Arctic Adventures is an Icelandic adventure and activity company with an emphasis on eco tourism and environmentally friendly trips in the amazing Icelandic nature.
Our story starts in way back in 1983 when a young couple, Villa & Bassi went white water rafting in Nepal and returned home with a head full of ideas. They started to explore rivers around Iceland with the aim of launching Iceland´s first adventure company, the Boatpeople They chose the Hvítá river on the Golden Circle and the Drumboddsstaðir (which today is the Drumbó Basecamp) farm as their base of operations. Ever since we have been rafting this beautiful river, closing in on 30 years of operation and still going strong!
In 1997 another explorers, Daddi Bjarna, who also fell in love with river rafting while on a trip in Himalaya, came home and started another rafting operation in his home town of Egilsstaðir in East of Iceland. This was Arctic Rafting and he and his friends rafted the crystal clear class 4 spring river Eyvindará. That same year the Boatpeople launched their own class 4 rafting operation on what is now one of the most famous rivers in Europe, the East Glacial River (Austari Jökulsá). We still raft this stunning, world class white water and our base is now at Hafgrímsstaðir farm in Skagafjörður, if you are looking for an adrenline kick then this is your river...no doubt about it.
After the season of 2001 Arctic Rafting, following the huge land development at Kárahnjúkar hydro power dam and the disruptions caused by it, decided to move south to Þjórsá, Markarfljót and Hólmsá Rivers.
So in 2002 both companies were operating in the south of Iceland and had river managers (Jón Heiðar & Torfi) and staff that were good friends, essentially all from the same group of friends. The competition was on a friendly level and three years later, in 2005, it was decided to merge the companies into one, strong, adventure operator...and Arctic Adventures was born!
So, as you can see, our roots lie on the river but that is only half the story, the company has always been run by adventures, mountaineers, kayakers and explorers with a big appetite for outdoor activities. Because of this we have always been an multi activity company with big selection of outdoor adventures and over the years new projects are always popping up!
In 2006 we opened our office and outdoor shop on Reykjavík main shopping street, make sure you pay us a visit when you come to Iceland, we are located at number 11 on Laugavegur in the city center.
In 2009 we started the Glacier Guides, a mountaineering and glacier guiding operation in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park with two of our good friends Einar Ísfeld and Jökull Bergmann.
In 2009 we built Icelands and Reykjavíks first Backpackers hostel, The Reykjavík Backpackers, with our friends Hemmi & Valdi. This lively and happening place is now the official nerve center and meeting place for explorers and adventures in Iceland. Located smack in the middle of town at number 28 on Laugavegur, their micro brewery bar (BUNK bar), tourist information center and great atmosphere should not be missed.
In 2010 we again joined forces with friends, this time with Rúnar, Búbbi & Marij and launched the North Explorers, which is a sea kayaking and mountaineering operation from Ísafjörður in the Westfjords of Iceland.
In 2010 we joined hands with Mr. Henry Kröher, our friend and partner to launched Arctic Incentives, which specializes in coporate events and tours in Iceland, Greenland and other Arctic areas. We also started, with Henry, Arktische Abenteuer, Arctic Adventure´s local agency for the German speaking market. Our offices are based in hip and cool Berlin.
In 2011 we enriched our co-operation with Rúnar, Búbbi and Marij as Borea Adventures joined the Arctic Adventures family. Borea Adventures operates the adventure sail boat Aurora, they sail the arctic seas and take people skiing, kayaking and hiking in otherwise inaccessible places.
In 2011 we expanded our office on Laugavegur 11 and in co-operation with our friend Halldór Hreinsson opened a Fjallakofinn outdoor store in the same house. Fjallakofinn sells all our favorit outdoor gear such as: Marmot, Black Diamond, Scarpa, Teva and much much more.
In 2011 with our friends at Reykjavík Backpackers, Bergmenn Mountain Guides and Mr. Geir Gíslason we started rebuilding the historic Hafnarstræti 98 in Akureyri, the capital of the north. This will be our second Backpackers Hostel and the first outside of Reykjavík. The first Akureyri Backpackers guests arrived on the 15th of May 2012. Services include a tourist agency, bar, restaurant, sauna and much more.
In 2011 we started to focus on the French speaking market in the same manner as two year before with Germany. Our friend and long time guide for Arctic Adventures and the Glacier Guides, Laurent Jegu partnered with us to form Aventures en Islande.
In 2012 we launched our hiking and trekking brand Wild Iceland with Ms. Ásdís Dögg Ómarsdóttir in the lead as CEO.
In 2012 we again joined our friend Henry Kröher to form and launch one of our most ambitious projects to date, Greenland Tours was born. Greenland Tours specilizes in adventure tours and travel in Greenland. Sea kayaking, hiking...private tours and custom made trips in this wild land.
In 2012, together with our friend and fellow Icelander, but long time Denmark resident, we started Arctic Adventures in Denmark. Check it out here: Arctic Adventures DK.
In 2013 we partnered up with Iceland Backpackers to enrich our services at Drumbó, where we have been guiding river tours since 1983, and opened a small cozy hostel right next our rafting basecamp. Golden Circle Backpackers has 8 rustic rooms and can accommodate around 40 people with access to our restaurant and bar, hot tubs and more. Great base for exploring the Golden Circle and the highlands around Langjökull glacier.
In 2013 we finally partnered up with our long time river masters in North Iceland, Mr. Anup Gurung and Chris Doyle-Kelly and created Viking Rafting. This great operation runs white water tours on the East and West Glacier Rivers. Focusing on the Jökulsá Eystri, one of the worlds greates class four rafting river.
After all these years we can finally say that Iceland, the whole of Iceland and now Greenland, is our operating area and as you can see, we are not an intermediary, we are the actual operator of the trips that we sell. This means that it is here that you will get quick, real answers directly from Icelands oldest, nature guiding operation... : )
Arctic Adventures is owned and operated by Jón Heiðar Andrésson and Torfi G Yngvason. Their partnerships such as the Glacier Guides are are co-owned by the people mentioned above.
So today we can safely say that we are your one stop for day trips, outdoor activities and adventures during your holiday in Iceland. We operate a multitude of tours in South Iceland, both from our headquarters in Reykjavíks city center and our base camps on the Golden Circle close to Geysir and Gullfoss and in Skaftafell in the South East. We also operate a number of tours in Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park.
We offer white water rafting on many Icelandic rivers, mostly in South Iceland. The main rafting river is Hvítá river that is very close to Geysir hot springs. We also offer white water canoeing and sea kayaking close to Reykjavik.
Other popular tours are snorkeling and diving in the Silfra ravine in Thingvellir, hiking to the hot springs near Hveragerði and Reykjavik. Glacial hiking with optional ice climbing is also a very cool tour on the glacier named Sólheimajökull (Solheimajokull glacier). These glacial trips are an excellent way to explore the rugged Icelandic glaciers up close.
We also offer a variety of hikes and treks through the most beautifull highlands, mountains and coastal regions in Iceland.
Caving in Iceland is also a superb way to explore the unseen underground lava caves and tubes.
In addition to all this we run an array of incentive trips and teambuilding activities near Reykjavik, the Golden Circle and anywhere you can think of in Iceland.
Customized ski trips, snowboard trips, hiking trips, trekking, kayaking, diving, rafting, climbing and alpine trips can be arranged.