Here is the second installment of my smash hit, “10 Things You Need to Know About Visiting Iceland.” In this post I will be talking about my husband’s and my overwhelmingly positive experience with Nordic Visitor in Iceland.
We decided to go to Iceland on somewhat of a whim. About five weeks before we wanted to go, my husband started exploring the Nordic Visitor website which offers an abundance of different tours. He contacted them with some questions and a man named Sigfus responded. We actually were planning on going to Iceland two years prior but that was sidelined when my in-laws told us they were going to Kenya. Given that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we decided to take that trip. Interestingly enough, Sigfus was our correspondent the first time around as well.
We settled on the tour we wanted and purchased it online with a credit card. We had to purchase our flights independently. We paid for our transportation (rental car and airport rides) and hotel through their website. Nordic Visitor offered three levels of hotel and we chose the middle level. I would compare it to the Hampton Inn in the US. The rooms weren’t large but most of the hotels were furnished in a clean, modern style with Ikea furniture. The breakfast buffets were extensive and fresh. The dinners were comparable to a steak house in price and atmosphere.
Sigfus then contacted us about excursions. We told him a little bit about us – that we wanted to do a little bit of everything but nothing extreme or physically harrowing. Sigfus recommended several and we pretty much said yes to all of them. He then charged us for the following excursions on our card:
- Glacier hike
- Boat ride in a glacial lagoon
- Horseback riding
- Nature baths
- Cave walk
- Whale watching
Sigfus also charged us for a couple extra nights’ stay given that we were visiting for a non-standard number of nights (11). Also, there did not appear to be an explicit cost for Nordic Visitor’s services. We did not check every item on our itinerary, but at a glance they charged us the same amount as we would pay if we purchased the excursions directly.
After arriving in Iceland and getting our bags, we were greeted by a driver at the airport who gave us a folder with the following:
- Vouchers for all of our hotel stays, transportation, and excursions. These are crucial – we had to hand them over each leg of our stay. Nothing was digital.
- Maps of Reykjavik and Iceland, highlighted with our trip and excursions.
- A custom binder of our itinerary with one day per page. Each day listed all possible activities for that day as well as the hotel to get to at night with the GPS coordinates. It also listed major attractions along our journey with pictures and descriptions.
- A book containing most of places of interest in Iceland. If you saw a sign along the road that wasn’t highlighted on your map or listed in your custom binder, you could look it up and see what it’s about.
- Contact information for Nordic Visitor and our hotels.
- A cell phone with a small amount of credit on it, in case of emergencies.
We arrived in Reykjavik in the morning, checked into our hotel downtown, and spent the day wandering the city. The next day we were picked up by a shuttle to take us to our rental car. FYI – we did not need an international license. Be sure to request an automatic if you need one since manuals are more common in Europe.
Sigfus offered to meet with us at the Nordic Visitor office to go through the materials and we took him up on that. (An aside- we got a parking ticket for parking outside their office.) No appointment was required. He walked us through the maps and books and sent us on our way, but not before helping us with our car- reversing the vehicle was a bit tricky. Don’t be afraid to ask for a demonstration!
Overall, working with Nordic Visitor to visit Iceland was effortless and I would highly recommend them. Please check out my third installment, “Other Tidbits About Iceland,” and subscribe!