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09:00, 10:00, 13:30, 14:30 (10:00 & 11:30 Dec 1st - January 31st)
November 10th - March 15th.
Glacier Guides Booking House in Skaftafell. No transportation provided from Reykjavik.
Up to 4 hrs.
For important safety reasons it is not recommended to go into the ice caves without a certified glacier guide.
Ice Caves are only found during the wintertime when the glacial rivers retract and the water freezes. New caves are formed in different locations each year. This tour is highly dependent on conditions (including temperature, safety of the cave and access to the cave). Ice-caves must be treated with the utmost respect in regards to the ceiling being supportive along with other factors. Being inside an Ice Cave provides visitors with unparalleled photographic opportunities while capturing the blue light passing through the glacier ice.
This tour departs from the Glacier Guides booking house in Skaftafell. We will visit one ice cave during the tour and this cave is selected based on conditions and safety.
Included is all necessary glacier gear - crampons, helmet, and harness.
You must bring warm clothes (2 or 3 layers is recommended) and good hiking boots or hiking shoes are essential. The approach to the cave is over an uneven rocky surface which may also be muddy.
Please note that you must arrange your transportation to the meeting point of the tour (Skaftafell is 4 hours east of Reykjavik). The bus schedule during the winter is very limited so it is highly recommended to rent a car and to stay in the area either the night before or after your tour. Driving times can be greatly affected by winter conditions so please be sure to give yourself enough time depending on winter road conditions. Find out more about Road and Weather conditions.
Accommodation options for the area can be found here.
If you are looking for an ice cave tour that includes transportation to/from from Reykjavik please have a look at our South Coast Ice Cave and Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon 2 day tour.
If you are looking for other options that include glacier exploration and transportation to and from Reykjavik please check out the Blue Ice tour or Glaciers & Waterfalls. Please note that these are not ice cave tours.
For all of our glacier tours Glacier Guides will provide guests with crampons for walking on the ice, helmets and ice axes. Waterproof clothing and hiking boots are available for rent. In Skaftafell we do have many of the items below for sale in our booking center.
Please note that the glacier hikes range from 3 hours to 7 hours so depending on the length of your tour you may be able to get away without some of the things on this list.
If you are unable to find your question here please view our general FAQ's page or Contact Us
Our trips in Skaftafell all depart from the Glacier Guides booking office which is located on the parking lot of Skaftafell National Park. We not not offer any pick up services in the area unfortunately.
If you are booking our tours departing from Reykjavík and are unable to find your accommodation on the list when you are completing the online booking, please contact us and we will help you to select the nearest pick up point.
One of the most common questions we get is can I see the "crystal cave" in the summer. Understandably since ice-caves are quite brilliant!! Shortly after receiving our rather disappointing answer, one naturally ask´s -why not? In the fall and winter we have colder temperatures along with shorter days, this is they key to making the glacier rivers smaller. As most larger caves are melt water holes (moulin´s) filled with raging melt water in the summer the fall and winters colder temps greatly reduce the flow of water and we can therefore explore the caves.
First of all there are two different operators of boat trips in the area.Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon run the amphibious boats. During the summer May through September there are lots of departures, at least every 30 minutes, last one leaving around 18:00 (6pm). The Jökulsárlón Café is open all year round. June, July and August they are open from 9:00 - 19:00 (9am-7pm) and the rest of the year from 10:00-17:00 (10am-5pm) excluding Christmas and New Years (23.december– 26.december and 31. December – 2. January). Feel free to contact us for further information on trips during the off season.Fjallsárlón is best known for being less known, a locals favorite, and therefore quiet. Fjallsárlón has a small local operator, they run 3 Zodiac boats with up to 8 people per boat. This lagoon is really stunning and recently a part of our Glacier Grand Slam trip. They operate from May through September and depart every hour, as they are quite full during the season make sure you contact them and book before you travel. The Glacier Grand Slam tour has a fixed departure each day with the Fjallsárlón team, all inclusive.
Our Skaftafell trips depart from our sales office which is located on the parking lot of the Skaftafell Visitor center in the Vatnajökull National Park. From there we provide transportation for your trip, this is included in the trip price. As a reference for our Glacier Wonders, Glacier Explorer and Glacier Extreme Trips our driving time is only about 10 minutes to the glacier from Skaftafell (traveling East towards Höfn) so there is very little time saved on those trips taking your own car.
As far as the Glacier Grand Slam trip goes we depart from Skaftafell, arrive 10 minutes later at the glacier parking lot. After our glacier hike is done we travel back to Skaftafell by 14:00. You will then have to take your own car and drive East (towards Höfn) to the Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon where you join the Zodiac boat tour. This drive is roughly 30-35 minutes.
Contact us via the Special Request Form and we will be able to give you a quick and accurate quote on any private tour.
