Snowmobile Tours

Best Snowmobile Tours in Iceland

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Snowmobiling in Iceland

Snowmobiles are All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) operating on rubber tracks and steered with incorporated skis. In Iceland, they are ever popular for transportation but also for recreational purposes. If you have ever driven a quad bike, then you may already be familiar with the basic drive of a snowmobile, although you can look forward to a far smoother and serene experience.

11% of Iceland is covered in ice, and the country boasts Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. The journey to this coveted destination is breathtaking by itself for its prodigious mountains and deep valleys. Speeding across this natural wonder on a Vatnajökull snowmobile tour is really the only way you get to genuinely experience the enormity and endless nature of this graceful giant.

The West is home to Europe's second largest glacier, Langjökull. Just north of the Golden Circle, Langjökull is the most popular glacial and snowmobiling destination. Gullfoss itself it fed primarily by meltwater from this gigantic ice-cap and there is no better way to get to know Langjökull than by snowmobile. Its proximity to Reykjavík really leaves no reason not to visit Europe’s second largest glacier and snowmobiling excursions can be done in combination with a tour of the golden circle.

Glaciers are dangerous terrain especially since cracks in the ice can form crevasses which are not always visible, so it is necessary to have a guide show you the right way through the ice. Luckily enough, plenty of guided snowmobile tours take intrepid thrill-seekers zooming safely across the ice and snow.

Snowmobiles do not require trails or roads and often, hitching a ride on the back of a snowmobile is the only way to access the infinitely snowy wonderlands waiting to be discovered.

The snowmobiles that you will be driving here in Iceland can reach speeds of 70km/h (44mph), guaranteeing a good flow of adrenaline complementing the breathtaking landscapes. The open-air experience of being in the driver's seat—feeling and hearing the wind rush past you as you dash through the landscapes—offers an unforgettable feeling of involvement with the stunning surroundings.

Iceland’s captivating glacial landscapes give you the opportunity to snowmobile all year round, even in the summer. The midnight sun offers you precious time flexibility as well as the stunning glow of warm sunbeams against the contrasting frozen plains.

Snowmobile tours are not just limited to exploring Iceland’s many beautiful glaciers. You can also book tours of well-known attractions in the winter, and whizz through the snow and ice in captivating areas such as on the frozen lake Mývatn.

The weather in Iceland is a keen topic for locals and an informing factor as to whether or not a tour is possible; so be prepared to be flexible. It is also necessary to mention that the Icelandic driving laws apply no differently to snowmobiles so there is a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol consumption.

Seeing your favourite attractions on snowmobile really offers an experiential involvement with the stunning landscapes Iceland has to offer all year round. Not only can you reach destinations otherwise inaccessible but you can do so whilst embracing the extreme and exhilarating sport of snowmobiling.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I go on a snowmobile tour in Iceland?

Some popular locations for snowmobile tours in Iceland include:
1. Langjokull glacier: The second-largest glacier in Iceland offers a variety of snowmobile tour options such as this fun snowmobile tour on Langjokull with transfer from Gullfoss
2. Vatnajokull glacier: The largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull provides a stunning backdrop for fast adventures like this Super Jeep snowmobiling tour on Vatnajokull.
3. Eyjafjallajokull glacier: This glacier is famous for the 2010 volcanic eruption and offers this unique snowmobiling tour on Eyjafjallajokull.
4. Myrdalsjokull glacier: Home to Katla volcano, it offers this thrilling snowmobile tour on Myrdalsjokull.

What landscapes can I expect to see on my snowmobile tour in Iceland?

Snowmobile tours in Iceland generally take place on top of glaciers where high elevations often present sweeping panoramas of the surrounding scenery. You’ll be able to see the wonderful terrains of Iceland’s incredible landscapes from a higher altitude, weather permitting.

How fast can I go when snowmobiling in Iceland?

That depends on weather, ice and snow conditions and the experience of your group. Snowmobiles can go as fast as 100 mph (160 km/h) but the guide will determine what speed is appropriate for the tour.

Do I need previous snowmobiling experience to join the tour?

No prior snowmobiling experience is required to participate in a snowmobile tour in Iceland. Experienced guides will provide a safety briefing and instructions on operating the snowmobile before the tour begins.

Do you need a driver license to operate a snowmobile in Iceland?

Yes, you will need to have a full international driver's license to display before your tour to the tour operator. You must also have been driving for at least one year.

