Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed September 2016
    Barry Clare

    Iceland Circumnavigation Aug 2016

    Good overall tour encompassing Iceland's main areas. Iceland is an expensive country and some parts of the tour were quite basic versus high cost. Would recommend that you visit Iceland as it is surprisingly greener than you think.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. The sheer scale of the the geology 2. Aurora Borealis at Godafoss

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rakel Jonsdottir was excellent. Very knowledgeable, organised and spoke clearly in English. Loved her Trolls and Elves, oh and must not forget the sheep!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try and select a better class of accommodation as the guest house type offered was quite basic, verging on the backpacker type. Please note though the accommodation was spotlessly clean and in very good order.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Weather can be very changeable one minute sunny with blue sky, the next torrential rain but that is to be expected in an island in the far North. It certainly added atmospheric mood to the sky in the photos.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Janice McMurray

    Grand Tour of Iceland - Fire and Ice

    Since the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010, tourism has boomed in Iceland, and the Icelanders have embraced it. The affection Icelanders have for their country is obvious. There is a very relaxed and welcoming vibe in this land of few stop signs and many yields.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having read some sagas before the trip, I was fascinated by Thingveillir and where the law rock might have been found. I had been unable to visualize the fault but had several opportunities to explore it over the course of the trip. And actually walking on an old lava flow at Leirhnjukur with steam rising through the rocks and lava fingers reaching out over the landscape was an incredible experience. These are just a few of many inspiring moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rakel was a true ambassador for her country. She inspired and educated us with her stories and language lessons as we drove. Her demeanour was calm even in the face of difficulties (e.g., dead bus battery) which were handled almost immediately even in remote areas. Rakel livened up our al fresco lunches by intruducing local breads, meats and cheeses and how Icelanders would combine them. She found sheltered places for us to eat on wet or windy days and used her extensive local knowledge and personal network to make sure we saw all that Iceland has to offer. On a long day of driving, Rachel shared her own collection of plant and geology books with us to help pass the time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to dress for 3 seasons of weather on any given day. We chased glaciers in the rain yet had a very worthwhile experience. Don't let the prices of things dampen your spirit of adventure - your photos and memories come free of charge! Yes we had several nights of shared facilities but every place we stayed at was scrupulously clean and I will remember the delightfully quirky spots long after I have forgotten the standard hotels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have appreciated an opportunity to interact with an Icelandic family, perhaps lunch or dinner at one of the fabulous farms we saw named along the roads. We had an unplanned fish and chip lunch at a restaurant that was a pleasant change from our picnic lunches - perhaps one or two of these could be planned into the schedule. If you try the chocolate covered licorice and you like it - take one more bag home than you think you will need, and yes, Skyr can be bought in Canada!
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Ross Pezzack

    A Great exploration of a beautiful country

    Certainly a very complete tour of Iceland, I felt we explored a lot of the country, really only missing the far northwest. So much to explore, great waterfalls (AFW), areas of previous volcanic activity, wildlife, sea landscapes, new foods, a unique language, geothermic areas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The recent volcanic activity left old lava fields that allowed you to visualize what the lava looked like as it flowed. My old geology classes came alive. The geothermic activity and the way Icelanders have harnessed it was fascinating. How unique Iceland is, so far north but a country that has embrassed what this unique environment gives them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great, Rakel was so adaptable to changes we wanted, to finding us covered areas to picnic by calling friends of friends, taking us to unique places not on itinerary, buying unique Icelandic foods for our picnic lunches everyday. She also noted people who needed extra help at certain times, she was great.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Weather can be cool, cloudy and rainy. Some long drives! Shared bathrooms in quite a few residences, rooms basic but I was impressed how very clean everything was. Virtually everyone speaks English, little cash needed because many meals included and everyone takes credit cards. Keep change (1-200 Kr) for toilet use. VERY EXPENSIVE when buying meals on your own or for excursions. Lunches are picnic style, everyone helps, the meals can get a bit repetitive but our guide tried to vary the food we had. I would suggest a group hot meal would be could for a couple of lunches, take out or simple restaurant. No tipping expected allow we did tip our guide.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would suggest you go if you can, the exodus tours offers a very complete look at Iceland And very good value considering the high cost of living in Iceland.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Karen Myers

