Iceland, often referred to as the ‘Land of Fire and Ice,’ offers a plethora of winter activities that go way beyond skiing. While many travellers flock to the country’s famous ski resorts, there’s a whole other world of adrenaline-pumping adventures waiting for those willing to stray off the beaten path. This article provides an extensive guide to some of Iceland’s most exhilarating winter activities.
Ice Climbing: Scaling Nature’s Frozen Artworks
An exhilarating sport, ice climbing involves ascending frozen waterfalls using specialised equipment. Given the abundance of cascading falls that freeze over in winter, Iceland is an ideal playground for this sport.
It’s imperative to climb with professionals and ensure you have the proper safety gear. Harnesses, helmets, and ice axes are a must.
Choosing the Right Location
Research or ask locals about the best spots to climb. Some falls are more suitable for beginners, while others challenge even seasoned climbers.
Snowmobiling on Glaciers: Iceland’s Frosty Speedway
Experience the vastness of Iceland’s glaciers from the seat of a snowmobile, zipping across expansive icy terrains.
For safety and navigation, it’s recommended to go on guided tours. Operators usually provide the necessary equipment.
Dressing for the Adventure
Layer up. Ensure you’re wearing thermals, a waterproof outer layer, gloves, and protective eyewear.
Caving in Ice Caves: Explore Underneath the Glacial Surface
Discover the magic of Iceland’s underground with a visit to the mesmerising ice caves.
Know the Season
Most ice caves are safe to explore from November to March, but always consult with local guides about current conditions.
Capture the Beauty
Bring a camera. The azure hues and unique ice formations make for captivating shots.
Dog Sledding: Mushing through Snowy Terrains
Experience the ancient mode of Arctic transportation as you’re whisked across snow-covered landscapes by a team of huskies.
Connect with the Huskies
Spend some time getting to know the dogs before setting off, enhancing the bonding experience.
Consider a night ride for a chance to witness the enchanting Northern Lights.
Horseback Riding: Trot through Winter Landscapes
Icelandic horses, with their unique gait, offer a distinctive horseback riding experience.
Wear warm, comfortable clothing, and avoid anything that might spook the horses.
Learn the Tölt
This unique gait, specific to Icelandic horses, offers a smooth ride, even on snowy terrains.
Iceland’s Winter Wildlife: Nature’s Spectacle
Iceland’s wildlife, including seals and various bird species, offers a magical spectacle during winter.
Guided Wildlife Tours
Consider booking a tour package Iceland offers, specialising in wildlife to ensure a comprehensive experience.
Always maintain a respectful distance from animals and avoid disturbing their natural behaviour.
Aurora Hunting: Chasing the Northern Lights
One of the main attractions in Iceland is the dance of the Northern Lights across the winter sky.
Peak Viewing Times
The best time to spot the Aurora Borealis is during clear, dark nights between September and April.
To capture the Northern Lights, use a tripod, a wide-angle lens, and a long exposure setting.
Storytelling by the Fire
In the land of the Sagas, winter nights provide the perfect setting for storytelling sessions, a deeply ingrained tradition.
Learn about the epic tales that have been passed down through generations, full of heroes, gods, and complex human relationships.
Modern Icelandic writers …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment