Iceland’s coolest new attraction is a glacier-to-table bar

Oct 2, 2019

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Reyka Vodka put a bar on top of a glacier … and getting there is the biggest adventure.

There are a lot of reasons you might want to climb a glacier in Iceland. First off, it’s not a thing you can just do in any destination. It’s also easier than ever to do so in the Land of Fire and Ice, thanks to the array of tour operators offering glacier hikes, from Vatnajökull and Sólheimajökull in the south to Snæfellsjökull in the west. But there’s one glacier in particular that’s catching headlines, thanks to a particularly intriguing attraction by dreamed up by a local vodka distiller.

The spirits brand recently announced a new bar. But to reach this particular watering hole, you’re going to have to scale Langjökull glacier first. Not only is it the second-largest glacier in Europe, but it’s also the very place where Reyka sources its water. Iceland is known for its at-times unconventional addresses, so here are the coordinates, if you’re in the market for an adventure: 64.565653°N-20.024822°W.

Related: Mistakes every traveler makes in Iceland

They’re calling it the “world’s first” glacier bar, and while that might be true, it’s also something else: A bar that won’t get overcrowded with tourists. That’s because the bar is open to anyone who happens to be in the area while the bar is open for just one week this month. Reyka also hopes to attract vodka enthusiasts who double as avid hikers. There’s something really, well, Icelandic — in the very best way possible — about a pop-up bar that can only be reached by a potentially grueling (but scenic!) hike.

And don’t let the idea of climbing a glacier scare you. Sure, the summit is approximately 4,757 feet above sea level, but October is a fabulous time to hike in Iceland. Some days may be struck by random snow storms and poor weather, but these bouts pass quickly. Chances are, the view from the glacier will be entirely worth the climb.

The bar will only be open for five days, from Oct. 16 to 20, so turn on your OOO email responses and buy a plane ticket. You’ll be able to enjoy your drink from atop a glacier, and that’s reason enough to book a vacation. While cheap flights to Iceland have not as common since the demise of low-cost carrier WOW air, there are still deals to be had. Last month, we found deals on flights from $323 round-trip with Icelandair and American in basic economy.

Related: How to get to Iceland on points and miles

And if the thought of planning a last-minute trip gives you hypothetical (or literal) hives, Reyka is running a contest that would give a handful of winners the opportunity to visit the glacier bar on Reyka’s dime. You can learn more about the contest and book your interview with a Reyka ambassador here.

There is one catch: You have to be a U.K. resident to win the contest with Reyka, so we’re looking at you, TPG U.K. According to the brand’s contest website, all interview spots have been filled, but (there’s hope!) they are adding applicants to a waiting list. And remember: You can always still plan your own trip to get to the glacier bar.

Featured photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy

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