Few Icelanders boast such a profound knowledge and understanding of the country as Kári Jonasson, who now specialises in leading and lecturing on tours that explore Iceland’s culture and diverse ecology, including its many volcanoes.
Kári studied languages in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Britain, and journalism in the USA, before becoming a reporter and ultimately Head of News for Icelandic National Radio. He has also been Editor-in-Chief for Iceland’s largest newspaper, Fréttablaõiõ, chairman of the Union of Icelandic Journalists, and a board member of both the Association of Nordic Journalists and the Nordic Journalist School.
In 30 years of broadcasting he travelled the world and covered visits to Iceland by many foreign dignitaries, as well as escorting American astronauts around his country, before returning to the University at Holar to complete a degree in tourism. He has since introduced visitors to many of the country’s active volcanoes, including a number we shall visit, and has become an expert in identifying and describing the sites that were settings of the Icelandic sagas. His interest in history has led him to study Iceland’s transition in the second half of the 20th century from an isolated community that lived in turf huts, whose only form of transport was horses, to a modern nation.
Whilst introducing many visitors to both his fascinating home and its neighbour Greenland, Kári has continued to play a part in Iceland’s public life, having recently been appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to join an international team of observers of the General Election in Armenia; he is also a member of the ministry’s advisory board dealing with Iceland’s negotiations concerning its membership of the European Union. In keeping with his country’s strong musical tradition he is a member of the Male Choir of Reykjavík.