Chris McCarty

I'm currently traveling all over Iceland to find the best things to do away from the crowds. I'm mostly focusing on Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Westfjords, and North. The best way to experience Iceland is to get away from the bus tours that stick to Reykjavik and the Golden Circle and to explore all the other hikes, waterfalls, volcanoes, and hot springs that Iceland has to offer.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Iceland, Germany, Norway, Spain, Argentina, Peru, and much of Western Europe.

Much of Western Europe: Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Norway. Also Peru, Argentina, and Iceland"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Several years ago I was in Peru with 2 friends from back in middle school . One was living in South America, and the other was visiting with me. After a fun day of exploring the ruins and markets of Pisac (just outside of Cusco) the informed local friend sent us on our way to the next town of Ollantaytambo....on motor taxi.

We soon discovered the loudest and bumpiest way to travel in Peru as we sat in the back with our large backpacks barely fitting inside the small cart as we yelled back and forth to each other (not in a mean way, it was the only way to hear). At one point the driver stopped to pee on the side of the road as we wondered if we were even going to the right place (this was pre iphone maps to double-check). We managed to make it to within 5 miles of our destination before we were let out and somehow figured out how to make it the last 5 miles.

It was a pretty fun adventure that we laughed about from the comfort of our beds that night. It shows you that while traveling by tour bus may be more predictable, there are better ways to create lifelong memories. "

Featured trips & expertise

An endless view over Iceland's east coast

A Week in Iceland: 4 Unique Road Trips Filled with Highlights & Hidden Gems

With 7-9 days in Iceland, we recommend you hit the road and explore the incredible wonders further afield from Reykjavik. We’ve put together these unique one week Iceland itineraries which let you explore a variety of landscapes: volcanoes and lava fields, green pastures and farmlands, scenic vistas above fjords, beaches of every color, glaciers and ice caves, and the rugged interior. Here are our recommended drives, an option for all travelers and seasons.

Iceland Off The Beaten Path: A 10-day Escape to the West and North

This example driving itinerary is great for the summer when the crowds of the south coast and golden circle area are at their peak and accommodation can be hard to find. Instead, escape to the more remote areas of the country to experience some of the best that Iceland has to offer, with few other people to share it with.

Volcanic Landscapes of Landmannalaugar in the Iceland Highlands

Iceland’s Highlands: The Ultimate Guide to Getting off the Beaten Path

Iceland’s interior is by far its most rugged area. The terrain can be tough, and the F-roads are only accessible by jeeps with 4WD (in Winter, only by modified “super jeeps”). But the increased difficulty level means you will have the place to yourself, as few tourists reach the highlands. Here you will find some of the best hiking destinations: the red and orange volcanic landscapes at Landmannalaugar, strange canyons and other-worldly landscapes at þórsmörk (Thorsmork, “Thor’s Valley”), and some of the top geothermal areas at Hveradalir Geothermal Area where you can wander through the hills walking past steam vents and mud pools.

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfalls with Kirkjufell in the distance

Reykjavik and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 4-day itinerary

If you have 4 days in Iceland you can enjoy Reykjavik's city life and then leave the masses behind by heading north to explore beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its waterfalls and volcanoes. This way you'll get a great sampling of all Iceland has to offer. Day 1: Arrival, Reykjavik Day 2: Glymur Falls, Borgarnes, Snaefellsnes Peninsula Day 3: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, back to Reykjavik Day 4: Blue Lagoon, Departure

Hverfjall Crater rises in the distance of the Dimmuborgir lava fields

5-Day Tour of the North: Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, Waterfalls, and Geothermal Hotspots

For a unique Iceland experience, avoid the crowds of the south completely. This trip has it all: volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, nature baths, whale watching, fjords and more. Below are 2 great ways to experience the north: all the highlights with only a fraction of the people. You can maximize your time by taking a domestic flight over the beautiful highlands of the interior to Akureyri, or you can drive one way and fly from Akureyri back to Reykjavik.

Recent trip reviews for Chris

Jim in iceland, Iceland - Aug 14 - Aug 17, 2017

Traveler: James B. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

The one "problem" was that I did not ask enough questions of the right people. The problem was MY doing, not yours.

Trip to iceland, Iceland - Aug 30 - Sep 2, 2017

Traveler: Barbara W. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris' attention to detail was really appreciated. He did an excellent job with our trip from my first inquiry through to his "check in" note during our travels. We really enjoyed the out of the way and less visited places he suggested, and the hotels were fabulous!

