We began planning our trip in 2019, but like the rest of the world, put everything on hold in 2020. We had very high expectations for this trip, when we were finally able to take it, our first trip together after the peak of the pandemic. We are a group of 3 families, 11 people with 5 teenagers. Our ages range from 17 to 62. We spent 5 days with Hidden Iceland with days on either end on our own in Reykjavik.
It was clear that Iceland was never going to have a problem meeting expectations. It is a beautiful country, with landscapes that most people have never seen in their day to day lives. There are so many new sights and things to experience. What Hidden Iceland and Dagný did so well for us was to help create an itinerary that made the most of our time (there is never enough time) that was exciting and engaging for all members of our group. We travel together every year and have worked with many tour companies over the years. We have found that the best companies are responsive, listen well, and actively work with you. This describes Hidden Iceland well.
Dagný answered our questions patiently, many of which I'm sure she has heard many times before. She always tried to answer from the perspective of our group. Restaurant recommendations and hotel recommendations were all excellent. She offered honest opinions and added to and removed from the multi-day tour to fit our interests and budget. Different people have very different cost/value priorities. Even in our group, different individuals had different opinions regarding must see sites and dream activities. She worked hard to help balance everything out, adding choices within the choices.
Our tour guide, which is always the wild card in this process, was Maks. He was a wonderful guide. He quietly managed to keep everyone headed in the same direction, no small feat. He was informative, warm, and in sync with the group. He directed when needed and whenever possible, encouraged us to be present to the uniqueness of our surroundings. At one point, he managed to get the group to simultaneously fall silent to appreciate the wind blowing over the glacier. It is very clear he is passionate about what he does. He anticipated questions and needs. Somehow he managed to find a chocolate birthday cake in what looked like the middle of nowhere, without being asked. If he is a reflection of the guides at Hidden Iceland, you will always be in good hands!
We appreciate the efforts of Dagný and Maks to create this trip. We return home with many special memories and a very cool Icelandic music playlist.
Activities we thought particularly special: Ingolfshofdi puffin tour, the Falljökull glacier hike, and the Midnight Sun Horseback tour at Skalakot Manor (we were thrilled to be able to experience a bit of the tölt and gallop)