When you are choosing a company to travel with in the Icelandic highlands you might want to know the people you’ll be spending your day with and guiding you through the wilderness. The Mountaineers of Iceland team boasts some amazing guides that are eager to show you the ins and outs of the country they love so much.
Some say you have to be a little nuts to work in this environment, the long days, constantly changing weather and icy conditions on the glacier. We suspect it might be true but believe at the same time that it makes all of us more entertaining than the average, normal person.
A full day with us? We promise you won’t be bored. Not even for a second.
The first guide we are going to question is Ólafur Tryggvason, often referred to as Óli X or King Olaf. He splits his time between guiding tours in the highlands and being in charge of operations, based here at our office in Reykjavík. He’s the most energetic man anyone has ever met and seems to have more hours in the day than most people. He’s very imaginative and smart and despite how humorous he constantly is – he always puts safety first. You can always rely on him and nothing at all is too much trouble for him. If you are lucky enough to travel with him on any of our tours, use the opportunity and chat. You might get to hear some amazing stories – he’s done a lot in his lifetime.
Let’s get to know King Olaf.
Describe yourself in five words.
-Crazy crazy crazy crazy Icelander.
How long have you been working as a guide?
-Part-time for five years and as a full-time job for over a year.
What is your favorite thing about being a guide?
-Being able to travel in the highlands of Iceland everyday!
Favorite season to travel in Iceland?
-Late winter. The pastel-colored sky combined with fresh snow truly creates a winter wonderland.
What‘s necessary to bring when travelling in Iceland?
-Swimsuit for bathing in one of our many spas, hot springs and swimming pools. A must-do.
Best restaurant in Iceland?
-The Grillmarket. Delicious meat. They really should pay me a commission.
Funniest on-the-job story?
-You have to come on a tour with me to hear it! I’ve got many.
Favorite tour to drive/guide?
-Top of the World. Amazing.
Favorite outdoor gear?
What do you consider to be the best thing about Iceland?
-That we are allowed to travel around the highlands freely.
How do you like your (Icelandic) hot dog?
-Ketchup, mustard (all available), onion. Try it.
The most common Icelandic myth‘s you get asked about?
-There are no myth’s – it is all true… Ehem.
What‘s the thing people are most surprised to hear about Iceland/Icelanders?
-That Iceland is the best European nation in football (compared to population). If you want to be my friend, compliment our national team and I will love you forever.
What is a fun fact about you?
-When I was a kid I was very afraid of all animals, mountains and waterfalls. I was also scared out of my mind of the Icelandic yule lads (santa clauses), so it was always a headache for my parents to bring me to any sorts of Christmas gatherings as I would lock myself in the bathroom until I knew there were no yule lads around.
Vigdís Ingibjörg Pálsdóttir