As stated earlier Chris was friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. His suggestions were excellent, particularly his advice about how much we could realistically see and do in 3.5 days

Solo trip in iceland for ~6-7 days, Iceland - Aug 24 - Aug 31, 2017

Traveler: Nicholas H. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Response time was excellent, and the expert was very accommodating to my requests

Explore iceland in 5 days - seven optimized itineraries to help you make the most of your short trip to iceland , Iceland - Jul 29 - Aug 9, 2017

Traveler: Sara Y. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Our trip was an amazing experience, we enjoyed the "adventure" of the suggested route, focusing on West and North Iceland. However, as a first visit to Iceland, we were disappointed we did not spend more time in Reykjavik and area. It deserves more. The suggested activities and places to see along the route were not always organized according to the drive. I also think it would be more helpful in the planning stages if you had more knowledge of the traveler(s) - sort of a "get to know your clients". All in all, it was great. Chris did a great job. Thank You.

Girls road trip, Iceland - Aug 16 - Aug 22, 2017

Traveler: Whitney S. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

We had a difficult time sticking to the timeline as it seemed there was too much stuff for us to do in a day if we wanted to sleep in until about 8 and be at our hotel by 6 or 7 pm or so. Would be nice to have discussed how much we wanted to squeeze in one day. Otherwise, fantastic recommendations. All the restaurants, hotels, hikes, etc. were fantastic. Iceland is amazing.

Chris was prompt in responding to any questions and did a great job of booking all of our hotels and flights and... read more

We had a difficult time sticking to the timeline as it seemed there was too much stuff for us to do in a day if we wanted to sleep in until about 8 and be at our hotel by 6 or 7 pm or so. Would be nice to have discussed how much we wanted to squeeze in one day. Otherwise, fantastic recommendations. All the restaurants, hotels, hikes, etc. were fantastic. Iceland is amazing.

Chris was prompt in responding to any questions and did a great job of booking all of our hotels and flights and relaying the information to me. The only improvement that could be made here is to add a feature for saving all of your booking numbers, confirmation numbers, etc. for each flight, hotel, car reservation, lagoon reservations in one place. It was kind of confusing trying to go back and forth between our itinerary and my emails. Because I had to book the massages at the lagoon, I screwed up and only booked one, but that was totally my fault! Little things like that got confusing - like what I had to do vs. what Chris did for us.

Iceland adventure, Iceland - Aug 8 - Aug 16, 2017

Traveler: Dan S. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris was great!

Glaser family in iceland, Iceland - Aug 10 - Aug 18, 2017

Traveler: Todd G. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Without the help of Chris McCarty at Kim Kim, I would have been lost attempting to coordinate hotels and find sights around the coastline of Iceland. The timing from one location to another was perfect. This made a once in a lifetime trip as efficient as possible. Thank you

Nature trip, Iceland - Aug 10 - Aug 16, 2017

Traveler: Nirdosh J. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Very nice trip overall

Self drive tour to the north, Iceland - Aug 5 - Aug 12, 2017

Traveler: Saad M. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

In all a very good trip and plan. Many good suggestion of things to see and do every day. Only 2 complaints - one of the accommodations was not acceptable. It had shared bathrooms with other people - and I had specifically asked to have private bathrooms with our rooms. Also the glacier hike that was booked was a very difficulty level - my family turned back after 1.5 hours into a 6 hour hike. This is partly my fault - I should have checked the other reviews of this excursion before booking... read more

In all a very good trip and plan. Many good suggestion of things to see and do every day. Only 2 complaints - one of the accommodations was not acceptable. It had shared bathrooms with other people - and I had specifically asked to have private bathrooms with our rooms. Also the glacier hike that was booked was a very difficulty level - my family turned back after 1.5 hours into a 6 hour hike. This is partly my fault - I should have checked the other reviews of this excursion before booking it. Possibly KimKim should check ages and ability of the group before suggesting activities.
I am overall satisfied with the service from KimKim. My trip planner Chris was easy to deal with and very helpful. I should have spent more time checking the reviews for hotels and excursions myself.

Iceland driving tour, Iceland - Jul 25 - Aug 2, 2017

Traveler: Richard J. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris was great to work with. He provided good recommendations for lodging and took care of making the arrangements. When one of the locations cancelled our reservation at the last minute because of a double booking he quickly helped us find another place. The sightseeing recommendations were very good.

