Gunnarsson reveals his travel secrets
Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson loves travelling and wants to share his amazing experiences. Photo/Peter Mckinnon
The photographer Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson now has his own space on the travel website Rexby.com , a site where influencers, photographers and other travelers alike share their expertise. Gunnarsson is known for the Icelandic Explorer site, among other things.
“I’ve traveled all over the country and have built up a well of knowledge about Iceland, which is valuable for people coming here – or for those just want to learn more about Iceland,” Gunnarsson says, explaining that each person has their own page on Rexby.com, which contains maps, travel plans and advice.
Lives for travelling
“It starts with a map where you put in all the places you recommend and then you put your own pictures. For example, you can post pictures of some nice scenery, such as countryside, favorite hotels, restaurants, cafés, baths, and pools — and places most people don’t know about. Once you have made a map, you can make specially designed plans that tourists can also buy and follow. This will in fact people the opportunity to get travel plan that they can follow from A to Z,” Gunnarsson says in explaining the idea behind Rexby.
He says the website saves a lot of time for tourists. He also has good travel advice where he writes articles on various topics,such as what to bring with you when heading to Icelandand where you might strike luck when organizing a photo shoot of the Northern Lights.
Gunnarsson travels a lot and loves finding new places to shoot, and takes pictures. “Often those places become famous on Instagram and people want to know where these pictures are taken. I’m also very fond of drinking good coffee and eating good food when I’m traveling, and this is something I want to share – also to get more traffic to cool places to support their business,” he says.
“I also have my “go to” places and often these are individuals or small businesses that have their own operations and it’s nice to be able to help send people there. In fact, it helps the dream I had in the first place to be able to live by traveling.”
Gunnarsson says people can buy access to all his materials, maps and travel plans or only maps or individual travel plans, but he has 320 specially selected locations on his site on Rexby.
“I really liked making a map at Rexby, both because there are so many fun and cool places I want to recommend and because this gives me the opportunity to generate income through my passion of traveling and experiences. For example, I get a lot of questions about “where this picture was taken” or just “where is this?” and of course it’s often knowledge that has both cost me time and money – so it’s very cool to be able to do and get something for it on a site like this.”
Can be used for any location
“Rexby is not only for Iceland, but you can make a Guide for any place you have a special knowledge of. For example, I lived in Copenhagen for many years and that would probably be the next place I would do a Guide for.”
- Would you be willing to use Rexby abroad?
“Yes, a 100%. I think it’s crazy to be able to get advice and information from people I look up to and who I trust have good taste and know what’s exciting. That’s really what Rexby is all about. Often these are people you’ve followed on social media for a long time and feel you know — sometimes without having ever met them in real life.
Often when you’re going to a new place, you just don’t know where to start getting information. Perhaps you’ve seen something on Instagram, Pinterest or other media. But it’s rarely in one place, a so-called “one-stop-shop,” and often you have to get really busy and sift through a lot of material to get the information.”
Knows a lot of secret places
“I really like stopping in cool places and having coffee when I’m traveling — there are places like Litlibær in the West Fjords and Skool Beans in Vík who are some of my favourites. Also, the restaurants Tjöruhúsið in Ísafjörður and Slippurinn in the Westman Islands are incredibly cool providing a unique experience.
When it comes to landscapes, I like to go to places where you can get to be a little by yourself in unspoiled nature. I still try to keep sustainability in mind and I don’t list places that are vulnerable or are too difficult to get to. Places I’d like to note include Klifbrekkufossar in East Iceland, Sigöldugljúfur on the way to Landmannalaugar, and for example Vestmannaeyjar in general. I have a special trip plan dedicated to the Westman Islands. I also find Hafnarhólmur in Borgarfjörður Eystri to be a very special place and probably one of the best places in the country to explore puffins.”
The Reykjanes peninsula is also an incredibly undervalued area, and I’ve done my best to put it on the map as well. For example, Stóra-Sandvík, Lambafellsgjá and Krýsuvík are places that are unique and have very few tourists. Then I always like to come to Stokksnes when the light is good. Of course, it’s a known place, but one that never fails when it comes to shooting great pictures, both for the Northern lights, sunrises, horses, and much more. These are all places on the map, and there’s a lot more, of course. I’ve also put baths and natural pools on the map – something that can be difficult to find.”
Winter is also fascinating
- Have you planned any exciting travels for next year?
“I want to film parts of the country during the winter season so I will try to film a lot of the West Fjords, North and East Iceland in snow and cool winter environments. These are my major travel plans in the near future. Then I would be happy to make plans for New York, the Faroe Islands, Denmark and possibly Greenland for Rexby, and I would have to travel a lot to be able to do that to have enough material to share. “Copenhagen, where I lived for five years, would definitely be the first on that plan out of Iceland. If I were to choose great summer travels I would say the Icelandic highlands 100%.
All of Gunnarsson’s secrets can be accessed on his site at Rexby.com. The entire package is 50% off until Monday with the code 50PCT.