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Frequently Asked Questions

About Fjord Tours in Iceland

Iceland's coastline is largely defined by deep and mountainous fjords. Departing from different locations around the country, this quality selection of fjord tours presents you with the opportunity to intimately explore some of the countries most iconic and dramatic natural features.

1. What is a fjord?

Created by glacial erosion, a fjord is a long and narrow inlet of land with cliffs or mountains on each side. If the inlet's mouth is broader than its length, it is considered a bay or a cove, not a fjord.

2. Which fjords are best for whale watching?

In southwest Iceland, whale watching tours set out from Reykjavík city harbour and out to Faxaflói bay. In West Iceland, tours depart from Grundafjörður fjord on Snæfellsnes peninsula. In North Iceland, tours depart from the towns Akureyri and Húsavík, out to Eyjafjörður fjord and Skjálfandi bay. Húsavík is widely considered to be Europe's whale watching capital.

3. Which fjords are best for puffin spotting?

Migrating puffins build their nests in rocky cliffs by the sea, and their habitats are not limited to Iceland’s fjords. Optimal locations for puffin spotting include Mt. Látrabjarg at the westernmost point of the Westfjords, Ingólfshöfði cape on the South Coast, the islands Dyrhólaey and Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) and Borgarfjörður fjord in the Eastfjords.

4. What are the Westfjords?

The Westfjords are an administrative district in Iceland, covering a vast peninsula which boasts dozens of mountainous fjords. The Westfjords include Iceland’s northwestern-most point which faces the east coast of Greenland. Because of the lack of lowland areas, the Westfjords are sparsely populated, relative to their grand size, and are only home to approximately 7,400 inhabitants.

5. What are the Eastfjords?

The Eastfjords are a large region in East Iceland, which consists of a dozen fjords. The area is home to around 15,300 people, and the largest town is Egilsstaðir.

6. Why aren't there any fjords in South Iceland?

Due to glacial outbursts over the past 10,000 years, sediments deposited by meltwater outwash, at the terminus of a glacier, formed vast outwash plains or “sandar” on Iceland’s South Coast. Underneath the soil, there rests the vast lava field Þjórsárhraun. The edges of the lava field reach several hundred metres offshore, thereby protecting the lowland from the invasion of the sea, resulting in the shoreline’s smooth appearance.

7. How did Iceland's fjords come into existence?

During the last ice age, enormous glaciers carved out Iceland's eastern and western coastlines, creating valleys and fjords. Volcanic activity under the glaciers stacked up mountains and ridges, and during periods of warmth, the lava flowed over. When the glaciers melted, the land rose quickly, and the top part of the soil became lighter. This process led to creating the alpine landscape of the Eastfjords and the Westfjords.

8. How many fjords are there in Iceland?

There are 109 fjords in Iceland.

9. Why are there so many towns by Icelandic fjords?

There are multiple reasons for this. One is that since Iceland's Highlands are all but uninhabitable, most people choose to live by the seaside; another is that fjords provide ideal spots to build harbours because the mountains and cliffs on each side provide wind-shelter and mild waters.

Customer reviews

Read reviews by travellers from across the world

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Our tour was in early March 2018. We were lucky with the weather and it was beautiful every day. The tour was easy to setup up just note the communications might not be immediate depending on time zone (I am in US). It did not affect any of the travel. I recommend at your hotel to ask where the tour buses pick up passengers. Ours was not clear and our guide Sveinbjorn had to search us out. Sveinbjorn was a fantastic guide. Was a safe driver and could definitely relax and watch the scenery without worry. He takes pride in his country and enjoys talking about it with a passion. He made sure were on time and had it set where we arrived earlier at places then other tour groups which made it easy for us to get around. If the place was dangerous he made sure the group knew (multiple times). What I liked is I learned more about Iceland from him then any other resource. Now more about the trip. Each day we were on the road by 8 local time so the day starts early. All the hotels were nice and there were some brand new ones. A travel note is once you are at a hotel expect to be there and no other exploring since they are isolated. I personally was nervous about hiking the glacier but our guide (did not remember his name) kept me at ease and it was a great experience. The ice caves were fantastic and a lot of it was due to our guide Faye. She kept us entertained and played Icelandic rock music for us. All the places we stopped were interesting and we were glad we did the extended tours to the east side of the island (away from most of the tourists). I think my only frustrating thing was the end of the tour from Akureyri back to Reykjavík. We did not spend any time in Akureyri because our plane left about 11:00am local time. Might have been nice to seen more of Akureyri. And once we arrived back in Reykjavík we assumed there would be transportation since the tour asked where we were staying once we got back in Reykjavík but we had to find it ourselves. Plenty of taxis just be aware. I recommend a new visitor to the island to use a tour company and I think you will enjoy your stay

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 17 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

We joined the 8-day tour with our guide Svein in March, hunting for amazing Aurora and beautiful landscapes. In the end, I left my camera on the minibus. Svein was so kind to send it back to me. I was really appreciate it.