Volcano, waterfalls, fjords, Iceland - Aug 7 - Aug 11, 2017

Traveler: Clark A. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Our first time with KimKim. We learned more about how to communicate with our tour planner. Some our fault, some his. We had a very difficult and unsatisfactory say at Centri Lodge. The other two locations were satisfactory. Yes, we dis comment back to the travel sites on all stays.

Communication of what we expected in lodgings vs. what we had. Other tour comments were in line in terms of what to do and see.

Summer adventure , Iceland - Jul 22 - Aug 1, 2017

Traveler: Laura G. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Really was a great trip. Day 2 needed a bit more instructions on sequence of stops. Food recommendations give were excellent, we could have used more recommended restaurants near we're we were booked to stay each night. Everything was really great and we had an awesome time.

Countryside of iceland, Iceland - Jun 23 - Jul 7, 2017

Traveler: susan t. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Our trip involved the Ring Road and our advisor, Chris timed each day perfectly with the amount of driving and sight-seeing. The majority of the accommodation was wonderful with only two exceptions. The car rental was better than expected and all of the tours we requested were as described.

We had requested the Silfra snorkeling tour in January and received our vouchers from KimKim in March. After being in Iceland for over a week, we received an email from the snorkeling company requesting a... read more

Our trip involved the Ring Road and our advisor, Chris timed each day perfectly with the amount of driving and sight-seeing. The majority of the accommodation was wonderful with only two exceptions. The car rental was better than expected and all of the tours we requested were as described.

We had requested the Silfra snorkeling tour in January and received our vouchers from KimKim in March. After being in Iceland for over a week, we received an email from the snorkeling company requesting a medical questionnaire be completed prior to our tour three days hence. 24 hours later, after submitting it back, they "red flagged" me (the mother) because I was 'over 60' which then required a doctor's clearance. We wasted the next full day driving to another town to see a doctor and/or fax our doctor back in Canada (as email was not possible to our doctor's office). We finally solved the problem with many arrangements and long distance telephone calls but it was with great stress as it was our featured tour. This could have been easily solved had Chris and the tour company communicated that age would be an issue so that back in January, we could have seen our doctor *in Canada* to receive clearance prior. My age was known from the beginning of our trip planning. Vouchers should not be issued if a medical clearance has not been signed!

Weekend at glacier lagoon, Iceland - Jul 11 - Jul 17, 2017

Traveler: Joan F. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris from Kimkim was a tremendous help, from beginning to end. He helped with all kinds of planning, even calling hotels I had booked separately to make sure they had the right kind of beds ready. Kimkim literally made the difference between a high anxiety trip and a relaxed one. Very highly recommended!

Chris went above and beyond what I would have expected. As a result, the trip was both better and easier than it would have been without his help.

Iceland 2 week family summer getaway, with some of it off the beaten track, Iceland - Jul 5 - Jul 18, 2017

Traveler: Eva S. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

We had a great trip to Iceland! Loved the country and expansive and beautiful landscapes. Kimkim (Chris) provided us with the inside knowledge we needed to plan this trip. The accommodations were good. Two weeks was about the right amount of time for this trip, as we covered a lot of miles.

Chris was great to work with and was very patient in answering my numerous questions. Glad that he recommended that we visit the westfjords, as this was one of our favorite parts of the trip. For some... read more

We had a great trip to Iceland! Loved the country and expansive and beautiful landscapes. Kimkim (Chris) provided us with the inside knowledge we needed to plan this trip. The accommodations were good. Two weeks was about the right amount of time for this trip, as we covered a lot of miles.

Chris was great to work with and was very patient in answering my numerous questions. Glad that he recommended that we visit the westfjords, as this was one of our favorite parts of the trip. For some of the things that we did it would have been nice to have some more detailed information in our itinerary so that we knew what to expect. For example, the road out to the Latrabjarg bird cliffs was a long, windy dirt road with not much room for vehicles to pass each other - and this whole excursion took us much longer than we expected. But, overall, the trip was a fantastic one and went smoothly!

Family trip to iceland, Iceland - Jun 30 - Jul 9, 2017

Traveler: Mindy B. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

It was very close to perfect. But, instead of sending a series of emails with the rental car, accommodation, and activities information, it would be better if all that information was accessible from the kimkim website so everything would be in one place.

