Guided vs. Self-Guided Tours: What’s the Difference?

discover iceland
A green hill in the Icelandic Highlights

What is the difference between guided and self guided tours? What’s included, and what isn’t? These are the big questions. We’re here to settle those questions, so you can choose the kind of journey that’s right for you.

With a guided tour…

We will always recommend that you book your Laugavegur trek with a guided group. Your expert guide adds a great deal of value to your trek. He will educate you about the complex geology of the landscape, the Icelandic culture and he will tell you stories about the life in Iceland and answer all the questions you might have. He will guaranty you safety and he will cook your evening meals and prepare your breakfast. When looking at the feed back from our happy guided-tour customers, they are usually amazed by the landscape but most of the compliments will be about their guide.

The colorful rhyolite mountains in Landamannalaugar and green field and river.
Arinbjörn Hauksson

With a self-guided tour…

You can easily do the Laugavegur trek without a guide. We will give you a map and a thorough description of the trail. The trail is well marked so you should be able to find your way without a problem. You will need to bring and cook your own food and if you do not add the luggage transfer you need to carry all your luggage.


How is a self-drive different from a self-guided tour?

The main difference is that in guided tour, you will be a part of a group and get to know people from all over the world. You need to get up and hike when your guide decides. Your guide takes care of the group and makes sure everyone is having good time and that the pace is suitable for everyone. . In a self-guided tour you have the freedom of choosing your pace, your meals and your schedule but you don't get the stories or the education.

Part of the ring road in Iceland seen from above on a fall day.

Self guided tours: where can you go?

So, the next question; where can you go on a self-guided and a self-drive tour? Our range is as follows:

Laugavegur: self guided

The classic Laugvegur; we can’t guarantee that you will find as few people here as you would whilst hiking at the End of the World. However, it is one of most complete and varied geological landscapes in the world, so that pretty much explains it's appeal. As you can see, it's pretty epic.

Rainbow over Landmannalaugar
Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir

About the Author

Joseph Mattos-Hall

Joseph Mattos-Hall

Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history.

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