    Superb tour of a magnificent country

    Many people are put off travelling to Iceland by its reputation as an expensive country. While it's not cheap, it more than repays you in its stunning landscapes, fascinating geological history, abundance of birdlife and wonderful food. This trip is certainly worth the investment as you get to explore beyond the tourist laden 'Golden Circle' and see more remote parts of the country with an expert guide in tow. If you have any doubts, put them aside and book. You won't be sorry!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There really are far too many to choose from but walking on a glacier (not exactly pristine or the 'blue' ice they show you in photographs) but still stunning, taking a boat trip round the glacial lagoon (don't let people talk you out of taking the boat trip, it's worth it to see some of the huge icebergs further out) and horse riding around the fjords near Akureryi were all well worth the money. However, even if you don't do these optional extra trips then just driving and walking through this stunning landscape provides inspiration enough.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were lucky enough to have Hoskuldor (Hoskie) as our guide, driver, picnic-maker, geology and birdlife expert. He was tireless in his efforts to make sure we had the best trip possible and did everything with incredible good humour and a wicked laugh. His knowledge of and enthusiasm for his home country was exceptional and infectious and he made sure even those with only the basic grasp of geology understood what we were seeing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all types of weather - we were lucky enough to have some exceptionally sunny days but having a waterproof is an absolute must (especially when venturing near a waterfall, where it's also a good idea to have a towel to wipe down your camera lens). Don't be too put off by the idea of shared facilities in some of the accommodation (which in several places are boarding schools used as hotels when the school term has finished). While sharing bathrooms isn't ideal, the rooms are usually spacious and clean and extra towels/pillows are easy to get if asked for. Take more money than you think you need (especially if you want to use the swimming pools/hot pots as they do cost quite a bit) but be prepared to be tempted to spend it all on great food and some lovely Icelandic gifts to bring home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip round a lovely country - I'm just hoping Exodus add a few more trips to different parts of the country as I'd love to see more of it!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Stephanie Fearn

    Grand Tour of Iceland

    This trip was even better than the Trip Notes suggested, largely due to the very high quality of our tour leaders. We had much better weather than expected, and the accommodation was (with one exception) far better than we had envisaged.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say - the whole trip was amazing, and every day brought new and positive experiences. We will particularly remember the horse-riding, the walks and drives amongst spectacular scenery, the visit to the geothermal power station, the fantastic fresh and delicious food, and the expert guiding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 leaders, both excellent. Huski, who was with us for the majority of the trip was a mine of information. He was well organised, an excellent driver, and great fun to be with. We learnt a tremendous amount about the geology, birdlife, and flora of Iceland from both leaders.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are well equipped for changes in the weather. We experienced hot & sunny, wet, cold, windy and dull, so layering was really important. The waterfall spray can make you very wet, and walking boots are useful on uneven lava flows. There are few opportunities to wash clothes en route unless they are very quick-drying.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This has to be one of the great trips of our lifetimes. It didn't disappoint in any way.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Ather Hussain

    Amazing Iceland

    Iceland is every photographers dream with its incredible scenery, active volcanoes, geothermal features, geysers, glaciers and many waterfalls. The distances a quite long here and the attractions plentiful so you need at least two weeks and preferably more to truly appreciate and take in the beauty of this amazing country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Viewing Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon was a 'wow' and inspirational moment where you see so many icebergs in an incredibly beautiful lagoon, surrounded by black lava hills and Europe's largest glacier - Vatnajokull. It was a truly special experience. We also saw the northern lights twice on our tour which were spectacular and amazing. I had never seen northern lights before and was awed by their beauty. It was certainly a highlight of this trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Guide was David Kelley who is originally from England but has lived in Iceland for a long time. He spoke perfect Icelandic and was very knowledgeable about Iceland's history, geography, people and culture. He took great care of our group and was a very nice person to be around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you really want to see & photograph puffins in Iceland then go before mid August as most Puffins disappear around mid August. I went on a tour which started in the late August and ended in mid September. Most of the puffins had already left by that time but we were lucky to still spot some Puffins. If witnessing northern lights is more important to you than watching Puffins then going there in the end of the season makes more sense. The best time to see northern lights typically strarts in mid September but our guide said that the lights started as early as August this year. We were lucky to see Northern lights twice during our tour and they were mesmerizing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a comprehensive tour of Iceland which covers all major regions of this beautiful country with the exception of the West Fjords region, which for some reason, wasn't included on this tour.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Stephen Wilson

    Iceland - what a place!!