Chris planned great activities, and he did a wonderful job with the accommodations. I wish there was more detail in his itinerary, though. Maybe he could include the price range for recommended restaurants and/or a warning that certain places had very limited restaurant options.

Iceland driving, hiking, camping, Iceland - Jun 22 - Jul 1, 2017

Traveler: Brendan M. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Amazing specialist helping us out and made it a really special and exciting trip tailored just the way we wanted. Thank you to his dedication!

Again, fantastic specialist and was 100% the reason our trip was so perfect. Big thanks to him in particular. Chris is who really made the trip awesome and ensured that personally.

Unique ways to explore iceland in 5 days, Iceland - Jun 21 - Jun 27, 2017

Traveler: nick R. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

The accommodation near Vik, Sólheimahjáleiga Guesthouse , was outrageously expensive for what it was , and compared with the proper hotel the next night, Litli Geysir Hotel

You should add the Lava Centre to your itinerary. http://www.lavacentre.is/ We enjoyed a hour or two there and it provided some useful information about the thermal region. One of the useful titbit was to watch for the dome to form in the geyser before it erupts:

Long weekend in iceland, Iceland - Jun 30 - Jul 4, 2017

Traveler: Catherine G. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris planned a perfect itinerary for us. We only a long weekend to spend in Iceland and we felt that we got to see a lot in a little time. Additionally, Chris encouraged us to stay away from tourist traps and instead explore an area that we might not have thought of on our own. Our activities were a great balance of active and relaxing. Looking forward to going back another time to explore a different area.

June , Iceland - Jun 14 - Jun 17, 2017

Traveler: Heather M. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Overall, the experience with KimKim was quite good. Need to check the rules about the car rentals. We were shocked by the massive deposit required by Sixt Car Rental in Iceland. Nowhere on our paperwork did it denote that they wanted a $2000 hold on our card for 20 days. We were forced to buy added insurance to get the deposit down. Also, need to be careful about where you book people based on their 'lifestyle'. Our second stay was at a hostel which was very inappropriate for who we were. It... read more

Overall, the experience with KimKim was quite good. Need to check the rules about the car rentals. We were shocked by the massive deposit required by Sixt Car Rental in Iceland. Nowhere on our paperwork did it denote that they wanted a $2000 hold on our card for 20 days. We were forced to buy added insurance to get the deposit down. Also, need to be careful about where you book people based on their 'lifestyle'. Our second stay was at a hostel which was very inappropriate for who we were. It was adequate but the beds were very uncomfortable.

A few more details on a couple of things and more appropriate accommodations would have helped.

Iceland adventure, Iceland - Jun 1 - Jun 12, 2017

Traveler: Sara V. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

I do have some feedback, really for North Sailing, but wanted to share here too since they are a partner of KimKim. We went on a whale watching tour which departed from Husavik. The seas were rough on the day of our reservations. When we checked in, the person assisting noted this to us - I was not sure exactly what this meant. They had already canceled some of the other trips that day.

We were provided with the jumpers, raincoats, and gloves. The waves were about 10 feet high and a number... read more

I do have some feedback, really for North Sailing, but wanted to share here too since they are a partner of KimKim. We went on a whale watching tour which departed from Husavik. The seas were rough on the day of our reservations. When we checked in, the person assisting noted this to us - I was not sure exactly what this meant. They had already canceled some of the other trips that day.

We were provided with the jumpers, raincoats, and gloves. The waves were about 10 feet high and a number of them broke partially over the bow of the boat. There was no rain. The boat seemed to rock side to side at roughly a 20-degree angle. My mom (70 yrs-old), who was for a short time next to the side about mid-way down, noted that the sea level was about 2 1/2 to 3 feet from the top of the boat railing. Our backpacks were placed on a bench in front of the captain's control room (bridge on larger ships) and with one of the tips went sliding off and hit the side of the boat where my mom was standing. My husband followed shortly thereafter. He was also seated on the same bench. He slammed into my mom and she sustained a knee injury - it still needs to be diagnosed but it is either a sprain or possibly a minor tear.

After that, one of the guides was very helpful in helping my mom (I was too sick to assist). She made sure she had a raincoat and gloves and brought her to a better location on the boat (top deck). I was sick nearly the whole time. I am susceptible to motion sickness so I knew this would be a possibility; however, over the course of the trip about 2/3 of the approximately 24 guests had thrown up at least once.

