See Iceland's best sights: Guided day hikes, luxury hotels with fine dining

  Group of 4 friends visited Iceland in June 2017

“One week. See Iceland's best geographical sites. Guided day hikes of 4-6 hours. Luxury hotels with fine dining. Short flights within Iceland where needed to get from one destination to another. Or driver-guide if more appropriate.

The four of us are ages 67, 63, 64, 46. We are active and in good physical condition. So we want an active trip with lots of hiking. But not technical climbing. Just easy going long walks and some climbing is fine.”


Midgard Adventure Team, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.

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Trip planning highlights

113 messages exchanged
7 trip plan versions shared
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Trip planning conversation

Chris

Hi, welcome to kimkim!

Chris

I'll work with you to plan out a great Iceland trip and to connect you with one of our local experts in Iceland.

Kristín

Hi,

Thank you for your email. We would love to have you on tour with us in June/July.
I have attached a draft of an itinerary for your stay. We can easily tailor the tour and add mountain biking tour or hike up to the geothermal area of Reykjadalur instead of Golden Circle day tour if you would like to have more activities. The estimated price for this itinerary includes private local experienced driver guide, private airport drop off and premium entrance to the Blue Lagoon. Accommodation, food and optional activities are not included in the price. I would love to book accommodation for you that fits the itinerary. Would you prefer two double rooms ?
I look forward hearing your thoughts on this.
Have a nice day.

All the best,
Hildur member of the Midgard family

Traveler

Hi Chris and Kristin... This is a great start. Suffice it to say, my one minute perusal of the initial draft proposal leads me to think that you have captured the "flavor" of what we have in mind.

I will look at the draft itinerary in great detail and begin a "iterative process " with you to see if we can sculpture out trip which meets our specs. For starters, I have two questions:

1) Is this a dialogue with Kristin, Chris or both? I ask this question because Chris was designated as the initial contact.
2) I would like to know which hotels would be compatible with the itinerary you have in mind.

Chris

I started the conversation with you, but feel that Hildur (filling in for Kristin, also at Midgard) will be able to better help you with your trip. I will be available if needed, but please work closely with Hildur going forward on the proposal.

Traveler

Chris... sure, continuing as you suggest is fine. I will wait for Hildur/Kristin to indicate the hotels and then look closely at the package. Thanks.

Traveler

One Point I notice is that the itinerary is entirely localized around Reykjavek. It would be nice to have a night or two somewhere far away from Reykjavik (maybe far up north?) which is reachable via short flight?

Kristín

Hi again,

I am very happy to hear you like the itinerary.
My name is Hildur I am a member of the Midgard family and I am taking over Kristíns request here because she is on maternity leave. My husband owns the company with 3 others and I started with the company in 2013. This is a family run company all family and friends working here, been tour operator since 2010 when my cousin founded the company. All our guides are local experienced guides and you can see some reviews on them on trip advisor under Midgard Adventure. Just a small introduction of Midgard and me before we continue :)
I saw in your first mail you prefer comfort Hotels with fine dining. I had in mind Hotel Rangá or Hótel Grímsborgir for the south coast part of the itinerary. Preferable Hótel Rangá because of the location. The night you stay on the east side I would recommend GueshouseHrífunes even though that is not luxury accommodation because they have managed to create a wonderful atmosphere and serve good food. What type of rooms would you prefer , double, single or suite ?
Standard double room at Hótel Rangá next summer is around 48,000 ISK per room per night.
I look forward hearing back from you .

All the best,
Hildur

Traveler

Hello Hildur. Thanks for your comments. Let's continue with this process and see where we arrive. Here are the next points/questions to address:

1. I looked at GueshouseHrifumes on the web. I see your point regarding wonderful atmosphere and food. Let's keep this.

2. What are your thoughts about a night or two farther away from Reykjavik? Maybe far up north to get a sense of a different part of Iceland? Maybe a short flight to reach?

3. Once we decide on 2., I would appreciate a price estimate for the entire trip: A quote for all of Midgard's services and a quote for the hotels.

Kristín

I would actually recommend you to spend the time on the south coast, south east (Kirkjubæjarklaustur) and I could add day tours to Snæfellsnes peninsula. If you would like to spend time in Akureyri or West fjord I would recommend more days in Iceland, otherwise we would need to take out Glacier Lagoon and Landmannalaugar day tours.
I look forward hearing your thoughts on this.

