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Exploring the Off-Road Landscape of Iceland: ATV and Buggy Tour Guide

By Lára Borg Lárusdóttir

Off Road ATV Vehicle
Photo: Istock Images.

Exploring Iceland’s unique and beautiful nature is truly special, with its lava fields, black sand beaches and geothermal areas. Many areas are rugged and often can only be experienced on vehicles designed to handle such landscapes, which is where the ATV and Buggy tours come in.  

Taking an ATV or a Buggy Tour in Iceland lets participants experience beautiful panoramic views and explore areas often inaccessible otherwise. It also gets the heart pumping and adrenaline flowing on an adventurous excursion. 

Below, you will see more details about the many ATV and Buggy tours in Iceland.


ATV Tours in Iceland 

The rugged lava fields, lush valleys and sandy beaches make Iceland the perfect destination for ATV adventures. The tours take participants on a journey exploring what feels like a no-man’s land with open areas and panoramic views, in addition to scouting some of the country’s must-visit attractions. 

Person Drifting on an ATV
Photo: Pixabay


Reykjavík Peak ATV Tour

The Reykjavík peak tour takes participants on an excursion, viewing some of Iceland’s most beautiful mountain ranges and mountain tops. The tour begins at the base camp, where you get suited and geared up for the adventure. Everything needed is provided, such as overalls, helmets, balaclavas and gloves, but participants need to make sure they are wearing weather-appropriate shoes. The ATVs are all simple to use, and the tour is beginner-friendly. 

The journey starts with a tour along Hafravatn, a beautiful secluded lake which is popular for fishing and surrounded by picturesque landscapes. The journey then heads upwards until you reach the top of Hafrafell mountain. From the mountain top, you will get to admire the views over the Hengill mountain range, Bláfjöll mountain range, and Esja mountain. 

The tour’s base is located only 15 minutes from Reykjavík’s centre. 

Duration: 1.5 hours

For more information and booking of the Reykjavík Peak ATV Tour, click here


Black Beach ATV Safari and Plane Wreck Exploring

The tour starts at the base in Vík í Mýrdal village on Iceland’s south coast. There, participants are geared up before starting the drive. Insulated overalls, helmets and balaclavas are provided, but it is recommended to bring a warm first layer, such as a warm sweater and weather-appropriate shoes. 

Participants will drive through small rivers and streams before arriving at the black sand beach, naturally created with sand deriving from the nearby Katla volcano. There is no need to fear Katla, as the volcano has been dormant since its last eruption in 1918. 

After riding through the beautiful black sand beach, the journey is headed to the famous DC3 plane wreck, a US Navy aircraft that crashed into Sólheimasandur beach in 1973. After taking in the unique sight, the journey leads back towards Jökulsá river and back along the mountains towards the base. 

Duration: 2 hours

For more information and to book the Black Beach and Plane Wreck ATV Tour, click here


Midnight Sun ATV Tour 

Many visitors come to Iceland to experience the breathtaking midnight sun. The longest days in Iceland are during the summer, from May to August, and in June, they are exceptionally bright, and the sun is visible almost 24 hours a day. The phenomenon of the special midnight sun is due to Iceland’s high latitude, where Iceland gets to bathe in the golden glow.  

Taking an ATV tour is a unique and adrenaline-filled way of enjoying the midnight sun. The Midnight Sun ATV Tour takes participants to Reykjavík’s highest mountain peaks to see the show from the best possible viewing point. The mountains that participants cruise up are Hafrafell and Úlfarsfell, both offering incredible views over the capital area and, of course, the glorious midnight sun. 

The tour includes all gear: overalls, helmets, balaclavas, and gloves. Pick-up and drop-off can be added for an extra fee. 

Duration: 2.5 hours

For more information and to book the Midnight Sun ATV Tour, click here


Volcano ATV Tour 

For a truly one-of-a-kind experience in Iceland, the volcano ATV tour on Heimaey islands, part of Vestmannaeyjar islands, is indispensable. The island is off Iceland’s south coast, where the ferry Herjólfur leaves from Landeyjahöfn harbour. 

The tour takes participants around the volcanic area. The journey leads to Eldfell volcano, which became well-known around the globe after its eruption in 1973. The tour will, amongst others, take participants to the scene where Guðlaugur Friðþórsson climbed up rugged cliffs after battling the cold Atlantic Ocean following the Hellisey ship sinking in May 1984. 