That all being said, we did see whales. My perspective is that the decision to go out was not a good call. The conditions I would say were unsafe - considering that it is not unfathomable that someone could have gone overboard which would be pretty terminal (the life ring would not do much in those kinds of seas) - and the majority of the guests were sick. In the cafe afterward, some of the guests appeared pretty stunned - starring into space. Please pass along to North Sailing.

Overall, we were very happy with Chris' work on the Iceland trip. He provided valuable input that really shaped the trip itinerary. We ended up going around the ring road which we would not have thought of if Chris had not suggested it. We are so glad we did! Having information on the sites was very helpful and of course having someone knowledgeable about lodging and booking the accommodations, car rental, and activities was super!

Unique ways to explore iceland in 6 days, Iceland - May 27 - Jun 2, 2017

Traveler: William H. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

I was very pleased with the work done by kimkim.

My family and I really made it challenging for Chris to arrange our plans: We were located in 3 different cities all giving different feedback. Chris did an excellent job coordinating and adjusting to our {changing} needs.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi William, I'm very glad that you and your family had a nice time in Iceland, even despite some unforeseen obstacles. We're always up for the challenge to help design the perfect trip, and we hope to see you again soon wherever your next travels may take you.

Explore iceland , Iceland - May 19 - May 27, 2017

Traveler: Amol L. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris had very good suggestions and advice during the planning stages of the trip. His experience was very valuable in customizing the trip. Everything went on smoothly. We had no trouble finding accommodations. The places were comfortable and as cheap as one could get in Iceland. The places were also located strategically such that we could get to the attractions reasonably quickly and before it got completely mobbed.

Chris also provided detailed recommendations for each day for... read more

Chris had very good suggestions and advice during the planning stages of the trip. His experience was very valuable in customizing the trip. Everything went on smoothly. We had no trouble finding accommodations. The places were comfortable and as cheap as one could get in Iceland. The places were also located strategically such that we could get to the attractions reasonably quickly and before it got completely mobbed.

Chris also provided detailed recommendations for each day for places to see, hikes to take, and also restaurants. We fully followed those recommendations and were rewarded. remember that in Iceland, every attraction is not marked 20 miles ahead. Therefore, it is easy to miss some. Having a local expert is priceless.

Overall, booking with kimkim was an excellent decision.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Amol, thank you for your review and your photos (they look great!). I'm glad that you had a smooth trip and enjoyed the places we recommended. Hope to see you again soon!

-Chris

Iceland 101, Iceland - May 13 - May 18, 2017

Traveler: j b. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

The north and east was great, the south was so-so. Some of the hotels were passable. The food was good but outrageously expensive.

Chris was very responsive to the wide range of questions. Response time varied a lot depending on his schedule or travel

Anniversary trip, Iceland - May 4 - May 11, 2017

Traveler: Patrick M. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

It would be great if kimkim could provide google maps links that provide a driving route. I manually created google maps routes each night for the next day- although i am fine with doing it, but i dont think other folks would have been ok with tackling that activity. The manual entry was challenging with the spelling of icelandic destinations.

Chris' trip was outatanding, and I greatly appreciated how he went the extra mile to find a riding tour that was appropriate for my wife's riding experience. It was a highlight of the trip!

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Patrick, I'm glad that you had a nice trip and that your wife enjoyed the riding experience! Thank you for the feedback about the Google maps, we have been more consistent with this since your trip for our future travels, and I'm sure that they appreciate your part in that.

-Chris

Iceland variety trip, Iceland - Apr 9 - Apr 17, 2017

Traveler: Brent W. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

We had an amazing time, and thought that KimKim did quite a good job, especially given the short notice for our trip. There were several issues that could have been better:
1) There was several recommendations of places to go that were simply impossible to see at the time of the trip - as an example, the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields were completely inaccessible. This happened to us on several occassions, which caused us to spend time that could have been better spent at places that were simply... read more

We had an amazing time, and thought that KimKim did quite a good job, especially given the short notice for our trip. There were several issues that could have been better:
1) There was several recommendations of places to go that were simply impossible to see at the time of the trip - as an example, the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields were completely inaccessible. This happened to us on several occassions, which caused us to spend time that could have been better spent at places that were simply not accessable.
2) In some of the itinerary, there could have been more detail in terms of actually finding the locations. As an example, where exactly is Hvalnes Nature Reserve? It would be useful, when doing a self guided tour to have more specific directions and suggestions about what to look out for, where to turn, and where to park, etc.
3) In the town of Vik, it would have been I good idea to let us know that we needed to call ahead to make reservations for dinner.
4) There was some really sketchy and somewhat dangerous driving, and I think that we could have been better prepared for that. In addition, the driving times in many instances were a severe underestimate of the actual driving time.

