Iceland has a unique and varied landscape, offering visitors a range of winter sports and activities. Some popular winter sports in Iceland include skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, which can be enjoyed at various resorts and outdoor areas around the country.

Skiing and snowboarding are popular activities in Iceland. Several ski resorts offer a range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The resorts often have rental equipment, instructors, and guides who can help visitors learn the sports.

Ice skating is another popular winter activity in Iceland. Several ice skate rinks are open to the public all year round, with the added bonus of ponds and lakes frozen in the winter.

In addition to these sports, Iceland offers a range of other winter activities, such as dog sledding, ice climbing, and snowmobiling. Many of these activities can be enjoyed in the beautiful natural surroundings of Iceland, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience the country’s unique landscape and culture in a whole new way.

Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is a popular activity in Iceland. It is an excellent way for tourists to experience the country’s beautiful and varied landscape. There are several cross-country skiing trails in Iceland, ranging from easy and beginner-friendly trails to more challenging routes suitable for experienced skiers.

It is important to be prepared for the cold and potentially challenging weather conditions you may encounter while skiing. Make sure to dress in layers, wear warm and waterproof clothing, and bring along any other necessary equipment, such as ski poles, goggles, and a hat.

It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the trails and the terrain before you set out on your ski trip. Many cross-country skiing trails in Iceland are in remote or wilderness areas. So, you must be aware of your surroundings and prepared for any challenges or hazards.

Finally, follow any safety guidelines and instructions the trail authorities provide or any guides or instructors you may be working with. With proper preparation and caution, cross-country skiing in Iceland can be fun and rewarding for tourists of all levels.

Bláfjöll ski slopes are just outside Reykjavik and are the main skiing area of the capital area. Bláfjöll is known for its beautiful and varied landscape, as well as its many outdoor recreational activities. The Bláfjöll range extends for about 25 kilometers.

The Bláfjöll mountain range is home to several ski resorts that offer a range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The resorts often have rental equipment, instructors, and guides who can help visitors learn the sports.

Another place good for cross-country skiing is Akureyri. Hlíðarfjall is famous for its great skiing facilities, and they have five different cross-country tracks for you to choose from (please note that they might not all be open at once).

Dogsledding

Dogsledding in Iceland isn’t an old tradition, but it is a fun and different way of experiencing Iceland. If you find yourself in North Iceland, we recommend checking out goHusky.

It is a small family-owned company that offers all-year husky tours. They provide various experiences with huskies in the Akureyri area. You can choose between dogsledding, “fun run” (for groups), hiking with huskies, or even petting and pictures.

During the winter months, you can go on dogsledding tours right from their doorstep into the countryside and the surrounding area.

If you won’t go north, there is a dogsledding company in South Iceland, only 30 minutes from the capital area, which operates all year round. The starting point of the Dogsledding Iceland tours varies, depending on the best locations.

They operate year-round, Monday to Friday, but they give their dogs a break during weekends. You can either meet them at the location, which requires you to rent a car or book a tour with a transfer from/to Reykjavik.
As there is a year-round availability, they put wheels under the sled in the summer, so you can still enjoy dogsledding even if there isn’t snow.

Ice Skating

Photo: Skautahöllin in Laugardalur

Icelanders have loved skating for as long as skates have existed. It’s an easy way to cross frozen waters and a fun one. The Pond in Reykjavík has been a popular spot for ice skating for a long time. Still, it is also possible to go to the ice rink in Skautahöllin in Laugardalur. You can rent skates there as well.

It is also possible to go skating in Egilshöll in Grafarvogur. Grafarvogur is a suburb of Reykjavik next to Mosfellsbær.

In north Iceland, you can go to the skating rink in Akureyri.

Skiing and snowboarding

There are many ski slopes in Iceland and ski resorts. Despite the name of the country and its many mountains, there is only one Olympic ski slope, and that is in Dalvík.

You can go skiing in Bláfjöll and Skálafell near Reykjavik, Hlíðarfjall in Akureyri, in Ísafjörður, Dalvík, Húsavík, Oddskarð, Ólafssfjörður, Sauðárkrókur, Siglufjörður, and Stafdalur.

There are a few small ski slopes within Reykjavík with ski lifts, such as in Ártúnsbrekka, Grafarvogur, and Breiðholt.

Please note that many of the websites are only in Icelandic, so you will have to use google translate or something equivalent to translate the sites.

The ski areas of Bláfjöll and Skálafell are only 25 minutes away from the city. Bláfjöll is southwest of the city, and Skálafell is east of the city. Both areas have great ski slopes for downhill skiing and snowboarding and tracks for cross-country skiing. There is no need to order ski equipment in advance. It is not known precisely when the ski areas are open as it depends a lot on if there is enough snow in the mountain. In recent years it has been able to open a few days in December but almost certainly from the beginning of January.

Bláfjöll has 14 lifts. Skálafell has 4 lifts. Skálafell is only open during weekends from the beginning of February to the middle of April.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobile on the glacier in South Iceland

Many tourism companies offer snowmobiling tours, mainly on Langjökull, Iceland’s second-largest glacier.

You can, for example, do a semi-private snowmobiling and super jeep tour of the Golden Circle and Langjökull Glacier. Another tour takes you to Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, home to the famous Katla Volcano and next to Eyjafjallajökull, which famously erupted over a decade ago.

As you can see, there are many different winter sports in Iceland… not unsurprisingly, as we do get quite a bit of snow here.

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