Things to Do

Buggy tour with 4X4 Adventures Iceland

The Blue Lagoon seems to overshadow all of the other things you can do in Grindavik, or on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It feels like I’m on a bit of a crusade to get people to experience other things in Reykjanes: In particular, I’m a big fan of the Reykjanes Geopark (which really takes up most of the peninsula.)

One more adventurous tour we tried in Grindavik was a buggy tour with 4X4 Adventures Iceland. These tours allow you to explore the Reykjanes Geopark in a very different way. The word “buggy” might not convey the right tone here– think of an ATV, but one that can hold 4 people. Here is a picture of the ATVs, taken from the 4X4 Adventure’s web site:

Photo by Kevin Boutwell (www.kevinboutwell.com)

And here is a picture of us (me and the boys) in front of our buggy:

the-boys-top-of-the-hill

There was an ATV along with us on the tour, and we covered the same ground. But the buggy can make sense for your family for a couple of reasons:

  • All drivers must have a valid driver’s license. And the ATVs can only hold 2 people– 1 driver and 1 passenger. I simply wouldn’t have been able to take both boys on an ATV. But the buggy holds 4 (3 plus the driver.)
  • The ride in a buggy might be a little more comfortable for smaller children. You are sitting IN a vehicle, instead of ON a vehicle. Your kids might like that more. Or they may not, if they are looking for more excitement!
  • You can save a little bit of money. The price for our one hour tour on an ATV is 13,000 krona, or about $115 at today’s exchange rate. Kids 6-12 are half price. The buggy tour is the same price for 1 or 2 people, but it goes down to 11,000 krona if you have 4 people in the buggy. (Again, kids 6-12 are half price, though I don’t know if you can book this discount on the web site for the buggy; you may have to e-mail them.)

The office is just outside of the main part of Grindavik; you’re less than 5 minutes from places such as Bryggjan restaurant or the Icelandic Saltfish Museum, and maybe 10 minutes from the Blue Lagoon further out of town. When you arrive, you’ll sign some paperwork, and be given your outfit– overalls, gloves, a balaclava (like a think ski mask, to wear under your helmet), and a helmet. As you can see in the picture above, they had no problem finding the right gear for our 6-year-old.

clothing-options

After a quick tutorial on how to drive, we were on our way. There’s no gear shifting, so it’s pretty easy to figure out how to drive. You first head out into a volcanic field with some remnants of a shipwreck. The picture below is also from the 4X4 Adventures web site, but note the buggy following behind the ATVs:

0ffcee_dc742280db2a4a95b9ef498a863aaf8a

Then we drove on the main road for a short while– there might be a little but of traffic, but it’s a fun change of pace. Next came some mountain climbing, including a few sections where I really had to gun the the engine to make it up the hill; the guy in the ATV in front of us got stuck! But the guide was by his side quickly to solve the problem.

buggy-ride-path

Eventually, you make it to the top of the mountain to take a break and enjoy the beautiful views.

break-from-buggy-ride

And then we headed back the same way we came.

There are longer tours as well, up to 4 hours, or even full day safaris. And when, on a different day, we were eating lunch at the nearby Bryggjan restaurant, we noticed some ATVs parked out front:

grindavik-lunch-bryggjan

Lunch here is included in the Full day volcanic safari; you’ll also get to see a lot more of the Reykjanes Geopark, though that might be a long day for the kids.

Still, we enjoyed the shorter ride. It was loud and fast, so it might not be right if you’re kids aren’t up for the adventure. My boys said they wished I drove a little slower! But the shorter tours can be a memorable way to spend an hour or two. A buggy ride, a trip to the Blue Lagoon, and maybe a visit to Setún on the way back can make for a memorable day on the Reykjanes Peninsula.


Thanks to 4X4 Adventures Iceland for sponsoring our buggy ride!

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Buggy tour with 4X4 Adventures Iceland was last modified: November 17th, 2016 by Eric