There is no shortage of adventures to be had in Iceland — helicopter tours, dog sledding, glacier hikes, super jeep tours, snowmobiling, buggy tours, ATV tours Iceland, and even ice climbing. On our recent visit to Iceland, we were hoping to go snowmobiling on the glacier this time, but weather wasn’t cooperating. Luckily, Arcanum had a back up plan and we switched from snowmobiling to Iceland ATV tours.
Glenn and I have never ridden ATVs before, but the idea of an Iceland ATV tour through creeks and along the black sand beaches of the south coast sounded like a blast. We teamed up and Glenn was nice enough to let me drive. I have this control thing…in that I need to be in control. So when we do wave runners, snow mobiles, etc., I like to drive so I can slow down if I get scared. Luckily we were last in line so no one minded when I started out slow. Driving the ATV Iceland was a lot harder than I expected!
ATV Iceland Tours
I didn’t expect it to be hard to control the speed and stay on the track — but it was. Especially when we had to cross through small streams and the guide told us not to slow down in the water. One of the teams ahead of us had some trouble getting through the first stream and the guide rushed down to help, getting his own ATV stuck! After that, I switched and put Glenn in control. I knew he couldn’t do anything too crazy anyway.
Luckily (I guess?), the rest of the ride was fairly uneventful. We made our way across the black sand beach near Dyrhólaey to the famous plane wreck. You can no longer drive out to see this American DC plane, which ran out of fuel offshore and crashed on the beach in 1973. However, plenty of people still hike out to see it and take photos. We skipped this stop on our last trip to Iceland so it was cool to see this popular site in person after seeing it in so many photos.
After taking some time to explore the plane, we turned back inland toward the mountains. Over some hills and through some rivers, we wound our way back to the Arcanum base.
I expected to be cold during our ride, but we were actually really warm. They provide fully insulated jump suits and helmets, completely protecting you from the elements. You do want to wear some good waterproof boots, because you will get splashed. But even if you don’t have gloves, Arcanum has some to borrow (but you would be crazy to visit Iceland without gloves, especially in the winter.)
If you are going with your family, I would caution you to think about whether or not to do an ATV tour in Iceland. If you haven’t ridden ATVs before, I would only recommend it for teens. I have heard of a couple of people that have flipped their ATVs and gotten injured. With younger kids, maybe try a buggy adventure instead. At least there you are harnessed in and there is a roll bar for safety.
We definitely had fun though and our guides kept the group pretty slow and steady. I’m sure that disappointed some of the daredevils, but it was just fine for me. I got to see a famous site, have an adventure and try something new — win, win.
Check out our Iceland ATV tour!
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Note: Our tour was hosted by Arcanum Glacier Tours as part of a travel agent and media FAM hosted by Hotel Ranga. I’ve provided my honest opinion, as always, all opinions are my own.