Therefore, the volcano ATV tour is not only adrenaline-fueled but also informative and interesting. 

Duration: 1 hours

For more information and to book the Volcano ATV Tour, click here


More ATV Tours in Iceland 

A number of interesting, fun and scenic ATV tours are offered in Iceland, and participants can also choose to combine them with other excursions. Combined tours include, for instance, the ATV and Golden Circle Tour, the ATV and Whale Watching Tour and the ATV and Blue Lagoon Tour. So, if pressed with time, there is no need to worry as you can mix the adrenaline ATV adventures with some of the Icelandic classics. 

To see all available ATV tours in Iceland, click here


Buggy Tours in Iceland 

The buggy adventures in Iceland offer a thrilling experience similar to that of the ATVs. However, the buggies are larger and more car-like, with two seats alongside each other. Therefore, two people can join the adventure side-by-side, but it is also possible to ride the buggy solo. 


Buggy Safari Tour

The buggy safari is a fun, thrilling ride exploring stunning landscapes and riding through rugged roads, only 15 minutes from Reykjavík’s centre. 

The tour begins with a journey alongside Hafravatn lake before heading up the mountain towering over the area, Hafrafell mountain. When reaching the peak of Hafrafell mountain, participants get to enjoy the incredible views. The views are over the nearby mountain ranges such as Bláfjöll and Esja mountain ranges. 

All gear, such as insulated overalls, helmets and balaclavas, are included.

Duration: 1 hours

For more information and to book the Buggy Safari, click here

Buggy Vechicle
Photo: Istock Photo


Family Buggy Glacier Experience 

The family buggy tour is meant for groups as the buggies are special six-seater ones, fitting the whole family. The adventure takes the group to Mýrdalsjökull Glacier in the southern part of the Icelandic highlands. The experience is unlike any other, where participants get to enjoy the view from the glacier’s edge, looking over the contrast of black sand deserts and the glacier’s radiant ice cap. 

Participants over the age of 5 can join the fun. All gear, such as insulated overalls, helmets and balaclavas, are included. 

Duration: 2 hours

For more information and to book the Family Buggy Glacier Experience, click here


Buggy Adventure from Geysir Geothermal Area

The tour’s base is located in the middle of the Golden Circle area, between Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area. 

The tour begins with an excursion of Haukadalur valley and further towards the highlands of Iceland. The views over Langiökull glacier and Skjlandbreið volcano can be admired from there. Throughout the tour, participants drive through rugged landscapes, cross rivers and ride through rocky paths, so a Mario Kart practice might be a brilliant idea before entering the tour. 

Duration: 2 hours

For more information and to book the Buggy Adventure from Geysir Area, click here


More Buggy Tours in Iceland 

In addition to the buggy tours discussed above, many other options are available. Tours can be combined with other excursions such as the Buggy and Whale Watching Tour, Buggy and Natural Baths in Reykjadalur Tour and Buggy and Golden Circle Tour. 

To see all available buggy tours in Iceland, click here


Do You Need a Licence to Drive an ATV or Buggy in Iceland?

Yes, everyone driving an ATV or a Buggy in Iceland is required to show a valid driving licence before embarking on a tour. 


Can I drive an ATV or buggy in Iceland with a foreign licence?

In Iceland, foreign driving licences are accepted in English or if they are in Roman letters, such as Spanish, Italian, Polish and others. Driving licences written in a different alphabet, such as Arabic or Korean, are not accepted. 


What is Important to Keep in Mind Before Going on an ATV or Buggy Tour?

It is important to dress according to the weather. As the weather in Iceland can be quite unpredictable, make sure to wear warm layers and weather-appropriate shoes. All tours provide guests with insulated overalls, gloves and balaclavas, but it is good to wear warm layers underneath. 

It is also important to keep in mind that all tours are designed to be flexible in case unforeseeable events occur or weather conditions change. The tours can, therefore, be changed or cancelled, with participants’ safety as a priority. 


Is Pick-Up and Drop-Off Included in the ATV and Buggy Tours?

Most tours offer pick-up and drop-off services for an extra fee. However, it is rarely included in the original price. So make sure to carefully read what is included in each tour, as it might vary. 

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