Kayaking in Iceland - Activity Tours

Kayaking tours all over Iceland

We offer kayaking activities both from Reykjavik and meet-on-location at various locations around the country. Sea kayaking, glacier lake kayaking and much more. Browse our selection here below.

Iceland is blessed with some of the most diverse and beautiful waterscapes in the world. From peaceful fjords to rushing glacial rivers and everything in between, you name it, Iceland has it! Glide underneath Kirkjufell Mountain with the Northern Lights dancing above your head, explore tranquil fjords or weave in and out of the sparkling icebergs in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Whichever you choose – we guarantee spectacular natural scenery and plenty of paddling fun!

Kayaking Tours from Reykjavik

Kayaking tours in the Reykjavik area.

Kayaking Tours in South Iceland

Kayaking tours in South Iceland including Stokkseyri, Solheimajokull, Jokulsarlon and other glacier lagoons.

Kayaking Tours in West Iceland

Kayaking tours in West Iceland, including the Westfjords and Snaefellsnes. Join us on kayaking tours from Stykkisholmur and Isafjordur.

What is Kayaking?

Kayaking is a water-based activity that takes place in a narrow, pointed boat called a kayak. The kayaker’s lower body is submerged inside the boat, while the upper body is exposed, allowing them to propel themselves through the water using a double-bladed paddle. The kayak’s small size and maneuverability make them ideal for exploring a wide range of different waterways.

Sea Kayaking

Types of Kayaking

Kayaking can be divided into two subcategories: 

FlatwaterFlatwater kayaking takes place on calm waters with little to no current. It’s the easiest kind of kayaking and is often combined with another activity like sightseeing or fishing. Flatwater kayaking is not very physically demanding and can be done by people with no previous kayaking experience. 

WhitewaterWhitewater kayaking takes place on moving waters with some kind of current. Typically, this would be a whitewater river, although it can be found in other places. It’s considered to be more dangerous than flatwater kayaking and is usually not combined with other activities. Previous kayaking experience is best depending on the difficulty rating of the whitewater rapids. 

A Brief History

The kayak was created by the Inuit, who used them to navigate travel and hunt in the unfriendly conditions of Greenland and Northern Canada. They were made from wooden frames and covered in sealskin to make them waterproof. They were adopted by European colonists in the middle of the 18th century and became an official Olympic sport in 1936. 

Kayak technology varied from tribe to tribe and region to region, but they remained largely unchanged until the 1950s when fiberglass kayaks arrived on the market. The first plastic kayak was made in 1984. It proved to be a hardy, lightweight, and versatile boat that could be used for a multitude of different purposes. Since then their use has exploded and the kayak is now a favorite of water sports enthusiasts across the globe.

Kayaking in Iceland

Iceland is home to countless different waterscapes just waiting to be explored. From glacier lagoons dotted with icebergs to peaceful fjords - you name it, you can find it in the land of fire and ice. 

We offer several different kayaking tours across the whole island of Iceland – from kayaking under the dazzling colors of the Northern Lights to family-friendly tours in the southwest. Here are some of our most popular paddling adventures: 

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Kayaking Tour

Kayaking Under The Northern LightsIf there’s a better way to see the Northern Lights than from the seat of a kayak, we haven’t heard about it. Paddle below the iconic Kirkjufell Mountain and see the jumping colors of the aurora above it!

Midnight Sun Kayak Tour Under Kirkjufell Mountain – Paddle beneath Kirkjufell Mountain and watch the Midnight Sun as it sets above one of Iceland’s most beautiful places. If you’re looking for excitement and natural beauty, then this is the tour for you!

Kayaking on the Jökulsárlón & Glacier Hiking – Weave in and out of the sapphire blue icebergs on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and then take a refreshing walk on the surface of a glacier!

Fjord Serenity - Sea kayakingKayak in a peaceful fjord just outside Reykjavik and take in some stunning views of the surrounding mountains. 

Isafjordur Bike & Kayak ComboTry out an Icelandic take on the biathlon! Kayak on a peaceful fjord during the morning and then explore the neighboring countryside on a mountain bike during the afternoon. 

Easy Kayak Tour in Stokkseyri – An exciting family-friendly tour – and a perfect introduction to kayaking for the younger members of the clan – amidst beautiful scenery in southwestern Iceland. 


Why choose a kayaking tour?

What makes kayaks stand out is their maneuverability and their ability to allow you to get tantalizingly close to the natural phenomena you are visiting. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is beautiful from the shore; however, it really comes into its own from a kayak. 

Get daringly close to the sapphire icebergs and see the gray ash streaks that cut through them. The same is true of Kirkjufell, Snafellsnes, and pretty much everywhere else. If you really want to get to explore some of Iceland’s most beautiful attractions, then the kayak is the best way to do it!

How do I know which kayaking tour is best for me?

Most of our kayaking tours are available to complete beginners and expert kayakers alike, meaning that all you need to do is decide what you want to see and book it. Tours that require previous experience will be clearly marked on the specific tour page. 

Despite the fact that many of our kayaking tours are very family friendly, please be sure to check the specific tour page for minimum age requirements. Other factors and helpful information that may influence your decision, such as the location of the tour and whether it’s meet on location or pick-up, can be found on each tour’s dedicated page. 

Are your kayaking tours safe?

Yes, all of our kayaking tours in Iceland are conducted by a certified guide who will ensure that everyone is safe at all times. They will also provide tips and tricks, for beginners and experts alike, and tell you more about the amazing scenes you’ll be seeing.

What do you need to bring for kayaking?

We recommend wearing warm and waterproof clothing since the conditions in Iceland can be highly uncertain. A change of clothes may also prove useful in the extremely unlikely event that you fall in the water or get wet. You’re welcome to bring a waterproof camera if you have one, along with other items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a water bottle. For more details about your chosen tour, check out the packing list on the dedicated tour page. 

Do you provide equipment?

Yes, we provide you with a flotation suit/lifejacket and helmet, along with a kayak and paddle. More experienced kayakers can bring their own equipment if they wish, although it’s not necessary. 

What should I bring?

We recommend wearing warm and waterproof clothing since the conditions in Iceland can be highly uncertain. A change of clothes may also prove useful in the extremely unlikely event that you fall in the water or get wet. You’re welcome to bring a waterproof camera if you have one, along with other items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a water bottle. For more details about your chosen tour, check out the packing list on the dedicated tour page.

Do kayaks flip over easily?

The short answer is No, the kayak is not designed to flip. If you are kayaking on calm waters with a recreational kayak, it is difficult to flip it. On more unstable waters, it’s important to keep your balance and pay attention to your surroundings at all times. 

What is the best type of kayak for a beginner?

The best type of kayak for newbies are those that are forgiving and stable. On our tours, we use high-quality, plastic sea kayaks. For the kayaking tour on Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, we use sit-on-top kayaks. For the Reykjavik sea kayaking trip, we provide sit-in sea kayaks. 

Why do kayaks have scupper holes?

Scupper Holes are to drain the water out of a kayak. It prevents the kayak from sinking. Sit-on-top kayaks have scupper holes, often found in the foot walls, cockpit, and tank well of the kayak. 

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