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Glaciers Hiking

Guide to Glaciers and Glacier Hiking In Iceland

Skaftafell Glacier Hike Iceland

Skaftafell Glacier Hike Iceland

Is a glacier top on the bucket list for your Iceland travels?

Glacier hiking and exploring ice caves are among the most amazing and fun adventures you can have in Iceland. Imagine the unique, exciting and adventurous experience of trekking across an ice cap, or exploring an ice cave in a glittering glacier as stunning blue/white ice surrounds you, or even the challenge of ice climbing!  

Fun facts about glaciers

❄ Glaciers are ice caps, although warmer seasons can cause some melting, the main body of ice is present all year.
❄ A glacier tongue, also known as an outlet glacier extends out from the central ice cap.
❄ Outlet glaciers are perfect places for glacier hiking, ice climbing or ice caves
❄ All glaciers are vibrant and living. Stand still and you will hear the ice cracking.
❄ Moulins reaching down to the base of the ice allow meltwater to drain through a glacier.
❄ Glaciers are riddled with crevasses which meander through them like labyrinths.
❄ They have unbelievably stunning ice formations.

ice climbing solheimajokull south iceland

Ice climbing in South Iceland

Glacier excitement!

All glacier adventures are exciting and mind-blowing - whether you want something easy or incredible adrenaline raising action on the ice there is a glacier adventure for you:

❄ Ice climbing and glacier hiking ❄

❄ Glacier hiking and ice cave exploring ❄

❄ Ice caving ❄

❄ Glacier walk - just choose a short and easy hike ❄

❄ Glacier hiking and south coast sightseeing ❄

❄ Glacier hiking and ice climbing (easy version) ❄

❄ Glacier hiking - short and easy or more challenging ❄

❄ Glacier trek ❄

❄ Glacier kayaking ❄

❄ Jökulsárlón or Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon boat tour ❄

Amazing Vatnajökull facts!

Vatnajökull is Europe´s largest glacier, covering 8,100 kmwith a volume of 3,100 km3. Iceland´s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur, can be found at Öræfajökull at the edge of the Vatnajökull icecap. The iceberg filled Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, one of the most famous natural wonders in Iceland is on Breiðamerkurjökull, a huge glacier tongue of Vatnajökull. Vatnajökull National Park encompasses this whole area including Skaftafell National Park.

Blue ice is incredible!

The ice has been compressed beneath the vast weight of Vatnajökull, pushing the air out and creating plenty of blue ice. Ice caves reveal blue tones in a particularly sensational way, transparent crystal ice with the light shining through or vibrant and sometimes deep opaque blue, they are all mesmerizing.   

Crystal Ice Cave Vatnajokull Glacier

Crystal Ice Cave Vatnajokull Glacier

Vatnajökull Glacier tours from Skaftafell

Glacier hiking, ice caving and hiking, and ice climbing and a glacier hiking tours all depart from Skaftafell. There is also a glacier hiking and glacier lagoon boat trip combo tour.

Our Skaftafell Booking Center is located in the car park at Skaftafell Visitor Center located 319 km (198 mi) from Reykjavík - GPS: 64.0704° N, 16.9752° W.

Vatnajökull Glacier tours from Jökulsárlón

Crystal Ice Cave and Glacier Lagoon boat tours begin here. Jökulsárlón is 372 km (231 mi) from Reykjavík in the southeast of Iceland - GPS: 64.0784° N, 16.2306° W. 

How to get there - driving

To get to any of the meet on location points you need to follow the Ring Road (Highway 1) in a southerly direction. All of the meeting points are sign-posted and each has a car park.

It is important to consider weather forecasts and road conditions, particularly in winter. From Reykjavík the traveling times are 2 hours 10 minutes to Sólheimajökull, 4 hours to Skaftafell and 4 hours 45 minutes to Jökulsárlón. These times are without stops and in good conditions.

Map vatnajokull skaftafell iceland

Map vatnajokull skaftafell iceland

7 Vatnajökull outlet glaciers

Vatnajökull has many outlet glaciers or glacier tongues. These have their own names but they are all part of Vatnajökull glacier. A few of those stretching towards the south coast are:  

❄ Breiðamerkurjökull - the spellbinding Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is at the edge

❄ Falljökull - sensational ice features include an amazing ice fall from Vatnajökull glacier

❄ Heinabergsjökull - stunning 

❄ Heinabergslón Glacier Lagoon landscapes

❄ Kvíárjökull - sometimes described as ‘the hidden glacier’

❄ Öræfajökull - home to Hvannadalshnúkur, Iceland´s highest peak

❄ Svínafellsjökull - known as ‘the Hollywood Glacier’ and for stupendous glacier hiking

❄ Virkisjökull - impressive ice formations and dramatic crevasses

Solheimajokull Glacier Iceland

Solheimajokull Glacier Iceland

Sólheimajökull Glacier

Sólheimajökull is an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull ice cap which is home to Katla. This area has been shaped by famous volcanic eruptions, producing incredible mountain glacier scenery.

Glacier tours

No one should ever venture onto a glacier without a certified glacier guide. A guide will keep you safe and also keep things fun and interesting. Don´t be shy about asking questions!

Glacier tours on Sólheimajökull Glacier

Glacier hiking and ice climbing is offered as a day tour from Reykjavík or you can meet us on location at Sólheimajökull car park. Our easy glacier walk is a popular meet on location tour.

The Sólheimajökull car park is located 158 km (98 mi) south of Reykjavík not far from the Ring Road - GPS: 63.530524, -19.370576.

map solheimajokull iceland

Map solheimajokull iceland