Touring Iceland in Style with Gummi
A pioneer of highland driving in Iceland, Gumundur ‘Gummi’ Gunnarsson has a tremendous amount of experience in travelling around his homeland and is the man for the job when it comes to exploring off the beaten track. His specially adapted, super cool 4WD vehicles are the ultimate way to explore this ruggedly spectacular island and he knows places to visit not generally found in the major guidebooks. Here he tells us a little more about why 4WD are one of the best ways to explore magical Iceland.
Tell us about your family’s interesting history
My grandfather, Guðmundur Jónasson, was one of the first to introduce Iceland to the kind of vehicles that suit the often impossible terrain. During WWII, large weapon carriers with 4WD or 6WD made for transporting good not people were brought to Iceland. My grandfather bought a few of these and converted them into buses; he bought a Bombardier snowmobile too and went on many trips ferrying people around and even rescued an airplane from a glacier.
Did you start travelling with your grandfather?
Yes, I started going out with him when I was about 8 years old on a couple of trips every year, especially in the Highlands. My job was to keep the bus clean and help with luggage. These trips gave me a taste for exploring and a love of the nature around me.
What kind of trips do you operate?
I’ve two Mercedes Benz Sprinters which have been converted into ‘super trucks’ with 42” tyres and raised suspension. They are super-comfortable, luxury minibuses which can carry up to 17 people off the beaten track amongst unbelievable scenery, to places often inaccessible to normal vehicles.
Can these vehicles go anywhere?
Most of the time I can go anywhere I want if the conditions are good; these vehicles can ford rivers and streams, negotiate rough terrain and climb in the snow – I’ve not been beaten by a steep incline yet!
What is your favourite area of Iceland?
The Highlands! One particularly special place is the incredible Askja area in the northern Highlands… you can really feel the power of the Earth there.
What do you need to get the most out of a 4WD trip?
A sense of adventure, enjoy travelling in a small group, meeting fellow travellers and getting to know interesting locals…