Video: Puffins, Black Sand Beaches, and a Windy Bluff in Iceland

Our new Iceland guidebook lists the four best day trips from Reykjavík: the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon, the Westman Islands…and the road trip that I’m on right now, a long day of sightseeing on the South Coast.

My friend and local guide, Stefan Valsson of Reykjavík Bike Tours, brought me here today. I just love the luxury of traveling with a local guide. With a local guide, you’ll know where the most dramatic bluffs are and what you’re seeing from them — and you’ll have all your puffin questions answered. In this clip from the top of the windy Dyrhólaey promontory, Stefan gives a good defense of why it’s OK to eat the cute local puffins.

Of course, it’s expensive to hire your own private guide. My work: to take these tours privately, learn what I can, and then distill all the insights and tips I’ve gathered into a guidebook so my readers can enjoy — secondhand but much, much more affordably — the brilliance of a guide like Stefan.

rick steves and tourists holding rick steves iceland guidebook

A particularly gratifying reward for me is meeting so many happy travelers on this route who have the first edition of Rick Steves Iceland. It’s only been out a few months, and already it’s the dominant guidebook here. I’m hugely thankful for the brilliant work of my co-author Ian Watson and contributing author Cameron Hewitt.