Iceland is without a doubt an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. This north Atlantic island offers a wide variety of activities out in the fresh air. You can do basically everything here, from bathing in geothermal swimming pools to hiking and riding horses or taking trips to a glacier. While there are many types of tours in Iceland, sea kayaking is by far one of the most interesting. The country is bursting with rivers, inlets, lakes, and lagoons just waiting to be explored. Spring and summer are the most popular seasons for kayaking in Iceland, so why not have a go?
Kayaking in Iceland – Where to Go
There really is no official best place for kayaking as Iceland is extremely diverse and the whole country so gorgeous. In addition, a lot of it depends on the level and experience of the kayakers question. Adventure seekers will be looking for very different types of currents than a young family on vacation. Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, you can be sure that there is no better way of admiring the stunning natural beauty of Icelandic landscapes than traveling by kayak, raft or canoe.
That being said, many lovers of water sports visit Neskaupstaður near the Norðfjörður fjord in the eastern part of the country. Trips in this area include visits to caves as well as sites for watching birds nest. In the summer you can also take advantage of many local kayak clubs doing excursions at night. Iceland’s famous midnight sun provides a surreal backdrop to your outdoor adventure.
Another great place for kayaking is Pjorsa near Arnes in the southwestern lowlands and Hvítá glacial river near Reykjavik in the west. There are many companies in Iceland that offer organized kayaking tours. The price includes equipment rental for all of your kayak gear (a kayak helmet along with life vests, paddles and of course, a kayak). You’ll want to invest in some kayak clothing and perhaps some kayak gloves as nothing is worse than icy cold water seeping through your layers. You’ll want to stay warm and enjoy your trip! All excursions include a guide and in case of longer trips, accommodation.
Kayaking in Iceland – Best Tours
Hvalfjörður offers a sea kayaking day tour on the beautiful fjords. One thing to be forewarned about is that sea kayaking in Iceland depends a lot on the weather. The tour guides use more than one location so they can avoid potential cancellations in case of bad weather. The kayaks are very stable and easy to use, so you’ll be just fine even if you don’t have much experience. You’ll travel in small, organized groups which make it easier for the guide to teach and for you to learn.
Another type of kayaking tour is an inlet tour, which begins on a lake and finishes out in the open ocean. They typically last around two hours. During that time you’ll travel among Iceland’s lagoons and birdwatching sites and admire the beautiful landscapes all around you.
Glacier Lagoon Kayaking
A more demanding activity would be glacier lagoon kayaking. These tours showcase the dramatic beauty of Vatnajökull National Park and its impressive ice mountains. The ice lagoon is nice and calm so you can focus on fully enjoying your magnificent surroundings. This is probably one of the best ways to explore the largest glacier in Europe.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of Iceland’s natural crown jewels and offers another unforgettable kayaking experience. It’s one of the most famous glacier lakes in Iceland and the best way to experience it is by kayak or canoe. Imagine yourself gliding between icebergs while taking in breathtaking views of the glacier and the mountains. There truly is no better experience to have in Iceland than this one. You’d better dress warmly though, as it might be quite chilly out there!
Sea kayaking trips are very popular all over the island, so whichever trip you decide to do, it’s sure to be great.
Sea Kayaking in Iceland
Kayaking is an amazing activity and you’ll no doubt have fun regardless of age. Please note that you must be at least 18 years of age in order to participate in some of the more demanding kayak routes. They can be very strenuous and are not recommended for children. That being said, there are more family-friendly routes that you can take.