If you want to emerge a whole lot smarter after a tour in Iceland, here’s a good recipe:
1.) Grab a geologist (or better yet, a glaciologist!).
2.) Make him show you around.
Luckily, we stumbled onto GeoIceland Tours, ran by the very witty Javier — a glaciologist-turned-land-surveyor, who eventually found himself creating his own tour-guide business. From the moment we set off from Reykjavik until he dropped us back home, he rattled on facts one after the other — not just about geology, but also about history, folklore and everyday Icelandic life. There was no lull nor dull moment, I kid you not.
I’m convinced that if there was only one tour guide with the gift of making the grim, black stretches of rock by the side of the road interesting, that would be Javier. By the end of the tour, we had enough knowledge about what gave the present volcanic ridges their shape, the unusual curves in the highway and the professional troll-whisperers behind them, what to do in an Icelandic forest (read: Stand up.), and even how colorful Icelandic politics can be.
There are a lot of companies that offer Golden Circle tours in Reykjavik (it almost seems like they won’t let you out of the city if you haven’t taken one yet), but trust me when I say that the tutelage of GeoIceland guides is an experience in itself. I won’t spoil the stories and revelations that these varsity-quiz-night-champions can impart to you, but for now, what I can DO share are the epic sights that we encountered along the way:
GeoIceland also offers tours to the South Coast and to Reykjanes — I’d love another chance to go geeky (but in style, of course) with these guys. If you’re still not convinced that GeoIceland is your Iceland-tour-guide-spirit, then hop over to read the overflowing raves from very satisfied customers in TripAdvisor.