Add an exciting twist to a visit to Gullfoss, by combining it with a snowmobiling excursion on Langjökull glacier. This trip is perfect for those eager spice up a day of sightseeing with a dose of adventure.
This tour begins from Gullfoss waterfall, one of the three points of the famous Golden Circle, and one of Iceland’s most iconic attractions. In the upper carpark, you will meet your guide and group, board a super-jeep, and be whisked off to Langjökull glacier.
This is a beautiful drive, taken in the shadows of dramatic snowy peaks, over a rough terrain that most vehicles cannot traverse. Once you arrive at the snowmobiling basecamp, you will be fitted with all your gear and receive a quick safety briefing, before mounting your vehicle and starting your adventure.
Each snowmobile will seat two people. Only licensed drivers are permitted to operate a snowmobile, but non-drivers are welcome to come and share one; children as young as eight can participate in this tour as a passenger. If you wish for a vehicle of your own, you can request one during booking for a moderate additional cost.
Iceland is one of the very few places in the world where you can snowmobile on a glacier throughout the year. The chance to even see an ice-cap like this is rare; but to be able to admire it from its surface, and rocket across it, is a truly unique experience.
The views across the ancient ice and surrounding landscapes are otherworldly; in clear weather, you will be able to see parts of the Icelandic Highlands, as well as other distant glaciers. This tour, therefore, is as mesmerising as it is exhilarating.
You will have a full hour to make the most of this experience, by far enough time to get used to your vehicle and truly appreciate this incredible opportunity. Once your adventure is complete, you will return to basecamp, hop back into the super-jeep, and shoot back to Gullfoss waterfall.
Hit the ice at full speed on this thrilling tour you won’t ever forget. Check availability by choosing a date.
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found on the Hvítá river canyon in south Iceland. The water in Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, finally cascading 32m down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
Because of the waterfall’s two stages, Gullfoss should actually be thought of as two separate waterfalls. The first, shorter stage of the waterfall is 11m, whilst the second stage is 21m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70m, descending into the 2.5km long Gullfossgjúfur canyon (geologists indicate that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the last age.)
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic metres of water surges down the waterfall every second, whilst in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic metres. With such energy, visitor’s should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray-off.
In the early days of the last century, Gullfoss was at the centre of much controversy regarding foreign investors and their desire to profit off Iceland’s nature. In the year 1907, an English businessman known only as Howells sought to utilise the waterfall’s energy and harboured ambitions to use its energy to fuel a hydroelectric plant.
At the time, Gullfoss was owned by a farmer named Tómas Tómasson. Tómas declined Howell’s offer to purchase the land, stating famously “I will not sell my friend!” He would, however, go on to lease Howells the land, inadvertently beginning the first chapter of Icelandic environmentalism.
It was Tómas’ daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who would lead the charge. Having grown up on her father’s sheep farm, she sought to get the lease contract nullified, hurriedly saving her own money to hire a lawyer. The ensuing legal battle was an uphill struggle; the case continued for years, forcing Sigríður to travel many times by foot to Reykjavík if only to keep the trial moving. Circumstances became so difficult that Sigríður threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
Thankfully, in 1929, the waterfall fell back into the hands of the Icelandic people. Today, Sigríður is recognised for her perseverance in protecting Gullfoss and is often hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Her contribution is forever marked in stone; a plaque detailing her plight sits at the top of Gullfoss.
Besides Gullfoss, visitors can enjoy the views from Gullfoss Cafe, a locally run delicatessen that serves a wide variety of refreshments and meals. The menu has options to tantalise everyone’s taste buds; hot soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes. There is also a shop on site where visitors’ can browse and purchase traditional Icelandic souvenirs.
The mighty Langjokull (“The Long Glacier“), in the midwest highlands is the second-largest glacier in Iceland, at 935 km2. For jeep and snowmobile trips, Langjokull is the most popular glacier in Iceland and skiing and hiking is possible as well. We stress that under no circumstances should one travel alone on Langjokull, as there are many cracks in the glacier. Experience of the area, whether that of yourself or of those traveling with you is all important.
Two main highland tracks, connecting the north and the south, lie alongside the glacier, Kaldidalur road and Kjalvegur (a.k.a. Kjolur road). The Kaldidalur road stretches from Thingvellir northwards to Husafell (in Borgarfjordur district), between Langjokull and Ok shield volcano. Kjalvegur lies east of Langjokull and west of Hofsjokull glacier, starting near the famous Gullfoss waterfall to the south and the Svartakvisl stream by the Hveravellir geothermal area to the north.
