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Matthías Ólafsson

Matthías is a native Icelander who, from an early age, was taught to love and respect the unique surroundings in which he was raised. Despite not having reached 25 years of age, Matthías has traveled the country far and wide, and done most there is to do in Iceland. Not only is he fascinated with the diverse landscape available in Iceland but also holds a university degree in Political Science from the University of Iceland where he has taught preparation classes in various subjects that have to do with Icelandic culture and political history. His interest in the Icelandic food culture and restaurant scene led him to found his very own side-business around the website www.arinoa.com

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Anywhere in Iceland, self-driving tours, excursion-based tours, specific locations, trekking, culture & history."

How did you get involved in travel?

"The Icelandic travel business is booming due to the unique landscape and peaceful ambience of the country, an exciting work environment for an enthusiastic young guy ready to make a name for himself. With my experience traveling the country and spending time in nature I started looking around for job opportunities in the field and got offered the possibility of working for Planet Iceland, sharing my local experiences with people from all over the world.

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Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I traveled to the my mother-in-law´s place in the Westman islands, just off the south coast of Iceland in 2010. We hiked the volcanoes as we always do when over there (one has to try to stay fit!) and spent our days enjoying nature and visiting friends and family. One day, we saw thunders and massive black clouds coming from the glacier a few kilometers away. It was official - Eyjafjallajökull had started an explosive eruption, spewing an endless stream of black ash into the air. The town of Westman islands became completely covered in ash and the following weekend was spent rinsing the rooftops in the neighborhood and shovel the ash away from the roads so that regular vehicles could drive around and daily life could continue as usual for the islanders.

This short trip to the Westman islands was perhaps not the most entertaining one I´ve been on, but certainly the most unique - and will forever linger in my memory."

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.

Midnight sun setting on Mt. Kirkjufell
When is the Best Time of Year To Visit Iceland?

Given the rapidly increasing popularity of Iceland as travel destination, the question "When is the best time of year to go to Iceland?" has become as much about taking into account the right weather conditions as it is about avoiding the crowds and finding available accommodation at reasonable rates. Depending on how you weigh these factors, and what you would like to do in Iceland, we'll help you decide which season is right for you.

Recent trip reviews for Matthías

Sharon

Snow fun, Iceland - Jan 23 - Jan 28, 2017

Traveler: Sharon M. - Local specialist: Matthías Ólafsson

Our trips are never predictable and this trip was no exception! I generally plan my own trips from beginning to end but this time to avoid stress, I went with an agency. Kimkim was fabulous to work with and Matthias was always there to smooth out the wrinkles and make sure we knew what was happening. We absolutely loved our adventure and will definitely consider using the agency again on future adventures!

Matthias was very concerned with making sure our trip went as smoothly as possible.... read more

Our trips are never predictable and this trip was no exception! I generally plan my own trips from beginning to end but this time to avoid stress, I went with an agency. Kimkim was fabulous to work with and Matthias was always there to smooth out the wrinkles and make sure we knew what was happening. We absolutely loved our adventure and will definitely consider using the agency again on future adventures!

Matthias was very concerned with making sure our trip went as smoothly as possible. His communication skills are fantastic as well as his knowledge about Iceland and his ability to make sure your vacation is fabulous!

Matthías Ólafsson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sharon

Taking care of your trip was such fun! I am happy to hear of your positive experiences in my beautiful country, as that´s what it´s all about - sharing it´s incredible scenery and unique ambiance with travelers!

It´s great that we´ve helped you enjoy the trip to it´s fullest instead of stressing about the planning of it, and hope you might consider us for your next trip to Iceland! :)

Thank you Sharon,

All the best from the Land of Ice and Fire!