These things being said, we did have an exciting and unforgettable trip!

We thought that Chris did a very good job, and was quite helpful when I reached out to him during the trip.

Adventure and sight seeing, Iceland - Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2017

Traveler: Mari A. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris was very fast to answer, and so informative!

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Mari, thanks for your review. It looks like you had a great trip!

Iceland in 9 days, Iceland - Apr 25 - May 4, 2017

Traveler: Anna S. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

It was pretty much perfect. One day we drove a long way to some hot springs, probably ended up being and extra 2 hrs to find they didn't open untill 4pm. Should've checked but worth adding to the info sheet. Didn't mind too much though.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Anna, I'm glad that your trip was (mostly) perfect, thank you for your note about the hot springs, we will make sure to inform future travelers of this so that they can plan their day accordingly.

Best,
-Chris

Self drive tour for family with young children, Iceland - Apr 7 - Apr 17, 2017

Traveler: Abigail A. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

It was helpful to have someone with knowledge of the area to help us book rooms. However, the itinerary seemed somewhat generic rather than customized. For example, there were several recommendations on the itinerary that were not open during the winter season. Also, because it was winter and the roads were not always in the best condition, it would have been nice if the itinerary was a little more specific with directions (i.e. what roads were before/after) rather than just saying look for the signs. We relied a lot more on a Rough Guide and a detailed map than I had expected to.

Top 12 family activities in iceland, Iceland - Apr 14 - Apr 18, 2017

Traveler: Jennifer R. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

I was really pleased with the itinerary put together for us. We weren't able to do everything but we did almost everything and found some other interesting additions along the way.

Nature, culture, unique experiences, less crowd, Iceland - Apr 5 - Apr 18, 2017

Traveler: Joan L. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

The whole trip was planned half-way easier knowing what to do and what shall be expected in Iceland with assistance of kimkim's service.

Chris was able to adjust / alter the itinerary according to our preferences and requests and it turned out to be a successful journey. Most of the time we stayed 2 night straight at the same hotel and as a result it allowed us to revisit places and savor the dramatic landscapes we were not able to enjoy at the first day due to extreme weather condition in this April.

Honeymoon adventure, Iceland - Mar 27 - Apr 5, 2017

Traveler: Sara K. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

The trip was amazing. Loved the tips on stops and restaurants. Really happy with most of the accommodations. Will definitely be using Kimkim in the future

Only complaint was we weren't the happiest with the car rental place, didn't seem the reputable. Also the accommodations at the centric house, while centrally located, were very dirty for the price paid. Other than that, very happy.

Loved working with Chris, however would like an heads up when credit card would be charged so we could make sure the money was in the account.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Sara, thank you for your review and great photos! Looks like the two of you had a nice time. I'm glad that you enjoyed Iceland.

Thank you for your feedback on the car rental place, we are looking into this a bit more to decide if this is the right partner to work with for future travelers.

Best,
-Chris

Family trip , Iceland - Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2017

Traveler: Laura G. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

We had the BEST time! Thanks so much Chris!

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

You're VERY welcome, Laura!

Iceland adventure, Iceland - Mar 17 - Mar 31, 2017

Traveler: Allison R. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

We were really pleased with Chris's response time and the trip schedule for making our way around the country. It was clear that Chris was not aware that a few of the sites and one of roads were closed for the winter. I also specifically asked about Glymur falls in the winter and if the log was across the river and what it would be like in March. Chris said the log would be there, however it was clearly marked on the sign at the trailhead that the log is not there in the winter. The hike... read more

We were really pleased with Chris's response time and the trip schedule for making our way around the country. It was clear that Chris was not aware that a few of the sites and one of roads were closed for the winter. I also specifically asked about Glymur falls in the winter and if the log was across the river and what it would be like in March. Chris said the log would be there, however it was clearly marked on the sign at the trailhead that the log is not there in the winter. The hike was very snowy. We were prepared for that. Good hike either way but again some misinformation given the time of year. Our accommodation was generally excellent and very comfortable for our family of four. The OK hotel was good but the "pull out couch" was not long enough even for me to sleep on (I'm 5 foot 5 inches) let alone two 17 year old boys. Just good to know if you are putting a family in there it would work for two young kids.

