Iceland is a wild place – the country is more or less just a large active volcano jutting out of the windswept north Atlantic, midway between Europe and America. It’s a country of majestic glaciers, sprawling tundras, the Northern Lights, geothermal lagoons and a whole host of other fantastical attractions. And if this doesn’t twist your arm, if you want to snowkite Iceland really does have some of the best snowkiting conditions in the world.
Snowkiting is a multifaceted experience, ranging from exploring thousands of kilometres of untouched powder covered snow fields to catching outrageous amounts of hang-time of the side of a sheer cliff face. Iceland is a place that offers such varied terrain in such close proximity as to have hardened snowkiters from the American Rockies or the flat Siberian wilderness flocking there every winter.
Snowkite Iceland: The best snowkiting conditions in the world?
From late Autumn and throughout the winter Iceland is subjected to some strong, steady easterly winds driving in from the Atlantic. Inland, snowkiters will be pleased to find Iceland’s famous glaciers are themselves a source of breeze. These glacial winds that roll down off the Vatnajökull glacier make the likes of the 2011 British Disabled Athletes snowkite crossing of Iceland a possibility.
Even an organised tour of snowkiting in Iceland can feel incredibly adventurous. Most of the tours will whisk you away from Reykjavik after a debauched night out in the capital and this will be your last taste of civilisation for for a week. Your base from then on will be a small cabin in the wilderness of the Icelandic highlands. Here you’ll spend the days exploring the virgin powder that stretches endlessly in every direction and the nights huddled under the eerie presence of the Northern Lights.
The Langjökull Glacier is a great place to snowkite Iceland and for many of the tours that operate out of Reykjavik this is the final destination. Here you’ll find 1,000 square kilometres of powder snow in a gently undulating landscape that rises to an altitude of 1,382 metres. Every type of snowkiting terrain is on offer and a day’s snowkiting here will be a remarkably varied experience.
Snowkite Iceland: It has it all & more
The beauty of going to snowkite Iceland is that the laws of gravity are no longer a deciding factor. Suddenly every piece of landscape, every flat or inclined section, becomes ridable. Instead of sitting on a lift waiting to be taken up the top of a mountain, why not ride up with your kite, pack it down and cruise down a powder run with the kite on your back.
Snowkiting is, of course, not all that Iceland has to offer check out Visit Iceland the official tourist office for more information. There’s the nightlife in Reykjavik and the aforementioned majesty of the Northern Lights. There’s geothermal baths, such as the famous Blue Lagoon, where a frigid winter afternoon can be spent bathing in 40° water while being snowed on from above.
There’s a whole lot to see in this far flung outpost of Europe and it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from both Europe and America. So go snowkite Iceland and check out everything else this country has to offer.