Bring plenty of layers. The weather in Iceland is unpredictable and changes quickly! Be prepared for wind, sun, snow and rain. We often get all four in the one day, especially in winter. There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.
Bring a backpack to carry your camera, water bottle, waterproof/extra layers and snacks. We will always allow stops on our tour to grab snacks and drinks to keep us going for the day. Certain tours include lunch (check tour description). If it doesn’t we will stop at our favourite places in the area to eat.
A camera is always necessary, as is a positive and adventurous attitude. We look to have as much fun as we can whilst exploring Iceland’s incredible sights.
You can have a further read about how to prepare for the Icelandic here.
Where do you pickup from in Reykjavík?
For those of you in Reykjavik, the Reykjavik city has designated bus pickup points that we will use. See map and pickup info here. When booking you will choose which pick up point is closest to where you are staying. Your ticket will then display your pickup location. Please be there from the start of the pickup time, as stated on your ticket and booking information. Please realise that it can take us a little bit of time to get to you as we may have pickups at the other stops.
Please give us your Iceland contact information that will allow us to avoid any issues with pickup. If you require a different pickup or drop off location, or clarification on the location, please contact us. We are always happy to help.
Do you offer family friendly tours?
Our scheduled tours are available to those aged 8 years and older. Unfortunately we do not take children younger than 10 on any of our glacier trips, even private ones. Glaciers aren’t the safest places for children and our glacier and safety equipment is not made for such little people. If you are a travelling family, get in touch with us to see what we can offer in regards to private trips catered especially for your family. Our private trips are competitively priced, and the trip is designed especially for your whole family.
How many people will be on my tour?
Aside from private tours the maximum number allowed on our scheduled trip is 12 people.
Will every place we go to be crowded?
Iceland has a growing tourist industry and even the quiet parts of old are becoming increasingly popular. In winter this is especially tricky as many other tour operators will be trying to squeeze in as many fun activities into the few daylight hours available. Hidden Iceland endeavours to show the best of Iceland and to find a few spots that are more secluded to allow you to truly experience the magic of Iceland. We can never promise complete seclusion, but we use our experience to escape the crowds when we can.
Do I need insurance before going on a trip with Hidden Iceland?
Travel insurance is always a good idea. We recommend that you have personal health insurance coverage when participating in any adventure activities in Iceland, as you would when travelling anywhere in the world.
Should I tip my guide?
Although tipping is not mandatory it can be a great way to show that you enjoyed the trip. An even bigger compliment would be giving them a great review on TripAdvisor, Facebook or telling all your friends about your experience.
Can I request a specific guide?
We can’t guarantee that you’ll get your choice of guide but if scheduling allows it we’ll do our best to accommodate, particularly with private trip bookings.
Will I see the Northern Lights on these tours?
The Northern Lights is a natural phenomenon that is as unpredictable as it is amazing, so we cannot make any guarantees that you will see it. If it is possible to see them on our overnight trips we will endeavour to go to the best spots to give ourselves the best chance. We are always happy to recommend good spots and give you updates on the hour by hour solar activity forecast and cloud cover.
What happens in the weather turns bad or if a trip gets cancelled?
The weather in Iceland can change quickly, and not always for the better. This means that some of our trips can be affected by the weather but we will endeavour to access as much of the original trip as possible and provide similar alternatives if we can’t. We don’t cancel tours for ‘unpleasant weather’ as we think it just adds to the experience. However, our highest priority is yours and our own safety. The two main considerations are strong winds and road conditions and if the conditions change from unpleasant to unsafe then the guide can make the decision to stop the tour at any time. If this happens then a full or partial refund will be applied to your account.
What time should I expect to return from my trip?
We have some experience in running this trips so the times on the website are generally accurate. With that said there are many factors that can affect the timing of the trip so the duration of the trip may vary slightly from the estimated time.
What do I bring along for a glacier hike?
We provide the technical safety equipment for walking on ice such as crampons, harnesses, helmets and ice axes. We expect you to bring a waterproof jacket and waterproof pants (not water resistant) and you MUST have waterproof hiking boots. Jeans are not appropriate. You can not wear sneakers or soft shoes, these will not fit with the crampons we provide. Staying warm is very important but staying dry is paramount. Denim and cotton do not do well in wet weather, as they do not dry and make you extremely cold very quickly. If you are unable to bring the waterproof jackets, pants or boots please get in touch well before the day of your tour and we will endeavour to find suitable hire gear for you. A water bottle, snacks, spare warm clothes, wool hat and gloves are also recommended.
What fitness level do I need to hike on the glacier?
The glacier hike on our scheduled trips are aimed for people who have never been on a glacier or worn crampons before. With that said the ice can be steep and uneven in sections, so if you struggle with walking for one to two hours or walking on uneven and sloped ground, the glacier hike may not be for you. Each guide on the trip will make the final decision at the time of the hike. If they refuse to let you on the ice please know it is purely for the safety of not just you, but also for the rest of the group.
How long are the glacier hikes?
The glacier hike on our South Coast: Fire & Ice tour is around 2.5 hours in total with around 1-1.5 hours spent on the glacier ice, hiking around 3-4 kilometres (approx. 2 miles). The hike requires a moderate fitness level where you will hike up and over uneven terrain.
The glacier hike on our Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 day tour is a longer hike, about 4 hours in total with around 2,5-3 hours on the glacier ice. This glacier hike is considered of moderate to hard level of difficulty and you’ll be covering about 6 kilometres (approx. 4 miles) over uneven and ascending terrain.
If you have any issues, injuries or medical conditions that would affect walking over uneven terrain then please consider these before joining the tour, or discuss with your guide before going on the glacier. You do not have to do the glacier hike if you do not feel comfortable doing so. You can just walk to the front of the glacier with the group and then wait for the group to return.
What happens if the glacier becomes inaccessible?
If we will not be able to do the glacier hike then we will walk up the glacier valley to the glacier as far as we can safely go to get a view of the icy giant. From here we will then continue our tour along the south coast, adding in a couple of our favourite hidden sights as we go to make up for not doing the glacier hike. These are stops that we otherwise would not have time to visit on the tour, especially with the shorter daylight hours in winter.
Can I bring my camera along on the glacier?
Definitely, the sites you will see on the glacier are incredible. You will love looking back over the photos you take.
I am pregnant, is it still safe for me to go on a glacier hike?
This is completely a personal choice. We have often had pregnant women on our trips and have also gladly refunded our guests that have decided that they are no longer comfortable to go on the trip whilst pregnant. It is also a good idea to contact your physician, as they can give the best advice as to whether or not it is suitable. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions or concerns.
If I have an existing illness or injury will that stop me from taking part in the glacier walk?
It is your responsibility to notify the guide before departure of any pre-existing illness or injury that you have that may affect the tour. This does not necessarily preclude you from taking part, it is mainly to give your guide the best chance of making the tour fit for purpose and safe. The lead guides are well trained and will know if your existing condition is likely to cause concern. If they don’t feel comfortable taking you on the glacier then it is, again, for the safety of you and the other guests. The majority of ailments will not exclude you from taking part.
Are the guides experienced glacier guides?
All guides are experienced and well trained glacier guides. Our guides have experience working across a number of glaciers in Iceland and have completed extensive in house training and certified wilderness first aid training. Your guide is equipped with advanced glacier rescue equipment, a first aid kit, and a Tetra satellite radio.