So, chances are you didn’t even know that skiing in Iceland was an option. Perhaps if someone had asked you directly you might have hazarded a guess that as they’ve got snow and hills, they probably have some skiing …somewhere. Well, I can tell you that yes, you can ski in Iceland, and that it is utterly unforgettable.
The most popular Icelandic ski resorts and skiing hot spots are based in the north, all within an hour or so of Akureyri. Hlidarfjall and Siglufjordur are our favourites as they provide the best combination of skiing, location and additional activities.
It is worth bearing in mind that Icelandic ski resorts are small when you compare them to the most popular resorts in the Alps, but really you shouldn’t be comparing Icelandic skiing to the Alps, because it’s a completely different experience. Beautiful, quiet slopes are perched on the edge of fjords and stunning valleys providing incredible vistas and unforgettable days. If you want to head off the slopes the conditions get even better, with fabulous powder to try off-piste. If you’re keen to head further still then that’s great too, as the Troll Peninsular is fast becoming a mecca for heli-skiing and cat-skiing.
Hlidarfjall is the most popular and largest ski resort in Iceland and overlooks Akureyri itself. The slopes are just a few minutes’ drive from the vibrant northern capital and this is a great choice if you’re after a bit of everything, with great skiing, a bustling city atmosphere in the evenings a short (almost non-existent) transfer time and access to lots of activities.
Siglufjordur is north of Akureyri, right on the northernmost tip of the Troll Peninsular and this secluded town is ideal if you want peace and quiet alongside some breathtaking skiing. It is also the ideal location if you’re looking to go off-piste, as the fjords and valleys around the Siglufjordur region are idea for heli-skiing, cat-skiing and ski-touring. There is still plenty to do off the slopes here too.
Off the slopes
One of our favourite things about skiing in Iceland is all the things you can do alongside your skiing or snowboarding. If you’ve made it to the north, you’ve already done more than most visitors to the country and left the charming allure of Reykjavik (we love the capital city, but there is much more to the country). Myvatn is just an hour or so from Akureyri and is slowly gaining recognition for the fact that it is simply stunning. Myvatn is one of the largest lakes in the country and volcanic features dominate the skyline and hint at the source for the beautiful hot springs where you can relax and unwind after a day on the slopes. The whole of north Iceland including Myvatn is also a good spot for hunting the Northern Lights, and if that wasn’t enough you can also try riding the unique Icelandic horse, go whale watching, fishing, visit micro-breweries and much more. And of course you can also spend a night or 2 in Reykjavik at the start and finish of your holiday to make sure you have the full Icelandic experience.
You can fly direct to Reykjavik from a choice of regional airports across the UK, meaning that getting to Iceland couldn’t be easier. The skiing is based in the north and we recommend flying on to Akureyri as the view from the plane is an experience not to be missed. The indirect flights also make a great opportunity for spending a night or two in Reykjavik to sample the chic capitals famous seafood and welcoming atmosphere.
Who is skiing in Iceland for?
Everyone. From families who have never skied before to powder hunting experts, groups in search of adventure and couples after a romantic break, there is a skiing holiday in Iceland for you. If you think you’d like to give it a try the best thing to do is contact the team at skiIceland. Explore their website for inspiration and ideas, or give them a call on 0207 199 6014 to discuss your requirements.