Iceland is a country of stunning landscapes, cold weather and many volcanoes. It is a paradise for the adventurous traveller, because there are so many exciting things you can do in this amazing country. You can’t explore the country without stepping off the beaten path and seeing all the natural wonders of this gorgeous country.
With such a cold climate, an adrenaline rush is just what the doctor ordered. It will help you stay warm, and it will give you an adventure you will remember for the rest of your life.
So, here are the best adrenaline-pumping things to do in Iceland!
1. Ride Around On An ATV
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are our favorite way of exploring Iceland’s countryside. Not only is this activity guaranteed to give you an adrenaline rush, but it will also give you a chance to explore stunning areas of the country that are not easy to reach.
The thing we loved about this thrilling activity is that you control just much adrenaline you want coursing through your veins. You can opt to cruise around and take in the scenery, or you can reach breakneck speeds, as ATVs can easily reach speeds of over 50 miles per hour. Just don’t, you know, break your neck.
And don’t worry; ATV rides are carefully planned and organized in places that won’t harm Iceland’s ecosystem.
2. River Rafting
River rafting is a sure way to get an adrenaline rush. All the twists and turns, the rocking of your boat, the currents pulling you in different directions – it’s a thrilling adventure that you can have anywhere in the world, so why not try it in Iceland.
It is an amazing opportunity to view Iceland’s stunning countryside, while doing something fun and exhilarating. And in between all those twists and turns, you will actually enjoy several long strides of calm gliding downstream, which will give you a chance to really admire your surroundings.
One of our favorite experiences in Iceland was rafting on East Glacial River, which we booked with Extreme Iceland. It is a demanding course, not suitable for those faint of heart. But, true adrenaline junkies will undoubtedly enjoy this action-packed tour.
3. Ride A Snowmobile
Sure, riding around on ATVs is pretty thrilling. But what about riding around on snowmobiles? You would be gliding across glacier surfaces, which is bound to give you an adrenaline rush.
And if that doesn’t sound exciting enough, book one of the tours that includes riding on top of an active volcano. Yes, it is possible. Most of them are covered with very thick layers of ice, and knowing that you’re on top of a rumbling volcano will definitely get your blood pumping.
You can also do this in the Golden Circle, Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route. The tour includes trips to Thingvellir National Park, the Golden Waterfall, the Geyser hot spring area and a thrilling ride across the country’s second largest glacier, Langjokull.
4. Go Inside A Volcano
Nothing will get the adrenaline coursing through your veins like stepping inside a volcano. Well, maybe stepping inside an active volcano would be more thrilling, but it would also be the last thing you ever did.
Inside The Volcano offers hiking tours of the Thrihnukagigur volcano, which hasn’t erupted for more than 4000 years. First you’re going to hike to the base of the volcano, which is a great opportunity to admire some scenic vistas. And then a cable car will take you to the bottom of the crater, which will really get that adrenaline pumping.
The entire tour is some 5-6 hours long, and it is suitable for people who have no experience in hiking. As long as you wear shoes suitable for rocky terrain, you will be fine.
5. Ice Caving Tours
There’s a certain kind of adrenaline rush that you only get from visiting places that feel otherworldly. And that’s exactly what the ice caves of Iceland can offer you. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that you can have only in Iceland, so it should definitely be at the top of your list. Especially considering the rate at which the glaciers are melting due to climate change.
Extreme Iceland offers tours in two glaciers in the country – Vatnajokull and Langjokull. The first glacier features a naturally formed cave, while the latter features a man-made cave. Both are wonderful, but we prefer the natural one.
Keep in mind that temperatures in the caves are below zero degrees celsius, so dress appropriately. An adrenaline rush can keep you warm for only so long, especially at sub-zero temperatures.
6. Ice Climbing
Ever played Rise of the Tomb Raider? At the beginning of the game, Lara has to climb to the top of the icy mountain, otherwise she will plunge to her death. While ice climbing in Iceland might not be that dangerous, it’s definitely just as exciting. And unlike the game’s protagonist, you will have a safety net, commonly known as a climbing rope.
Most ice climbing tours in Iceland also include some light glacier hiking beforehand. This is a great way to prepare you for what’s coming, and help you get used to the ice. Most tours will provide you with all the necessary equipment, including glacier shoes and crampons, which will stop you from slipping on the icy slopes. You’ll also get an ice axe, which will really help you channel your inner Lara Croft.
7. Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is not exclusive to Iceland, but it is one of the exciting things you can do in the land of fire and ice. The beginning of the tour is perhaps the most thrilling – you get to meet all the fluffy Greenlands Dogs that are going to take you for a ride, and you can even pet them and rub their bellies.
After you’ve spent several hours playing with these wonderful animals, you get to make yourself comfortable in the sleigh. The dogs will take you on an hour-long ride across the scenic countryside. Not only will you get a rush from being driven around by dogs, but you will also get to see some stunning landscapes and take lots of photos.
This is a moderately difficult adventure, suitable even for children. You will get a guide that steers the dogs – if that’s not exciting enough for you, perhaps you can take the reins from him?
8. Horse Riding
Horse riding tours are incredibly popular in Iceland. And if you’ve never been on a horse before, this is an amazing opportunity to try something new and get a rush. If you’re already experienced at horseback riding, then you know just how fun and exciting it is.
Since this is a very popular activity, it’s not surprising that there are many tours suitable for different skill levels. Some are only for the experienced equestrians, while others are suitable even for those that have never seen a horse up close.
The wonderful thing about these tours is that they take place in the picturesque Icelanding countryside. You can admire mesmerizing views while your horse takes you on this wild ride.
Want to turn this into an extreme sport? Try snapping photos while your horse is at full speed. And don’t blame us for the consequences.