I forgot to bring my driver's license. Is a photo or email valid?

No, the driver's license must be shown before departing on the tour. If you’re traveling with a friend who can prove they are licensed to drive, you can always enjoy the tour in the passenger seat.

Do you need a motorcycle license to ride snowmobiles in Iceland?

No, a motorcycle license is not necessary.

What equipment is provided for my snowmobile tour in Iceland?

You will be provided with everything you need before snowmobiling in Iceland, such as warm overalls, a balaclava, a helmet, and gloves.

Will my snowmobile tour be canceled if it rains?

Not necessarily. If a tour is canceled because of extremely bad weather, the operator will notify you.

What is the minimum age limit for snowmobile tours in Iceland?

To drive a snowmobile yourself, you must be a minimum of 18 years old and have a valid driver's license for a full year. As for passengers, some operators will allow 6-year-old children as passengers, while others require the child to be 12 years old.

Do I share a snowmobile with another person?

If you booked for two people, the two of you will share one snowmobile and have the chance of taking turns driving. If you booked either alone or booked an odd number of people, you or a member of your group might be charged for a single riding fee, but the single rider will not share a snowmobile with another person.

When is the best time to go on a snowmobile tour in Iceland?

Snowmobile tours in Iceland typically operate year-round but can be dependent on weather conditions. The best time to go snowmobiling is during late winter and early spring, when there's plenty of snow, but still sufficient daylight hours for a fun trip.

How long does a typical snowmobile tour in Iceland last?

The duration of a snowmobile tour in Iceland can vary depending on the tour operator and location. Most tours last between 2 to 4 hours, including transportation to and from the glacier, safety briefing, and time spent snowmobiling. Full-day or multi-day tours may also be available, which can include additional activities and sightseeing.

What should I wear for a snowmobile tour in Iceland?

Dressing warmly and in layers is essential for a snowmobile tour in Iceland. Wear thermal or fleece layers, a waterproof and windproof outer layer, warm socks, gloves, a hat, and a scarf. Sturdy, waterproof, and insulated boots are also necessary. Some tour operators may provide additional gear, such as overalls, helmets, and balaclavas.

Are snowmobile tours in Iceland safe?

Snowmobile tours in Iceland are generally safe when led by experienced guides and following all safety instructions the tour operator provides. Guides are trained in safety procedures, first aid, and glacier travel, and tour operators provide appropriate safety gear, such as helmets. Always listen to your guide's instructions and stay with your group during the tour.

What is included in the price of a snowmobile tour in Iceland?

The inclusions for a snowmobile tour in Iceland may vary depending on the tour operator. Generally, the price includes snowmobile rental, fuel, safety equipment (such as helmets), an experienced guide, and transportation to and from the glacier. Some tours may also include meals or additional activities. Make sure to read the tour description for further information on your snowmobile tour.

How many people can ride on a single snowmobile in Iceland?

Most snowmobiles used for tours in Iceland can accommodate two people, one driver, and one passenger. Participants can switch roles during the tour, allowing both individuals the opportunity to drive and ride as a passenger. Some tour operators offer single-rider options at an additional cost.

Can I combine a snowmobile tour with other activities in Iceland?

Yes, many tour operators offer combination packages that include a snowmobile tour along with other activities, such as ice cave exploration, glacier hiking, or visiting hot springs. It can also be included in a sightseeing tour, such as this affordable 10-hour Golden Circle tour with snowmobiling which makes for an unforgettable day.

Can I capture photos or videos during a snowmobile tour in Iceland?

Yes, you are encouraged to capture photos and videos during your snowmobile tour in Iceland to document the stunning landscapes and unforgettable experiences. Be sure to bring a camera or smartphone with a secure strap or mount, and consider using a waterproof case or cover to protect your device from snow and moisture.

Is it possible to rent a snowmobile without a guided tour in Iceland?

Generally, snowmobile rentals in Iceland are only available as part of a guided tour. This is due to safety concerns and the need for expert guidance when navigating the challenging and unpredictable terrain of glaciers and snow-covered landscapes. Guided tours ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience for participants.

Are restrooms available during a snowmobile tour in Iceland?

Restroom facilities are often limited or unavailable during snowmobile tours on glaciers or remote areas in Iceland. Some tour operators may have restroom facilities available at their base camp or meeting point before and after the tour. So make sure to use the restroom before going on the snowmobile.
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