lakes, geo thermal hot pots and pools – and the warmest of welcomes from the extraordinary people who live and work in Iceland’s far north.

(Images courtesy of Visit North Iceland)

"How to create real experiences. There’s no playbook for it. It’s really about the creativity and shared passion of the group doing the work."
Liz Lambert, CEO, Bunkhouse Group