Vatnajökull National Park

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Vatnajökull National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

1. Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

Discover what it feels like to walk on impacted ice on an amazing hike across the outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. Get breathtaking views of the ice-covered peaks of Skaftafell National Park in the epic wilderness of Iceland. Meet your guide at the meeting point to pick up your crampons, ice axes, harnesses, and helmets. Then, drive by bus to the start of your hike and put on your crampons and steel frames tied to your hiking boots for the amazing adventure ahead. Spend around 60 to 90 minutes on the ice to see crevasses and deep cracks on the surface. Learn about the vertical shafts known as moulins, formed when melting water finds its way into the fissures and cracks. Look into small ice tunnels and capture the beautiful blue heart of the ice in the winter. Learn the history of the glacier from your English-speaking guide.

Skaftafell: Guided Glacier Hike Day Trip

2. Skaftafell: Guided Glacier Hike Day Trip

Enjoy a frozen adventure in the wilderness of Skaftafell and hike across a stunning outlet glacier of Vatnajökull in the company of an expert guide. Get a short safety briefing and collect all the necessary equipment at the meeting point. Then, marvel at the majesty of the landscape on the short hike to the ice cap. Put on your crampons for security out on the ice. See different formations, including deep crevasses and ice sculptures, and get panoramic views over Skaftafell National Park. Learn how glaciers are formed and hear how their future is under threat as a result of global warming. Get an introduction to more advanced stages of glacier hiking before heading back to the meeting point.

Skaftafell: Extra-Small Group Glacier Hike

3. Skaftafell: Extra-Small Group Glacier Hike

Embark on a small-group tour of Vatnajökull glacier and benefit from an intimate experience with a maximum of 8 participants. After meeting your guide at the meeting point in Skaftatell Airport, get geared up and prepare for your 20-minute 4x4 drive to the base of the Falljökull outlet glacier. At the base, step onto the glacier and listen to a quick briefing on how to wear your ice crampons. Then, it's time to begin your glacier hike. Follow your experienced guide through stunning ice formations, moulins, crevasses, and crystal-clear blue pools. Spend up to 120 minutes exploring the unique landscape of the glacier. Witness breathtaking views, listen to interest local anecdotes, and have your photo taken against this stunning natural landscape before heading back to the 4x4. Get dropped off back at the meeting point at the end of your hike.

From Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Trip

4. From Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Trip

Explore the dramatic landscapes of the south of Iceland on a full-day sightseeing tour by bus. Go to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon outlet of the largest glacier in Europe, leaning about its history and formation from your local guide. Following a pickup from your hotel in Reykjavik, transfer to the southern coast and the dramatic Glacier Lagoon. Enjoy plenty of time to see the floating icebergs and enjoy the stunning scenery. During the season, make sure to reserve your ticket to the boat cruise on the Jökulsárlón and experience the unique Glacier Lagoon spectacle up close. When you prebook, your place is guaranteed. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is Iceland’s largest and deepest glacier lagoon. It branches from Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. Return to Reykjavik, stopping at the gorgeous waterfall Seljalandsfoss. You will visit the Diamond beach with black sand, and there will be an additional stop in Iceland's southernmost village at Vík for dinner.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Boat Tour from Reykjavik

5. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Boat Tour from Reykjavik

Discover one of the most incredible feats of nature on a sightseeing tour in southern Iceland. Go to the Glacier Lagoon of Jökulsárlón, and marvel at the icebergs and waterfalls of a glacier river. Following a pick-up from your hotel, transfer to Skaftafell National Park. Cruise among the icebergs on a 30-minute boat tour of the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Return to Reykjavik via the waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. At the latter, walk behind the cascades to feel the might of the waterfall up-close. Visit the charming village of Vík at the southernmost point of Iceland, and see the black sand beaches and sea stacks off the coast. If the weather is good, enjoy views of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

Skaftafell: Vatnajökull Glacier Explorer Tour

6. Skaftafell: Vatnajökull Glacier Explorer Tour

Take a tour with a certified guide of the Vatnajökull Glacier — the largest in Europe. Head with your group to the ice fall, a scenic and exhilarating walk that requires crampons and a safety briefing. Along the way enjoy artful ice sculptures formed by nature. Your certified guide will take you on a scenic walk, during which you can appreciate the dramatic landscape carved by the glacier. Once at the tongue of the glacier, put crampons on, have a safety briefing, and then make your way to the real adventure. Head up towards the incredible ice fall (from which Falljokull derives its name), where you will soon be exploring a dramatic terrain, full of frozen ice formations and ice sculptures. Get plenty of photo opportunities while witnessing the rugged and majestic ice fall. Your guide will explain how the glacier was formed and how it keeps changing its shape day after day.

