Iceland’s Off-Road Academy

Iceland is arguably the best off-road country in the world. It has every challenging terrain and obstacles 4×4’s encounter; mud, sand, un-bridged rivers, steep hills, snow, glaciers and rough tracks.
Iceland has also been leading in modifying 4×4 vehicles and has exported this knowledge to some of the most challenging conditions, from Afghanistan to Antarctica.
In our Off-Road Academy you will drive in most variable off-road conditions you can find on specially equipped super-jeeps from our partners at ISAK and learn basic and advanced driving techniques, self-rescue and have an amazing time exploring the wilder side of Iceland.

Why a course in 4×4 Driving Techniques?
Many of the most spectacular places in the world are in the wilderness, with less infrastructure, bad roads or exciting tracks, with various obstacles to cross and far away from the nearest service station. Having the training and skills will make any 4×4 trip more safe, more fun and you will be more confident. Besides, it‘s a lot of fun.

Main Objective:
To make the drivers be able to maximize their ability to cross difficult terrain safely without damaging the vehicle. The higher level of know how will build your confidence and expertise as an off-road driver. This will increase your effectiveness as a driver  and decrease costs.

Other Objectives / Milestone:
After the course, you will be able to cross harder terrain with less problems, get loose when stuck, cross unbridged rivers and have experience in all type‘s terrain. Furthermore, you will know where to go (route selection) and how, what the vehicle can and can not do as well as how to fix basic problems in the field

More completed trips  and higher level of efficiency
Increased safety for you and your fellow travelers
Decrease in maintainence cost of vehicless and equipment
More up-time in the field
Higher level of know how and more self confidence

Why Iceland:
Iceland has a great variety in difficult terrain within short distances so it´s easy to get training in all conditions, incl. unbridged rivers, sand, snow, rocky terrain and bad roads. Icelander´s have a strong 4×4 culture and expert knowledge in the field.

Example of Program for Off-Road Academy

Oct. 26: Arrival in Iceland
If you wish to arrive earlier, we will gladly assist you with booking a hotel and plan your extra days in Iceland.
Accommodation: Hotel in Reykjavik

Oct 27:  Basic Principles of 4×4 Driving
We pick you up at your hotel a few minutes before 9 am and drive you to Isak‘s headquarters where we have a short introduction to the team and the vehicles you will be driving. Then we head out of Reykjavik to our base on the south shore and take a couple of fun detours to make it more exciting and fun; crossing rivers and driving through lava fields.
We will have lunch at the hotel which serves at our base for the week. Over lunch we  introduce everybody, go through the program and have a short lecture on the basic principles of 4×4 driving, including use of gears, power, speed vs torque, clutch and brakes. After lunch the drivers start using those techniques on our own off-road track until dinner time.
Todays nature highlights: Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, Hveragerdi
Accommodation: Hotel Fljotshlid at Smaratun in South Iceland

Oct 28:  Black Sand Beach for Steep Banks, Sideslopes and Sanddunes
The day starts with a short lecture on the basics of freeing a stuck vehicle with use of ropes, winches, shovels before we go down to the black sand beach to try yet another off-road conditions. Furthermore they will get learn how to repair a flat tire, repair a tire which has gone off the wheelrim and other basic problems.
We stay out the rest of the day, using at least two different off-road areas, with mud, sand, side-slopes, steep banks and an unbridged river. The whole day will be used to gain as much practice for the drivers. From previous years we know to put special emphasis on tyre placement, the “wobbling-technigue” and not loosing traction.
Todays nature highlights: Black sand beach, Skogafoss waterfall, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, hexagon basalt columns at Dyrholaey and Reynisdrangar, blue ice at Sólheimajokull.
Evening: Film on Eyjafjallajokull eruption – which we have a splendid view of from our hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Fljotshlid at Smaratun in South Iceland

