We are here in Iceland for 5 days and our first full day was a full day tour of the south coast... read more
We are here in Iceland for 5 days and our first full day was a full day tour of the south coast... read more
I highly recommend the smaller, local touring companies! All are comparably priced, but these guys can really give you an up close and personal view of Iceland!
We took this trip our second time out to see the Northern Lights (it was set up by Odinn, of Iceland/Island Tours, our first "local" encounter - he was wonderful)
We had unsuccessfully attempted to view the Northern Lights with a much bigger company (Grayline), who caravanned at least 5-6 coaches and took us to a much more lit area near the airport. This "local" company took us out near the Golden Circle (the interior) AND took professional pictures of all of us with the lights! Outstanding!More
We are here in Iceland for 5 days and our first full day was a full day tour of the south coast with amazing Thomas!! What a fabulous guide...there was no hurry from one place to another..he took us to places with as few a tourists as us possible in Iceland!! It is full of tourists so be aware of that...even in November!
It is a long tour..8-9 hours...not expensive at all in Icelandic terms....I highly recommend the company and especially if Thomas is your guide!! Thanks so much time tours!!!
Positives: prompt helpful responses to email queries- thanks Runar, complimentary rebooking provided when tour cancelled, appeared good value for amount paid based on excellent reviews. Great reputation, i.e. when the tour is on, they appear to try really hard to enable customers to see the Northern Lights.
Negatives: Booked with Time Tours for Golden Circle tour but got an email not long before the trip stating that another company (Geoiceland) would be running the tour (we didn't like the change as we booked with Time Tours for a reason and you don't need late changes, etc, especially when you are relaxing on holiday!). On rebooking for Northern Lights, there is no guarantee you get a seat on a particular day (and personally I think you should, especially if you booked months ago like we did, i.e. there could be a back up bus for this). Alternative companies are possible but don't have as good reviews. After a cancellation on our first night, we chose the night with the highest chance of seeing them (as we felt if we chose the next night, the night after with a better chance may be booked out). Time Tours cancelled on our last night due to cloud cover- the Lights rating was 5 (high). To be fair, three other tours I was aware of cancelled too. However, next morning, I heard an Irish group at our hotel went out on that night & saw the Northern Lights with a travel tour guide (not spectacular, but saw them with photo evidence). I corroborated this separately with another of the group who said there were a few gaps in the cloud that evening when they went well into the countryside. I know it's a judgement call but that was very disappointing to hear. In the end we never got to go out with Time Tours. So beware, rebooking is far from guaranteed as it's first come first served! There are benefits to a smaller company (personal experience, etc) but negatives when it comes to for example rebooking capacity.
We used Time Tours for Transfers in 2016 and they were fantastic. I'm not sure what has happened between then and June 2018, but it was not a good experience. The transfer from the airport was in a people carrier that seemed to belong to the owner with child seats and rubbish on the floor, although they were on time, it wasn't a professional service and we paid a fair amount for it. The return journey was in the same car and booked for 4.30am, it turned up at 5am. I had the feeling when we called the number of the company they were still in bed. Not great.
Thanks so much for an amazing time on the Northern Lights & Golden Circle Tours. We had the very knowledgeable and helpful Tómas on the Golden Circle Tour. He chatted most of the way about anything and everything related to Iceland be it the currency fluctuations, his wool jumper or the football team coaching staff. Was wonderful to hear his views and learn so much about this amazing country. His sense of humour was dry but very funny. We saw a volcano, geyser, 2.5 waterfalls, tectonic plates, Icelandic ponies, some “sheeps”, beautiful scenery and of course the fabulous bakery!! It was so windy so the whole trip was bonkers crazy weather . Memories of this trip will stay with us forever!!
In the evening we met up with Ronnie for the northern lights. His knowledge and enthusiasm for this wonder was so entertaining. The forecasts were for a lvl5 but we got a good lvl2, but was still amazing!! The stars & milky way were beautiful and so clear. We drove out of the city away from all the lights. Ronnie took loads of pictures which he sent us afterwards to show the lights in all their glory!!
On both occasions we were in small bus with 18 people, so we could pretty much go anywhere / everywhere - unlike the large buses of the bigger companies. So glad we didn’t go with those guys!!
I whole heartedly recommend Time Tours to anyone looking to see Iceland in all its glory. The service was personal and the guys were fun & cool!!
There are so many tours available, and we chose Time Tours because of the on-line comments. We had a wonderful excursion. They picked us up promptly at our hotel and we headed out, away from the city lights. Our guide had sophisticated apps helping him find clearings in the sky and he did his very best fo find clear skies and the possibilities of northern lights. We were happy after one fairly good sighting, but he kept on going and we ended up with a spectacular display of northern lights. I appreciated the reminder e-mail before our trip. Just remember-Dress Warm!!! We did not anticipate how cold it is to stand in the snow for a long period of time. It's do-able, just put on several layers. You'll enjoy it so much more! Also, our guide was kind enough to take photos of every group individually in front of the lights and post them on Facebook. That was so nice so that we could "be in the moment" and not try to fiddle with our cameras. Great tour!
