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post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Is there any good skiing in Iceland? Is it worth including a stopover in Iceland for a day's skiing when planning a ski trip to Europe?
post #2 of 3
Two summers ago, we spent 2 weeks there.

In the summer, there is usually one very small, temporary, alpine race training camp set up on a glacier that is truly in the middle of nowhere (ie, the only access is by giant tire offroad vehicles). I don't think it's for the use of the general public.

For summer touring, there are **HUGE** expanses of terrain covered by relatively low angle glaciers. I didn't happen to see anybody on touring skis when we were there, but I can't see any problems with this other than the usual dirty summer glacier surface.

Their largest glacier is Vatnajokull (sp?) in SE Iceland, and, if I remember correctly, it is larger in area than all of the glaciers in the Alps combined. I can't remember the name of the next largest glacier (in South-central Iceland), but its the one that sits right on top of Heckla (the recently active volcano).

In the winter, several small downhill ski areas are available, but the largest of these has only around 1000 ft of vertical. Unfortunately, Iceland simply is not blessed with much vertical, and I don't think many foreigners visit in the winter specifically to go skiing.

OTOH, there are plenty of good non-skiing reasons to go. For example, if you go, don't miss the boat ride on the Jokulskarillon (sp?) (glacial lagoon). If you have ever seen a movie involving a boat floating amid icebergs, it was probably filmed here.

There is one major down-side to Iceland: The prices are mind-boggling! The worst example that I remember was one afternoon when I had to pay $56 (US) for 3 kids and 2 adults to have one hot chocolate and one muffin each in a tiny, off-the-tourist-track coffee shop!!!

Have fun.

Tom / PM

[ September 13, 2002, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #3 of 3
A friend of mine recently got back from a week's hiking in Iceland and now wants to go back next winter for a week's cross-country/ski touring. As PhysicsMan says, not much downhill available.

You can probably work this out for yourself, but don't go in December or January unless you like skiing in the dark!

Personally I wouldn't bother with the stopover. You'd enjoy yourself more with an extra day in a new Alpine resort or even seeing the sights in whatever city you fly into (e.g. I can recommend Lyon if you like good food). You may however find that IcelandAir do particularly cheap flights US to Europe with a stop in Reykjavik.
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