Iceland in winter, Iceland - Mar 16 - Mar 19, 2017

Traveler: Grace L. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris was very helpful and insightful. Always repsonded promptly.

Loved his suggestions and his possible itineraries he laid out for us. There were options and comments to help us gauge how we can cover all that we intended to see.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Grace, what great photos you took! Hope the snow wasn't too much in March, but it sure makes some of those photos quite magical.

I'm happy that you liked the suggestions and options that we put together for you.

Best,
- Chris

Iceland, Iceland - Mar 3 - Mar 10, 2017

Traveler: Mike M. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris was there to help me with everything with a fast response!

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Mike, I'm glad that you enjoyed the service and I hope you had a great time in Iceland. Hope to see you back again for your next trip!

8-day ring road adventure: explore iceland’s top places along its most famous road, Iceland - Feb 22 - Feb 28, 2017

Traveler: Mathew F. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

My itinerary was great overall. Well paced, stopped at many terrific highlights and quite achievable.
It did however feel like it was written quite generically - that is to say, just a copy paste job rather than something tailored. As an example, one restaurant in Hellnar which was recommended (and pretty much the only one for miles) was closed for the winter. This is confirmed with a search on Google, it's not a one off. I would expect this recommendation to be removed for winter trips.... read more

My itinerary was great overall. Well paced, stopped at many terrific highlights and quite achievable.
It did however feel like it was written quite generically - that is to say, just a copy paste job rather than something tailored. As an example, one restaurant in Hellnar which was recommended (and pretty much the only one for miles) was closed for the winter. This is confirmed with a search on Google, it's not a one off. I would expect this recommendation to be removed for winter trips. Mentions of daily drive distances were a bit off - example, the second last day I had to drive from Skaftafell to Reykjavik (320km, 4hr), not Vik to Reykjavik (180km, 2hr20min) as mentioned in the itinerary. My guess is that Chris used a base itinerary to build mine which is fine, but some of the smaller details were not altered to conform to mine.

My main gripe though is the choice of car hire. I should have looked more closely before agreeing, but I'm generally wary about dodgy operators other than the core Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty. While it might be cheap initially, they do the hard sell at the desk on added insurances, in this case 30 Euro a day (for things like gravel protection, sand protection, reduced excess etc), which still has exclusions. I asked Chris about insurances, he said it included liability and collision and asked if I wanted any additional. Turns out that cover doesn't cover much, and it still includes an approx. $2200AUD excess. Further - the company would put a hold on my card for $2200AUD for going on 10 days after the rental has ended. This is really unsettling and not to mention an inconvenience.

While this isn't strictly Kimkim/Chris's fault, the selection of the car hire company is really important. The discussions online about the chosen car hire company are really worrying.

Chris was very responsive and answered all of my questions promptly.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Matthew, I'm glad that overall you had a good experience.

Regarding the car hire, thank you for sharing your experience, we have stopped using these services for our other travelers, as we want the process to be as transparent as possible.

Carvis honeymoon, Iceland - Feb 14 - Feb 22, 2017

Traveler: Robert C. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

The trip was planned for 8 days yet half way we noticed that one full day was missing. All sights had been seen in that area, yet we had two nights in a small town with nothing to do and all extra sightseeing tours sold out. As a result we couldn't cancel our hotel and decided to drive to next stage early and see sights not on list. It's cost us an extra $200 because of poor planning. awe would
like to be compensated for that mistake as it was completely avoidable if the itinerary had been... read more

The trip was planned for 8 days yet half way we noticed that one full day was missing. All sights had been seen in that area, yet we had two nights in a small town with nothing to do and all extra sightseeing tours sold out. As a result we couldn't cancel our hotel and decided to drive to next stage early and see sights not on list. It's cost us an extra $200 because of poor planning. awe would
like to be compensated for that mistake as it was completely avoidable if the itinerary had been done correctly. There were also several repeats on list as well as none of the attractions had address or coordinates provided. We had to look them up ourselves.

As said before, whole day missing which resulted in us having to get another hotel room and not be able to cancel existing.

Experience, Iceland - Jan 7 - Jan 15, 2017

Traveler: Samuel B. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Great organization!

Chris did an awesome job and answered whenever i had a question!

