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Ways to Experience Magical Iceland - Food & Wine Tours
from $248.65
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Reviewed September 5, 2017

This was a (un)surprise treat for my birthday from my wife for which I am truly grateful. Since I hate surprises, I had a big hole in the itinerary for this trip and I wanted to have a framework for our trip. She ended up telling me what it was this was it. Both the city walking tour and the Golden Circle Tour. I will focus on the food experience since the stops on the Golden Circle have been reviewed a lot.

The Golden Circle Gourmet Tour traces the classic route that Iceland is famous for but in a private vehicle and tour guide setting. We had Ymir for both tours and we can't be more happy with his upbeat attitude and knowledge of this country. A great ambassador. He will feed you right from the start and to the end. All foods are local and of course organic and fresh. If we can sum up Icelandic food, we can say that it's pure and honest. The French can take an ingredient and turn it into something special. Here in Iceland, we can say that the ingredients do the talking and they have standards and laws that North America doesn't have so it's hard not to be wary of what is sold/consumed here. And Amir takes advantage of that. He served a breakfast that consisted of raw vegetables, smoked fish, bread, sweet pastries and an amazing avocado "butter" that went very well with everything, except for the pastry of course. Then it was a picnic of various appetizers along with a sparkling wine and seasonal rhubarb reduction to mix into it mimosa style. Then onto the tomato farm where we must have had everything on the menu. Too bad we couldn't finish it all because we had a lot more eating to do. The olive bread it amazing and the story of how they can grow produce with an unforgiving climate is well worth the visit. Then comes the visit to the dairy farm where we had beef carpaccio, skyr and the huge burger, fries and bacon. You can tell it is not like anything in North America. The beef is a bit dry, but it's free of fillers and the meat is lean. All you get is the beef taste. The bacon is not fatty, and the potatoes for the fries are sweet and have a texture and taste of a potato. Once again, honest ingredients at play here as usual. The weather wasn't too great, but we were able to get everything in before the rain hit. All in all a great spin to the classic Golden Circle Tour. And yes, you do not have to make any dinner plans when this tour concludes.

A few days later we had the City Walking Gourmet Tour with Ymir. This is a 3hr light walking tour with eating along the way. We stopped at a number of places tasting various products from areas that are touristy and some that aren't. Places from a cheese shop/restaurant that serves one of the best lamb we have tasted, to the world famous hot dog stand that Bill Clinton visited, nothing is left out here and you are full after this is done too.

Ymir is probably the most enthusiastic person I have ever met and he is passionate about food and his country. He knows a lot of people and is very connected not only to the culinary scene, but political and economic scene in Iceland. You will get not only an insight into Icelandic food, but pretty much anything that goes on in Iceland, he knows. And for that Ymir, Vicky and I will raise a glass and say "skal!" to you. Thank you for a wonderful 2 tours. This is highly recommended by us. Takk!

Mark and Vicky

Date of experience: August 2017
1  Thank Rattlehead74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ýmir A, Owner at Magical Iceland - Food & Wine Tours, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2017

TAKK for the wonderful review !!! :) - Well - I must say that I am on your team of "being grateful to your lovely wife" for choosing to spend some gourmet time with me in NIceland !!! :)

I am both proud, happy and humble to read your review ... and specially knowing your broad expertise, passion and experience when it comes to food, wine and travel (preferably all together ;)) !

Wishing both of you nothing but LUCK, LOVE & LOTS AND LOTS of gourmet food and drinks in "this thing called life"

LUV Ýmir

ps I am excited to receive your notes on the best places for red wine and champagne tasting ... Hebba is asking me every day now !!! ;)

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Reviewed September 4, 2017

We loved our day with Ýmir who felt like a friend in no time We were 3 adults on the Golden Circle Gourmet tour. So incredible - enjoyed every minute - learning about Iceland (the inside scoop) and experiencing the spectacular scenery and tastes!
So happy that we chose this experience that hit all the senses - Thank you for all of it.
Private pick up, wonderful conversation and a big variety of flavors & views.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank mmWentThere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ýmir A, Owner at Magical Iceland - Food & Wine Tours, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2017

TAKK for a great time and the wonderful words ! :) <3

Wishing you nothing but LUCK & LOVE in "this thing called life"

LUV Ýmir

ps I really hope that my special favours / connections with Þór (the God of Thunders) resulted in you guys getting the dancing Aurora in the sky the night after our day of the Gourmet Golden Circle together ! ;)

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Reviewed August 20, 2017 via mobile

Wish I had taken more food pix so I could both show and describe Ymir's super tour! He is a food critic, "bon vivant", friend of politicians, restaurant owners, farmers, you name it! From an amazing smoked lamb carpaccio to the obligatory rotten shark chased down with Black Death cumin vodka (liked the vodka!), Ymir's the man who can show you the best of Icelandic food leaving you full of food and facts and lore both new and ancient. Also, I get the feeling he might have been an elf in a past life, maybe you could ask him?

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank DaveA99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ýmir A, Owner at Magical Iceland - Food & Wine Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2017

Hahaha :) - got the feeling that you maybe yet another fellow ELF yourself ! ;)

Was sure fantastic to hang out with you guys - I know where to go when I find the time / urge to hire a proper "priest" that does magic tricks and makes things disappear !

Wishing you nothing but LUCK & LOVE in "this thing called life" <3

LUV Ýmir

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Reviewed July 1, 2017 via mobile

The perfect way to experience Iceland, especially if you only have one day -- and what a day it will be for you! Ymir, a national celebrity (and you'll see why, after just a little but of time with him!), took us to all the "right" places, avoiding the nasty tourist traps, and along the way plied us with enough locally grown food to feed a small army. He has perfect pitch for figuring out the pace and needs of his guests. If every tour guide in the world were like Ymir, there would be one tour guide per city, and no more.

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank FloridaIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ýmir A, Owner at Magical Iceland - Food & Wine Tours, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2017

TAKK for the beautiful words <3 - I just LOVE meeting the happy people you are ! - It takes at least two to Tango and we sure did dance ! ;)

I wish nothing but LUCK & LOVE to both of you in this "thing called life"

LUV - Ýmir

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Reviewed June 11, 2017 via mobile

Ymir and Hebba are wonderful ... They love their country and do a wonderful job showing it off. They were professional, fun, and very knowledge - I cannot recommend these tours more. We did both tours (city food tour on Saturday, golden circle tour on Sunday). The food was phenomenal, and all of the stops were great. We enjoyed meeting all of Ymirs friends around Iceland. You will not end either tour hungry!

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank mshiels86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ýmir A, Owner at Magical Iceland - Food & Wine Tours, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2017

TAKK for the beautiful words <3 :)

We enjoyed every minute with you and wish you nothing but LUCK & LOVE in this thing called life !

LUV Ýmir & Hebba

ps We see you again next time floating in our luxury, lodge resort / spa ;)

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