Buggy Adventures is a licensed tour operator twenty minutes drive from central Reykjavik. Guide to Iceland Now recently paid this new adventure company a visit to get the lowdown on their exciting 1-Hour Buggy Original tour.
A review of the tour Buggy Original. Click the link to book your Buggy tour!
ATV and Buggy Rides are two of the most popular tourist activities available in Iceland’s Capital Region. Both provide a fantastic means of exploring the country’s moon-like landscapes while also adding a shot of exhilaration that is hard to find elsewhere.
Tours are available during both summer and winter, and accommodate large groups as well as well as small, making it incredibly accessible for those with only a short time holidaying in Iceland. Driving licenses are, of course, a necessity for participants looking to get behind the wheel themselves, but is not so for passengers.
Given the popularity of ATV and Buggy rides, it was to the delight of our office when we were cordially invited to try our hand at the latter. After a swift commute to the base camp, located just outside of the city, our first glimpse of the terrain that we would be traversing became clear.
See Also: ATV & Buggies in Iceland
Esja loomed over us, her haunting, mist-shrouded peaks and sweeping grass slopes a continual reminder of the untampered wild that can be found only twenty minutes, in any direction, from the capital. Still, we weren’t dressed for such exploration in our genial office-wear, no. Before anything else, it was imperative that we first look the part.
Kitting Up & Briefing
We attired as a group, first in wind and waterproof overalls, then thick boots, gloves and a balaclava; the helmets provided were open-face with an adjustable visor, completing our image as the archetypal motorhead.
And of the vehicle itself? Outside, lined up two-by-two like a military parade, were the buggies, emblazoned red and black with thick off-road tyres, tilt steering wheel and a sturdy roll cage. Our guide took us to his own buggy, positioned at the front of the queue, and took us through its simple controls; accelerate with one pedal, brake with the other and steer.
It was so basic that a child could have done it (—though, granted, this is not recommended, nor possible). The briefing concluded with our guide showing us a switch to terminate the buggy’s power and that was it… we were free to clamber into the carriage of our choosing.
I seated myself near the front, my partner positioned shoulder-to-shoulder with me; it was decided that I would drive first, before swapping over at the halfway mark. Revving the engine, I pulled the buggy out onto the asphalt and followed the guide in front of me.
Our very own buggy adventure had just begun.
Buggy Adventures Off-Road
We began to rumble in convoy down a narrow gravel track that lead away from the relative shelter of the garages out toward the mountain. We left a space of three-vehicles in front of us should one party brake unexpectedly, a necessary safety precaution that also allowed for a sense of freedom regarding our control of the acceleration.
It was entirely up to us how fast we chose to drive; what it would come down to, however, was our confidence and courage behind the wheel.
See Also: Top 9 Adventures in Iceland
With the first tingling sensations of adrenaline creeping through my veins, confidence and courage felt as though they were suddenly in abundance. Shaking in my seat, I could feel the power burning beneath me, just waiting to be unleashed with pure, mechanised fury. I began to pinion the throttle, bringing the buggy to a quick burst of speed, before allowing it to cool again, like an excited toddler ready to let loose on a playground of trickling river beds, winding pathways and pebble-strewn hillsides.
That playground quickly arrived. Our guide shot from the road, tearing down into a muddy area of artificial hills, slopes and pools, as we readily followed for our first trial in navigation and control. The wheels drifted beneath me, and immediately it became clear that some rugged steering was going to be necessary in order to stay on the road. As I thrust the vehicle into the first of many deep streams, I couldn’t help but privately gloat in a challenge well accepted.
The buggies appeared to be semi-aquatic, taking on a full wave of ice-cold glacial water as I steered its solid tyres into pools on the terrain. As the crashing water descended on our small vehicle, I was forced to shield my face with the visor, an instant windscreen smeared with mud and streaming droplets. I had to pull it up again almost instantly to gain a clear perspective of the trail ahead.
One thing I began to realise about my driving was that my attention span—as in, my conscious focus—was starting to taper as instinct took over. I was not merely driving this mechanical steed, but was the steed itself, twisting and turning it with the flick of a wrist whenever the whim so happened to take me. As a riverbed approached, I took it with speed, revelling in the notion that I would soak both my partner and I in what would be, all told, a wet and bumpy transition.
I hadn’t had such vehicular fun as when I took to the old go-kart racing courses in my native England. This truly was reckless living, an activity that revealed itself to be just as addictive as it was breathtakingly revitalising. Without doubt, the surrounding scenery of Esja’s many hillsides only added to this sense of reinvigoration, putting into perspective just how important it is to get out and about in Iceland’s unmatchable nature.
What Else Is On Offer with Buggy Adventures?
Following our tour, we changed back into a normal clothing and were treated to coffee and kleinurs (“Icelandic donuts”) upstairs, where we learnt a little more about the tour’s possibilities and asked questions. We, for instance, had just undertaken the short one hour tour, more than capable of satisfying the casual adrenaline junkies thirst, but perhaps a touch too timely for the hardened speed freak.
But that was only a taster of what Buggy Adventures had to provide.
Those who do count themselves as authentic rev-heads need not despair, however, given the variety of other tours on offer at Buggy Adventures, including one which pairs our own tour with sightseeing the Golden Circle route, famously home to the three major attractions, Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and the rumbling waterfall, Gullfoss.
Other tours on offer are the Golden Buggy Adventure, a full day activity that sees guests undertake the whole Golden Circle route in a buggy, with added detours along highland tracks. Another half-day excursion is centred in the valley of Þórsmörk (“Valley of Thor”), with another taking place nearby amidst the picturesque, rhyolite hills of Landmannalaugar.
Those looking for the ultimate buggy experience would do best to check out the two-day trip into the highlands; with an overnight stay in a wilderness cabin and landscapes varying from barren, black sand deserts to cool blue glaciers to smoky geothermal valleys, this exciting tour is sure to provide the very best in sightseeing and driving alike.
If you are interested to see the full range of available tours offered by Buggy Adventures, make sure to follow the link HERE. Happy Buggying!