by Alex Palmer | November 21, 2017

The capital of Iceland has rapidly moved to the top of many incentive recipients' must-visit lists, thanks to its Instagram-ready natural wonders, cultural and culinary hot spots, and the ease with which it can be reached from North America and Europe. It's no wonder Northstar Meetings Group (of which Incentive is part) selected Reykjavik as the destination for the second annual Global Incentive Summit, held at the beginning of November. These are a few of the attractions attendees of the summit enjoyed and that planners can offer their own winners, depending on their interests.

While the center of this city's shopping and dining options run along the street Laugavegur, those looking for the "cool factor" for which this city is known, should head to the Grandi area. Once solely the territory of Reykjavik's fishing industry, this harbor front has made room for hip office spaces, boutique clothing stores, and top-notch restaurants and delis. Incentive winners with a sweet tooth will want to make at least two stops here: Valdis, which makes fresh batches of its signature ice cream flavors each day (salted licorice, anyone?); and Omnom chocolate factory, offering tours every weekday at 2 p.m.

Reykjavik is loaded with incredible dining options, including the seafood-focused Fish Company, French-style Snaps Bistro, and South American offerings at the new Burro restaurant. But for the full Reykjavik culinary experience, it's hard to beat Apotek. This restaurant, set in the hotel of the same name (one of two host properties for the Global Incentive Summit), offers a killer cocktail menu, terrific atmosphere, and a wealth of local dishes. Visitors who take on its seven-course tasting menu will enjoy such dishes as lamb tartar, minke whale, and puffin.

For any attendees still feeling stress from work, a 40-minute shuttle from the city to the vast Blue Lagoon will transport them to a mecca of relaxation. Iceland is famous for its hot springs, and this is the most famous of them all, a massive pool kept invitingly warm by the geothermal springs that flow underneath it. Visitors can grab a glass of wine or local beer at the swim-up bar, pamper their skin with a lava or algae mask, or just lie back and take in the stunning landscape.

This article appears in the November/December 2017 issue of Incentive.