Many travelers reflexively dismiss organized tours and packages, but Iceland is a good place for even the most independent-minded traveler to reconsider. Many of the most fascinating parts of the country are difficult to access on your own, and tour companies can save you tons of time in research and planning. Icelanders themselves often sign up with the same tour companies used by tourists.
Major Icelandic Operators
- Icelandair (tel. 570-3030) has all kinds of tours and packages, and its domestic counterpart Air Iceland (tel. 570-3030) offers day tours to Lake Mývatn, the Westfjords, and other locations. Icelandair offers the usual air/hotel packages and a good selection of outdoor adventure tours and special-interest tours, including a “Game of Thrones Iceland Tour.”
- Reykjavík Excursions (tel. 580-5400), Iceland’s largest tour company, has an enormous selection of tours to choose from; most but not all rely primarily on bus travel.
- Grayline (tel. 540-1313), Iceland’s second-largest tour company, is equally prolific and reputable.
- Iceland Travel (tel. 585-4300), one of Iceland’s biggest travel agencies, rounds out the big three.
- Nordic Adventure Travel (tel. 898-0355) is an excellent resource for outdoor adventure tours, often with online booking discounts.
- Guðmundur Jónasson Travel (tel. 511-1515), a long-established company, has an interesting range of cross-country adventures, and is especially good for tours that involve light hiking.
- Nonni Travel (tel. 461-1841) is the leading tour operator in Akureyri, Iceland’s “second city.” Offerings include rafting, whale-watching, and other adventures, as well as the usual bus tours.
- West Tours (tel. 456-5111), a recommended company with a creative range of tours, is the leading operator in the Westfjords.
North American Operators
- Adventures Abroad (tel. 800/227-8747) has a well-designed 12-day cultural tour of Iceland in August.
- Borton Overseas (tel. 800/843-0602), a Minneapolis-based specialist in Scandinavia, has a good range of Iceland offerings.
- Butterfield & Robinson (tel. 866/551-9090), a prestigious upscale company, has a very well-designed 5-day winter tour, and a trip for families with children 8 and up.
- Continental Journeys (tel. 800/601-4343) is a good clearinghouse for a wide variety of Iceland tours, both escorted and independent, summer and winter. The affiliated Great Canadian Travel Company in Winnipeg (tel. 800/661-3830; ) has a good range of tours, including cruises and a 10-day “Iceland on a Budget” self-drive tour starting at $1,300, not including airfare.
- Mountain Travel Sobek (tel. 888/831-7526) offers 10-day hiking excursions in the Eastern fjords.
- Nordic Saga Tours (tel. 800/848-6449), based in Edmonds, WA, has a carefully selected list of Iceland tours.
- Odysseys Unlimited (tel. 888/370-6765), a well-regarded company based in Newton, Massachusetts, has an excellent 11-day escorted tour crisscrossing the country for $4,997 and up, including airfare.
- Scanam World Tours (tel. 800/545-2204) is a prominent Scandinavian specialist based in Cranbury, New Jersey, with a good range of Iceland options.
- Scantours (tel. 800/223-7226), based in Los Angeles, has an enormous range of Iceland tours impressively laid out by type and departure date. The site is especially useful for scoping out off-season trips, spa trips, and cruise options.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.