We really wish we could accommodate this request more often but the truth is it´s not to often that it works out and we do not allow carriers on our scheduled departures. So officially the answer is no. The reason for this is quite simply that things do not always go as planned when it comes to infants, they kind of have their own way, and our guests have often traveled a long way to get to walk on a glacier, some see it as a great thing that there is a baby on the glacier other people just do not like baby´s.
This is of course a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips and we have also gladly refunded our guests that had booked well in advance of finding out the news. We recommend you take a close look at our trip description and difficulty rating, they will hopefully give you a better idea. Feel free to contact us if you have further questions or concerns.
If you are looking for a private departure on any of our scheduled departures please contact us and lets see what we can do for you. If you are looking for a private, off the normal menu tour please fill out our Special Request Form so we can give you as acurate an estimate as possible.
All of our tours have a required minimum of participants so that we will run them . Please contact us and we will do our best to fit you in on an already confirmed departure or put you on a waiting list for the one you wish to join.
We recommend booking in advance for two reasons: In the high season (mid June - end of August) we are quite often fully booked on our departures and due to our location we are unable to get a guide on short notice to accommodate your departure. The other problem you might run into with not booking in advance is that in our shoulder season ( May and September) we will not be running all of our departures times unless we have the minimum number of participants already signed up for the specific trip, time and date and again as we are running our trip from the rather remote location of Skaftafell we are unable to get a guide to run the trip.
You can get to Skaftafell either by car or by bus. Check out our Vatnajökull Voyager trip departing from Reykjavík to Skaftafell, making it all the way to the Glacier Lagoon and back to Reykjavík in a day. Further details on the location and how to get to Skaftafell can be found on our "Getting Here" page.
The main difference between these trips is that they take you to different locations on the glacier. Our Glacier Explorer (5 hour) trip spends approximately 3 hours on the ice, exploring the magnificent ice-fall where it falls down from the Öræfajökull caldera. The Glacier Wonders (2.5 hour) trip explores the easier lower part of the glacier and you will spend approximately 1 hour on the ice, giving you a fantastic but brief encounter to the highlights of the Falljökull glacier. Both trips are a 15 minute drive from Skaftafell base camp. After the drive we continue on foot following the retreat of the glacier for another 20 - 25 minutes where we access the ice, and once there the 2 1/2 hour walkers spend their time exploring the features of the lower glacier and seeing spectacular views of an icefall. The 5 hour walkers explore the glacier more thoroughly and experience majestic pinnacles and deep crevasses. Both trips often offer spectacular ice-caves but due to the nature of glaciers this is not always the case.
The 5 hour walk requires a higher level of fitness and agility as you will be on your feet for a longer period of time and the terrain is more challenging.
Iceland´s weather is noted for its ability to deliver 4 seasons in one day at any time of the year. Dressing for this sort of weather can be challenging and as a general rule it is wise to use the layer approach. 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (or similar) next to the skin, then a fleecy or heavy wool garment, topped off with a water proof wind-breaker is ideal. Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when wet. Lightweight hiking pants, trackpants or long cotton pants are best. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflection off of the glacier.
We can rent out good hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and over trousers for all of our trips. All Day walkers are also given woolen mittens and hats. If you feel that you have not got enough warm clothing on the day of your glacier adventure, please check with your guide, as we can rent you a fleece jacket.
We do not give refunds if it is raining. It is the high annual rainfall in the glacier region (6-8 meters per year) that allows the glaciers to grow and without the rain these magnificent glaciers would not be here. We can rent you the best in rain protection including waterproof jackets and waterproof over trousers. However if we feel that at any point that conditions are not appropriate for travel we will make the call and cancel or reschedule the trip and in the case of cancellation we will refund you the trip.
We recommend bringing your own backpack when on one of our full day or 1/2 day tours. We have a limited number of backpacks for hire if you do not have one of your own.
We do not provide lunch on any of our trips. We recommend you bring your own lunch (for the longer trips), snacks and a bottle for water (there is normally plenty of water on the glacier).
We ask our clients not to wear jeans on our longer trips, but instead to wear lightweight trousers, as jeans get very cold and uncomfortable when wet. If jeans are all you have then we can provide you with waterproof over-trousers to wear instead.
Not all of our trips are suited for any ability we do however offer trips that are within anyones reach and if you have any concerns with your ability do not hesitate to contact us or come in and ask, us and we will give you our honest opinion.
For our easiest glacier hikes from Skaftafell National Park check out: Glacer Wonders.
Moderate to more challanging trips from Skaftafell: Glacier Grand Slam, Glacier Explorer, Glacier Xtreme (Ice climbing tailored to your ability).
And last but not least our Alpine Program where along with an experienced guide you will ascend some of Iceland's most majestic peaks - Hvannadalshnjukur - Iceland's highest or any other peak of your choosing.
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101 Reykjavik, Iceland