Langjokull is about 50 km long and 15-20 km wide. The volume of the glacier is 195 km3 and the ice is around 580 m thick. The glacier reaches its highest point at the northernmost part of the glacier, which is called Baldjokull, rising around 1450 m above sea level.
Counting west and southwards from there, outlets extending from the main glacier are Thristapajokull, Flosajokull, Geitalandsjokull, Flosajokull, Geitlandsjokull and West- and East Hagafellsjokull furthest south, separated by Mt. Hagafell. On the eastside from north to south are Leidarjokull, Kirkjujokull, Nordurjokull, and Sudurjokull.
The glacier lies over a massif of hyaloclastite mountains that rise highest in the south and the east. The tops of these mountains can be seen in certain places on the glaciers. To the northeast are Hyrningur (1320 m), Peturshorn (1358) m), Fjallkirkja (1248 m) and Thursaborg (1315 m), a mighty series of immense rock pillars rising high to the sky. In the southern part of Langjokull, between Lonsjokull and Vestri-Hagafellsjokulll is the 995 high Klakkur.
Deep within Langjokull lies a man-made ice tunnel, a true spectacle for any visitor passing by the glacier. This daring vision began in 2010, in the minds of Baldvin Einarsson and Hallgrimur Orn Arngrímsson. Designed and constructed by geophysicist and presidential candidate, Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, dreams of an ice tunnel beneath the glacier soon became a reality. Guests traverse beneath Langjokull's thick ice sheet, experiencing the blue ice within, and gaining an insight into the glacier's beauty inside and out. The Ice Tunnel Tour is available inside the glacier all year round.
The main mountains that lie close to Langjokull to the north are Krakur and the Burfjoll mountain range, slightly eastwards. East of Baldjokull are Hafjall and the Thjofadalafjoll mountain range. Hrutfell with the Hrutfellsjokull glacier cap (1396 m) lies east of Fjallkirkja and is the most impressive mountain of the Kjolur area, along with Kjalfell (1008 m), further northeast.
On the south eastern side of Langjokull, between the outlets Nordurjokull and Sudurjokull lies Mt. Skridufell (1235 m) and south of Sudurjokull is the shield volcano Skalpanes. Further east, i.e. south of Hvitarvatn is the 1204 m high Blafell and south of Skalpanes is the impressive palagonitic mountain range Jarlhettur. Among the most prominent mountains south of the Langjokull glacier is Hlodufell at 1186 meters and the Skjaldbreidur shield volcano further east.
Among the most prominent mountains to the west of Langjokull are Hafrafell, south of Eiriksjokull, North- and South Hadegisfell, Ok volcano, Prestahnukur volcano, and Stora- and Litla Bjornsfell.
Glaciers located near to Langjokull are Eiriksjokull, to the west, the highest mountain of West Iceland, and Thorisjokull, further southwest. Hrutfellsjokull lies on the east side of Langjokull.
Between Thorisjokull and Geitlandsjokull is a valley called Thorisdalur. Along with stunning views it features prominently in Icelandic folk tales and the outlaw Grettir the strong of Grettis saga fame is further reported to have resided there for one winter.
Two glacier rivers, both bearing the name of Hvita (‘White River’) trace their sources to Langjokull. The first is the mighty Hvita in Arnessysla county, home to Iceland‘s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss, the beautiful Bruarhlod canyon and one of Iceland‘s most popular rafting rivers. The source of this river is Hvitarvatn lake, east of Langjokull. The outlet Nordurjokull reaches the lake and lends it a distinctly glacial colour. Sudurjokull used to reach it as well but has retreated in recent times.
The other Hvita glacier river, in Borgarfjordur, also has its source in the area, by Eiriksjokull glacier. In this river are the beautiful waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Indeed, many of the hot springs in Borgarfjordur receive ground water from Langjokull. Sub-surface water also flows south to Lake Thingvallavatn, reappearing in springs in and around the lake. A few rivers flowing north to Hunafloi bay also have their sources there.
To the south, Eystri-Hagafellsjokull feeds a lake called Hagavatn and several smaller river flow from there to lake Sandvatn. In turn, rivers flow from this lake to two major rivers i.e. Hvita in Arnessysla & Tungufljot. Tungufljot later joins up with Hvita and Hvita itself merges with Sogid river as Olfusa and this river then flows towards the sea.
