I had never been to Grindavík, and honestly didn’t even know where it was until the day of this quad bike trip. I’ve been wanting to ride quads for a very long time now—it seemed just daredevil enough for someone like me. I knew I’d survive, but it’s still something to cross off my list.
We sat in excitement waiting to be picked up by Jónas, our guide for the day. The company that offers the trip—4×4 Adventures Iceland—isn’t one I’d heard of. It is definitely not one of the big all-consuming operators here in Iceland. That, and the laid-back attitude of the guide, made it even greater adventure than it otherwise would have been (because quads).
As we arrived in Grindavík, the ten of us were handed an information sheet including some do’s and don’ts. Shortly after, each of us needed to sign that we agreed to those terms. Jónas then, with some help from his colleagues, handed us the overalls, gloves and helmets. I wondered what kind of small-headed giants usually go on these trips as my overall was so big yet I needed an extra-large helmet, but maybe that had more to do with the size of my head.
As soon as everyone had their gear on, we got a small demonstration before heading out to our ATV’s. My early confidence vanished when I saw all the different buttons on the quad. The photographer point-blank refused to let me sit on the back of his ATV, and Jónas quickly reassured me there were only two buttons we needed to use.
Off we went, roaring between hills covered in snow and occasional spots of lava ash. I started off slowly and tentatively, but after ten minutes I’d gotten the hang of it—at least enough to keep up with the others. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time—carefree driving over deep snow and along irregular mountain paths amongst some fascinating scenery.
After two hours that felt more like five minutes, we got back to the hut, took off our gear and said goodbye to the nice guides. I couldn’t have been more satisfied not only with the trip but with the fact that the photographer had dared me to drive my own ATV.
4×4 adventures Iceland offers ATV and buggy tours all year round. They are capable of taking groups from 5 up to 130 people. In the mishap of bad weather, which only happened 4 times this season, they reschedule with the customers.