Booked the 8 Day Ultimate Tour with Extreme Iceland although the actual tour was with Arctic Adventures. The tour included the 6 Days Around Iceland Adventure, a day trip to Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and a day hike at Landmannalauger. The tour companies provided detailed itineraries for these trips and also a list of what to bring. Be prepared, the weather can change rapidly.
The 6 days around Iceland Adventure highlighted many of the main attractions along the Ring Road and Golden Circle. Iceland is a scenic country with amazing waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes/lava fields, rock formations, cliffs, mountains, lakes, hot springs/geysers, and coastal areas and fjords all packed into a relatively small country. The tour afforded a good overview of these natural wonders as well as a glimpse into the history and lives of Icelanders. Enjoyed the short hikes to see waterfalls and other sites, the whale watching tour, getting up close and personal with the Icelandic horses, being on a glacier and seeing glacier lagoon. A little disappointed on the glacier walk as being in the slow group, we barely walked on the glacier despite the glacier guide telling us otherwise.
Overall, this tour was amazing, well organized and suited for a range of age groups. Our group was relatively small and included persons from around the world, lending to interesting conversations. Accommodations and accompanying breakfasts were good, and I particularly enjoyed those in rural locations, and the local foods. Enjoyed the stops in fishing villages and other villages, which afforded the opportunity to experience a bit of Icelandic culture. The days were sometimes long, but worth it. Just be patient when being picked up the first day, as there are several pick-up points.
Juri, our guide/driver, was excellent. He was informative, personable, easy going, sensitive to the group’s needs, and kept us on track time wise. He provided us with interesting bits of information on the history, people, myths, geology, climate, and biology of Iceland over the course of the tour, which really enhanced the tour. He also made recommendations for great dining spots. I highly recommend this tour and Juri as a guide.
The day trip to Snaefellsness Peninsula was with Andrea (guide). We visited a beach with a few seals resting on rocks, a black sands beach, coastal cliffs, basalt column cliffs, a lava cave, and more waterfalls and mountain scenery, and fishing village. Very interesting overall and Andrea was a pleasant guide.
The bus trip to Landmannalauger was long, but the hike (led by Saga, our competent guide) and views were well worth it. The colors of the mountains in Landmannalauger are absolutely stunning and the landscape is amazing everywhere you look. You have to see it because the landscape cannot be described by words; it was unlike anything I’ve seen. We hiked 2-3 hours through some lava fields, a valley and up Mt. Brennisteinsalda, a very colourful rhyolite mountain, and down the other side, ending in a walk through a green valley and more lava fields. There was a natural hot geothermal pool where you could bath and relax, but the weather was very cool and windy so I opted out of this activity. Highly recommend a trip to this area, whether a day trip or multi-day hike, as it is unique and beautiful. The long bus ride there and back would have been enhanced if the guides and bus driver had been more talkative and provided more description on the areas we passed through.