Adrenaline-Pumping Extreme Activities in Iceland
Updated: Aug 9
Iceland is an extreme country. This is where the ice-bound glaciers meet the unpredictable volcanoes. This does not come as a surprise that it is also a paradise for adventure lovers. Every passionate about outdoor activities will fully enjoy the time spent in Iceland. I bet you will not even know what to start with. There are so many things to do in Iceland for everyone! There are however some ultimate activities that you can enjoy. Below you will find a list of adrenaline-pumping extreme activities in Iceland.
Extreme sports and activities in Iceland
Iceland is undoubtedly one of the most unique countries in the world. Mainly due to its location and culture, but also, because of the type of attractions it has to offer. It is all based on the natural wonders as nature reigns here. This is one of those countries where the luxury hotels and posh restaurants fade into the background, and what really fits here are trekking shoes and a comfortable sleeping bag. Iceland is full of opportunities and a real paradise for those who enjoy contact with nature and love outdoor activities.
The sports and activities might differ depending on the season you will choose for your trip. Some of them are only seasonal such as the puffin watching or trekking in certain parts of mountains. The weather in Iceland is the main aspect to decided whether a certain activity is doable. Remember that under no circumstances should you take it for granted.
Winter in Iceland has some rough months with lots of snow, ice, and difficult driving conditions. However, it also opens a door to new, extreme activities like the Northern Lights. You can only see them from September to April. Although there are more possibilities to enjoy this amazing show of Mother Nature in winter. This is where the nights are the darkest and longest. Plan your trip carefully, according to the current conditions and your own predisposition.
If you are settling your itinerary on your own, remember to check whether the activity you tend to will be available at that time. In case you prefer to go for some organized excursions, you will find a wide offer in Iceland on different tours. They will be happy to choose the perfect set of extreme activities in Iceland for you.
Must do extreme activities in Iceland
#1 Glacier walking in Iceland
This is something that I personally believe, everyone should dream of. And if only you had the possibility to enjoy this extreme activity. Vatnajokull is Iceland’s largest glacier and is waiting for you to explore it. This is where you will really feel how small you are against the nature of Iceland. Join one of the tours, and enjoy the glacier hike with an experienced guide. The walk is quite easy, although it can be dangerous too if you do not follow the guidelines. This Iceland glacier has many crevasses that you might not see at the first glance and are a few meters deep.
#2 Ice cave walk on glaciers from Reykjavik
If you are a fan of ice cave walks, you should join one of the 1-day ice cave tours from Reykjavik.
The two mentioned activities can be joined. Glacier walk, Langjokull tunnel can be done together, the same day. Even though the Langjokull tunnel is not a cave, as it was made by humans, we truly recommend visiting it. The caves are formed at the edges of glaciers and their shapes change frequently. This makes them more dangerous and less accessible, and at the same time - the adrenaline- pumping activity in Iceland!
#3 ATV tour in Iceland
ATV, quad tours, are one of the most adrenaline-pumping activities in Iceland. If you are tired of trekking and hiking and want to feel some on your skin, switch to the ATV tour! You will find a wide offer of those tours in Iceland which you can combine with other activities. You can basically get everywhere with your ATV, and cross every terrain. It will take you close to the main wonders like waterfalls or glaciers. You will be able to admire Iceland from a very different perspective.
#4 Snowmobiling, Iceland
Snowmobiling in Iceland is one of the best extreme activities! Thanks to the existence of glaciers, it is available all year long however, I think the best time is winter indeed. The winter landscapes make this activity even more charming. This sport is not for everyone though. Many people get injured due to a lack of strength, skills, or simply maturity. Again, Langjokull is one of the best places for this activity.
#5 Snorkel between two continents
Snorkeling in Silfra is many times combined with the Landjokull snowmobiling activity due to its vicinity. Hundreds of people are coming to Iceland every year, just to be able to walk between two tectonic plates and see the fissure between the two continents. You, however, will be able to swim between the two continents as you will join the most extreme activity in Iceland. Silfra snorkeling is relatively safe if you follow the safety rules. There is no guide with you though, so you can only count on your skills and common sense.
#6 Dog Sledding in Iceland
Dog sledding is not that popular as it might seem in Iceland. You can enjoy it even outside the winter season. For that, the kart ride is used. What gives you a real thrill here, is that you have a sensation that your life is in the dogs’ hands... or paws better said. They put a lot of power in pulling the sled so prepare yourself for a fast ride. After the tour, you will have a chance to meet the best Alaskan and Siberian huskies, do not miss it!
#7 River Rafting in Icelandic rivers
River Rafting in Iceland is a fantastic activity that you can enjoy during your visit. Even though only the safe parts of the rivers are chosen for this activity, it still carries some risks. When the waves are turbulent, prepare yourself for rocking and twisting the boat. There are 6 categories of difficulty according to the Scale of river difficulty. Class one is the less dangerous, while the 6th is the most dangerous one. We do not have any river with class 5 in Iceland. Iceland rivers though are mostly glaciers and Jokulsa, which is a class 4, can give you quite an adventure.
#8 Horse Riding across Iceland
Another extreme but at the same time, one of the best sports in Iceland is horse riding. If you do not have any experience with horses, there is nothing to be afraid of. All of them are well trained and gentle and sometimes you will get a feeling that they go on "automatic mode”. They are trained to follow the leading horse. I decided to add it to my extreme activities list, mainly because of the landscapes you will be passing through. And also, because of the impact, the whole tour can make on oneself. There are many different companies offering those excursions all around the island. Some of them are operating all year long. Can you imagine this tour in winter when everything is covered in snow just like in a winter wonderland? There are also tours that will take you through the volcanic landscapes. This is indeed extreme Iceland!
#9 Winter skiing in North Iceland
Skiing and snowboarding in Iceland are available from November to April. Iceland is a relatively small country so you will not find so many slots and ski resorts here. The ones we have will bring you enough excitement though! Among the best ones is Hlidarfjall, near Akureyri, offering fantastic views on the Eyjafjordur. It offers some extreme, high slopes only for experienced riders.
#10 Walk into an Icelandic volcano
If you really like the adrenaline-pumping activities, this one is for you! It is obliviously not for everyone, and to be more precise, it is only for the bravest. If you join one of the volcano tours, you will be able to experience the journey to the center of Iceland! The Thrihnukagigur is a dormant volcano where you can get inside the magma chamber. How extreme does that sound?