Over my 16 days in Iceland, I decided to use a company for 2 days in order to reach the Central Highlands and especially Landmannalaugar. I opted for Discover Iceland and their Super Jeep Private Tours. Below is a detailed review of my experience
- I have researched and selected myself this activity and this company
- I have paid entirely for my tour with them
- My review below is based on my own experience in September 2014
- I am not getting anything if you decide to book with them - I am just sharing my review because when I check out a company I like to find those reviews myself
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CHOOSING DISCOVER ICELAND
Choosing a Super Jeep Tour
As I was planning my tour of Iceland, I really wanted to discover the landscapes of the Cental Highlands : the famous Landmannalaugar and all the surrounding valleys.
One solution is to hike for a few days but my fitness level was not where it needed to be (and sadly it still is not) so I had to go by car. As it was the second half of September, most of the group tours were not running and I did not want to be stuck with the bus to Landmmanalaugar with no other stops.
Therefore I decided to splurge and pay for a private 2 day tour via Super Jeep. For roughly 2000 euros I had a Super Jeep, a driver/guide and a remote accommodation.
Choosing Discover Iceland
So I started reading many reviews on TripAdvisor and contacted several companies about organizing such a tour. Some did not even respond!
After some exchanges and reading in detail the reviews on TripAdvisor, I picked the company Discover Iceland
The advantage of a private tour: Stopping anywhere
At the end this is the itinerary of my 2 day Super Jeep tour with my driver / Guide:
- Driving through the forest near Reykjavik
- Driving towards the coast, passing lake Kleifarvatn
- Stopping at a farm which as a half-wild polar fox
- Stop at the Urridafoss waterfall
- Drive to the Thorsmork valley, small hike, night at the Volcano Huts
- Drive back to the coast - Stop at Glufrafoss
- Drive on F208 through the Central Highlands
- Stop at Holakjol canyon and waterfall
- Stop at Landmannalaugar
- Drive to Hekla volcano, hike to the first crater
- Drive back to Reykjavik
REVIEW OF MY SUPER JEEP TOUT WITH DISCOVER ICELAND
- I explained what I loved and they offered an itinerary which I accepted. Answers were quite prompt. We just had a few misunderstanding which made me doubt my choice but because of the very good TripAdvisor reviews I stayed with them.
- I asked to wire money rather than use my credit card because I had made many payments and was worried about blocking my card. They were very flexible.
- I received confirmation and was recontacted few days prior to inform me of the driver and confirm pick up time. I must admit that this message confused me a little because they said my driver would pick me up with JOY. I started wondering why they would insist that he was going to take joy in it... well, it is actually the name of the car... LOL
- The car was in fantastic condition, very clean (until we started driving 4WD of course).
- I felt very safe and the seats were comfortable.
- I was able to adapt the air conditionning / heating to my liking
- The deflating and inflating of tyres went smoothly
As I wanted to spend time in remote locations there were not many options for accomodations. They organised for me to stay at the Volcano Huts in the Thorsmork Valley. I had a hut and my driver was booked a bed in another room.
The hut was basic but nice and sufficient. Toilets were outside. Bed was comfortable.
Note: Food was at my own expense.
Driver / Guide
My driver was Orri. He was fantastic company. We chatted at the beginning so that he could understand what I had done and what I love doing. We had a rough programme and a mandatory arrival for the night at the Volcano Huts but the rest was flexible. Based on our conversation, he suggested some stops along the way. And he made a point of me not taking the same road twice (also based on the roads I took during my first week). Thanks to him I was able to see and photograph a polar fox
I had total confidence in his driving skills even though I was scared a few times because we were crossing huge and powerful rivers (I do not have photos of them as I was holding on) or driving up the side of a volcano...
Plus as we had an evening in the Volcano Huts, he sat with me and gave me many advice for planning my following week. Thanks to him I took roads in the Snaefellnes peninsula I would never had taken without knowing and one of them was just incredible: the lava field of Berserkjahraun
I am so glad I splurge and paid for these 2 days on a private super jeep tour with Discover Iceland. I had an amazing time and saw some of the best landscapes in the whole of Iceland. I would have never been able to see those by myself.
The only thing is that now that I have seen the landscapes, although I enjoyed them I would not go to Thormorsk or Hekla, but maybe explore more of Landmannalaugar and push to some of the lakes, suck as Langisjor, in Central Highlands instead. More out of this world scenery I think.
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Iceland in my online Iceland Destination Guide.
If you have any question, please leave a comment
David roberts says
i am thinking of going to Iceland with my wife. I liked your blog. One question: it seems like the cost of 2000 euros is awfully high. Normally I would expect about $500 per day for this kind of two day trip, but may I am way off. Would love your feedback.
Claire Robinson says
Hi David. Thanks for your comment.
Well if it was a cheeper country and easier locations I would agree with your suggested price.
You have to keep in mind that you get a specialized vehicle in perfect conditions with a specialized driver who does 2 full days and stays away from his home for the night, plus who is able to cross big rivers to take me wherever you want to. He knows every single path in this big area.
Vehicle + expert driver + knowledgeable guide + flexibility = I think it is a proper price. I did choke the first time I read the quote but I definitively do not regret spending it.