After careful research of all the various Northern Lights tours in Iceland I settled with Time tours mainly due to the fabulous reviews on tripadvisor. This was a carefully planned trip for my husbands 60th birthday and has always been his dream to witness the lights dancing across the sky. Ronnie our guide was truly amazing, witty, informative and clearly has an enormous enthusiasm of all things Aurora Borealis! We were transported in a mini bus and taken to very secluded areas to try and hunt the light with our tour being the only one in each area. When the lights came through around midnight it surpassed all our expectations, truly amazing. Ronnie took some photos and they totally speak for themselves. Ronnie in my opinion went over and above to make sure we would gtt the best possible,experience. Listeining to fellow travellers at the airport on the way home a number had there tours cancelled on the same evening by other tour companies and the following evening the lights where not so great. You do not pay up front for the trip and an e-mail will be sent to let you know if the trip is going ahead on the evening or not. You can pay either by cash or card on the evening. We arrived back to our hotel at 2am.
Okay now how cold was It? Baltic would not even come close!, so be warned at this time of year triple, quadruple layers, hand and feet warmers would be a worthy investment as would a thermos for a hot drink.
I was really torn on who to go with when it came to booking a northern lights tour. I chose this one because of the small groups and the cost. It did not disappoint. My husband and I had an incredible time with Ronnie. He was funny, very informative, and dedicated. You can tell he’s realllly into the science of it all. He gave us a lot of information, but he was also funny and answered any questions we had. He felt the lights would explode into something greater than we were seeing, so we waited around a bit. I’m so glad we did! Just as we pulled into an area where many of the larger tour buses were, all the large tour buses were leaving because it had just turned midnight. Ronnie said he didn’t like coming to this location because of all the large tours, but felt it would be the best spot to see it. OMG...so glad we were there! Within 5 minutes of all the buses leaving, the northern lights went off! It was the most spectacular and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! The colors to the naked eye are not as green as the photos you see, but the colors you see are still beautiful and vibrant. The lights are more of a white, but as they dance, you see green, purple, red. The lights are green when photographed. We were one of two small vans there. The lights were extremely active and visible for over 20 minutes. We got back to Reykjavik later than we thought, but well worth it! So glad we went with Ronnie’s gut feeling! Ronnie also took photos of everyone who wanted photos of the lights and posts them for free so you have access to them.
Word of caution: dress warm. Wear more layers than you think you need. It was chilly-very chilly. You may be standing in some snow so be prepared. We waited outside for a long time...maybe like an hour? So, dress very very warm.
The photos below are ones my husband took on our GoPro on night mode. Our phones weren’t sufficient to capture them
The whole trip is amazing!!!
We have been visiting many places with the friends and each one of them is just breath-taking!!!
We booked with Time Tours due to their amazing reviews and we’re so glad we did. We booked online and paid after the tour - you can pay cash or card. They email you before 7pm to confirm details including pick up time (ours was 8.40pm) and they let you know if it’s defintely going ahead. If it isn’t you can rebook for another night.
There were lots of people waiting outside our hotel for northern lights tours and lots of large coaches pulled up. Time Tours is a mini bus which is so much better as there was only 17 people on our tour (we had one space left) meaning it’s a much more personalised experience and it’s quick to get on and off the bus.
Our tour guide was called Ronnie and he was very informative and funny. Being a mini bus you can go off the road to find the best spots which the large coaches can’t do. We didn’t see any of the other coaches the whole time we were out, we had each spot to ourself. Ronnie was continuously checking the forecast and adapting our journey accordingly. We did 3 stops altogether and the lights got better each time. It was forecast to be a 2 on the scale but thanks to Ronnie we managed to see lights nearer a 4 on the scale. It was spectacular! Ronnie took professional photos on his camera of the northern lights and of anyone who wanted a photo of themselves in front of the northern lights. They get put on Facebook so you can get a copy and you get sent a link to them incase you’re not a Facebook but you can still view them.
It was incredibly cold! I wore thermals, thermal socks, jeans, a thick jumper, a North Face coat, hat, gloves and scarf and I was still cold. We stopped in very remote places with a few inches of snow and my toes were frozen. I wish I’d worn two pairs of socks. You stop for a good 15 mins at each location but once you’re back on the bus your warm up again. We had a rest stop at about 12.30am to go to the toilet and have a drink and then headed back to Reykjavík. We were back at the hotel by 1.30am.
Thank you for finding us an amazing display, Ronnie. I highly recommend Time Tours.
We did the northern lights trip last night with the guide Tomas and it was fantastic! Tomas was so passionate about the lights and knowledgable. We went to three different places and were constantly looking for better places to see the lights and they did get better and better. They checked the cloud sataleittes constantly to make sure we were in the best place and the smaller bus enabled us to go where the larger tour buses couldn’t! Tomas took great photos of us all and helped those with cameras get great pictures as well! Definitely book with this company, it was great fun and learnt a lot! Highly recommended!