Iceland is a unbelievable destination that feels more like visiting another planet then another country. With so many things to do and such a large area to explore it may be hard to figure out exactly what to do on a trip. One thing not to miss though – snowmobiling. Iceland is a land of extremes where even the most mundane activity can become a real adventure. Snowmobiling in Iceland takes the activity to a whole new level – putting in on top of a glacier.
We set off with Reykjavik Excursions to Langjökull, which is Icelandic for long glacier. It was mostly all gravel roads from Gulfoss so the ride was pretty interesting. Our first stop was a small office and equipment shed where we put on coveralls and got gloves, helmets and hoods. Then we continued out to the lip of the glacier where we changed into a monster-truck-bus that drove us down to the ice. This thing was a beast! One of the most intense looking vehicles I’ve ever seen but once I saw the terrain I could see why it was necessary.
After a harrowing drive in the monster-truck-bus down to the ice we stepped out onto the glacier and struggled to stand upright as we bundled up for our adventure. This was my first time riding a snowmobile so I really didn’t know what I was doing. We went through a very quick overview of the snowmobiles and how they work which didn’t really make me feel any more confident to drive one, but that didn’t really matter. Soon we were off on our way and it didn’t really matter if I knew how to drive it because they are just too much fun to care.
Unlike snowmobiling in a normal setting, there really was no snow. Instead we were riding on straight-up glacial ice on what was really a path smoothed out along the glacier and checked for safety. This was necessary because a glacier is an incredibly dangerous place. We didn’t have too much freedom on where exactly we could go, but this was okay because with any more freedom we would have most certainly plunged into a crevasse and died.
Overall the experience was just plain awesome. We were flying over that glacier at over 40mph on solid ice. We stopped as a group at the furthest point in the trip before heading back and got some amazing photos. Even without the snowmobile, just being on the Langjökull was an incredible thing to experience. Langjökull is the second largest ice cap in Iceland and its ice is roughly 1,900 feet thick and sits over 4,000 feet above sea level!
Our day with Reykjavik Excursions included much more then snowmobiling as we also explored the entirety of the “Golden Circle”. If you make it to Iceland, be sure to also check out the Strokkur geyser, Gulfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates actually meet. And of course no visit to Rekkjavik is complete without a trip to the Blue Lagoon – which I’ll cover in a future post.