Traveler

Your points are compelling. How about if we add one day to the trip? Say we arrive on June 24. Would that be enough time to add a short visit to Akureyri or West fjord without feeling rushed? Maybe a short flight to get there? I am unsure about this myself so your advice is appreciated.

Chris

Hi, I wanted to join back into the conversation to offer a few ideas

To include a domestic flight to the Westfjords, here are a couple options. You would have less time to explore the south, but you will maximize your time away from the more crowded areas.

Option A (second half same as original proposal)
6/24: Arrive, fly to Isafjordur in Westfjords
6/25: Full day in Westfjords: kayaking, hiking, exploring Westfjords region (Dynjandi waterafall, Látrabjarg bird cliffs)
6/26: Morning flight to Reykavik, drive to Kirkjubæjarklaustur (seeing waterfalls/beaches on south coast)
6/27: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon / Skaftafell
6/28: Thorsmork
6/29: Hekla
6/30: Golden Circle
7/1: Departure

Option B (More time in Westfjords, skip Golden Circle or Hekla)
6/24: Arrive, fly to Isafjordur in Westfjords
6/25-26: Full days in Westfjords: kayaking, hiking, exploring Westfjords region (Dynjandi waterafall, Látrabjarg bird cliffs)
6/27: Morning flight to Reykavik, drive to Kirkjubæjarklaustur (seeing waterfalls/beaches on south coast)
6/28: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon / Skaftafell
6/29: Thorsmork
6/30: Hekla / Golden Circle
7/1: Departure

Traveler

Thanks Chris. I prefer Option A. Please create a price proposal for the entire trip. This should includes details of all of Midgard's services and the cost and urls of luxury hotels booked by Midgard. Please include pretty pictures and sufficient details in the new proposa because I will share it with the 3 others in my group. Thus far, they have not been privy to any of our discussions. Then the four of us will deliberate upon it and decide on Midgard versus one other alternative which we are considering.

Chris

Sure thing, I'll send this later today.

Chris

Hi, I wanted to let you know that I am still working on this to get a good overall estimate for the Westfjords portion combined with the Midgard part of the trip in along the south. As it is late in the evening in Iceland, I expect to get the final updates from Hildur tomorrow, and I will wait to merge it all together before sending it to you.

I'm breaking it down as follows:
- Itinerary Highlights for each day at the top
- List of each night accommodation, including links
- More information for various regions and possible activities (eg lots of info on Isafjordur and Westfjords)
- price breakdown for the optional activities so that you can decide which ones you want to focus on.

This will all be combined in a single PDF with some photos as well so that you know what to expect.

Kristín

Thank you for your email. Plan A sounds very good if you have an extra day.
Price for Midgard part of the itinerary is 1,775,520 ISK (around 16,000 USD on today rate)
This includes private tours with private guide as listed here above, 2 double rooms at Hrífunes guesthouse for 2 nights, 2 double deluxe rooms at Hótel Rangá and 2 double rooms at Hótel Alda. These hotel rooms are not confirmed but I am waiting for a reply from the hotels.

I look forward hearing your thoughts on this.

Traveler

Thanks Hildur,

I assume that Chris will be merging the Midgard proposal with the costs for up the "up north" portion. Then I can see all of our costs in their entirety. The final proposal should also include some information about the quality of the vehicles being used and the specific guide that will be assigned to our group. I am sure that you are aware of other details that I am overlooking such as airport pickups and drops, and detailed information about the company that will be handling our time up north. I see that Midgard has an excellent reputation and would like to similarly verify the reputation for the second company involved.

If the final proposal looks excellent to us, our group may possibly suggest some fine tuning and can make a quick decision.

Kristín

I´m glad to hear you like it. Hrífunes just answered and they have it available so I´ll just book that right away. I will let you know as soon as Hótel Rangá and Hótel Alda reply.

Chris

Hi, I'm attaching the PDF with all the details. You will find a map and high-level overview at the top, accommodation info, more info on each day, and a number of hiking/kayaking/driving tour options for the Westfjords after that. At the end is the cost estimate (subject to some availability) with pricing for some additional add-on activities if you are interested in those. I have also provided some information about kimkim and our trusted local operators. Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions. I can help answer questions related to the Westfjords part of the trip, and Hildur can help with the Midgard tour part.

Cheers,
-Chris

Traveler

Hi Chris... You did an amazing job consolidating everything. The trip looks great and your photos are beautiful!

