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Snowmobiling in Iceland: All You Need to Know

|December 12, 2019
Kristina is a Lithuania-based, London-educated writer who loves going on adrenaline-filled adventures as much as writing about them.

Snowmobiling provides riders with an indescribable adrenaline rush, so why not spice up your travel plans and book a snowmobile tour? Click to learn more.


With close proximity to the Arctic Circle, deep volcanic activity, and a myriad of snow-capped glaciers, snowmobiling in Iceland is breathtaking. While it all sounds very exciting, you probably also have a lot of questions. 

Is it safe? What do I need to bring? Where can I go snowmobiling? This ultimate guide will answer all your questions about snowmobiling in Iceland, including the necessary gear, safety precautions, and best places to snowmobile in Iceland.

About snowmobiling in Iceland

Iceland’s glaciers are perfect for thrilling snowmobile rides

Snowmobiling in Iceland has been a mode of transportation ever since the ‘30s. Icelanders use it to reach remote and often snowed-in places, where other means of transportation simply are unable to enter. Also, snowmobiles are used by Iceland’s mountain rescue teams to help out adventurers caught in bad weather.

The mode of transport is so dear to Icelanders that they even have a special snowmobiling slang. For example, snowmobilers call each other “sledheads”, refer to their vehicles as “snowscooters”, and call the act of snowmobiling simply “‘biling.”

Hooked already and want to try out ‘biling in Iceland? Book a snowmobiling tour and start your adventure now!

Snowmobile Gear

Booked a tour already? Here’s a list of the snowmobiling gear you’ll be provided on the tour:

  • Helmet. A helmet will protect you from the wind, cold, and in case of accidents.
  • Snowmobile suit. We provide a one-piece suit before your ride.
  • Balaclava and gloves. Balaclava and gloves will keep you warm during chilly rides.
Snowmobiling gear needed to make you warm

What to wear when snowmobiling

Layer up to stay warm and comfortable during the ride

  • Layers to keep you warm. Since you’re not going to be moving much, it’s important to stay warm under the suit. Warm wool or fleece layers easy to remove or apply will help you out in case you get hot or cold. 
  • Hat, scarf, and gloves. These are not provided by us, however you should definitely have them!
  • Sturdy boots. If you don’t have boots, you can rent them from us upon booking. 
  • Hand warmers. These are not necessary but definitely helpful if you tend to have cold hands.

Best Months for Snowmobiling in Iceland

Since snowmobiling requires snow, many think that it’s a winter sport. Thanks to the Arctic climate, snowmobiling in Iceland is possible all year round! During the winter, combine it with a Northern Lights hunt. During the summer, combine it with a dip in the Secret Lagoon.

Snowmobiling in Iceland in July

Snowmobiling in Iceland in July provides all travelers with slightly more freedom. You can access glacier base camps by yourself as opposed to being picked up from Reykjavik or any other location. Hence, less time needed for the tour and cheaper prices. During the summer, base camps invite everyone who wants to try out snowmobiling in Iceland in summer but, of course, you need to book a tour first.

Snowmobiling in Iceland in October

October is one of the best months to visit Iceland. Everyone is gone after the summer rush, the winter festivities have yet to start, and the bad weather isn’t due for another month or so. You’re guaranteed to beat the crowds at all the sights and book all the tours you want.

Snowmobiling in Iceland in October is also a delight. Especially due to having slightly milder weather than in December and longer days than in November.

Snowmobile in Iceland in November

Snowmobiling in Iceland in November can turn out to be a special experience for all adrenaline junkies. Once the darkness of November hits the sky, there’s a high chance to see the Northern Lights! Witnessing this breathtaking phenomenon on top of the biggest glaciers in Europe is a bucket-list adventure.

Best Places to Snowmobile in Iceland

Eleven percent of Iceland’s landmass is covered with glaciers, so no wonder it’s one of the best countries in the world for snowmobiling. There are three main glacial areas on the island that are appropriate for snowmobiling. Read on to find out whether Langjokull, Vatnajokull, or Myrdalsjokull Glacier is right for you.

LANGJOKULL GLACIER

The first prime snowmobile spot, Langjokull, is an easy drive from Reykjavik and from the Golden Circle. Langjokull, whose Icelandic name means “long glacier,” stretches out over a huge part of West Iceland — over 953 sq km of highlands, to be exact.

Snowmobiling on Langjokull glacier in Iceland

Langjokull is Iceland’s second-largest glacier after Vatnajökull. The ice sheet is thick even for Iceland, reaching up to 500 meters at some points. Within the ice are several ice-filled volcanic craters, ice valleys, and massive fields of snow that stretch out over the horizon.

Hopping on a snowmobile will reward you with gorgeous vistas of this wintry wonderland and the country’s largest table mountain, Eiríksjökull.

With its vast plains of ice and snow, the glacier is a bit of a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Take an unforgettable adventure out on the slopes, surrounded by mountains and snowfields as far as the eye can see.

Guided snowmobiling tour in Iceland

Langjökull Glacier is the most popular location for snowmobiling tours, in no small part thanks to its proximity to Reykjavik. If you have a rental car, you can meet our snowmobile guides at their camp. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive from Reykjavik to the base camp where most of our Meet on Location tours start.

Langjökull is great if you’re staying in Reykjavik and looking for a snowmobile day trip. Snowmobiling on Langjokull also makes a fantastic combo with another day tour, like the Langjokull ice cave, Northern Lights, or the Golden Circle.

