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Mix and Match Tour companies or Icelander to help me? Maybe I'm asking too much?

Hello!

I'm starting to plan my trip to Iceland. I've never gone on a 'tour' before (mostly gone w/ my adult children on various adventures to East Africa, or driving trips with my spouse through Europe), and I'm not sure I want to do this on my own. I know I could, but would rather be with other interesting people.

There are tours out there, but not one that includes some of the things I would like to do. For instance, I do want to do the traditional ring road and golden circle, however, want to add in seeing the puffins, potentially kayaking in one of the glacial lakes, zodiac to glaciers, seeing the whales, etc, etc. Today I was thinking that maybe I sign up for a traditional tour (if you have recommendations let me know) and when I get back to Reykjavik getting on a tour designed just for the puffins or kayaking, etc. Perhaps I will do the shorter trips before the 'traditional' tour..

My questions are-

What small group tour companies do you recommend (under 20 people) and why did you like them

What 'add on' reputable tour companies do you recommend (for instance, ones that do 2-3 days to the Westman Islands to see the puffins or kayaking a glacial lake or perhaps snorkeling between the two plates/continential divide)? I don't want to get on one of those bigger buses with 50 people.

Getting an individual Icelander and a private tour is also intriguing for me.. Any suggestions? Maybe hire this person to fill in the trips that the traditional tours don't do

Another intriguing trip is along these lines: I did see a trip through my husband's university that goes out with a geophysicists and explains what is going on in Iceland - are there tours like that out there? (this trip is not happening this year)

I'm open to ideas and am thinking about spending about 12-14 days in Iceland over the summer. I am not into food or what kind of place I stay in, but value experiences over food and lodging..

THANK YOU and apologies for the long post
(not that it matters, but I'm an active (but not a super woman) 60 something woman (ie back roads tours does not interest me, nor do I think I could keep up with them)

Posted by
273 posts

Hello, cgfinnie,

A few years back, there was a small tour company called I ❤ Reykjavik. It was run by a lovely woman who had a blog and did small group tours in Iceland. She has since closed that part of her business, but still has a small blog and is available for contact through www.iheartreykjavik.net.

On her blog, she recommends www.hiddeniceland.is and www.localguide.is as two companies that do small or personal tours in Iceland. That might be a good place to start, and from her website, it looks as though she might be that local you're looking to find for assistance.

I'm in my late 50s, and have been to Iceland multiple times on my own, including driving the Ring Road alone in 2018. The country is so incredibly safe, and the people so welcoming, that unless you really want to be in a group, fixed tours aren't generally necessary. However, if you aren't really wanting to do the driving, then I completely understand the desire for some type of tour. Sometimes, it just makes sense for me to do a day tour, depending on the specific itinerary.

Best of luck, hope this helps!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks so much for the info! I just found I ❤ Reykjavik and posted a question to her. Just left a message for localguide.is, however, seems like they do glacier climbing and right now I'm going through hiddeniceland.

Both my (grown) kids have been to Iceland on their own (26 y/o daughter during the winter and 28 y/o son in June) I know i can do this on my own, and maybe connect with local guides along the way.

Thanks again! Glad I posted and found Rick Steves website.

Carol

Posted by
2153 posts

Hiddeniceland and local guide were my two suggestions as well;)

If you decide to drive yourself and still want help in planning, take a look at Iceland With A View. Her stuff is excellent! She has a ring road ebook, you tube video's, but also does personal itineraries. That might be worth it for you to save you some backtracking etc.