January 22, 2024 8 min read

Navigating the Land of Fire and Ice on a Paddle board: Your Ultimate Guide to Iceland's Most Breathtaking SUP Spots and Gear Recommendations

Woman performing yoga on a paddle board in Iceland

Get ready to embark on a one-of-a-kind paddle boarding journey, exploring the stunning landscapes of Iceland, a country brimming with spectacular waterways and scenic backdrops, courtesy of GILI Sports!

About Iceland's Waterways

Iceland, an island nation known for its breathtaking scenery, is an ideal destination for paddle-boarding enthusiasts. Its diverse landscapes offer a wide range of waterways, from tranquil harbors and serene lakes to glacial lagoons and majestic waterfalls. As you glide through the water, you can't help but marvel at the sheer beauty of this Nordic paradise.

Getting to Iceland: Travel & Transport Links

Where is Iceland?

Iceland is a North Atlantic island country located at the intersection of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. It sits approximately 800 miles northwest of Scotland and 600 miles west of Norway, making it Europe's westernmost country. The closest neighbor to the east is Greenland, approximately 180 miles away.

Arriving in Iceland

The most common way to get to Iceland is by air. Keflavik International Airport (KEF), located about 31 miles southwest of Reykjavik, is the country's main international gateway. The airport is served by several airlines offering direct flights from major cities in North America and Europe, making it easily accessible from various locations worldwide.

Popular airlines flying to Iceland include Icelandair, WOW Air, Delta, American Airlines, British Airways, and Lufthansa, among others. The flight time to Iceland varies depending on your departure location. For instance, a flight from New York City to Reykjavik typically takes around 5-6 hours, while a flight from London takes around 3 hours.

Transport Links Within Iceland

Once you arrive in Iceland, there are several options for getting around the country:

Rental Cars: Renting a car is a popular choice for exploring Iceland, giving you the flexibility to visit remote areas and travel at your own pace. Numerous rental car agencies operate at Keflavik Airport and in Reykjavik, offering a wide range of vehicles, including 4x4s suitable for Iceland's rugged terrain.

Buses: Iceland's public bus network, known as Strætó, operates throughout the country, including the capital city Reykjavik and its suburbs. While buses are a cost-effective option, they may not reach some of the more remote locations.

Domestic Flights: For those looking to quickly reach destinations on opposite ends of the island, domestic flights are available. Air Iceland Connect operates flights between Reykjavik and several regional airports across the country.

Tours and Guided Excursions: Various tour operators offer guided excursions to popular tourist destinations and activities, such as the Golden Circle, glacier hikes, and Northern Lights tours. These tours often include transportation, making it a convenient option for those without a rental car.

Keep in mind that while Iceland is a relatively small country, its diverse landscapes and attractions are spread across the island. Whether you're planning to explore the popular sites along the Ring Road or venture off the beaten path, having reliable transportation is essential to make the most of your Icelandic adventure.

Discovering the Unique Spots - Our top 5 picks!

Reykjavik's Old Harbor: The Urban Oasis

Paddle boarding in Reykhavik old harbor

About Reykjavik's Old Harbor

Paddle boarding in Reykjavik's Old Harbor offers an unparalleled vantage point to absorb the city's charm. From the tranquil waters of the harbor, you can gaze upon Reykjavik's colorful buildings and bustling harbor life. Whether you're a novice or an experienced paddler, the calm conditions here make it an ideal locale.

How to Get There

Reykjavik's Old Harbor is easily accessible. Simply make your way to the city center and follow the signs to the harbor. There's no way you can miss it, given its central location.

Why Paddle board Here

The Old Harbor offers a balanced mix of urban and natural beauty. From your vantage point on the water, you can take in the daily life of this vibrant port city, making it a unique spot for paddle boarding.

Recommended SUP Board for This Location

For Reykjavik's Old Harbor, the 10'6 Komodo is an excellent choice. It's designed for calm waters and is suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers. Its stability and maneuverability make it ideal for exploring the harbor's nooks and crannies.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: Paddling Through Icebergs

Paddle boarding in JÖKULSÁRLÓN Glacier lagoon

About Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a spectacle like no other. The floating icebergs, the surreal beauty, and the turquoise waters create an environment that feels like you've stepped into another realm.

How to Get There

Jökulsárlón is located on Iceland's southeast coast. It's about a 5-hour drive from Reykjavik, but the journey is well worth the effort.

Why Paddle board Here

This is a unique chance to glide amongst floating icebergs in a setting that feels otherworldly. It's not just paddle boarding; it's an adventure that you'll never forget.

Recommended SUP Board for This Location

To navigate through the icebergs with ease, consider using the 12'6 Meno Touring. Its long-distance design is ideal for the unique challenges this lagoon presents.

Silfra Fissure, Þingvellir National Park: Paddle boarding Between Continents

Paddle boarding in Silfra Fissure, Iceland

About Silfra Fissure

The Silfra Fissure in Þingvellir National Park offers a unique opportunity to paddle board between two continents. It's not just the clear waters that make this place special, it's the fact that you are literally floating between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

How to Get There

Located just about 45 minutes from Reykjavik, within the boundaries of Þingvellir National Park, getting to the Silfra Fissure is a short but scenic drive.

Why Paddle board Here

Paddle boarding in the Silfra Fissure lets you explore this geological wonder while floating in some of the clearest water on Earth. It's like paddling in an aquarium, only much, much bigger.

Recommended SUP Board for This Location

Given the unique terrain, the 10'6/11'6 Meno is a perfect choice. It offers stability and durability, ensuring you can navigate the underwater world comfortably.

