Add It to the Bucket List: Paraglide Over Iceland's Black Sand Beaches
If you’ve spent any amount of time in Iceland, you know how surreal the surroundings are. And, even if you haven’t, you’ve seen the photos — it’s straight out of a movie set (and sometimes is the movie set). Iceland’s black sand beaches have long been a sight for travelers around the world, but there’s one way to escape the crowds and see them in a truly unique way: paragliding.
Tour company Paragliding Iceland takes visitors hundreds of feet in the air to take in some of the country’s unique landscapes. You won’t be alone; each paraglider is matched with an experienced pilot who will guide you through your airborne journey. One of the pilot bios on the site mentions instructor Róbert as having a specialty in “aerobatic maneuvers,” making it seem like you can add a little more adventure to your already-adventurous experience.
The paragliding itself will last up to 20 minutes, weather depending, and each paragliding site is located within an hour’s drive of Reykjavik. For an added fee, you can also opt in for a pick-up in Reykjavik, just in case you didn’t rent a car.
The act of flying is cool in itself, but being able to avoid the crowds is worth the tour fee alone. There are spots to see the black sand beaches on foot all around the country, but you can bet on there being a lot of people milling around with you ruining your photos. And on the topic of photos: You don’t have to worry about snapping shots during your paragliding experience. Your pilot will have a GoPro on hand and will take care of the photos so you can just enjoy the ride.
You can also add your paragliding to a day tour — take to the air after visiting waterfalls, glaciers and lava fields. Since the weather is so unpredictable, Paragliding Iceland offers a pretty slick re-booking promise. If your flight needs to be cancelled because of the weather, the company is happy to re-book your flight for another time or day, or you’re welcome to choose another Free Flying tour. And if your schedule just doesn’t allow a re-book, they’ll refund you the total amount of your tour.