Skaftafell Ice Climb and Glacier Hike

7. Skaftafell Ice Climb and Glacier Hike

Experience what it feels like to walk on ice on a hike across the outlet glacier of Vatnajökull. Brave Europe's largest glacier to get breathtaking views of the Skaftafell area. Learn how to put on and walk in your crampons and learn the basic techniques of ice climbing. Meet your guide at the Skaftafell Terminal to collect all the necessary safety equipment. Gear up with your harness, crampons, ice axe, and helmet, then jump aboard the shuttle bus for the 10-minute ride to the glacier. Challenge gravity as you climb up walls of ice, and hike around the glacier. Learn how it was formed, and its fascinating history, including its recent use as a film location for movies such as Interstellar, Batman Begins, and the epic TV series Game of Thrones.

Skaftafell: 3.5-Hour Glacier Walk

8. Skaftafell: 3.5-Hour Glacier Walk

You will meet your qualified glacier guide in Skaftafell National Park, where you will be outfitted with crampons and an ice ax. When everyone is ready, a short bus ride will take us to the foot of the glacier. During the tour, you will explore one of Vatnajökull National Park's many outlet glaciers, extending from the mighty Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. After a short lesson on how to use the crampons and ice ax, you will step onto the glacier and be transported to an icy, foreign planet. The unique landscape truly seems out of this world, with white, clear and deep blue ice, deep crevasses, ice ridges and stunning scenery as far as the eye can see. We will take our time and make sure there are plenty of photo opportunities while your guide explains the inner workings of these white giants. Glacier walks are one of the most popular outdoor activities in Iceland and this is where it all started. Operating since 1994, this easy and safe tour made the Icelandic glaciers accessible to everyone, and today, you can't really visit Iceland without going on a glacier walk.

From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Ice Cave Day Tour

9. From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Ice Cave Day Tour

Experience the majestic beauty of a natural ice cave on a tour of Vatnajökull Glacier. Meet your certified glacier guide at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and then take a 20-30 minute scenic drive to the ice cave.  Get ready to see a magical world of blue ice as you enter the ice cave. Your guide will ensure that you are safe and secure once inside the cave. Gear up with all necessary glacier gear, provided for your safety. Cast your eyes on the heavenly shades of blue ice once you are inside the cave. Take stunning photos of the ice as you spend approximately 40 minutes exploring this miracle of Mother Nature. Discover all that the ice cave has to offer before heading back to Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon.

Skaftafell: Ice Cave Tour and Glacier Hike

10. Skaftafell: Ice Cave Tour and Glacier Hike

Explore breathtaking ice formations and glacier mills on this guided tour in Skaftafell. Marvel at a naturally-formed, blue ice cave and learn how glaciers are formed. A professional hiking guide will take you to the base of Falljökull, an outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull ice cap, and lead you up to the cave. On a clear day, be sure to look out for Hvannadalshnúkur in the distance.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vatnajökull National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Vatnajökull National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Vatnajökull National Park

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 4,014 reviews

A great tour and a great guide (Erik). As promised, we didn't stop every 5 meters in the valley to take supposedly great pictures. Erik promised us from the start to take us to the best views of and into the glacier. So we quickly passed all the other groups up into the exciting rugged area of the glacier and were able to see a lot there, explore the glacier and enjoy the time there while the other groups were still taking photos at the foot of the glacier. Put on waterproof pants, sturdy hiking shoes (ice spikes for the shoes were available on site), a light sweater and a water-repellent jacket. Also thin gloves. When climbing the glacier, you will quickly get super warm, which is why it is not advisable to wear too thick clothing.

The day was great, a wonderful experience. I greatly enjoyed it. However, if you don’t like long trips than do not do this trip. It is a very long day, especially on the way back. I think it’s worth it but it might not be for everyone.

The 5.5 hrs glacier hike at Vatnajokull was a great experience. Barbara (our guide) was great, always aware of everyone’s safety. She was very knowledgeable with everything about the glaciers.

Our guide could answer all our questions about glacier, was a nice moderate tour for everyone. We could see a lot and only had a short break, so great value for money!

It was really an amazing tour that we did with Britney. Just be ready to face a longer round-trip to the south but definitely it is worth for the great nature. Tak!