kasiawrites – travel blog

Iceland south coast & glacier snowmobile tour

Adventures in Iceland

The natural beauty of Iceland offers many unique adventures and unforgettable memories. After all, nothing says adventure like a snowmobile tour on top of a real life glacier! How could I have said no to that? That is why I was super excited at the opportunity to take the South Coast and Snowmobile Tour with Sterna Travel.

snowmobile tour

On top of a glacier

Getting there

Like most tours in Iceland, this one started with a pick up at the bus stop right outside my hotel in Reykjavik. Convenient, since it was early and I didn’t get a chance to get breakfast. Having gone to bed late just hours before didn’t provide me with a whole lot of sleep. I decided to use the travel time as an opportunity to nap. You will find that many of the tours take about an hour or two to get to the destination, so use the time wisely.

We made a quick stop at one of the ubiquitous rest stops in Iceland where I snagged a hot tea and some yogurt. It was a great call since I didn’t end up stopping for real food for a long time. Bonus point was hanging out with my new friend Florencia of the El Mundo de Floxie blog. It was also very handy to have someone who could take a pic of you at a spectacular spot.

snowmobile tour

Remember the volcano that exploded in 2010? It’s behind me!

Waterfalls

The south coast of Iceland is home to two magnificent waterfalls – Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. You have probably seen these iconic images as they are quite popular. Even though I’ve seen them before, it was still amazing to be back here. The snow and ice definitely made them both look a lot different from the last time I was here. It’s really hard to decide which look I like better. I don’t know, I feel like I might have to go back one more time to decide 🙂

Skógafoss waterfall

This is definitely one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland and it is absolutely stunning. With 25 meters wide with a 60 meter drop, you feel dwarfed standing in front of it. If you have a hard time picturing it, you’re not alone. With that much water, be prepared to get soaked the closer you get.

While we were there the last time, the waterfall was surrounded by lush greenery and we were able to climb the numerous staircase (over 500 steps!) to the observation platform on top. This time, there was ice everywhere and it was difficult to walk near the waterfall, never mind the stairs. I didn’t even attempt to climb them for safety reasons. The ice-covered rocks actually looked quite pretty, if not deadly.

snowmobile tour

Snowmobile tour

Ice everywhere

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

The water that feeds this waterfall comes from the melting water from the glacier-capped Eyjafjallajokull volcano. This name might be familiar to you if you recall the volcanic explosion in 2010 that halted almost all travel in and out of Europe.

Nevertheless, this is a stunning work of nature. You will fully understand its power when you walk behind the curtain of water that falls something like 60 meters down. While fairly safe in warmer months, it is not so when it’s cold. Everything becomes ice and the path becomes quite dangerous to get by. Always use caution and if it looks dangerous, it probably is.

Snowmobile tour

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

snowmobile tour

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

snowmobile tour

Ice formations at Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Mýrdalsjökull glacier adventure

I have never been on a snowmobile before and didn’t quite know what to expect. We started by getting outfitted with a special snow suit that fit over our snow pants and jackets. In addition, we got head coverings that were meant to keep you face covered and they fit under the helmet. I felt like a sausage.

We all piled into a special bus that took us to the glacier, where the snowmobiles waited for us. The trip seemed to take long, but it was only about 20 min. The further up we got, the more spectacular the views became. I think we were all in awe when we finally got out. After safety checks and instructions, we piled on the snowmobiles and off we went.

snowmobile tour

All sausaged up and ready for my helmet

snowmobile tour

Snowmobiles ready to go

The snowmobile tour

I think originally I wanted to drive the damn thing, but I guess I wasn’t fast enough to grab a driver seat. I ended up grabbing a ride with Simon, another fellow traveler who was way better at driving the snowmobile that I would’ve been. There were some really steep parts where I would definitely have hesitated and probably tipped the snowmobile. Instead, I enjoyed the ride and the views along the way.

I think I was grinning like a kid the whole time. Between the views, the sunshine and the fact that I was in a snowmobile on top of a glacier, it was an amazing experience. I was hanging on for dear life and gripping the handles like it was my job. There was a split moment where I realized that my hands felt hot and wondered just how strong my grip was. Turned out that the handles were heated, which definitely helped. So much for my iron grip.

When we got to the top, we were able to dismount and just enjoy the views. Our guides provided us with a quick lesson on the glacier, the stats and other important info. I don’t recall any of it as I was too busy staring everywhere. The ride back was just as incredible and the views just as amazing. This was definitely one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.

snowmobile tour

Getting the lowdown on safety

snowmobile tour

Those views are unreal

South cost & glacier snowmobile tour details

The tour itself is a full day excursion. With stops at both Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls you get to experience Iceland’s spectacular natural beauty. The snowmobile part can be taken by itself if you are doing a self driving tour around that part of the island. This is run by Arcanum Glacier Tours.

The tour runs all year so you are not limited to a specific time of the year.

Price:  ISK 38,600 (different rates may apply depending on your options)
What to wear: As always in Iceland, the weather changes on the drop of a hat so wear comfortable clothes and layers. The suit you get provided fits on top of your coat so you will be warm.
Duration: 9.5 -10 hours
Snowmobile tour: approximately 1 hour
My recommendation:  I would definitely recommend bringing a mounted camera if you have one. The experience is amazing, but you won’t have that much time to take pictures while on the snowmobile. It’s also really cold on the glacier and it might affect your equipment.
For more details on the tour, visit the official tour page.
Have you ever been snowmobiling? Let me know.
***

Disclosure: My “South coast and glacier snowmobile tour” with Sterna Travel was complimentary, but all photos and opinions are my own. The company offers popular day tours from Reykjavik and around Iceland. You can find all tour info online.  

You might also enjoy: What you need to know before heading to IcelandI’m going to Iceland (again) and Iceland: land of fairies, waterfalls & volcanoes  


 

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9 thoughts on “Iceland south coast & glacier snowmobile tour

  1. Pingback: Are group travel tours for you? | kasiawrites - travel blog

  2. egodiary.com

    Seljalandsfoss waterfall looks amazing! I have never been to Iceland, but it’s a unique destination. Ice and cold definitely have something so beautiful.
    Have you also been to any of the hot pools? I have only seen pictures from the famous Blue Lagoon, but I’m sure there are many more.

    xoxo

    1. kasiawrites Post author

      Yes we have been! It wasn’t blue lagoon tho. Iceland isn’t that cold, at least not by Canadian standards 🙈 you should totally go if you get a chance 👌🏼

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