Iceland is the most beautiful country I’ve been to. Whether exploring the numerous waterfalls, marveling at the northern lights or riding the snowmobiles on Langjokull Glacier, there are plenty of activities on which to take in the stunning scenery.
Tours with Mountaineers of Iceland
Mountaineers of Iceland have been delivering snowmobile tours on Langjokull Glacier since 1996 and operate year-round. You can get the tour from Reykjavik or Gullfoss, the spectacular waterfalls on Iceland’s Golden Circle, and the tours are either half a day or a full day. My tour was half a day, leaving from Gullfoss, and didn’t include the big ice cave, although we did get to crawl into a smaller ice cave under the glacier.
In the summer, you can take a tour in the evening to see the midnight sun, and in the winter, they have tours to see the northern lights. All tours are weather-dependent, which can be a fickle thing in Iceland.
Preparing for the Cold
I met up with the Mountaineers of Iceland at Gullfoss as part of my Golden Circle and Glacier Tour with Reykjavik Sightseeing as part of the Trablin International Travel Summit. We were picked up by a Super Truck at 2 p.m. and driven up onto the glacier to the Mountaineers of Iceland “basecamp.”
At the basecamp, we were fitted with thermal coveralls and helmets. With all the layers of waterproof, winter clothing I was already wearing, my mobility was quite limited. But I was happy to be warm and safe, considering the temperatures on the glacier went well below freezing in November when I visited. We went over all the safety procedures and indoctrination on riding the snowmobiles, and signed our waivers.
Snowmobiles on Langjokull Glacier
There were a couple dozen of us on the tour and we were shy on snowmobiles so a few of us had to double up. Many of my fellow travelers had never been on a snowmobile before, and we were in for the ride of our lives.
There were obviously no trees on the glacier, but the terrain was still treacherous. We avoided the steep slopes, both those rising up into the peaks and descending down into ravines. We stuck to the well-surveyed routes where we could open up the throttles and really fly over the landscape.
A couple of my friends brought their drones along, and they took some amazing footage of our ride (which came out way better than the photos I took with my phone). We all had a great time, even when some of the snowmobiles tipped over. All too soon, the sun began to set (sunset in Iceland at the beginning of November is before 5 p.m), but our fun wasn’t over yet.
Spelunking in the Ice Caves
Langjokull Glacier is Europe’s second-largest glacier. It s a giant block of ice, but it isn’t solid. There are crevices and pockets all over, and these can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you’re exploring on your own. On the other hand, if you’ve got a proper guide who’s surveyed the area before you, they can show you some pretty amazing spots.
Such was the case with Mountaineers of Iceland. At the furthest point on our ride, we got off the snowmobiles and carefully made our way down a set of stairs into the belly of the beast. We were able to enter a small ice cave, just a few feet in diameter, with ice stalagmites and stalactites decorating the interior. In another portion of the cave, the surfaces were smooth as glass (or ice) with another exit to the surface.
Sadly, we made it to the ice cave after the sun had set. Normally, the light would have been shining through the ice and we could see the different layers of ash from various volcanic eruptions. As it was, we were left to illuminate the cave with our flashlights, which made it far more creepy (my kind of adventure!).
Returning to Reykjavik
Mountaineers of Iceland brought us back to Gullfoss, where Reykjavik Sightseeing was waiting to take us back to Reykjavik. Unfortunately, dinner wasn’t included on the tour. Usually, the tour would stop at the Gullfoss Cafe for food after the snowmobiles, but since we were running so late, we went straight back to town instead. When we arrived, I beelined to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur for their world-famous hot dogs made with lamb. Not only is it the cheapest meal in town, it’s also one of the most delicious, and I went back several more times in the week I was in Iceland.
Booking Your Tour with Mountaineers of Iceland
You can book your snowboarding on Langjokull Glacier adventure directly with Mountaineers of Iceland, or as part of the Golden Circle Tour with Reykjavik Sightseeing. The Golden Circle tour departs Reykjavik at 8 a.m., and the snowboarding tour leaves Gullfoss at noon.
Reykjavik Sightseeing Golden Circle and Snowmobile Tour
- Departure Point: Skógarhlíð 10, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
- Departure Time: 8 a.m.
- Tour Duration: 11.5 hours
- Tour Price: 33,980 ISK ($230)
- Website: Reykjavik Sightseeing
- Phone Number: +354 497 5000
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mountaineers of Iceland Snowmobiles on Langjokull Glacier Tour
- Departure Point: Gullfoss Waterfall
- Departure Time: 12 p.m.
- Tour Duration: 5 hours
- Tour Price: 24.900 ISK ($163)
- Website: Mountaineers of Iceland
- Phone Number: +354-580-9900
This video was taken by the wonderful High On Life team who were on the tour with me, may they rest in peace.
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Iceland is the most beautiful country in the world I’ve been to so far. There are hundreds of attractions around the country, of which I only saw a small handful. Here are some more adventures I went on while there, and a couple other articles I wrote to help you out.
- Why Iceland Didn’t Become My Favorite Country in the World
- How the Loft Hostel Made it Possible for Me to Visit Iceland
- Checking the Northern Lights in Iceland Off My Bucket List
- Exploring The Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Iceland
- Mind Blown on the Ice and Lava Caves Tour in Iceland
- Is Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland Worth It?
Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.
- 5 Steps to Book Cheap Flights
- Hostels: To Book or Not to Book
- Is Workaway Worth it for the Traveler?
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