Halldor Bjarkason

I am Icelandic and have always enjoyed travelling around my strikingly beautiful country. I have also lived in a few different parts of the world and travelled a fair amount internationally, and at some point realised that I had started to identify entirely with foreigners who visit Iceland - Icelandic nature is incredibly powerful especially when you are not used to it everyday. My approach is all about helping people get the most out of their holiday, everyone has their own reason to visit Iceland and understands the experience they want - my job is to make it work in practice and hopefully add a little bit more as well.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialise in customised holidays all over Iceland, and small group tours in the Westfjords region. We plan a lot of sightseeing road trips (self drive and private guided), multi-day northern lights hunts in the countryside, hiking trips, day tours and shore excursions."

How did you get involved in travel?

"In 2011 I moved back to my home town of Ísafjörður and started a travel agency specialised in customised Iceland holidays and Westfjords travel, and have been doing this ever since. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"There are too many things to see in Iceland for any one experience to stand out! It is unique enough to visit Iceland. If you want to be the most unique, visit the Westfjords :)"

Featured trips & expertise

How Many Days Should You Spend in Iceland?

You can have an epic Iceland experience when you spend 5 days or more in Iceland. Shorter trips are possible but won’t give you enough time to really explore beyond the Reykjavik area and the western section of the South Coast. Starting at 8 days or more you can complete the famous ring road and experience Iceland’s natural beauty in all its glory, seeing incredible sights most tourists miss, like Godafoss Waterfall, the unique volcanic hotspots surrounding Lake Myvatn and the Westfjords.

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

2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords

With 2 weeks in Iceland, you can complete the entire ring road and add some great detours. This grand tour will take you to all the best places giving you plenty of time to hike, explore, and soak it all in. This 14-day itinerary covers all the major regions except the highlands, which you can see with a couple more days or by spending less time in some of the areas below.

Recent trip reviews for Halldor

10 day circle trip of iceland, Iceland - Aug 30 - Sep 8, 2017

Traveler: Gordon M. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

First, the positive comments. Iceland was a beautiful country to visit and our accommodations were very comfortable.
However, we were quite disappointed in the effort put out by your sub-contractor, Wild Westfjords for a number of reasons. We had expected the same level of service as provided to our friend, Susan Turner.
The itinerary that Susan was given showed a choice of accommodation at each location and specified the cost at each. We were given one choice with the note that if that... read more

First, the positive comments. Iceland was a beautiful country to visit and our accommodations were very comfortable.
However, we were quite disappointed in the effort put out by your sub-contractor, Wild Westfjords for a number of reasons. We had expected the same level of service as provided to our friend, Susan Turner.
The itinerary that Susan was given showed a choice of accommodation at each location and specified the cost at each. We were given one choice with the note that if that wasn't OK, we could be offered some thing else.

Upon arrival at the Hotel Fron on Day 1, we were asked to pay for the room and that there had been no request for a gluten-free breakfast. It took a couple of phone calls to clarify both issues.

The itinerary put together for us seemed to rely a lot on "cut and paste" with little attention to detail. Some examples are:
We learned from the Hotel Fron that the bus stop designated for pick-up for the Golden Circle Tour no longer existed.

Our voucher for the Dimmurborgir Guest house did not state that breakfast was included so we bought supplies only to find out that breakfast was included.

Our Day 6 itinerary stated 466 km on well paved roads. It was somewhat disconcerting to find ourselves on a long stetch of extremely potholed road. Consulting the map we had bought confirmed we hadn't gone astray and that the road section was identified as gravel.

As a volunteer at a conservation area, I was looking forward to visiting the Arctic Fox Center. I was upset when arriving there at 4:15 to learn they had switched to a 4PM closing as of Sept 1st.

Day 8 suggested viewing the teeming bird life near the Svortuloft Lighthouse. The info sign at the lighthouse indicated that all the birds depart before the end of August. Our bird count - zero.

On Day 9, the instructions to visit the Landbrotalaug hot spring near Eldborg were useless to someone who did not have a GPS. A simple instruction such as"Within 200 metres of the turnoff to the Gerouberg Basaly columns, turn on a road marked Stora Hraun and travel 1.5 km on a terrible road to the hot spring" would have been more appropriate.

We were somewhat dismayed to learn that we had a 8AM reservation at the Blue Lagoon although we realized that this was the only morning time available on that day. However the staff at the Hotel Geo kindly informed us that this only meant we could not enter BEFORE 8 AM and that a 9:30 arrival would be perfectly OK.

Our conclusion was that not a great deal of thought had been put into preparation of our itinerary by Wild Westfjords.

