Hidden gems in your travel plan to Iceland – by Helga Stína

8 August 2023

I have said it before and I say it again. Iceland is like a box of your favorite chocolates. There are so many different choices, and all of them are good in their own ways.

When I am doing an Iceland travel plan for a group or individual, I need to make sure to pay attention to details. Like which kind of a traveler has contacted me. Are they adventurous? Do they need peace and quiet on their path? Does the group have diverse people with different needs and interests? Are they families, school groups, business teams or a couple seeking the trip of a lifetime?

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Photo by Helga Stina


Iceland is one of the top locations to travel to in the world today. That means that some of its charms have already been discovered by the masses – but there are nonetheless hundreds of hidden gems that have yet to make it onto Instagram.

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Photo by Helga Stina


There is a discussion taking place at the moment in Iceland, because of the increase in tourism in recent years, about how to receive all of these people eager to get to know the country. In my experience, connecting visitors with locals – and their knowledge – is essential to making sure that tourism becomes more sustainably spread throughout the country. Currently, tourism mainly concentrates in a few locations on the South Coast and at major attractions like the Blue Lagoon.

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Photo by Helga Stina


It´s also important to making sure that travelers understand and respect the fragile nature of the areas they travel to. It´s also key to convincing travelers with less than a week in Iceland that they should concentrate on a smaller area rather than trying to travel the entire ring road and literally spend their entire trip behind the wheel.

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Photo by Helga Stina


In the height of summer – as we are in now – building an Iceland itinerary that offers visitors a feeling of peace as well as awesome beauty takes some local knowledge – and an understanding of what each visitor is seeking from their Icelandic experience.

I always start the process with a video interview. I like the human contact and it builds mutual trust for the work ahead. Respecting time and money while making lifelong memories is the key for me building a successful travel plan.

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Photo by Piotr Krajewski


That´s why it is important when I make plans for the people I’m so fortunate to work with, that I feature hidden gems at least as much as the better-known sights. By co-creating itineraries with my visitors, I can also arrange their visits to the best timing to visit the more popular places to avoid the crowds.

Photo by Helga Stína


Hidden gems can be so many things. They can be unique accommodations, great small-town restaurants, hidden waterfalls, and canyons. They can also be interesting people on the path, arts and crafts shops, unusual festivals and venues and adventure possibilities that is hard or impossible to find anywhere else in Iceland, or in the world.

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Photo By Frida Hjaltested


That is why I enjoy my job. I enjoy figuring out how to make every plan unique. I enjoy meeting vendors who are courageous to start amazing authentic businesses around the country, that I can share with my clients.

Contact Helga Stina to start the process of cooperating on a travel plan to Iceland this winter or spring and summer of 2024.

Helga Stina – Owner of Iceland Unwrapped


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