Learn why the country is called Iceland as you join this 3-Hour Expedition of Skaftafell Glacier. Hiking is indeed one of the most sought-after activities in Iceland, given that it has some of the most amusing and gigantic glaciers that are sure to leave you awestruck. This glacier was present in Game of Thrones and if you are one the fans of the show, you should explore this place. This means you will be following the steps of Jon Snow beyond the wall as you partake in this hiking expedition.
On this day-hike tour, you will get an incredible perspective of the surrounding mountains, including the Nordic country’s tallest peak – Hvannadalshnukur. The hike includes short and easy trails that lead to the glacier, situated in the outlet of Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. Skaftafell glacier hike offers you a great opportunity to explore the picturesque landscape of Iceland that is covered with ice-capped peaks. This glacier has more than just geographical significance. The surrounding was used as a backdrop in several movies such as James Bond and Interstellar.
Operation of the Tour
Once you reach the meeting point (Skaftafell Terminal), a certified and experienced guide greets you and provides you with all the essential equipment including crampons, ice axes, harnesses, and helmets. You then enter the bus that takes you to the parking lot of the glacier. From this point, it is only a 15-minute walk to the edge of the ice where the guide teaches you how to put on the crampons and steel frames (they are tied to your hiking boots, making it possible for you to walk on the glacier). Throughout the tour, you will be surrounded by fascinating natural phenomena – glacier Moulin, age-old ice sculptures that have now turned blue due to oxygen trapped inside.
Throughout the journey, the certified guide provides you with relevant information about the ice formations, the geography of the surrounding area, and the techniques to hike easily. You will stay on the ice for probably an hour and a half and observe the ice formations such as crevasses, deep cracks that are present on the surface of the glacier. You will learn about how Moulin is formed – often vertical shafts are formed in the ice due to the melting of water into fissures and cracks. During winters, you can get an opportunity to peek into small ice tunnels and get a glimpse of the blue heart of the ice.
It has an easy to moderate level of difficulty. The tour is safe for anyone who is in good physical health. So if you can walk even for an hour on an uneven surface, this glacier hike is perfect for you. You should come prepared as well. Ensure you are properly clothed as the weather in Iceland is unpredictable. It is recommended to wear waterproof clothing as the second layer.
What to bring
Warm clothing (first layer)
Hat & Glvoes
Hiking boots – available for rent online and on location
Good to know
- This tour is operated in small groups – maximum 6 persons per guide
- This tour doesn’t require prior experience. It is perfect for beginners as well as those who have been glacier hiking before.
- This tour is suitable for both single travelers, groups and families.
- The duration of the tour is 3 hours in total including gearing up and a bus ride to the glacier. You will be spending around 1,5 hours on the ice.
- The meeting point is Skaftafell Terminal by the main road. You can look up “Skaftafell Terminal” on Google Maps to find the exact location and driving directions.
Most frequent questions and answers
The meeting point is Skaftafell Terminal by the main road. You can look up “Skaftafell Terminal” on Google Maps to find the exact location and driving directions.
We will see you at our meeting point 20 minutes before the departure time stated on your ticket. Please note that if you arrive after departure time, your place on the tour can’t be guaranteed or refunded.
Driving time from Reykjavik to Skaftafell is around 4 hours and 30 minutes. If you arrive early, you can visit Skaftafell Terminal which offers free parking and has restrooms. There are also a lot of interesting locations to explore in Skaftafell.
We encourage bringing hiking boots for glacier tours. They have to hard on the sole and tight around the ankle. If you don’t have them, we have them for rent in all sizes in Skaftafell or Sólheimajökull. You can add them to your reservation at the time of booking or rent them on location pay with cash or card. The price is ISK 1,500 per pair. For ice climbing tours, boots are included in the price.
Weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. For tours during winter: warm clothing as first layer, waterproof jacket with a hoodie, hiking boots with ankle protection and hard sole, a hat and gloves are ideal. For tours during summer, bringing a light rain jacket or a soft shell with a hoodie is in most cases enough protection. Icelanders often say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes”. Jeans are not recommended for the tour as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet.
It rains a lot in Iceland, but we do not let rain stop us from going out and enjoy nature. All we need to do is choose our clothing wisely, which is why we recommend wearing waterproof clothing as the second layer. Of course, safety is our #1 priority. In case of extreme weather conditions, we will cancel our tours and do our best to reschedule. In these cases, you’ll receive a full refund.
This is a personal choice. We have had pregnant women on our glacier hikes and we always recommend you read the description of the activity to get a better idea. In any case, feel free to contact our Service Team for further questions and concerns.
We offer glacier hiking tours in Skaftafell and one in Sólheimajökull. Both locations are easy or moderate in difficulty. Our tours are considered to be safe for anyone in good physical condition. If you are fit to walk for about an hour on an uneven surface a glacier hike is for you. Longer tours will be more challenging in endurance and some areas of the glacier. We also recommend you remember that we offer all the safety equipment necessary and you will be hiking with a professional and certified glacier guide. If you have specific questions regarding one of our glacier tours, feel free to email us.