Our major concern, however was the lack of financial accountability and the refusal by Wild Westfjords to give us an accounting of the costs of our accommodation, car rental, etc. I do not buy their contention that these are confidential between WW and their suppliers and that we bought a "package". We were advised at the Hotel Fron that the booking there had been made through Booking.com. All the bookings could have been made through Booking.com and those rates are known to the public. Further Booking.com has a 24 hour cancellation policy in most cases so there was no reason why we could not have paid for accommodation upon arrival rather than paying for the whole trip in advance.

The bottom line for Kimkim is whether we would recommend your services to friends planning to visit Iceland. At this point our response would have to be NO if you were to subcontract the service to Wild Westfjord and no financial accountability was provided.

10-12 day driving tour of iceland, Iceland - Sep 2 - Sep 13, 2017

Traveler: Lee W. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

The trip was close to perfect. Great choices on destinations and activities. One day was overplanned: it would have been too much to get off the ferry at 17:30 in Brjanslaekur, then drive to the cliffs of Latrabjarg, then drive back to Patreksfjordur. So we skipped Latrabjarg.
It was fun to stumble on the Wild Westfjords office in Isafjordur and meet Halldor, Preeti, and the kids. The next day we got to spend a good bit of time with the family. We drove up above town to a ski area to... read more

The trip was close to perfect. Great choices on destinations and activities. One day was overplanned: it would have been too much to get off the ferry at 17:30 in Brjanslaekur, then drive to the cliffs of Latrabjarg, then drive back to Patreksfjordur. So we skipped Latrabjarg.
It was fun to stumble on the Wild Westfjords office in Isafjordur and meet Halldor, Preeti, and the kids. The next day we got to spend a good bit of time with the family. We drove up above town to a ski area to take a lovely hike. When we got back to the car, it had a flat tire (our second of the trip). When we were having trouble getting the tire off, I called the office. Halldor and family actually drove up to help us, made an appointment at a garage to get a new tire, and arranged for a reimbursement from Enterprise. We felt very well cared for.

Fire, ice and adventure, Iceland - Sep 2 - Sep 10, 2017

Traveler: Amanda F. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

The driving plan didn't include GPS coordinates or addresses for each location which made navigating hard at times. Some of the hiking trails that were mentioned and sites to see the written directions weren't sufficient enough to easily locate trails/site.

Halldor was very responsive during planning however the driving plan lacked the addressed/GPS coordinates needed to easily navigate the island from place to place.

Honeymoon in july, Iceland - Aug 5 - Aug 14, 2017

Traveler: Michael C. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

Halldor did a great job at answering all our questions. He was prompt and always gave us options. The advice was well received and everything worked out great. He delivered on every request we had. Great job!

Halldor did a great job and gave us an itinerary that was very well balanced. We visited some of the most popular spots, but there were also special places that had very few people and just as beautiful.

Iceland, Iceland - Jul 30 - Aug 11, 2017

Traveler: KM F. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

I was not unhappy with my trip to Iceland. I was, however, disappointed in the travel agent services.

I was very pleased about the arrangements made with Borea Adventures, a top-notch outfit, and an excellent experience. Other than that, despite the fact that I felt I was quite specific about the way I would be traveling and the type of experience I was looking for, I found the itinerary unimaginative and frankly the exact antithesis of what I asked for. The best characterization I can think... read more

I was not unhappy with my trip to Iceland. I was, however, disappointed in the travel agent services.

I was very pleased about the arrangements made with Borea Adventures, a top-notch outfit, and an excellent experience. Other than that, despite the fact that I felt I was quite specific about the way I would be traveling and the type of experience I was looking for, I found the itinerary unimaginative and frankly the exact antithesis of what I asked for. The best characterization I can think of is that it was a lazy effort, plugging in by-rote recommendations.I threw the itinerary aside the last few days and made up my own plan, which salvaged the trip for me.

Self-driving tour, Iceland - Jul 20 - Jul 29, 2017

Traveler: Robert G. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

1 - Itinerary was perfect. We added a bit on our own, but it served as an excellent basis.
2 - One hotel (Ytri-Vik Laki) was excellent with a superb restaurant. However, we were relegated to a decrepit hut with a terrible bathroom. We could only be envious of the guests in the main building.
3 - One reservation was inaccurate. At the Egilstadir Edda we were told that we should go back 74 km to a place where we were just arriving from. A telephone call to your office solved the problem... read more

1 - Itinerary was perfect. We added a bit on our own, but it served as an excellent basis.
2 - One hotel (Ytri-Vik Laki) was excellent with a superb restaurant. However, we were relegated to a decrepit hut with a terrible bathroom. We could only be envious of the guests in the main building.
3 - One reservation was inaccurate. At the Egilstadir Edda we were told that we should go back 74 km to a place where we were just arriving from. A telephone call to your office solved the problem with a new reservation in town, but we had a bad moment.
4 - More mentions of animals along the way would nave been welcome. We discovered on our own how to find puffins, whales, and seals.

