We had a private group of 7 couples that wanted to experience Iceland to its fullest. We thoroughly enjoyed this custom made trip to fit all of our needs. From our pickup at the airport till the end, we were taken care of beyond what we imagined. At the airport, we were greeted by our driver and transferred to the blue lagoon, where we were able to spend 2 hrs exploring the lagoon.
On our way back to the hotel, we asked to stop to grab food, since we hadn't eaten and the food at the lagoon was rather expensive. He drove us around the city and showed us all the different parts of the city and where we could explore and eat throughout our stay and then we arrived at this really neat food court type place on the marina that was walking distance from our hotel. Inside, we had at least 10 different restaurant options, but the best was the food truck serving chicken sandwiches and veggie sandwiches, which everyone enjoyed as our first meal in Iceland. We then checked into the hotel and explored the city on our own. We ate dinner at a place that had decent Mediterranean food. While we were waiting for our food, we saw that the place next door was bustling and full of patrons, so we decided to try that later sometime in the week.
We asked to start the next day a little later at 9:30am and set off on our journey to explore the golden circle. We started off horseback riding for 2 hours. We had many people that had never ridden horses and many that had ridden at least 20 times. Several were a bit worried at the beginning, but we all enjoyed our experience. We then set out to see the Geysir and Gulfgoss waterfall. After the waterfall, we were given the option to skip the secret lagoon and get home earlier or proceed to the lagoon. After long debates amongst ourselves, we decided to go to the lagoon. After the lagoon, we drove through the national park and were able to stop and see where people dive between the tectonic plates. It was raining, so we did not get out and spend too much time, but were thankful we were able to drive through the area and hear about the history. We arrived back so late, that we asked our driver to drop us off directly at Kol, where we had dinner reservations.
The next day started early with a 715 am departure. We started our journey along the south coast, as our driver filled our brains with knowledge about Reykjavic and Iceland. After about 1.5-2hrs, we stopped and switched into a superjeep to explore the Valley of Thor. The superjeep ride was adventurous, as we crossed rivers and glacier valleys. We eventually arrived at a small campsite, where we started our hike up a mountain that ended at a 1600ft peak overlooking the entire valley. While the hike was a bit more challenging than we had imagined, we were happy that we did it and the view truly was "worth killing for," as our driver had described to us. Afterwards, we had a picnic lunch and returned to our bus and continued on to next glacier, where we were able to gear up in crampons and hike up the glacier. After the hike, we were given many options of when to stop for dinner. We eventually ended up at Fosshotel Glacier lagoon for the night.
We started the next day with a delicious breakfast and started our trek to the glacier lagoon around 10am. At the lagoon, we did the amphibian boat tour and then our driver took us to the black beach, where we spend time taking pictures on glaciers that floated up to the beach. We then started our trek back towards Reykjavic. On our long journey back west, our driver helped break up the trip and made stops for lunch, visit to the black beach, visit to waterfalls and even a spontaneous stop to take pictures in random lava fields (since he knew our group loved to take pictures). We were able to customize and change itinerary on the fly, which we all loved.
The next two days we had to ourselves in the city, as we had requested. A small group of us decided to go golfing and we were setup on this beautiful course about 35 minutes from the hotel and our driver was kind enough to transport us there, so we did not have to pay for separate transport fee. After dropping us off, he returned to the city and took the rest of the group on a city tour in the bus, which they enjoyed. The last day, we got picked up at 10am to go on ATV tour about 45 minutes away. Afterwards, our driver made stops for us to try and find souvenirs and even stop for us to pick up snacks. After returning back to the hotel, some of us wanted to rent bikes and explore the city on our own. When our driver heard we were going to rent bikes, he offered to join us on his bike and took us on a spontaneous 2 hr bike tour through the city. We then got to see our friend one last time the next morning, as we got transported to the airport.
Overall, we all loved our trip and our tour company. Our only complaints were some lack of communication during the process with our agent and frustration in getting back answers to questions in a timely fashion but everything was eventually answered and everything was taken care of from pickup, to tours, to activities, to departure. At the end, all the details were taken care of beautifully and the price was very similar or better than our larger tour companies that would not have had this personal touch and flexibility. Many of the a la carte type companies would have had nonprivate tours and the other customized tours would have been much more expensive. All 14 of us would highly recommend this company to anyone!!
hike that was "to kill for" and the superjeep tour through the valley of Thor
glacier lagoon and black beach near the lagoon
Most of all, the spontaneous stop at the lava fields that really helped break up the drive and put a smile on all of us!
Not sure we would change anything in the itinerary.
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