Hi! We are Katerina and Oddur, two glacier guides with a passion for sharing
unique experiences with you. We decided to quit the comfort of our old job,
getting a regular paycheck, and most importantly having a normal bed, so we
could offer different, and better, glacier tours. So, we packed a tent in our car
and drove 4 hours to Öræfi to start Melrakki Adventures.
There is no place in the world like Öræfi. The diverse landscape makes it one of the most visited places in Iceland. For lovers of nature and the outdoors, Öræfi is a unique place that offers everything, from vast black sand plains, to waterfalls surrounded by dark basalt columns, to outlet glaciers crawling down the mountain sides. All these wonders are crowned by the highest mountain peak in Iceland, Hvannadalshnjúkur. This and more is why we decided to call this place our home.
A different, better experience
The years before starting Melrakki, we worked as glacier guides for one of the
larger companies in the area. We undertook multiple courses in glacier guiding, wilderness first aid, and even learned how to drive a bus, all so we
could do what we like in the place we want to be in.
After getting valuable experience and knowledge in the area, working through the endless summer days and the cold, dark winter days, we realized that we
could make people even happier if we offered a difference type of sevice. We love hiking on the glaciers, and want to make your glacier tour a unique experience that you will never forget. To achieve that, we focus on small
group experiences and client care.
From previous experience at our former jobs, we realized that doing glacier tours with larger groups is not worth it for the client, for several reasons. Gearing up and getting larger groups to the glacier takes too much time, which means spending too little time on what matters the most, hiking on the glacier. Another factor is that small group experiences are more personal, allowing us more time to interact with all of our guests. From the beginning, this has always been our main focus.
So who are we?
We are Katerina and Oddur, a girl from Czech Republic and a guy from Iceland, the founders of Melrakki Adventures. Since we were young, we have always loved being outdoors in nature, doing endless camping, hiking, and fishing trips with our families. Even though we had this love for the outdoors, we didn’t always see ourselves following this path, and as kids we dreamed of being a ballerina and a football star. Later on, those dreams were abandoned and in university we studied engineering and visual effects. Realizing that the rest of our lives were about to be spent inside in front of a computer, we decided that we needed to do something completely different. Now we have found ourselves doing what we love here in Öræfi, waiting excitedly to see what tomorrow will bring.
The name Melrakki is one of the oldest written words for the arctic fox in Icelandic, coming from the words melur (gravel plain) and rakki (dog). The arctic fox was the only mammal living in Iceland as the first settlers arrived. Probably, the arctic fox arrived after trekking over the sea ice at the end of the last ice age and got trapped as the ice melted. After the arrival of humans and up until the 1970’s, the arctic fox was hunted down to near extinction, but preservation laws allowed the population to recover and now there are estimated to be a minimum of 7,000 arctic foxes in Iceland. On the glaciers, there is not much life except for the humans and the occasional bird begging for food, but once in a while an arctic fox wanders up for a little glacier hike. Seeing them on the glaciers is incredibly rare, but during the winter months their footprints can quite often be spotted in the snow, even far up on the outlet glaciers.