At the end of my Europe trip this summer, I was finally able to visit a country I’d only dreamed of – Iceland. The “land of fire and ice” seemed so mysterious and I could only imagine how much there was to explore here. I did Iceland Air’s stopover program from Stockholm, where you can pick several days to stop in Iceland on the way home for no added cost.
When I started researching what to do, I knew there were an unlimited amount of outdoor activities to pick from. I really wanted to go scuba diving, but didn’t have enough time for safety reasons (you have to wait at least 18 hours if not more between flying and scuba diving due to the residual nitrogen from diving). I soon found a full day tour with the Mountaineers of Iceland that included the famous Golden Circle and ended with snowmobiling on a glacier. I was sold!
The morning of the tour, the friendly guide picked me up from my hotel and after getting a few more guests, we were off to explore the land. We went to several waterfalls, including the powerful Gullfoss Waterfall which is in a giant canyon. I’ve never seen such a powerful waterfall.
We also got to see geysers up close and personal at the Geysir Hot Spring Area. They looked like regular puddles of water, but some of these were over 120 degrees F! You could feel the steam coming off them just walking by.
Finally, we headed off the main road to start our journey towards the glacier. There’s signs everywhere stating that these roads are only for off-roading vehicles, and I completely see why. We were going over rocks half the size of me and giant ditches in the road, getting jolted up and down and side to side. We even went through water, which got me a tad bit nervous. The tour is done in super trucks though, so there’s not much they can’t get past.
My first thought when we arrived was “where are we?” It didn’t even look like we were on Earth anymore. I was instantly reminded of movies where they’ve been on foreign planets. As if reading my mind, our tour guide told us a TON of movies have been filmed in Iceland, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Batman Begins, and the popular series Game of Thrones.
We got suited up in all the gear we needed including a helmet, gloves, boots, and a full body suit that made me feel like a marshmallow. We drove to the start of the glacier and picked our our snowmobiles, and were given a small talk on how to operate them safely. After that, we followed our leader one by one and were off.
The glacier we were on was Langjökull Glacier, which is the second largest one in Iceland. I was a little hesitant to go fast at first, as I had visions of cracking the ice and falling through in my head. Our tour guide told us that not only was it safe here, but the ice was actually up to 1,900 feet in thickness! I had no idea how large glaciers could be.
We zoomed around the mountain at our own pace once we felt comfortable, which was a thrilling experience. At the top, we stopped to admire the view below. I was in awe of how high up we were, and how you could barely see the lakes and lowlands below. Snowmobiling on a glacier in Iceland was by far one of my top adventures I’ve had in my travels, and I’d love to do it again!
A short video of my time is below:
What’s your favorite outdoor activity you’ve done while traveling?
This post was in partnership with Mountaineers of Iceland, but all opinions are my own.
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