Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Travelers at Go∂afoss Waterfall in northern Iceland.

Christine Stoll and friends at Go∂afoss Waterfall in northern Iceland.

Finally! We had a trip to Iceland planned in 2021 by Chris Gordon, but Covid derailed that trip. Our excitement to see Iceland didn’t go away, so we asked Chris planned to plan another trip for us. “We” started out as two couples, but expanded to three couples as the trip began to come together. Chris and I had several phone conversations where he listened to what our wishes were, our limitations due to age, and planned a 14-day trip full of sights, scenery and soft-adventure along with plenty of comfort and excellent food. He found us a 9-passenger van, and the Ring Road trip began.

An independent road trip could be tricky for a trip advisor to plan, but Chris did an excellent job. We were given a packet before leaving outlining in detail each day’s scheduled and reserved activities. One day our guide drove us in his super jeep off-road to a geothermal river for a soak. When we arrived, the river was only about 6 inches deep, and we all wondered how we were actually going to soak in that. He began building a dam, along with a canal from an adjacent stream to cool off the water, and soon we were happily soaking out in the beautiful countryside. While we were relaxing, our guide prepared a salmon lunch for us in an adjacent hot spring. The experience was so unique, relaxing and delicious!

Another fabulous excursion was near Vik. We were outfitted by our guide with crampons and driven to the nose of a glacier. From there we hiked into an other-worldly place. It was a walk in a sapphire ice cave inside a glacier under a volcano. Our guide gave us lots of information about what we were seeing and then let us just enjoy the experience. We always felt safe, but unbelieving of what we were seeing. What a highlight!

Of course, seeing the Northern Lights was a trip wish, one that Chris couldn’t guarantee. But, he sure made it happen. Much of our trip was under a cloud cover, making seeing the lights impossible. But, our second-to-last night, while having dinner in Reykjavik, I got a text from Chris. It said that the lights were showing over Reykjavik, but would only be visible for about an hour. We rushed back to the hotel, asked the bartender where we could drive to see them, and headed straight for a dark zone. And, there they were. We were all excited, like a bunch of kids. Chris was right on top of it and gave us the critical information at the right time. Northern Lights Mission Accomplished.

Before we left home, Chris sent each couple a very comprehensive and beautiful packet filled with important information and tantalizing options. Each day had a section called, “What’s Happening Today.” There was also a section telling what reservations we had for the day. Then, there were beautiful photographs of both the reserved excursions and optional activities based on our time and interests. The driving distances planned by Chris were very manageable and navigation was a cinch with the Wi-Fi access that was included with our van. The variety of what we saw and did was exceptional.

All of our accommodations were special with several boutique hotels set in exquisite, and often secluded, scenery. Chris made dinner reservations for us each night which led to some very special dinners, like at a Moroccan restaurant in Siglufjör∂ur and the exceptional Fish Company in Reykjavik. Chris knows his food! It was a memorable trip in so many ways, well planned and well executed by Chris.

Foggy day on an ice cave tour in Iceland

Barbara Fireman, her husband, and their grandsons geared up to explore an ice cave.

From our first conversation with Chris, my husband Bob and I were “wowed” by his enthusiasm for Iceland travel. That, and his preference for a trip in which we did the driving and much of the touring on our own, with specialized guides at key sites, made choosing Chris’ operation an easy decision.

The timing, both time of year and number of days, was perfect for a trip with our two 14-year-old grandsons. We had plenty of time to explore the south coast, spending more time where we chose to. We knew that the boys would love adventure and Chris provided ample opportunity for that. We explored caves, a geyser, and many waterfalls, hiked in national parks and in an ice cave, and kayaked at sunset through a glacial lagoon.

Most visitors to Iceland have opportunities to soak in thermal baths, such as the famous Blue Lagoon. But I doubt if many get to hike to a heated river, where the guide blocks the water flow, thereby creating a pool for private soaking, and cooks your meal over the heated rocks.

Chris provided top-notch guides and special, unusual experiences. His restaurant recommendations were excellent (especially in Reykjavik) and hotel choices were perfect for us. He was available to trouble-shoot if needed.

Bob, Tyler, Ben and I give Chris a thumbs-up across the board.

Chris helped our family of 5 plan a fabulous and memorable trip in Iceland. We literally hit the ground running (the flight over is too short to get any significant sleep). I was concerned about the amount of activity planned right after landing but Chris was right that we would just feel “a bit hungover but it would be fine.” He had rented us a large SUV with a wifi router, which was key for being able to use our phones and navigate around Iceland. We loved hiking to the hot springs and then eating lunch while soaking. Highlights of the week were that first hike, ATVs on the beach, the ice cave tour and driving around Snaefellsness Peninsula. Unfortunately we had to cancel kayaking in the iceberg lagoon because of high winds. Chris was very accessible during the trip, whenever I texted I would get a reply right away. Also when we hit a roadblock (literally — the road was closed because of wind), Chris suggested an alternate activity until the road opened again. He also had restaurant suggestions for us throughout the trip. If you like to have every little detailed planned in advance, his style might not be for you. We did not receive our final trip packet until a few days before we left. It seemed rather old-school to have this heavy printout trip packet to lug around. While the printed pictures are lovely it was laid out in kind of a confusing way — a succinct, detailed itinerary would have been preferred. Also would have liked to get that by email well before our departure so we could have done more learning about our destination before we left. All in all though, it was a terrific trip!

Just back from Iceland with activities planned by Chris Gordon. The day-to-day activities were terrific, including super-jeep drive, ice cave, ATV ride on a black beach. Our particular highlight was a hike down to a thermal pool to enjoy a natural hot tub and also to get a superb salmon cooked meal by the same geothermal stream. The view and the environment were fantastic! Chris’s selection of guides and drivers were excellent! Restaurant suggestions were spot-on and we ate incredible food. Great memories!

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