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Research uncovered by private tour and adventure group, Hidden Iceland, has found that in 2017 searches for trips to Iceland were more popular than traditional 18-30 locations, including Faliraki, Ayia Napa and Kos.

The search term was also a more popular choice for UK holidaymakers looking for travel than the Bahamas, Brazil and even China.

The research, drawn from Google Trends data, supports the rise of the so-called ‘ego travel’ trend, a tag given to millennials who prefer holidays that offer new experiences and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities, as opposed to drink promos and partying hard.

Hidden Iceland’s findings also back up newly released stats from the Icelandic Tourist Board which reveal that tourism in Iceland has quadrupled in the past six years, with the US & UK heading the charge. Brits now make up 15% of all tourists to ‘the land of fire and ice’, almost as much as Central and Southern Europe combined (316,395 v 356,546) in 2017. This number looks set in increase in 2018, with only the USA sending more tourists in January and February.

The popular interest in Iceland is no surprise to one of the founders of Hidden Iceland, Ryan Connolly.

The Glasgow native fell in love with the country in 2016 after spending time there exploring glaciers no-one else on earth had set foot on. Fast forward to July 2017 and, along with Australian geologist, and fellow glacier explorer, Scott Drummond, and marketing expert and Icelandic native, Dagný Björg Stefánsdóttir, they founded Hidden Iceland.

Speaking about the UK’s love affair with his adopted nation, Ryan said: “I’m so pleased to see the increased interest in Iceland. I think the move away from the typical ‘Club 18-30’ sunshine break is indicative that people are taking more mini-breaks as opposed to the traditional two weeks away, and during that break that want new challenges. Iceland delivers that in spades.

“Iceland’s popularity is undoubtedly down to the number of different experiences people can have and as a company we specialise in pushing that concept as far as possible.”

Hidden Iceland, a proud holder of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, offer visitors personal tours of stunning and unique locations across the island. The company was founded on the premise that a knowledgeable, enthusiastic guide can transform a good trip into an unforgettable experience.

Speaking about what makes them different, Scott continued: “At Hidden Iceland we’ve worked hard to cultivate a knowledgeable, safe and experienced team that won’t just queue you with others at popular tourist spots; we’ll have you on top of moving glaciers and trekking through lava tunnels. When we say different, we can confidently back that up.

“We’ve even helped organise for a couple to propose on a completely untouched section of a moving glacier, undoubtedly a memorable experience. It was magical to make that dream happen for people.

“Our private tours range from one day hikes to remote untouched glaciers and ice caves, to a ten-day trip across the country taking in glacial lagoons, diamond beaches with black sand, and even lunch on a working tomato farm. Iceland really does have it all – including some of the most stunning opportunities to get that all-important unique holiday selfie!”

Tours with Hidden Iceland can be booked in advance, through the company’s website, TripAdvisor or Viator, and they work with a select group of travel companies.

The company also run immersive scheduled trips every day around the country. If you choose to do a private trip they can be as bespoke as desired, and the team are happy to consider all requests, whether visitors have a specific location in mind or simply want to try something different to the norm.

For more information on Hidden Iceland EMAIL: or visit

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