Top-5 adventurous activities without leaving Reykjavik

Top-5 adventurous activities without leaving Reykjavik

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So, you are visiting Reykjavik for day or two, or you have a free day in the group multi-day tour and you want to spend it highly emotionally, adventurously so to speak. Circumstances force you to stay within Reykjavik but body and mind require for an adrenaline rush that numerous restaurants and museums can´t satisfy.

You can get a dose of extreme without leaving the capital of Iceland. There are few options how you can satiate your day in Reykjavik:

ATV and Buggy tours

Top-5 adventurous activities without leaving Reykjavik

Basecamp of Safari Quads is only 20 minutes drive from Reykjavik city center. There are enough ATVs and buggies for a whole football team along with a youth team, staff, and supporters. In short, with all the popularity of this extreme tour, they never have problems with the availability of transport.

The basecamp located near the picturesque lake of Hafravatn and the mountain of Hafrafell. There are many tour options but the highlight of any trip becomes the ascent to the top of Hafrafell. Making your way through mud, pits, puddles, and snow, pouring over a cocktail of water and dust, you will come to the summit, from where the stunning view of Reykjavik and the bay opens up to you.

Without leaving the city, you will plunge into the true Icelandic adventures and stunning views of the Icelandic nature. Safari Quads offers both short trips for 1-2 hours, as well as combo-tours and multi-day expeditions to the Icelandic wilderness.



Top-5 adventurous activities without leaving Reykjavik

Helicopter and airplane sightseeing flights are the must-do in Iceland. But what if you would brave enough try something more adventurous? What aircraft let you merge with the sky completely.

Only a paraglider!

Without leaving the Reykjavik you can see Iceland from a bird's eye view and feel like a bird, not constrained your feeling and vision by the window and fuselage. An experienced paraglider pilot who will be with you in tandem will take care of all the nuances of the flight, preparation for the tour and equipment. You have just to be brave, control yourself, enjoy the fabulous Icelandic landscape and embrace the sky.

Your dream to fly may come true with the company named Happyworld which provides paragliding tours in Reykjavik. Besides paragliding, you may take a part in a glider flight or become a passenger of so-called Flying Buggy.


Whale Watching on a speedboat

Top-5 adventurous activities without leaving Reykjavik

Whale watching is one of the most common activities in Iceland. It´s almost an "obligatory" option to any tour in Iceland. So how to do such an ordinary thing in style? What twist can be added to the Whale watching tour to make Wow! instead of typical Yeah, it was cool!

The solution is fewer seats, more horsepower. Choose Whale watching on a RIB speedboat instead of an ordinary boat and you will see and feel a big difference.

Whale watching on a RIB speedboat has many advantages. First of all is the speed! Even short but speedy cruise from the pier to the whale watching area is an adventure already!

Secondly, RIB boat has an excellent maneuverability. You can get to whales or dolphins as close as possible, and sometimes even they themselves are looking for a meeting with the boat! RIB speedboat just gives you this rare opportunity.

Thirdly, the boat can fit no more than 12 people and each passenger has its own place. You feel yourself like a part of the brave team of a small but proud schooner who defied the sea and the wind. And at the same time, firmly holding yourself in a saddle and directing a look to boundless water, you can be alone with soul and mind, merge with the ocean and the wind, and enjoy the feeling of freedom and flight.

Of all the extreme activities in Reykjavik, this is my favorite and I highly recommend it. But with one caveat: if you are pregnant or you have a weak back, please refuse this tour. With such body conditions, this can be not only unpleasant but also dangerous to health. Often boat bumping on the waves and then bright emotions quickly give way to the desire to quickly go ashore.


Sea Angling

Top-5 adventurous activities without leaving Reykjavik

People say for the real sea angling in Iceland you have to go the wilderness far from Reykjavik, somewhere to the deep of Westfjords, where true anglers catch monstrously large halibut and cod. But the truth is Iceland is simply surrounded by the ocean, which is teeming with fish and the water area of Reykjavik is no exception.

Take a boat ride 30min-1hour from Reykjavik Old Harbor and you will find nice spots for sea angling with all kinds of Atlantic fish: cod, haddock, mackerel. You may even catch common ling and ugly but delicious wolffish.

In that case size of fish doesn't matter. Fun does! It´s a very rare story to catch some huge trophy in Reykjavik waters, most of the catch is a fish around 3-4 kg or less. But there is a lot of fish, and you never come back to the land unsatisfied. And every fisherman, every fish lover says you that young and small cod much more delicious than some old large monster. Most of the sea angling tours provide grill on board and you may taste your own catch!

Boats on scheduled sea angling tours sail not too far from the pier, for the deep sea angling you have to hire a boat privately, pay hourly rent and ask the captain to go somewhere outside the bay. But there is lifehack how to feel yourself like a trophy hunter on an ordinary sea angling tour. April and May is the time when big fish comes close to the shore and may catch something large even if it is your first experience.

My record is 18kg cod caught just a few hundred meters from the shore right outside fjord of Hvalfjörður (see the picture above). It takes only 40 min to go there on a boat from Reykjavik Old Harbor. I am pretty sure you do better and bigger :)


Horseback riding

Top-5 adventurous activities without leaving Reykjavik

Riding an Icelandic horse is a sure way to join the nature and history of Iceland. Much has already been written about what a unique breed Icelandic horse is, how it is carefully preserved from the other horse genes. But even if the Icelandic horses were the common breed without unique features, I would still consider them one of the most beautiful living creatures on the planet.

Strong, stocky and friendly Icelandic horses seem designed to melt the heart of even the most callous person. The beauty of this breed is not only in appearance but in the history this horse that has been lived side by side with a human being who has found himself on a cold wild island 1000 years ago.

Like the first settlers in Iceland, like the Vikings, like the rich nobility in the time of Icelandic Commonwealth, like an old-school Icelandic farmer, you can experience the history of Iceland, understand its cultural code by riding an Icelandic horse. By leisurely walk or nimble tölt Icelandic horse will lead you past the lava fields and mosses, thickets of lupine and dwarf birch, across a wild path, leaving traces on the Martian-like soil.

Riding an Icelandic horse does not require you to have professional riding skills. All that is needed is to hold tight in the saddle, not frighten the peace-loving animal and follow the guide. There are horseback excursions on the outskirts of Reykjavik, where the city comes in contact with wildlife, where asphalt is replaced by moss and lava underfoot, and the sky is reflected not in the windows of office buildings but in the green-blue surface of cool lakes.


Each of day tours within Reykjavik reviewed above takes no more than 3-4 hours with the pick-up from the hotel. Therefore, with skillful planning, you can fit two different tours in one day and even three tours in one day during the summer season. It would be an excellent option to complete such a busy day with a relaxation in the Blue Lagoon, which is only 40 minutes drive from Reykjavik.

Have a nice trip to Iceland!


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