Mývatn Lake, North Iceland: The Nature Lover's Paradise

Paddle boarding in MÝVATN Lake

About Mývatn Lake

Located in the north of Iceland, Mývatn Lake is a paddle boarder's dream for its diversity of landscapes. From unique lava formations to wetlands and abundant birdlife, this location is a nature lover's paradise.

How to Get There

Mývatn Lake is about a 6-hour drive from Reykjavik. While it's a bit of a trek, the area's unique geography makes the journey worthwhile.

Why Paddle board Here

If you love to immerse yourself in nature, Mývatn Lake is the place to do it. Paddle boarding here allows you to explore diverse ecosystems, making each trip out on the water a new adventure.

Recommended SUP Board for This Location

For group adventures in Mývatn Lake, the 12'/15' Manta Ray Multi-Person paddle board is a fantastic choice. Its large size allows you to share this breathtaking experience with friends or family.

Skógafoss Waterfall, South Iceland: Power and Beauty Combined

Paddle boarding in SKÓGAFOSS WATERFALL

About Skógafoss Waterfall

Skógafoss is one of Iceland's most famous waterfalls. Paddle boarding here lets you feel the power of nature as you draw near the 60-meter drop of the waterfall, with a constant rainbow adorning the misty air.

How to Get There

Located along the southern coast of Iceland, Skógafoss is easily accessible with just a 2-hour drive from Reykjavik.

Why Paddle board Here

This location offers an awe-inspiring backdrop for paddle boarders. The waterfall's powerful roar and the rainbow it creates add an element of grandeur to your paddling experience.

Recommended SUP Board for This Location

Given the power of the waterfall, the 10'6 Tidal Wave hard/epoxy is ideal. Its solid build provides stability, and its non-slip deck ensures safety, even as you paddle near the waterfall's misty base.

Gear and Accessories for Paddle boarding in Iceland

GILI Paddle boards with accessories on Iceland

Paddle boarding in Iceland is a thrilling and unique experience, but it requires some specific gear and accessories to ensure you're safe and comfortable on the water. Here are some essential items you should consider for your Icelandic paddle boarding adventure, along with some recommendations from GILI Sports' range of high-quality accessories.

Wetsuit or Drysuit: Given Iceland's colder water temperatures, wearing a wetsuit or drysuit is essential to stay warm and safe while paddle boarding. A wetsuit traps a thin layer of water against your skin, which your body heats up, providing insulation. A dry suit, on the other hand, is completely waterproof, keeping you dry and warm in colder conditions.

Life Jacket: Safety is paramount when paddle boarding, especially in unfamiliar waters. Wearing a life jacket is a crucial precaution that could save your life in case of an accident. Make sure it's comfortable and allows for a full range of motion while paddling.

Leash: A leash connects you to your paddle board, ensuring it doesn't drift away if you fall into the water. This is especially important in Iceland's waterways, where conditions can change quickly. GILI Sports offers a selection of high-quality leashes suitable for various conditions.

Paddle: A high-quality, adjustable paddle is essential for efficient and comfortable paddle boarding. GILI Sports provides a range of paddles with different materials and designs to suit your specific needs.

Dry Bags: Dry bags are essential for keeping your belongings safe and dry while you're on the water. They're perfect for storing your phone, camera, snacks, or extra layers of clothing. Check out GILI Sports' collection of dry bags in various sizes and colors.

Electric Pump: Inflating your paddle board manually can be time-consuming and tiring. An electric pump will make the process quicker and easier, allowing you to spend more time on the water. GILI Sports offers a range of electric pumps compatible with their inflatable paddle boards.

Sun Protection: Even in Iceland, protecting yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays is important. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun while on the water.

Board Bag: Protect your paddle board during transport and storage with a durable board bag. GILI Sports offers board bags designed to fit their paddle boards perfectly.

SUP Repair Kit: Accidents happen, and having a SUP repair kit on hand can save the day. GILI Sports includes a repair kit with their paddle boards, ensuring you're prepared for any minor mishaps.

By equipping yourself with the right gear and accessories, you can make the most of your paddle boarding experience in Iceland's stunning waterways. GILI Sports provides a comprehensive range of high-quality accessories that will enhance your adventures and ensure you're well-prepared for the unique conditions of Iceland's waters.


Whether you're an experienced paddler or just getting started, Iceland's incredible waterways offer a unique paddle boarding experience. From floating among icebergs to paddling between continents, Iceland is a paddler's dream. Grab a GILI Sports paddle board that suits your adventure and explore the unparalleled beauty of Iceland's waterways.

Embark on your own Icelandic paddle boarding adventure and discover the wonders of this Nordic gem. Don't miss out on the chance to experience the awe-inspiring landscapes and the thrill of gliding through Iceland's stunning waterways.

Interactive Map


🏆 What's the best season for paddle boarding in Iceland?

Summer, from June to August, is the most favorable season for paddle boarding in Iceland, as the weather is warmer and the days are longer.

👍 Are there paddle boarding rental facilities available at these locations?

Yes, many popular paddle boarding spots in Iceland offer rental services for paddle boards and accessories.

🏝️ Do I need any special gear for paddle boarding in Iceland?

Due to the colder water temperatures, it's recommended to wear a wetsuit and bring safety gear such as a life jacket and a leash.

❓ Can beginners paddle board in Iceland?

Absolutely! There are many beginner-friendly paddle boarding locations in Iceland, such as Reykjavik's Old Harbor.

📦 Is it safe to paddle board near glaciers and waterfalls in Iceland?

Paddle boarding near glaciers and waterfalls can be safe if you take precautions, follow safety guidelines, and keep a safe distance.

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

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