    This is a comprehensive tour of Iceland, taking in all of the tourist sites and much more besides, including some hidden gems off the well beaten track.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing and photographing puffins for the first time, despite the wind and rain. Also visiting Harpa in Reykjavik, a wonderful piece of architecture with astonishing photo opportunites

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Petur was a very good group leader, and because there were only 9 of us on this trip he was able to offer a more personal touch than otherwise would have been possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Apparently we were blessed with "good" weather during our trip, which as I recall started and ended with fine and sunny days but in between we had plenty of wind, cold, rain and cloud with the odd misty patch as well. Take clothing to cover these eventualities and you will be OK. Also take a microfibre travel towel with you if you intend taking photos of the many waterfalls you'll see, as your lens and camera will get soaked if you are anywhere near the huge amounts of spray that gets in the air. Keep it in your jacket pocket to dry the front of your lens when it gets covered in water droplets.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared for shared toilet and shower facilities occasionally, as not all rooms will be en-suite. Good quality tourist accommodation outside Reykjavik and Akureyri hasn't yet caught up with demand, and maybe never will, which may not be a bad thing as this is part of Iceland's charm. The hot water will sometimes smell of rotten eggs as it may be sourced directly from underground springs which are sulphurous!!
  • Reviewed August 2015
    David Vick

    A quite outstanding tour!

    I have been on over 50 tours with Exodus and other adventure travel companies, and this 'Grand Tour of Iceland' is right up there with the very best of them. A key point (agreed by everyone in the group): If you're going to visit Iceland once in your life, do it properly, with a full fortnight's tour of (almost) the whole country, rather than just a short trip to see part of it. Exodus' grand tour takes you right round the Ring Road, enabling you to experience Iceland in its full mind-blowing glory! Everything about this tour was good: incredible scenery, excellent accommodation (far better than I'd expected), great food, a brilliant group of travelling companions, a superb tour leader, and (unusually for Iceland, apparently) even the weather (in June) stayed fine almost all the time we were there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day brought something new and different as regards scenery, terrain and experiences. Hard to chose the 'most inspirational': a toss-up between the stunning black beaches of the south coast, the lovely Jokulsarlon (glacier lagoon) and celebrating the midnight sun setting and rising again in Skulagardur.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Young Icelandic tour leader Orri was absolutely great in every respect, and his picnic lunches were gastronomic feasts.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's an expensive tour, but totally worth the money. Do it!
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Ulla Skalen Pickett

    Grand tour of Iceland

    My previous Exodus trip had been to India, a country that delivers an assault on your sense. Iceland did the same, but in the opposite direction. It was cold and windy, clean and fresh. The landscape was predominately monochrome.You could see for miles and when you stopped talking you heard only water, wind, birds and the odd sheep.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The landscape, it felt like a different planet. It never stopped to amaze and enchant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Confident tour leader with extensive local knowledge.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cold and changeable weather. Temperature charts are not enough to go by, there is a considerable wind chill factor.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A maverick country. I hope I shall be able to return.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Stuart Kaye

    Grand Tour of Iceland

    Overall it was an interesting trip, seeing some strange and wonderful sites A lot colder than we first thought it would be this time of year, but Iceland is about a month behind in its weather. A few of the roads we needed to use were still closed, so had to do long round trips to get sack on track in a few places.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Can't say as there were too many to mention! What with stunning waterfalls snow capped mountains lava fields. Myths and legends cool place to visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David Kelley, well what can I say; he could be a laugh, knowledgeable about the areas we travelled, would help others as and when was appropriate!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, the Blue Lagoon was a bit of a let down after all the hype about it, we came across a better one in the north near Myvatn far less crowded unless you like being a sardine!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On the whole this was a great trip well worth doing, plenty to see and do with lots of differing activities right round the island. Good work Exodus
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