Oct 29: Crossing Unbridged Rivers
The day starts with a lecture over breakfast on rivers, fords and how to drive through them. After breakfast we drive into the valley of Thorsmörk where the drivers must cross around 20 glacier rivers and mountain streams of different levels. Thorsmörk is a nature reserve, surrounded by three glaciers and steep mountains and a perfect place to learn about rivers and crossing them safely – and it‘s breathtakingly beautiful.
Todays nature highlights: Eyjafjallajokull eruption & flood site at the base of the volcano, Thorsmork Nature Reserve, Myrdalsjokull glacier, Tindfjallajokull glacier
Accommodation: Hotel Fljotshlid at Smaratun in South Iceland

Oct 30: Glacier Driving to the summit of Eyjafjallajokull volcano & glacier
This day we spend practicing driving in snow – by driving on a glacier, either the famous Eyjafjallajokull or Myrdalsjokull, two of the larger ice caps in Iceland.
Accommodation: Hotel Fljotshlid at Smaratun in South Iceland

Oct 31: Mission / Reccé
Full day of recce and sum up of the course where you get to use all the skills you have learned during the course. We drive into the highlands and wildersness, crossing unbridged rivers, snow and other obstacles. Accommodation: Hotel Fljotshlid at Smaratun in South Iceland

Nov 1: The fun route to Reykjavik
(Eigum við að taka Hungurfits-hring eða upp hringinn í kringum Heklu á leið til Reykjavikur – eða gullhring + Fontana – eða Reykjanesið og Bláa lónið?
Accommodation: Hotel in Reykjavik

Nov 2: Departure – or you can extend your stay
If you wish, we will gladly help you extend your stay in Iceland.

Off-Road Academy Instructors

Haukur Parelius – Hawk is an internatitonally certified 4×4 trainer and member of the Int. 4×4 Trainer‘s Association. He is the founder and proprietor of this company, Nature Explorer and has been off-roading on 4×4´s for years before starting the company. He knows Iceland intimately, driving across unbridged rivers in the highlands and on glaciers. He has also driven in Africa and in Afghanistan for ISAF as a MOT-driver as well as trained military teams in off-roading techniques. Hawk is a former member of Icelandic Mountain Search & Rescue, has a Master‘s degree and is an experienced  lecturer and instructor.


Jon Baldur Thorbjörnsson, is a mechanic and educated as automotive engineer (Dipl. Ing.- FH Fahrzeugtechnik) from Fachhochschule München in Germany. He has over 30 years of experience as a tourist guide in Iceland, has a wide spread knowledge of the interior of the country for the summer time as well as winter. He is the founder of a tour operating company Isafold Travel, and also cofounder of the Isak-4×4 rental, thus leading convoy tours all around in the country. Apart from this Jon Baldur has been giving lectures for various courses, in tourism and techniques.

Benedikt M. Olafsson – Benni 
is a mechanic and has years of experience in modifying 4×4´s in Iceland as well as driving them for ISAF as a MOT-driver. He has served as a mechanic in Kabul and seen first hand how untrained and inexperienced driver´s are breaking the 4×4´s resulting in loss efficiency, high maintainance and cost. Together with Hawk, Benni has trained the armed forces of more than one nation in 4×4 techniques. For the past few year he has worked at Isak, making sure their fleet of Land Rover Defender super-jeeps run smoothly.

Together our instructor‘s have expert knowledge in the field of 4×4 driving in the most difficult conditions

Details for Offroad Academy

•             4×4 off-road training by our expert trainers
•             Isak LR Defender super-jeep on 38“ tyres, 1 vehicle per 2 drivers
•             Fuel for the super-jeep
•             Copy of lectures and slides
•             Use of tools and equipment (winches, tow-ropes, repair-kits etc)
•             Accommodation for the entire period, dbl occupancy
•             Breakfast every morning
•             Lunch Oct 27 – Nov 1 (all days except first and last)
•             Dinner Oct 27 – Nov 1 (all days except first and last)

•             Snacks and drinks
•             Lunch & dinner on first and last day, in Reykjavik

•             Sgl suppliment
•             Non-driving partners welcome at discounted rate


If you have any questions, please don‘t hesitate to contact us.

To book a tour, please send us an email to with which tour(s) and options you wish to book, on which dates and for how many people and we will calculate the total cost, send you a booking number and a link to our secure booking page.

Tour details

Price: Ask for Quote

Available: Upon request for groups & teams