Iceland is commonly referred to as the land of ice and fire and it’s no secret as to why. With raging volcanoes, some of Europe’s largest glaciers and boiling hot geysers, it’s no wonder the adventurous flock to the small Arctic island.
Here are the five most extreme things you can do in Iceland:
Snowmobiling over Europe’s largest glacier
It’s hard to pronounce and difficult to conquer for the faint of heart. Vatnajökull is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland. With a peak 1,000m above sea level and an average thickness of 400 metres, the glacier is one of the most extreme sights in the country. When snowmobiling across the cold, white and barren landscape, one can be forgiven for thinking they’ve made it to the moon.
What: Glacier Jeeps – Ice and Adventure
Price: 24000 ISK per person (includes Super Jeep transfer from the junction of road F985 and 1 hour on the Skidoo snowmobile)
Snorkelling between two tectonic plates
Iceland sits along the edge of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. These plates are splitting apart at a rate of about one inch each year. The gap between the plates, called the Silfra fissure, is in Thingvellir National Park and provides adventurous travellers the chance to snorkel or scuba dive in no man’s land. The water temperature varies between 2-4 degrees Celsius and the crystal-clear water gives off the sensation of flying.
What: Snorkelling the Silfra
Price: 17990 ISK per person (includes pick up from hotel, all equipment and park entrance fee)
Journey to the centre of the Earth
Jule Verne’s 1864 novel Journey to the centre of the Earth was based on an adventure that takes place in Vatnshellir Cave in Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsular. The lava tube located beneath Snæfellsjökull glacier is open to the public but don’t expect to make through to Italy. What looks like a tiny tin shed from the side of the road opens to the vast lava tube 35 meters underground with access to about 200 meters of cave.
What: Vatnshellir Cave
Price: 2000 ISK per person (includes a helmet, flash light and guide)
Walk inside an ice cave
Jokulsarlon glacier has natural formations and structures called ice caves which can be explored under guided supervision. These structures are temporary and cannot always be accessed, especially during the summer when the ice begins to melt. A moderate fitness level is required to conquer the ice caves.
What: Ice cave tour
Price: 18900 ISK (includes all necessary glacier gear, crampons, helmet and harness)
Climb a crater
Located along a fault line, Iceland is riddled with volcanoes, lava chambers and craters. Not every crater can be climbed so check for signs before you head to the top. Grabrok Crater located in the west of Iceland is the largest of three craters in a short volcanic fissure. Accessible via the main ring road and a large set of stairs, climbers are rewarded with views across Borgarfjordur.
What: Grabrok Crater
Price: Free to climb
These are the five most extreme things we did in Iceland. What have you done? Let us know in the comments below!
Ash and Dave