However, he only participated in the first part of the planning. The second interaction was with Rico, who charged a fee (~$150 per person) for "registration", which has not been disclosed initially. He never answered when I questioned that, and to avoid delays I paid, but was not happy.

Trip to iceland, Iceland - Jul 1 - Jul 13, 2017

Traveler: Shawna B. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

Kimkim and Halldor provided a great service for us.

I have planned fairly long international travel before and found it exhausting. It was great to just say what we wanted to do and have it taken care of. Everything worked out great in terms of having the vouchers we needed to do all the excursions we wanted.

Iceland is an incredibly beautiful country. Laugevegur deserves its position as one of the top hikes in the world! It is also totally doable in 2 days (but painful). This was by far the highlight of our trip.

Would definitely use this service again.

8-day ring road itinerary: explore iceland’s top places along its most famous road, Iceland - Jun 28 - Jul 10, 2017

Traveler: eric d. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

The team was able to work in my added side trips to the schedule in a very efficient way.

Halldor and the team were great, answering all my "silly" questions about how things work in Iceland.
The communication initiated by the team did stop abruptly once my balance was paid though. It would have been better to at least drop me a line a week or so before my departure to verify everything was arranged.

8-day ring road itinerary: explore iceland’s top places along its most famous road, Iceland - Jun 28 - Jul 7, 2017

Traveler: Stephen K. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

Probably open by saying that nothing is ever perfect so that's my standard. Overall was very good! Was a little concerned about getting the confirmation that things were booked, etc. until ~60 hours before leaving. That said, the arrangements were 99% there (first night accommodation apparently sent email with instructions - Golden Circle Apartments (a code to access key box for identified apartment) - that I didn't have). Apart from that, the bookings were on the money. The google maps and... read more

Probably open by saying that nothing is ever perfect so that's my standard. Overall was very good! Was a little concerned about getting the confirmation that things were booked, etc. until ~60 hours before leaving. That said, the arrangements were 99% there (first night accommodation apparently sent email with instructions - Golden Circle Apartments (a code to access key box for identified apartment) - that I didn't have). Apart from that, the bookings were on the money. The google maps and itineraries were extremely helpful - the pacing seemed right on the money - and the things we discussed were all good additions. A couple of places the roads were unexpectedly bad (from Dettifoss to Horseshoe Canyon on north coast - which threw off our timings - but all other dirt roads were fine. The details for restaurant reservations were good. No, overall is was a good "A" - and I tend to think that nothing is "perfect".

Again, good - trip was good; see earlier page for comments about being a little late with getting confirmations. I would have been happy even if i got just more of an update and a bit of dialogue to provide reassurance. I would suggest a little more proactive communication. BUT, the trip was very good; the pacing was right; the content was right; the accomodations all worked; and the day to day itineraries were very good to follow. Evidenced by "when we tried to add things - that's when we started to push timings, etc. I think some general remarks could help at the beginning - e.g. "you might be tempted to try and drive around some of the early fjords for a view but given them a pass - we've got some great ones to see later" - the itinerary was very good and covered all of the bases. It is easy to try and add - and we tried - and usually we saw something better later that was on the itinerary already..

Ring road' or 'snæfellsnes peninsula...' 7-9 day itinerary, Iceland - Jul 7 - Jul 15, 2017

Traveler: Ilona S. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

The written itinerary and maps didn't match exactly which caused us some confusion a couple of times - nothing too major but when you can't understand the place names, it added some challenges.

Same as above - but by and large everything went really smoothly. For those days where we needed to arrive somewhere at a specific time (ie to catch a ferry), it would have helped if the itinerary had said we would need to leave our hotel by a certain time to view the suggested stop along the way -... read more

The written itinerary and maps didn't match exactly which caused us some confusion a couple of times - nothing too major but when you can't understand the place names, it added some challenges.

Same as above - but by and large everything went really smoothly. For those days where we needed to arrive somewhere at a specific time (ie to catch a ferry), it would have helped if the itinerary had said we would need to leave our hotel by a certain time to view the suggested stop along the way - it was only when we plugged the map in that morning that we realized we wouldn't have time to go to one of the stops we would have liked to make. All the reservations and vouchers worked well so we really appreciated that.

Where to go in iceland: the best sights and activities region by region, Iceland - May 25 - Jun 5, 2017

Traveler: Julie D. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

Thank you so much to the KimKim team for putting together such an amazing vacation for us. Everything was customized to exactly what we wanted. An extra special thanks for working with us through our 2-day flight cancellation/travel delay issues!

Halldor was great!

Iceland trip, Iceland - May 9 - May 14, 2017

Traveler: Mitchell H. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

Small hiccup that was weather related. Could have been more responsive during the planning period. Itinerary was outstanding and the way that it was adjusted when the weather threw a monkey wrench was great. Otherwise, we loved it.

Timing of responses could have been better. When I started directly emailing him and calling while in Iceland, communication was much better

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