If adventure is what you’re looking for, then Iceland will not disappoint. It’s crazy to think that so many fun activities and attractions can be found on such a small island. The island’s unique geology will ensure that you have a pretty jam-packed itinerary for your upcoming trip. And you’ll find that there are more than enough Iceland adventures waiting to get the blood pumping.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into some of the best things to do in Iceland if you’re an adventure-lover.
The island’s unique landscape that makes Iceland such a popular adventure vacation spot, is due to all the volcanic activity. Iceland boasts 130 volcanoes, with over 30 of them still active. It is said that there will be at least one eruption every four years. But this is not something to be concerned about. Visiting an active volcano is actually one of the most adventurous things to do in Iceland safely.
The latest eruption site was at Fagradalsfjall. So-called adventure tours in Iceland allowed visitors to get up close and personal with the red-hot lava safely. With the help of a highly skilled and experienced guide, of course.
Do you plan on booking a spot on a volcano group tour or taking a hike to an Iceland volcano? Some of the active and dormant volcanoes one can visit today are:
Ejafjallajökull in Southern Iceland
Katla in Southern Iceland
Grimsvötn in Southeast Iceland
Hekla in Southern Iceland
Fagradalsfjall in the Southwest Coast of Iceland
Glaciers represent the other side of The Land of Fire and Ice. Iceland's glaciers are breathtaking wonders and provide adventure travel options for visitors. You can opt to take a hike on an Iceland glacier. You can take a snowmobile ride on an Iceland glacier. And one can take boat rides that get one so close to the floating icebergs that one can almost reach out and touch them.
Glacier activities can be done all year round. Due to safety concerns, Iceland only allows to take part in these adventures on guided Icelandic glacier tours. Some of the glaciers where you can adventure in Iceland include:
Skiing under the Northern Lights or down a mountain to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean should be on your bucket list. And Iceland is the perfect place to experience it! Just keep in mind that skiing is a winter sport. You’ll be left disappointed if you go to Iceland in the summer.
Iceland actually hosts quite a few prestigious skiing competitions and events. One of the most famous ones is the AK Extreme Festival in Akureyri. But you don’t need to be one of these pros to enjoy skiing in Iceland. Skiing can be learned in only a day or two, and that’s why it’s such an Iceland adventure vacation favorite.
Whether a pro or a newbie, here are a few places you can enjoy skiing on the island:
Blafjoll Ski Resort in South Iceland
Dalvik Ski Resort in Northeast Iceland
Isafjordur Ski Resort in the Westfjords
Oddsskard Ski Resort in East Iceland
Hlidarfjall Ski Resort in Northeast Iceland
Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
Iceland offers divers one of the adventure trips of a lifetime. At Silfra Fissure, you can literally float in between two continents. That’s because of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are pushing each other away. Then, the crack now being filled with the purest glacial meltwater.
To go diving at Silfra Fissure, you need to have all your official diving certifications as well as a certain amount of experience. But that doesn’t mean that those without qualifications and experience are completely excluded from the fun. Snorkeling the Silfra Fissure is available to all. If you want to add this activity to your Iceland adventures itinerary, here are a few options to consider:
Explore an Ice Cave
This is another of the Iceland adventures one can add on when hitting the glaciers. Ice caves are formed when lava burns a path through the glacial ice. Even though most glacier activities are open all year round, exploring ice caves in Iceland isn’t.
That’s because of safety concerns during the summer months (ice melts, remember?) Luckily, this fact also ensures that you cannot visit the exact same ice cave twice, since it would’ve changed by the next winter season.
Also, as is the case with most glacier activities, you’ll need to book your spot on a guided tour to go on one of these adventures in Iceland. You will not be allowed to enter an Iceland ice cave without a knowledgeable and experienced local guide. Some of the ice caves that are absolute must-visit spots are:
Katla Ice Cave in South Iceland
Langjokull Ice Cave in the Western Highlands of Iceland
Crystal Cave in Southwest Iceland
Lofthellir Ice Cave in the Northeast of Iceland
Svinafellsjökull Ice Cave in Southeast Iceland
Go Whale Watching
Have you ever experienced a whale breaching or lifting its enormous fin out of the water right next to your boat? It definitely gets the heart racing. Whale watching is a popular activity in Iceland, as whales can be seen around the island throughout the year. And luckily, it's an adventure you can have in Reykjavík.
But if you’re taking your Iceland whale watching seriously, you need to head up to Husavik (the whale capital of Iceland). Plan April to September for the best opportunity to experience the migratory whale season in Iceland. Some of the whales you might be able to spot include the Blue Whale, the Humpback Whale, the Minke Whale, Orcas, and many more. Here are a few whale watching tours you can choose from:
Go on a Road Trip
One of the best Iceland adventures you can have is to go on a road trip. We’re not talking about just a weekend getaway, but at least a month of proper exploring all across the island.
Just remember to discuss your route with your rental agency, so they can advise you on which car to rent in Iceland for that particular season. This is because certain roads/routes can only be accessed by 4x4 vehicles and others are completely closed during the winter season.
After you have rented the right vehicle for your trip, always keep an eye on the Iceland weather and the Iceland road conditions. This way, you won’t ever end up being stuck in a specific region due to sudden road closures (especially when visiting the Westfjords or the Highlands). A road trip is the best way to take in all the different adrenaline-pumping sights and activities the island has to offer. The most popular road trip routes in Iceland include:
The Ring Road
The Arctic Way
The Westfjords Way
Try Not to Jump as a Geyser Erupts
This might not be one of the most extreme adventures in Iceland, but it’s still absolutely thrilling. We don’t know what’s harder at the Iceland geysers; to take a photo or not to jump every time it erupts. No matter how much you are expecting it, it still seems to catch one off-guard.
The word “geysir” is actually very unique to the island. Not only is one of the geysers called “geysir”, but it was actually the first of its kind to be discovered in Europe. Subsequently. It created the category called geysers. Whether they might’ve opted for another name if they knew this would not be the last discovery of its kind, we’ll never know.
Today, you can find geysers all over the island. A geyser is essentially a hot spring that erupts with steam and hot water every so often. Many of these eruptions have been timed over the years, but even though you know exactly when it’s supposed to erupt, it still manages to surprise you. If you want to try your hand at some geyser photography or just test your nerves, here are a few geyser favorites:
The Great Geysir in Southwest Iceland
Strokkur in Southwest Iceland
Gamla Laugin in South Iceland
Litli Geysir in South Iceland
Iceland Adventures Cater to All
Iceland offers adventures for all. Whether you prefer one of the more luxury adventures Iceland has to offer. Adventures in specific regions, such as the South Iceland adventures. Or you’re aching for some extreme adventures that will leave your mother clutching at her pearls.
So if you’re a fun-loving, adrenaline junkie, it’s time to book that trip and start your adventure of a lifetime!