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Best tour companies in Iceland

by Stacy
Best tour companies in Iceland

 

Many people hear of Iceland and immediately think of the phenomenon that is Iceland’s Northern Lights. What a sight. This is just an example of what Iceland has to offer and with tour companies such as Artic Adventures, they will help you explore the totality of Iceland’s beauty with much ease.

Iceland is rich in glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls and so much more in that whatever time you pick to go and visit the area, you will not lack places to go to behold the beauty of Iceland. Planning for a trip and especially the locations to visit can be daunting. Tour operators have been significant in lessening the burden for most people. To go to Iceland, I have done my research and come up with some of the best tour companies in Iceland that will help you explore patiently and effectively.

From cuisine, culture to the geological set up of Iceland, it is definitely a destination place for all. It is especially known for its Northern lights which are visible from most places and the famous Blue Lagoon located in a lava field roughly 20 minutes from the Keflavik International Airport, are the most frequented destinations. For those who have been lucky enough, they got to take a dip as the enjoyed watching the Northern Lights.

Below are some tour companies that will help you narrow down time spent on your search. These are:

Arctic adventures

Tourradar Rating: 4.4/5

Arctic Adventures is one of the lading tour companies in Iceland with a variety of activities varying from day tours to multi tours and for more accommodating features they also include self-drive tour arrangements. They have been giving great services to their clients for over 30 years.

The one-day tours are inclusive of tours such as the Northern Lights, the Golden Circle, Hiking, Sightseeing, Ice Cave, among other tours.

On the other hand, their multi-day tours range from 2 to 8 days during which you are treated to some the best locations in the country. Some of these tours include their best seller 6 Days Around Iceland Adventure which is available all year round, the 5 Day – Snæfellsnes Peninsula, South Iceland, and Northern Lights Tour, etc. You can also choose from their more popular Trekking Tours such as the Grand Laugavegur Trek which takes 8 days.

The packages offered are fun and diverse to accommodate everyone. Whether you want an adventure alone or with a group of people, Arctic Adventures is a great choice.

  • Qualified adventure guides
  • Over 30 years of experience
  • Great focus on environment responsibility
  • Wide range of tours across Iceland
  • Small group sizes

Extreme Iceland

Tourradar Rating: 4.6/5

Extreme Iceland is a licensed operator and travel agency that is focused on planning tours for individuals or groups of people looking to explore the beautiful Iceland. From jeep tours, day trips, activity tours, multi day tours, car rental self-drive tours and a whole other list of things. Basically, think of it and they’ll actualize it for you.

The team specializes in tour design as well as travel operation for any tailor-made tours to make sure they provide excellent service. Extreme Iceland opens up Iceland to you in form of Whale Watching Tours, Snorkeling, going to view the beautiful Northern Lights and a range of other one day trips.

If you prefer longer trips, Extreme Iceland tours will take you for 7 days around Iceland by travelling through the famous Iceland ring road and get to explore Snæfellsnes as well.

It is very budget friendly for those travelers who love to have controlled fun and therefore prefer that budget. There are trips such as the Laugavegur Trail that involve dormitory-style huts at roughly $1,500 for a period of six days.

If you’re looking to tour Iceland anytime in the year be during Summer or Winter, explore the options available with Extreme Iceland.

  • Best price guarantee
  • Small group experience
  • Tour planning help available
  • Instant confirmation

Ride with locals

Tripadvisor Rating: 5 – 17 Reviews

Ride with Locals brings with it a unique touring experience. I say this because while you may be accustomed to travelling in comfortable vans or jeeps, you’ll need to bring out your motorcycle gear for this one.

This is a group of four friends who have been riding off-road motorcycles since they were young. They are born are raised in Iceland and have extensive knowledge of the tracks and they therefore know what they’re doing.

The unique travelling style brings you closer to all the action that you only get to see on pictures. Volcanoes, mountains, craters, you name it, you’ll be right there to capture the beautiful moments firsthand. Trips range between 3 to 7days. Better yet, instead of taking you to the coastlines and other routes that most touring companies do, Ride with Locals takes you inland through tracks that you’d never find on your own.

