Sense of adventure
Hidden Iceland’s dream team of expert guides tailor trips of a lifetime in the land of fire and ice
A good careers adviser will encourage people to embark on a profession that they truly love. It is a maxim Ryan Connolly, Scott Drummond and Dagný Björg Stefánsdóttir, co-founders of the boutique travel company Hidden Iceland, would certainly endorse.Many years ago, on opposite sides of the world, Ryan and Scott both quit their corporate jobs and set off to travel in search of their true calling. Each new location provided valuable experience. “I was mostly working in the outdoors, chasing my dream of stepping foot on all seven continents,” says Ryan.
Before finally returning home, Ryan’s final destination was Antarctica; Scott’s was Sweden. Both were so spellbound by the raw and natural environments of these frozen landscapes that, on a whim, they moved to Iceland, meeting each other for the first time on their first day in the country, to train as glacier guides. They soon met local Icelandic product designer Dagný Björg, who would later assume the role of CEO. Within two years the trio had created Hidden Iceland.
The company plays to each founder’s strengths: Dagný Björg the local expert, Scott the geologist and Ryan the adventurer. It is the personal relationships that they and the company’s guides establish with their clients that are key to their operation, as seen in the positive reviews their customers leave. Rather than just wax lyrical about hunting for the Northern Lights, spotting puffins on remote islands, discovering ice caves or climbing a volcano, reviewers often talk about how their guide became their friend, too. The founders are rightly proud of this.
“That’s our ethos: our expert trip planners and passionate guides make each trip unforgettable,” says Dagný Björg. “We match the best guide for the right trip,” adds Scott. “Our company is a little over five years old, but our guides are veterans of the industry. From geologists to glaciologists to historians to expert wilderness guides.”
Hidden Iceland offers fully customisable private and luxury tours, premium self-drive itineraries and small group tours across the entire country. “That very first chat with us will never be met with, ‘Here’s a standard product’,” says Ryan. “Instead, we’ll ask you to tell us about your hopes and dreams.”