Snowmobiles prepared for the tour

Bring together the best of Iceland’s amazing sights — Gullfoss, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, and aurora borealis — in one action-packed day trip from Reykjavik.

To join a snowmobiling tour in Langjokull, select your pick-up from Reykjavik or meet us at our Langjokull base camp or Gullfoss Cafe by Gullfoss Waterfall.

VATNAJOKULL GLACIER

Vatnajokull is the biggest ice cap in Iceland and one of the biggest in Europe. Vatnajokull National Park contains many sights, but chief among them is the most majestic glaciers in the whole country. You’ll also be rewarded with panoramas of beautiful valleys and ice-capped peaks.

Vatnajokull glacier panoramic view, Iceland

Vatnajokull, whose name means “the river glacier,” is actually one massive ice cap that hides many peaks, volcanoes, ice sheets, and running rivers. There are many active volcanoes under Vatnajokull that sometimes rumble, like Bardarbunga and Grimsvotn. Every so often, tremors shake the Earth and cause glacial floods in the region.

Here you’ll also find Iceland’s tallest peak, Hvannadalshnjukur, which towers 2,200 meters high (more than 7,000 feet!).

Snowmobiling on Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland

The entire ice cap covers around 8% of Iceland’s total surface area and boasts the Guinness record for “World’s Longest Sightline.” It’s said that the glacier can be seen from Slættaratindur, the Faroe Islands’ highest mountain — more than 500 km away!

Rev up your snowmobile on top of this icy wilderness! The beauty of Vatnajokull is rarely so accessible anywhere else on Earth. Explore this ghost-white world from the back of a snowmobile and set your heart racing.

Small-group guided snowmobiling tour in Iceland

Choose Vatnajokull for your snowmobiling adventure if you’re traveling around Iceland. Maybe you’re driving around the South Coast or you’ve joined a multi-day tour that includes Jokulsarlon and Reynisfjara black sand beach.

To join a snowmobiling tour in Vatnajokull, meet us at our base camps at Flatey or Gljufrabui Base (depending on the tour).

MYRDALSJOKULL GLACIER

Last but not least is Myrdalsjokull, the snowy slopes that cover Iceland’s famous Katla Volcano. This ice cap’s Icelandic name means “mire valley glacier,” which doesn’t really do justice to its huge blue fields or ash-streaked ice.

Myrdalsjokull glacier scenic view in Iceland

Myrdalsjokull lies just north of the town of Vik and is the southernmost glacier in Iceland. At around 600 sq km, it’s the fourth-biggest glacier in Iceland and conceals many incredible ice caves that change with each passing year. The famous Fimmvorduhals Pass runs between Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull.

Snowmobiling tour on Myrdalsjokull glacier, Iceland

Snowmobile adventures on Myrdalsjokull are filled with breathtaking panoramas of the South Coast. The tour gives you a full one hour to explore the glacier’s snowfields with amazing panoramas. Zip by on your snowmobile and don’t forget your camera!

Choose Myrdalsjokull Glacier for your snowmobile tour if you’re looking to combine it with other South Coast attractions. It’s conveniently located close to Vik, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls.

Snowmobiling Tours in Iceland

Decided you want to try out snowmobiling? Join one of our tours on Langjokull, Vatnajokull or Eyjafjallajokull Glaciers and explore the Land of Fire and Ice. Combine the thrilling ride with the Northern Lights, Secret Lagoon or ice caving for an ultimate once-in-a-lifetime experience!

 

First hand experinces from Snowmobiling and Ice Cave tour on Langjökull, Iceland

 

Combo snowmobiling tours:

  • Snowmobiling and ice caves. The tours take place on Langjokull Glacier, the second-largest glacier in Iceland. Our glacier snowmobile and natural ice cave tour take you across the icy expanse and into a natural ice cave in the depths of the glacier. You can also try out our glacier snowmobile and man-made ice cave tour and explore a man-made ice cave, the only one of its kind in the world!
  • Snowmobiling and Golden Circle. Our Golden Circle and snowmobiling tour also takes place on Langjokull Glacier. On the tour, you’ll go around all the best Golden Circle sights as well as get some extreme on a snowmobile.

Combine snowmobiling with ice caving in Iceland

Other snowmobiling tours you might like:

  • Snowmobiling on a volcano. Iceland is the only place in the world where you can ride a snowmobile on top of a volcano! Our Eyjafjallajokull snowmobiling tour takes you across a glacier that hides a notorious secret underneath — the infamous Eyjafjallajokull Volcano that caused mayhem in European airports in 2010.
  • Snowmobiling on Vatnajokull Glacier. Vatnajokull Glacier is the largest ice cap in Europe and tops many adventurers’ bucket lists. Our Vatnajokull snowmobiling tour takes you atop the glacier where breathtaking views of Iceland’s South Coast open up.

FAQ

We provide all gear and necessary equipment before every tour

What to wear when snowmobiling in Iceland?

Wear warm fleece or wool easy-to-remove layers. It’s always good to have an extra fleece to put on if you’re cold. Also, hand warmers are lifesavers. Slip them in before the ride and your hands will be instantly warm. Good, sturdy shoes will also go a long way.

How old do you have to be to drive a snowmobile?

You need to be 18 years old and over with a valid driver’s license to drive a snowmobile. Passengers, however, can be as little as 8 years old.

Is there a weight limit for snowmobiling?

There are no weight restrictions, yet you have to be able to fit in our snowmobiling suits. The sizes vary from XS to 5XL.

Can pregnant women go snowmobiling?

We strongly recommend that pregnant women refrain from snowmobiling.

 

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