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

5 average rating | 20 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

We completed this tour in March 2018 and our tour guide was Hildigunnur(Hildi). The whole tour was an amazing experience from start to finish. Our wonderful guide Hildi was a great ambassador for her country and ensured that we not only enjoyed the trip but also received a great insight into the history, culture and geography of Iceland. Nothing was too much trouble for her as she would help us with scheduled or unscheduled stops for photos, trying local produce and understand in local folklore. The trip was well planned with convenient stops and lovely accommodation. The atmosphere which Hildi created was one of comfort and relaxation while enjoying some unbelievable scenery. We enjoyed not having to rush which we would have done if we did day tours from Reykjavik. All in all a great tour with an excellent, caring and fun tour guide.

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Ragnheiður was a fun and great guide with an amazingly positive attitude and we enjoyed the trip immensely. She kept us very comfortable and made the most of our time with good pacing of the viewpoints and visits with plenty of rest-stops in between. The sights were all well picked and provided a wonderful view into the natural treasures of Iceland. Very happy with the tour and our wonderful guide Ragnheiður.

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It was a wonderful experience. The tour guide of my trip was excellent and knowledgeable. We made good friends and so as the other members of our trip. We saw beautiful aurora in two nights at our hotels. The last day in Akureyri is a bit disappointing due to the accomodation. Point to note is that the 6 days 7 days and 8 days tour were grouped together. I could recommend an 8 days tour so that you do not have to take a flight from Akureyri back to Reykjavik. Instead you could travel to the west a bit and back to Reykjavik by the bus.

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We had a wonderful 6 day tour with Ragnheiður. She is a fantastic guide, giving us extra time at places and showing us special places not on the itinerary. Our group of 9 bonded well, in part by our guide and we had a lot of fun seeing the sights of such a beautiful country, taking selfies, playing in the snow, exploring ice caves, hiking up a glacier...the list goes on! The accommodations were fantastic and really added to the experience. We were also fortunate to see the aurora which was a highlight of the trip. I had a wonderful trip and many stories to take home.

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This was the greatest tour ever. Everyone that I interacted with at Guide to Iceland was awesome and helpful. Our driver and guide for this tour was Sigurður G Viðarsson. He was absolutely amazing. Right from the start he made it fell less like a tour with strangers and more of a road trip with friends. Siggi took care of us the entire trip and shared multiple stories of Iceland which kept us entertained. We were able to see a lot of sights everyday due to his excellent driving and we always felt safe with him on the wheel no matter how rough the weather got. Siggi always made stops for us to use the restroom, for lunch or if anyone of us had a special request. The tour with him always felt smooth and not rushed. At all sights we had ample time to take photos and to relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. He even lead the group to the waterfall Dettifoss as the path was full of snow and he hiked up Hverfjall with us and helped us whenever it got difficult. The hotel accommodation provided was excellent with most of them having hot pools to relax in after a long day of walking and taking pictures. All the accommodation provided were far from the city lights which made them excellent for viewing the Northern Lights. Pro tip – Once its past 10 just head to the open hot pool, get in and look up. The warm water around your body and the dancing lights above will be an experience you won’t forget. I opted for the Glacier Hike and Ice Cave activities. Unfortunately due to strong winds the hike was cancelled. Siggi took us to the parking lot from where the hike originates and let us out to stretch our legs. The wind was so powerful that it was hard to walk 100m to take the photo of the glacier. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had to go on the hike. I am glad that they cancelled the hike for our safety. Two thumbs up to the team for making the right call. We were lucky with Ice cave the next day as the weather mellowed down. Our guide Faye was very informative and kept us safe at all times. Whenever there was a difficult path she was always there to guide and lend a hand. She told us all about how the caves are formed and answered all our questions. She even gave us tips to get good photos and took some for us. Instead of getting a refund for the Glacier Hike I opted for another activity. I walked into the nearest Guide to Iceland office and was assisted by Emilia. She brought out her laptop and helped me select a more suitable activity. I was credited for the cancelled hike and only had to pay the price difference. She was patient and helpful during the entire process. I would recommend Guide to Iceland to everyone and will be taking their tour the next time I come to Iceland. Hopefully soon.

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My recent trip with David Ingi (greatest guide ever) was just absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed every second of it and words cannot describe what i witnessed in that country. This trip was very well organized and accommodations for each night are top quality. By completing the ring road you would definitely see everything iceland has to offer and trust me one of the ways to make a road trip most exciting is to have a experienced local that stop at the most unexpected places. Thank you David, for showing the group this magic country and I would love to come back to see a distinctly differ landscape in the summertime.

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Ragnheiður, she is the best of the best! She loves her country and show us the most of it proudly including her personal spots! We had an unforgettable time with her and no words could express my thanx to her for this tour! She is simply the best of the best!