It uses KTM 690R as well as Husqvarna 701 dual sport bikes with professionally trained guides. Expect to be one with nature as some trips offer accommodation in terms of sleeping bags in mountain huts inclusive of all meals. Some trips have hotel accommodations as well.

  • Flexible options
  • Secure payments
  • Trusted local guides
  • Tripadvisor reviews

Iceland Mountain Guides

Tourradar Rating: 4.8/5

Iceland Mountain Guides has been in existence for over 25 providing great services to many all over the world. Its main focus is on intimate adventures with small sized groups.

It has various tours across Iceland and Greenland divided into various categories from one-day tours to multi-day tours for client flexibility. It will take you hiking, cross country skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing, glacier tours, trekking and so much more.

Travelling with Iceland Mountain Guides can set you back from $100 on half-day which is pricier than most other tour companies, and over $4,000 on multi-day tours. The price is often inclusive of specialist equipment or a few other options.

What’s not to love about a company that will take care of the environment. Twice a year, events are held where the conversation shifts and the guides give back by planting trees.

They’re all about becoming flexible and have adapted different culture, needs, languages and needs as they have gained quite a lot from their years in the industry and will therefore have your best interest at heart.

  • Over 20 years of hiking and trekking in Greenland and Iceland
  • Multi-day/ one-day tours for all
  • Environmentalists at heart with the goal of leaving behind no carbon footprints
  • Transforming the outdoor adventure scene

Iceland Travel

Tourradar Rating: 4.6/5

Iceland Travels has to be one of the pioneers in this industry dating back to 1937. Since then, it has still held on to its core values as it is still the leading travel company, tour operator as well as the Destination Management Company in all of Iceland.

They are quite diverse in the services they offer to cater to guests from all over the world. These include day tours, escorted tours and self-drive tours which is something that is quite common in Iceland; people love the self-drive options of getting around.

It comprises of a dedicated team of individuals who are also busy ensuring that the experiences are unique every time. They keep up with the ever changing trends and are always waiting to hear the customer feedback. They value their customers and use the feedback in trying to always improve on the products offered.

  • Environment Commitment
  • Local Expertise
  • Top notch services and flexibility
  • Authentic travel
  • Diverse tours from self-drive tours to escorted tours

Free Walking Tour – Reykjavik

Tripadvisor Rating: 5 – 1,101 Reviews

The Free Walking Tour in Reykjavik is a free tour that works on a ‘pay what you want’ policy. You aren’t required to sign up anywhere so all you have to do is show up the Lækjartorg square. The tours happen every day at 11am and during the months of June through September, they happen thrice a day i.e. 11am, 2pm and at 5pm.

Kindly note that the tour doesn’t run on Independence day (17th June). Keep checking their website for the exact dates of these tours.

Expect to have a good time as the guides conduct these tours in a fun and warm way. This is because they are passionate about what they do and are always excited to show travelers around their beautiful cities.

Guides are paid at the end of the tour through donations and therefore they have reserved the right to cancel a tour whenever the attendance is below 5.

In case you want to join this group of people, check out their website as well as their Facebook page to be in the know should there be any changes.

  • Free all year round
  • No need for booking
  • Entertaining guides

Tips when travelling to Iceland

It is important to know a few things before trying to a foreign country in order to familiarize oneself with the cultures, tradition and basically way of being of the people residing in that country. I have therefore gone through some questions that are mostly asked by people looking to visit Iceland, and I’ve answered tried to answer them so that they may ease your preparations.

Check the prices out before booking your tickets

Planning a trip anywhere will require that you do dome research on the prices of commodities there to help you in organizing yourself.

Iceland is quite pricey when it comes to buying food. This very understandable because the weather conditions there do not support agriculture. As such, food has to be imported. This shouldn’t hamper your plans for visiting Iceland because you can ask someone from the hotel or hostel you’re staying in to recommend cheap supermarkets. This way you’ll manage yourself properly and get the best experience possible from your trip.