I like the itinerary a lot and will share it with my three travel mates. I will tell them the proposal is still being tweaked and will be finalized in coming days. This will enable us (in background) to iron out some details, get hotel confirmations and address some small questions I have.

I have a few remaining questions to address:
(i) Is the airport transfer from KEF to the local airport straightforward? A shuttle service?
(ii) Who books the local flight to Isafjadur? Have a url?
(iii) In the hotels being booked, what room types are assumed in your cost estimate? There are doubles, deluxe, suites, etc.
(iv) The Midgard part of the proposal is crystal clear. However, regarding Borea, I need some clarification regarding the extent to which we interact with them. For example, are we met by them at the airport in Isafjadur? What about on the 25th? Do they pick us up at the hotel or does it depend on what option we choose? On the 26th, do they take us to airport? Also, in the material on the driving tour around Westfjords, is this done by Borea?
(v) Should we go ahead with this, what is the down payment now? When is the balance due? If for some reason cancellation is required, what is our penalty?

Chris

Hi, I'm glad you like it (and thanks for the comment on the photos. I did my best give the October weather--you should have it even nicer).

I'll update with answers to your questions and also answer them in the chat (so you don't have to re-read yourself to figure out what changed). I'll send the updated version in a couple hours. We can make all the hotel reservations for you, you do not need to reserve those yourself.

The transfer from KEF to the local airport is straightforward using the Flybus (departs every 30 min, all times of the night/day, has wifi and chargers on board). If you prefer a private transfer instead that can be arranged, but the flybus is low-effort.

For the flight to Isafjordur, I can book that for you, I will need a bit of extra info such as names of all passengers, gender, and date of birth when it comes time.

Regarding Borea, that somewhat depends on which of the activities you are interested in doing. They will be the partner for kayak tours and Hornstrandir hiking. If you prefer to do the guided drive to see other parts of the Westfjords, then it will be another partner that I'll connect you with. Personally, I would rank Hornstrandir #1, then a kayaking trip, and the drive at the end. The sights along the drive are great, but you will see other waterfalls in the South, and the cliffs in Hornstrandir are as good or better than the ones at Látrabjarg.

But I'll put all these details and more about transfers in the doc this evening.

Chris

The answers to your questions are all included in the updated PDF, and answered below for your convenience.

(i) Is the airport transfer from from KEF to the local airport straightforward? A shuttle service?
- I can reserve a private transfer for you from KEF directly to the domestic airport. I will reach out to a service for a quote.

(ii) Who books the local flight to Isafjadur? Have a url?
- We can book the local flight for you

(iii) In the hotels being booked, what room types are assumed in your cost estimate? There are doubles, deluxe, suites, etc.
- I updated the accommodations page with more info. Isafjordur is a small town with limited hotels. Hotel Horn is the nicest/best rated in town and the option I quoted before is a family room with 1 king and 1 pull out bed. I can instead reserve 2 family rooms if you prefer that. The location is great, a couple minutes walk to all restaurants, cafes, and to Borea adventures cafe/office for the tours.

(iv) For the kayaking or Hornstrandir trip, you meet in the morning at a cafe attached to the Borea Adventures office. From your hotel it's a couple (small) blocks walk, no more than a couple minutes. You can have coffee and a light breakfast at the cafe before the tour. If you choose the driving tour you will be picked up at your hotel.

- I will arrange for transport to/from Isafjordur airport. The airport is just on the other side of the fjord (5 min drive).

(v) Should we go ahead with this, what is the down payment now? When is the balance due? If for some reason cancellation is required, what is our penalty?

- I will defer to Midgard regarding payment timing and cancellation policy. I have emailed them separately, and they will see the messages in the chat as well (It's late in Iceland now, so I don't expect an answer until tomorrow.)

Traveler

Thanks Chris.... You do beautiful work. I personally am "thumbs up" on the proposal. Perfect combination of geographic beauty, physical activity, great accommodations and meals. My wife concurs. My brother and his wife are now looking at it. I hope to have their feedback today or tomorrow...

Traveler

Good news. I got rave reviews of the current proposal from all. We're ready to look at a semi-final proposal (with edits as above). Any way for you to speed up confirmations on the hotels with a phone call? Then we will be ready to lock in the trip with deposits etc.

Chris

That's great. I'll finalize the doc and work with Hildur to get availability confirmations for the remaining places.

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Traveler Review

Chris was outstanding. He always responded in an expeditious manner, his advice was excellent and his level of expertise on Iceland was high. Well done!