Escorted around Iceland – why go with a group
Iceland certainly is a destination with a difference for thrill seekers, be it getting close to a live volcano, snorkelling between two continents or exploring a glacier on a snowmobile. But if you’re not an ‘all-out’ type and prefer less extreme – but still active and unusual – experiences an escorted tour is a great choice, especially if you enjoy being in company of like minded people.
I went on my first ever escorted tour, the Northern Lights & Volcanoes tour back in February. I usually go on self-guided holidays and plan my itineraries in every detail, so it was refreshing not having to plan everything ahead and then booking all components of the trip separately.
Everything was arranged for us – flights, accommodation, transfers, most meals and of course the entire day by day itinerary full of sightseeing at some spectacular sites. There were no concerns about how I would get from A to B or how much cash I should reserve for eating out, for example. Speaking of cash, I didn’t need much for travelling around Iceland as I could easily get by paying by card. In fact, I don’t know of many places in Iceland that don’t accept them; in my experience even the smallest of shops take card payments.
Of course one of the greatest advantages was having a local guide with us, who knew the sights inside out. I had done my research thoroughly on the points of interest of our itinerary prior to the trip, as always, but being able to access first hand knowledge from an Icelandic guide was invaluable.
Our guide showered us with in-depth information about the destination, which you can’t find in a guidebook, and to top it off she also provided us with anecdotes and trivia all the way through. It helped provide us with a better understanding of Iceland in general and the way of life of the locals.
Having a guide with us also made the trip hassle free in practical terms, i.e. no lost time from looking at maps, trying to find the best/quickest/most scenic way or worrying about getting lost. This also means that if weather changes or things don’t go as scheduled for any reason, the guide has a plan B to hand – a security you won’t have on a self-made holiday. Every little detail is taken care of by people who know the destination most, so you can just relax and look forward to your trip knowing you’re in good hands.