I LOVE a little taste of adventure when I’m travelling and Iceland is certainly a destination where you can get adventurous with all those hills to climb, volcanic caves to explore (I’ll be sharing my caving experience soon!) and glaciers to walk on.
When my brother and I spied the opportunity to go quad biking (that’s ATV’s to all you American folks!) we jumped at the chance. We were picked up from our hotel in the centre of Reykjavic and taken to the Safari Quads centre where I got my first glimpse of how giant the bikes were. Wow! They’re bigger than some small city cars!
We got a very quick safety demonstration and were shown how to use the bikes before donning our super sexy boiler suits…
After that it was time to get on our quad bikes and get going. My bike was so blooming big I could hardly get my leg over it. (I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere…)
Our instructor started up our engines and it was time to go!
In principle it’s super easy to use the bikes – right hand is for throttle and left hand is for the brakes, but they’re a little tricky to get going the first time. You’re a bit unsure how powerful the bike is so you’ll probably end up with too much or too little throttle but even I managed to get the hang of it pretty quickly.
I successfully managed to pull out of the parking lot and we joined a road. Yes, a real road. Luckily it was a very quiet road in a little neighbourhood and we were the only ones whizzing along towards the hills overlooking the city.
We zoomed through a few roundabouts and then our instructor stopped us and activated the 4 wheel drive function on our bikes. Time to go off road!
I was a bit nervous as we got onto the first gravel path, it was so different from the smooth, paved roads we’d just been on. I eased rather gingerly along at the back but soon gained a bit of confidence and upped my speed.
After five minutes or so I managed to drag my eyes off the path infront of me. Wow those views were amazing!
We drove through snow, up hills, down hills, over sheets of ice and round a lake for what seemed like the blink of an eye but was probably around 20 minutes. Our instructor stopped ahead of us and I looked around me to see that we had reached the top of one of the giant hills and the entire city was below us.
Looking around me at the panoramic views from the top was utterly magical. Every few minutes the view seemed to change as the clouds whipped by overhead and the sun lit up different parts of the landscape. I could have stayed up there all day admiring the ever changing scenery had it not been so darn cold.
We spent a good 10 minutes up on the hill admiring the views and taking a little rest from the bikes but all too quickly it was time to head back down. I wasn’t too fussed though as it meant we got to get back on the bikes and whizz downhill!
At one point on the way down we had to navigate our way, one at a time, up a very steep hill that was covered in deep snow from the recent heavy snowfall. Unfortunately I was too over cautious with the speed at the bottom and managed to get myself stuck halfway up. Whoops!
Clearly I’m no quad biking expert but it was SO much fun and I’d love to do it again and get a little more practice. Any excuse eh…!
Have you been quad biking before? Would you like to go quad biking in Iceland?