UK tour operator Explore have been creating adventurous small group holidays for almost 40 years. The team are always looking for the next authentic and affordable travel experience, and they could see the lack of accommodation and high prices in Iceland were reducing people’s ability to visit this amazing country. Explore’s Head of Product, Simon Grove, had a lightbulb moment: why don’t we build a yurt camp?
náttúra yurtel is a unique project brought together by Explore and travel pioneers from around the world, with the aim of bringing a new comfortable and affordable accommodation concept to Iceland. It’s been a two year journey, but the site is now ready to welcome you.
Time was taken to source the right land in the ideal place. Then find the right yurt supplier. After some time Simon found Yves, a Swiss national living in Canada who imported yurts into North America, working directly with families in Mongolia. They met in a field in Iceland and drew up a plan.
Conditions in Iceland provided a challenge. It was essential that the yurts all had their own toilet and heating. The traditional way of heating the yurts, a log burner, was a non-starter as Iceland is not a destination known for its forests. So the plan for underfloor heating was born.
The team set out to Mongolia to design the perfect yurt – with internal walls and doors with glass side panels. Furniture built in Mongolia for inside the yurts was also planned. After some months, the final products travelled overland by train and lorry to Denmark, and then sailed to Iceland. Once erected all that remained was to make them cosy and comfortable to give the perfect glamping experience. That included plumbing in the new shower blocks which were designed in Iceland but built in Slovakia!
‘There are too many people to thanks for their help on this project – but special mentions to Steinunn, Ari, Sveingbjorn, Yves, Lois, Eliot, Yann, Taryn, Tom, Frenchy and all who gave up time to travel to Iceland.’