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Sam, I'm glad that you had such a great time in Iceland, even if the weather was a bit rough some of the time. Hope to see you back at kimkim again soon!

Aurora and more, Iceland - Jan 13 - Jan 16, 2017

Traveler: Jean M. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Chris was incredibly responsive and helpful. Great trip, great planning, and great follow-through.

We asked a lot of questions and he patiently got responses to all, and he helped us resolve a dispute that was not of his making.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Jean, welcome back from your trip, I'm glad that you had such a great time and that you enjoyed the planning process using kimkim.

We hope to see you again soon for your next trip, where ever that may take you!

Get lost in nature, Iceland - Dec 17 - Dec 21, 2016

Traveler: Pedro G. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

I admire your professionalism and the attention, was amazing in trusting you guys our trip.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Welcome back, Pedro, I'm glad that you had such a nice experience in Iceland!

Your pictures look amazing! Looks like there was a fair amount of snow covering Reykjavik, isn't that view from Hallgrímskirkja great? We look forward to helping you plan your future trips, where ever they may take you.

Snaefellsnes peninsula, nye in reykjavik, golden circle, south coast, Iceland - Dec 29 - Jan 4, 2017

Traveler: Sara T. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Everything was pretty great about our trip. Details were well drawn up and explained a lot of sites to see on the way as we drove. All very well done.

Only thing that was any sort of a snag was that our Waterfall Ice Cave tour that we booked for Jan 3rd at 10:30am apparently was transferred.... to another tour service without telling me? So as we showed up at 10:15 to the meeting area for our 10:30am tour - with my ticket saying 'paid in full' to Arctic Adventures (whom I had... read more

Everything was pretty great about our trip. Details were well drawn up and explained a lot of sites to see on the way as we drove. All very well done.

Only thing that was any sort of a snag was that our Waterfall Ice Cave tour that we booked for Jan 3rd at 10:30am apparently was transferred.... to another tour service without telling me? So as we showed up at 10:15 to the meeting area for our 10:30am tour - with my ticket saying 'paid in full' to Arctic Adventures (whom I had received my email confirmation from) they looked at them and then their lists and said 'you're not on our list'.
So the nice man made a call.
He came back with "Apparently this tour was Cancelled Dec 12th and your money was refunded".....
hmmmmm.
He said his guy was going to make a call and look into it further, but it was now 10:20 and tours were leaving at 10:30 so we were hoping it would be worked out before then...

He then came back and said 'So I guess due to scheduling or booking this tour was booked, cancelled, and then you were transferred to another tour company? So go over there to Iceguide van and they should be taking you now..."

So we did, and a nice man named Oskar said 'Yep, you're with us.' and we went on a tour.

But it was concerning that at no time was any info about us not being with Arctic Adventures was shared... Had the nice man not made a call to try and figure it out we would have just went home and the correct service provider may have just left without us and our two seats being wasted...

Just was bummed I never got any sort of 'your tour has been cancelled, or transferred to another tour service' update...... with another tour companies name to find.

Aside from that everything went off without a hitch!!
So thank you!

Such great input on all questions asked, he really helped make the trip happen.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Sara, welcome back!

I am glad that everything went well aside from the Ice Cave tour confusion. I will look into this matter more and sort out what happened and make sure we avoid these types of issues for our future travelers. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

I hope you enjoyed the fireworks and bonfires around Reykjavik on NYE, and that the days were not too short for you to see and do all that you had hoped.

We look forward to helping you on your next kimkim adventure, where ever that may be!

Northern lights, Iceland - Dec 3 - Dec 10, 2016

Traveler: Savio F. - Local specialist: Chris McCarty

Overall the trip was fantastic. While I think that it was near perfect, the number of things that were on our itinerary were too many and the number of daylight hours were just not enough.

I think that Chris could have been more clear advising us about the short daylight hours. (I too claim responsibility for not delving further into this) but otherwise Chris did a great job. He was accessible and was quick to respond to any questions before and during the trip. He offered a number of suggestions based on our first discussion.

Chris McCarty, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Savio, welcome back from Iceland! I'm glad that you enjoyed your time in Iceland. In retrospect, I should have given you some more information about the daylight hours and focused the itinerary more around the highlights that you could see during the limited time. Thank you for the feedback, and I hope that you decide to use the kimkim service for your next trip, wherever it may be.

btw, great photos! Jokulsarlon at sunset looks great, and I'm glad you were able to see the northern lights despite some clouds.

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