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 17 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

It's an amazing 8 Day Winter Excursion with our cool viking guide, Siggi. The tour will not be awesome without him. He is a caring, thoughtful and helpful guide with plenty of initiatives to allow us to further experience the icelandic culture. For e.g. Bringing us to the geothermal bath and having a taste of Icelandic fermented shark meat etc. On top of that, his is a skillful driver, who take us through the rough weather that we encountered along the way. We felt that he went the extra mile to allow us to experience and explore the places and culture than to spend our time aimlessly:) The hotels provided are strategically located to get a good view of the northern lights display and most of them are equipped with facilities such as a hot tub and sauna. We are glad that we are able to catch the northern lights display for 2 nights. They're really great:) We would like to recommend the tour to adventurous travelers who are looking for an experiential tour in Iceland:) We had a very memorable tour!

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 17 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

A great 8 day Winter Excursion, special credits should go to our tour manager Seggi Viking. As a driver he is skillful and considerate, as a tour guide he is experienced and knowledgeable and a an Islandic local he is caring and friendly. It was a challenging adventure to climb up a snow covered crater to catch a scenic surroundings. Experienced a taste of cold and warm at the same time in a Geothermal Bath. We were fortunate to catch 2 nights of spectacular Aurora display during this trip. Contemplating to come back during summer to have another different experience.

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

5 average rating | 20 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

This tour was just amazing! The guide, David, was really great, funny and always available. The hotels during the tour were really great, even exceeded our expectations. The only slight problem is that hotels are mostly situated in remote areas were there are no other options but to eat at the hotel's restaurant and these were pretty expensive. We really enjoyed every site we visited and the landscape throughout the tour is exceptional! We had the right amount of time thanks to a small bus (of 16 people) and explanations on each site. Little improvements this tour could offer: possibility to book this tour as a half-board with dinners included in the hotels, and a little bit more aurora hunting would be appreciated!

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

5 average rating | 20 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

Did everything I wanted. This tour was actually hosted by Aurora Hunters the guides name was Sveinbjorn Sigurdsson. He is the best. We saw the aurora lights. We we're blessed. All the stars aligned on this trip. We had signs of the number 13 and it went well. Perfect in every way. I wish aurora hunters had a website so I can rate them there. Thanks guide to Iceland though as well. Due to rain the previous week we were unable to go ice caving into Vatnajokull but they took us to a different ice cave. This is a great representation of Iceland. Sveinbjorn even went out of his way to make sure I got a picture on riding an Icelandic horse. I wish him all the best. My heart and mind and spirit is now more expanded after this trip thanks to all involved, Svein and those on my small tour group of 13 total. -Erick Sangalang

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We had a wonderful time on the 7-day tour despite the disappointments of not seeing the Northern Lights or being able to do the ice caving because Mother Nature did not cooperate. Sveinbjorn Sigurdsson did an absolutely fantastic job of being our guide. It was stormy and overcast every night of the tour, so aurora viewing was not possible, but Svein did drive us around for about 4 hours one night trying to find a break in the clouds. He called several other locations on the island the next night to see if their conditions were amenable to viewing but they were not. He went out of his way to substitute locations and events when scheduled stops were not available due to conditions. Folks need to understand that weather can be a major deterrent to doing things in the winter in Iceland so flexibility is the key. Initially, we were concerned about doing a tour because we didn't want to feel constrained by a schedule, but Svein gave us plenty of time to see the sights and provided a lot of information about the culture, people, politics, history and geology of Iceland. We had 15 people on our tour, which was a comfortable number for the tour van. The accommodations were pleasant and modern and all provided hot breakfasts. Svein gave us time to go to grocery stores to buy lunch and/or dinner foods. We ate in the hotel restaurants each night, which were very flavorful but quite expensive. All in all, if Northern Lights are the only reason you are going to Iceland, no one can guarantee that you will see them.

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Overall it was a nice tour and the guide is great. Everything was arranged nicely and hotels were all wonderful. The guide tried his very best to show us the northern lights in two consecutive nights and drove all the way to chase the light. Unfortunately we were unable to see it but that’s because of the cloudy and bad weather. I truly appreciated the effort the guide did to work the best out of it. Another pity was not being able to visit the ice cave due to weather conditions as well. All the attractions were great and we had sufficient time for exploring and making pictures. The guide also tried to make the drive more interesting by telling us a lot of knowledge and stories about each spot and Iceland. Shortcomings for the tour might be the schedule can be more packed or days of the tour can be reasonable shortened as we arrived the hotel quite early each day, provided that it’s in the middle of nowhere and didn’t have much to walk around the hotel. And the pick up time is not very correct and sometimes you have to wait over 30 mins. That’s making people kind of nervous and confused about the arrangement. Overall, it’s a wonderful tour and I recommend it!

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