There are at least two active volcanic systems under Langjokull glacier, whose calderas are visible from the air. The best known of these is the geothermal area of Hveravellir, east of Baldjokull. Also to the east lies the Kjalhraun lava field, which flowed about 7800 years ago.
To the northwest of the glacier is another system that produced the vast Hallmundarhraun lava field, through which Hvita in Borgarfjordur runs, with its stunning falls. Also in the area is Iceland‘s longest lava cave, the fascinating Surtshellir.
Southwest of Langjokull is the Presthnukur lava field, its fissures extending under Langjokull. South of the glacier is the Lambahraun lava field and further east, i.e. south of Thorisjokull, lies the Skjaldbreidarhraun lava field and the Skjaldbreidur shield volcano.
Compared to other regions in Iceland, the area is considered relatively calm, with only 32 eruptions in the last 10.000 years.
Langjokull is shrinking fast and concerns have been raised about the glacier due to the effect of global warming. Some researchers feared that if climate change continues at its current rate the glacier may be gone in about 150 years.
Starting time : 12:00
Transfer to the snowmobile base and back to Gullfoss cafe
1 hour double ride
All the safety equipment needed for the Snowmobile trip
Snow gear (winter overalls, head wear, gloves)
Warm outdoor clothing
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Extra head wear and gloves
We reserve the right to alter the itinerary according to weather, road and glacier conditions. Your safety comes first.
You need to have a valid drivers license to drive the snowmobile. Each snowmobile seats two, but you can rent your own for 6000 ISK more.
The snowmobile tour was the most amazing experience! We never saw or did anything like it before! It was like being on top of the world! And getting engaged on the top of the glacier really topped it off. It was worth every penny. Meeting point at cafe was not very clear but we found our guide in the end.
definitely do this one. great little side trip exploring the natural ice cave. one thing the cafe gets packed so trying to find the tour company was a bit hard with all the tourists. So you could either have a representative with a sign at the entrance of the cafe or have advertising on the trucks that take you to the snowmobile. Great funny informative guides as always.
Great tour. We did a lot of research on snowmobile tours in Iceland as we found them to be a bit expensive (like everything thing in Iceland). This tour was the cheapest one and it was awesome. Being on the glacier was great and being on the snowmobile (my boyfriend was the driver) was incredibly fun. Can recommend this trip.
Incredible experience, meeting point could have been better marked however.
Exciting experience. I did not drive myself but sat in the back with my husband who was driving the ski doo. Really loved seeing the glacier and would love to do again sometime.
Driving the snowmobile was much easier than I thought. This tour was a lot of fun and being able to skidoo on a glacier was a unique experience for me. Can highly recommend this tour.
This is the first time I ever ride a snow mobile. It was fun and exciting to ride on an ice field. The guides are good and make sure everyone is safe. There was a little hassle for the pick up. We were picked up at the Gulfoss Cafe but ther was no indication for the meeting point and we were searching everywhere for the guide.
Iceland was amazing. The people, the places where all fantastic. The landscape there changes almost every 5 mins. Fortunately the weather was in our favor. The most amazing thing was the northern lights. We just drove out onto a empty road and parked the car and watched the wonderful works of nature. The roads, the landscape, the nature is just mind blowing. Feels like you are living on the moon. If you are planning a trip dont think twice Just do it. you will treasure it for the rest of your life.
It's a wonderful tour of Iceland! With humorous guides, we all have safe and loverly experience during days in Iceland, frist time try snowmobiles and hiking on glacier. Best Iceland, great tours!
I was lucky enough to join this tour with a great group of people, the guides are really good and the make sure everybody feels save when riding the snowmobile, it is actually a lot easier than it looks. This is the perfect way to experience an Icelandic glacier with a dash of adrenaline!
I joined this tour as a part of a company trip. It was my first time snowmobiling and have to say: it was awesome! The weather was fantastic and the glacier was extremely beautiful. Driving a snowmobile is very easy, and actually much easier than I thought. First I thought it would be something similar to driving and ATV, but the terrain is so much smoother that it turned out to be much easier. Also, you can speed much more on snowmobiles than ATVs, so I can highly recommend this trip!
I can easily recommend this amazing snowmobile tour. Super exciting experience with a very friendly staff. The landscape was incredible, snow everywhere and blue sky. If you are doing the golden circle this is a great idea to add some more excitement in to it.
Had so much fun on this tour in great weather. The guides were really friendly and helpful and made sure we had a lot of fun. Being on top of the glacier and basically feeling like along in the world was just an amazing experience. I highly recommend this tour for everybody that is doing the golden circle.