Glaciers, which cover about 10% of Iceland's surface, are enduring objects of fascination to Icelanders. Traversing glaciers is generally done on snowmobiles, Super Jeeps, skis, dog sleds, or by foot. In hiking tours, participants often wear crampons and walk a set distance apart in single file, fastened to each other with ropes and safety harnesses; some tours also involve wielding ice axes or rappelling (aka abseiling) into crevasses. Snowmobile tours can be tamer than expected, proceeding single-file with the slowest driver setting the pace. Expect to pay 8,000kr to 11,500kr ($128-$184/£64-£92) for an hour in a snowmobile seat. Advertised prices assume two persons per snowmobile, and riding solo costs extra.
Glaciers can be mortally dangerous.
Several companies offer glacier tours that start in Reykjavík and often tie in sightseeing and other outdoor activities. Langjökull, Iceland's second-largest glacier -- and the glacier closest to the capital -- is a popular and convenient destination. The Activity Group, Tunguháls 8, Reykjavík (tel. 580-9900; www.activity.is), slips snowmobile rides on Langjökull into some day-long Super Jeep sightseeing tours in the 23,000kr ($368/£184) range. The year-round "Express Activity Tour" is for unadulterated snowmobiling; the 18,000kr ($288/£144) price tag includes transportation from Reykjavík, with only a two-person minimum.
Iceland Rovers (tel. 567-1720; www.icelandrovers.is) offers 11-hour Super Jeep trips, with a four-person minimum, from Reykjavík to Mýrdalsjökull, where you can choose between a glacier hike (26,900kr/$430/£215) and an hour on a snowmobile (32,700kr/$/523£262). A very similar tour led by Mountain Taxi, Trönuhrauni 7, Hafnarfjörður (tel. 544-5252; www.mountaintaxi.is), takes 9 hours and costs 30,800kr/$493/£246), with a stop at the bird sanctuary of Dyrhólaey.
The Super Jeeps reach some beautiful, remote spots inaccessible to regular cars, but you can save lots of money by renting a car for the day and driving to Mýrdalsjökull, where local tour operators charge 3,900kr ($62/£31) for 90-minute glacial hikes, 6,300kr ($101/£50) for 4 1/2-hour glacial hikes, and 10,900kr ($174/£87) for an hour-long snowmobile ride. If you'd rather not drive, Arctic Adventures, Laugavegur 11, Reykjavík (tel. 562-7000; www.adventures.is), offers a well-priced tour that combines transport from Reykjavík with an adventurous glacial hike on Mýrdalsjökull -- including a stab at ice climbing. The 9-hour round-trip costs 11,900kr ($190/£95), with guaranteed departures twice a week from mid-June through August, plus departures by arrangement, with a four-person minimum.
If you would like to get married on a glacier, Scantours (tel. 020/7554-3530; www.scantours.co.uk), based in London, can craft an itinerary and make all the legal and logistical arrangements. Just don't get cold feet.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.