Don’t trust the weather in Iceland

Be aware of the weather in Iceland because it can be quite tricky to say the least. You could be experiencing some showers of rain and then walk down the street and suddenly it will be sunny. During winter, always expect to experience some showers as well as snow and don’t fully trust the weather forecast 100%.

Rent a car

There are no train systems in Iceland and therefore transport options are a bit more limited. For mobility, you either rent out a car or get yourself booked with guided tours. Now, you do not want guided tours especially if you’re a party of more than two.

Getting booked tours can be thrice as expensive as getting a rental and that’s for you alone so if you’re not travelling solo you should expect to spend a lot more. A rental is also more beneficial to you because you can plan out your own schedule instead of depending on the tours’ schedule. This saves you more money and provides convenience to do what you want; when you want it.

Avoid getting too close to the waves at Vik Beach

I know you might be curious to see the waves up close but avoid it at all costs. Getting too close be fatal. A few tragedies have already happened at Vik Beach and for some reason the message never seems to hit home in the magnitude that it should. The waters are definitely beautiful and important but they have the potential to turn into the most viscous elements ever so keep safe and keep your loved ones safe.

Don’t buy bottled water

Strange? Well no. It might amaze you but in Iceland all the water that runs from the faucets is good for drinking and is entirely free so by you buying water you’re basically spending extra for no good reason and of course you’re adding on to the damage being made by plastics all over the world. The only reason it makes sense is if you’re going to buy that bottle of water to use the bottle for refill during your whole entire stay in Iceland. So save up and take advantage of the free water that’s basically anywhere you’ll be in in Iceland.

Avoid taxi services

Getting around in Iceland is quite easy especially if you’ll be visiting Reykjavik. Walking distances are short from point A to B so it will be unrealistic for you to pay €5.10 upwards for 5 to 20 minutes walking distances. If you want to go from central Reykjavik, then take advantage of the public bus. It is both affordable and dependable. However, if you are travelling a longer distance, then you can use a taxi because the weather conditions can be dreadful so you might want to keep your health first in this case. Don’t sacrifice your health just to save some cash.

FAQs

Which is the best place to watch the northern lights?

Iceland is definitely known for its Northern Lights. If you plan to visit Iceland, then this is the one thing that is sure to be on your to-do list. The Aurora Borealis displays are dependent on mostly two things i.e. the cloud coverage as well as the sun’s activity.

During winter your chances are dwindled due to increased cloud cover. However, your chances will be better if you choose to check after 11pm; this is when it is darkest outside. If you ask the locals at Reykjavik, they’ll tell you that the best time to view the stunning lights is when the sun’s activity is really strong. December through February are the best viewing months.

The more accurate option however, will be the Aurora App. This App gives real time updates to its members on the best viewing locations to view this astonishing phenomenon. Remember this app during your next visit.

How is the weather in Iceland?

The name would suggest that the place is freezing cold throughout the year but really that’s not the case. It’s quite ironic but the Gulf Stream is to thank for it temperature moderating effects. Average temperatures of about 12° in Reykjavik in the month of July.

Another interesting thing is that while the North and Eastern parts of Iceland are warmer, they experience more snow during the winters than the West Fjords. Reykjavik, which is the capital of Iceland experiences very little snow even during winter.

When it comes to the weather in genera; in Iceland it’s important to note that it is very unpredictable and you can walk out in a vest with the sun shining bright and within no time, it will be raining. This is very normal. This is especially common late autumn and early spring as well as remote wilderness areas such as the interior highland so you want to be prepared and be prepared.

When is the best time to travel to Iceland?

When it comes to specific times to travel to Iceland, there are none as anytime is a good time. Summers (June – August) translate to longer daylight hours and therefore the time to enjoy activities is longer. Travelers enjoy hikes in the summer as it generally means they could explore more. It is advisable that you book your vacation early enough for summer vacations due to the limited accommodation availabilities especially in the countryside.

Iceland is a beautiful place that should be appreciated. We have looked at some the best tour companies in Iceland and have come up with different options for you. I hope that the article has been greatly beneficial to you.

 

 

 

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