If you are looking for an unforgettable experience of the ice in all its glory combined in one single trip then look no further. This ultimate 5-hour long hike is the perfect way to explore “The Falling Glacier” Falljökull with various methods and techniques ensuring that you get to encounter every single wonder that this humongous glacier has to offer. With impeccable landscapes in sight, soul-stirring escapades, and access to the most inaccessible and hidden areas of Falljökull glacier, this extra-long hike will surely get added to the list of best experiences in Iceland.
Knowing the Terrain
Falljökull, an outlet glacier from Vatnajokull Ice Cap, is named after the landscape it present. It is located in Skaftafell natural reserve. When looked from afar, it appears that the ice from the glacier is crashing down in a landslide and flowing towards the ocean at the foot. The sight is every bit magnificent as it sounds in words and as it looks in pictures. Hiking this glacier would mean that you will come across some very challenging but exceptionally beautiful curvatures, tackle some high-speed winds, witness beautiful moulins, and some ice sculptures as well. Falljökull is one of the most visited and the most accessible glaciers in Iceland. The hike is challenging at times but it is worth every bit of the effort.
Decoding the Hiking Process
The trip will start at the foot of the glacier at Skaftafell Terminal where you will meet your guide for the hike. A short briefing about the hike will follow the initial meetup. This briefing will include information about all the safety equipment that you will be using on the hike. The list mainly includes helmets, crampons, ice axes, and harness. These are the primary safety equipment you will be using on the hike. The guide will explain how to put each of these on and makes sure that you are safe once you reach the ice cap and its time for the real show to begin.
The course of action will include taking a short bus ride to the foot of the ice cap. After that, you will take a short hike to reach the Vatnajökull ice cap. Your guide then will help you put on your safety equipment and then you will continue the hike. You will further explore the glacier. Skaftafell National Park has been the location for many Hollywood movies and shows and is often used as a shooting site to depict the Himalaya Range. A scene from the movie ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ was also shot on Falljökull glacier. So, you can be assured that you will be getting to plenty of interesting sights at the glacier apart from the scenic beauty that it is so popular for.
Our exceptionally learned and trained guides will keep you posted throughout the hike with various historical and geographical facts about the glacier, its formation, and potential threats. Falljökull glacier does not have any lagoons at the present but it is speculated to have one soon. Your guide will keep you in the loop about it as well.
What to Expect on the Tour
Expect to be thrilled beyond comprehension. This 5-hour hike will be everything that you may have hoped to experience from an authentic Icelandic hike, it will have several geographical wonders to explore, various facts and figures for you to crunch on, some myths and fables and a head full of different hiking techniques and lessons.
Certified English Speaking Glacier Guide
Guided half-day glacier hiking tour on Europe’s largest Glacier – Vatnajökull
All Safety Glacier Equipment: crampons, helmet, harness, and ice axe
What to bring
Hiking boots – available for rent online and on location
Warm clothing (first layer)
Waterproof clothing (second layer)
Hat & Glvoes
Good to know
- This tour is operated in small groups – maximum 10 persons
- Jeans are not encouraged for glacier tours as they take too long to dry. Please use waterproof clothing as over layer.
- This tour is suitable for both single travelers, groups and families.
- Hiking boots should be tight around the ankle and have a hard sole. You can rent hiking boots when booking the tour.
- This tour doesn’t require prior experience.
- 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.
- Skaftafell is located around 4 hours and 30 minutes from Reykjavík. The nearest towns to Skaftafell are Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 69 km to the west and Höfn, 130 km to the east.
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.
Glacier hikes in Skaftafell 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.