Vatnajökull National Park
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Vatnajökull National Park Outdoor 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.

Skaftafell Ice Climb and Glacier Hike

4. 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: Ice Cave Tour and Glacier Hike

5. 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.

Vatnajökull: Short Glacier Encounter Walk

6. Vatnajökull: Short Glacier Encounter Walk

This glacier encounter tour is the perfect introduction to Icelandic glaciers, hiking on the picturesque Falljökull glacier, an outlet glacier of Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull. The meeting point is at Freysnes gas station in the South-East of Iceland. The tour begins with a transfer by a 4x4 SuperJeep through the glacier valley that gets you as close to the base of the glacier as possible, reducing the time spent on accessing the glacier and maximising the time exploring up on the ice. After a short walk to get to the ice, your guide will teach you how to put on your crampons and how to use your ice axe. After a short safety speech you are ready to go on the ice. The hike in total is around 1.5 km and you will spend around 1 hour on the ice. The total duration of the tour is 2.5 to 3 hours. Along the way, your guide will be pointing out some of the fascinating natural features of the ice, the crevasses, moulins and dirt cones, while also teaching you about some of the local geography and history of the area.

Glacier Wonders Glacier Hiking Trip from Skaftafell

7. Glacier Wonders Glacier Hiking Trip from Skaftafell

To get your glacier adventure started, board one of the buses leaving from Skaftafell National Park several times a day for the short 15-minute ride to access Falljökull glacier. After arriving at the glacier tongue, strap on your crampons and start your hike into Iceland's wilderness. As you get on the glacier, make your way up the icy but easily accessible slopes. On the way, you will see the area's unique ice formations, learn about how they were formed and how the glacier continues to change shape every day. Then prepare to approach and watch the awe-inspiring icefall to see how the chunks of glacier ice stoically fall hundreds of meters off the mountain top below, flowing ever-so-slowly towards the ocean. Then listen to how the glacier's journey will never be completed, as global warming continues to fuel glacial melting and their slow retreat. Take your chance to explore the peaceful Icelandic scenery and get up close with the ancient ice and gain a new understanding of why these glaciers are so important to the world as a whole.

Vatnajökull Glacier: Ice Cave Tour

8. Vatnajökull Glacier: Ice Cave Tour

Seize the opportunity to experience one of the stunning blue ice caves within Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. This tour is rated as easy, as the Superjeeps allow participants to get very close to the entrance of the cave without exerting much effort. Head into the more easily accessed ice caves for an encounter with the stunning blue ice and the beautiful views for which Vatnajökull is famous. In the warmer summer months, the glacier melts and forms holes and crevasses. After they freeze, get an up-close look at what nature has created. The winter months are all different and the glacier and caves are constantly evolving, making the sites extra interesting. Each season, the best available cave is chosen for this tour. The tour begins from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in Southeast Iceland. Meet your professional glacier guide and climb on board a 4x4 Superjeep to begin the rugged journey towards the glacier. The drive is an experience in and of itself. Once there, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the icy blue caves of Vatnajökull.

Vatnajökull: Half-Day Falljökull Glacier Discovery Hike

9. Vatnajökull: Half-Day Falljökull Glacier Discovery Hike

Discover the natural beauty of Iceland on a thrilling hike that takes you through crevices and icefalls of the Falljökull glaciers located inside the Vatnajökull National Park. Meet your guides, hop on the 4X4 Super Jeep, and start your journey through picturesque landscapes and up to the base of Falljökull, one of the outlet glaciers of the vast Vatnajökull ice cap.  Get a unique perspective of the glacier as you drive into the glacier valley. Once inside, you will learn how to use crampons and have a short safety briefing before embarking up onto the ice. Spend the next 3 hours hiking through the stunning icefall, which Falljökull is famous for. Look closely and be amazed by the fascinating features of the ice. Learn about the geology, geography, and history of the local area as you are led to the highest point to marvel at the unforgettable views of the glacier valley. This tour is perfect for those who have been on a glacier before or those who enjoy long hikes, but novices looking for a bit of adventure are also welcomed on the tour.

Vatnajökull Glacier Natural Ice Cave 2.5 to 3-Hour Tour

10. Vatnajökull Glacier Natural Ice Cave 2.5 to 3-Hour Tour

Make your own way to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to experience a natural ice cave from the luxury of a huge custom-made super jeep. Drive for approximately 30-40 minutes to the base of the glacier outlet at Breiðamerkurjökull, where the glacier retreats every year to make every season a unique experience. Pick-up all the necessary security gear to explore the cave in safety using helmets and crampons. Then, enter the cave with a guide who will explain the most important features of the extraordinary phenomenon. Visit a crevasse after the ice cave, weather permitting.

Frequently asked questions about Vatnajökull National Park Outdoor Activities

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vatnajökull National Park

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What people are saying about Vatnajökull National Park

The smaller group size was perfect, as we got to move faster and see more of the glacier. We got driven to a very close drop-off point right by the glacier, so most of the 3 hours were spent actually on the glacier. Our guide was incredibly nice and knowledgeable! Overall, an unforgettable experience (and a great workout)!

Boris was amazing! Had a lovely time on the ice and got to see some insane sights. Would highly recommend going on a glacier hike when in Iceland. Also don’t forget to use your sunscreen!

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!

An incredible experience with great guides and a great understanding of the nature of Iceland and the impact of climate change.

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and also friendly. We knew we were in great hands! The adventure was simply amazing.