The rugged and incredibly beautiful landscape of Iceland make it the perfect destination for anyone who enjoys spending time in nature, but it also has plenty of options for people who love to stay active in other ways too. Whether you’re looking to hike, swim, kayak, rock climb or cycle around, Iceland has got something for you.
Here are the top sports activities in Iceland that will get your heart racing.
The Icelandic highlands offer many options for hikers. Choose to tackle the varied terrain of volcanic soil, mud flats, and lava fields on day-long hikes or multi-day expeditions with an expert guide. It’s safe to say you’ll see some amazing scenery along the way and there are plenty of things to look out for like patches of mossy vegetation and stray sheep.
Take a hiking tour of the Icelandic countryside and challenge yourself with steep ascents and adrenaline-inducing scrambles. Or, strap on a helmet and tight-fitting climbing gear for ascents up ice-cold waterfalls. Regardless of what you choose, a guide to Iceland will make sure you don’t miss out on the true pleasures of this island nation.
Icelandic scenery is often a cyclist’s dream. The rolling hills and the ocean views can be mesmerizing, and the roads are seldom busy with traffic. Every day there are plenty of natural escapes to explore by bike – think dirt trails through forests, along fjords and up to mountain peaks – or larger cycling routes that go all around the country, stopping at villages and major attractions along the way.
The keys to ice climbing are steel crampons strapped to your feet and an ice axe (piolet) in each hand. Ice axes help you grip the ice, making it easier to climb vertical columns of ice. There are usually two types of climbs: one where you ascend a pillar of ice from the ground, then traverse across a thin piece of rock to the next column; and one where you ascend one column, cross over onto another, then descend back down again.
Riding on horseback is a favorite activity of many Icelandic travelers, especially since it allows riders to take in the stunning natural scenery. Horse rentals are available throughout the country, and most riding stables have trained guides with many years of experience. The cost varies depending on the time of year and tour duration, but typically costs about USD $175 for a two-hour trek.
Surfing, Kiteboarding and Windsurfing
The ocean is one of the most prominent features of Reykjavik, and offers visitors a plethora of trips in Iceland to enjoy. Windsurfing and kiteboarding are some of the most popular aquatic sports available for any type of water conditions and varying levels of skill. With such powerful wind patterns coming from the Atlantic Ocean, it can be hard to resist flying high over the waves as you try out these exciting activities.
Iceland has a variety of winter sports you can try, from ice climbing to dog sledding. The most popular by far is skiing.