With its unique, beautiful and remote scenery, Iceland is considered one of the best places to surf in the world, especially for the adventurous surfer. The surf scene in Iceland is small but is energetic and lively, with surreal landscapes and cold waters. Here is our guide on where to surf in Iceland to make the most of your trip.
With over 4970kms of coastline to explore, it is no wonder that the Reykjanes Peninsula is the most popular surf spot in Iceland. The Peninsula is in South West Iceland and is marked by active volcanism under its surface, with numerous hot springs in the southern half. It is also the only place where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is visible above sea level! The low-pressure systems spawned in Baffin Bay creates giant and powerful swells in the peninsula, so it can be pretty hardcore. You can surf all year round in the Reykjanes, yet the time to score manageable waves is in early autumn (September – October). This coast of Iceland offers stellar surfing, as you can ride some of the best waves in the world surrounded by amazing scenery dotted with glaciers and volcanoes.
Thorli is closer to the capital city of Reykjavik and lays at the base of the Reykjanes Peninsula. It benefits from having a deep, defined channel, which means you won’t have to duck dive very often. However, you must be careful as there can be strong currents, so we advise to check surf reports before your surf. Thorli is enclosed by beautiful tall mountains with the distinctive Icelandic black sands, so it’s a definite must-visit.
Sandvik is located on the southwest tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula and is a popular destination for travellers. The winds in Sandvik can be very strong, so this spot is recommended for the more experienced surfer. Sandvik is very well known for being the bridge between the European and North American tectonic plates, and it is an unbelievable sight. Don’t miss it!
Surfing in Iceland can be very unpredictable, so make sure you check out our tips so that you can get the most out of your surfing trip.
- Do your homework – Surfing in Iceland demands hard work and an understanding of the arctic sea. Do some research on which surf spots will suit your level and look most appealing to you.
- Wear a quality wetsuit – Surfing in Iceland can present a challenge when it comes to the cold water and brutal winds. It is vital that you wear a thick, good quality west suit to protect you from the harsh conditions that the Icelandic waters can present. It is also super important as some of the beaches are composed of sharp rocks, which can be dangerous for beginners.
- Check the forecast – We advise you to take a look at the Icelandic weather forecast carefully before your surf. It is also a good idea to talk to locals for some guidance and advice. This way you know roughly what to expect!