We chose to do a private Golden Circle tour with Outventure because 1. the cost for 4 adults was not much more than 4 seats on the small tour 2. we wanted to cover as much ground as possible in one day (daylight 11am-4pm in January) 3. we wanted to make the most of our first trip as a family to Iceland 4. their customer service pre-trip was fabulous - they even replied on New Year's Day 5. they were a recommended provider by our hotel 6. we didn't feel confident driving ourselves in minus 10 and snow.
Our guide Asgeir collected us promptly at the hotel, at our chosen time of 10am so everyone had a lie in ahead of a whole day out, drove safely everywhere, and was a mine of historical and cultural information. I enjoyed asking questions about the areas we travelled through and learned a lot during the tour. We visited the National Park, the waterfall, and the Geysirs, all at an unhurried pace, and allowing for extra time at the gift shop he recommended. It was the small things that made a difference - we would not have chosen the lamb soup for lunch at Gullfoss cafe but he was right it was absolutely delicious, and he showed us the different areas at the Geysirs we would have missed, and having the description as an easy conversation as we walked around the National Park. He was particularly helpful to me as I trod very gingerly over the ice in some areas and we all went at my pace not a big group pace. There was not one question we had he could not answer.
I would recommend this tour if you want to travel in comfort, at your own speed, and with full access to a charming, warm guide, it was better than having a guide book. We felt well looked after from enquiring about the trip to being dropped back at our hotel at the end.