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Glacier tours from Reykjavik or Meet on location

We offer a wide selection of meet-on-location glacier tours or include Reykjavík pick-up


Iceland is often nicknamed the land of ice and fire because glaciers and volcanoes cover a large part of it. In Iceland, the two sometimes mix, meaning that some glaciers even have a hidden volcano underneath them, for example, Eyjafjallajökull and Snæfellsjökull. These phenomena, known as stratovolcanoes, can have a dramatic impact on the surrounding region when they erupt.

Visiting the glaciers is a must in Iceland and most visitors choose to book a tour. The main glaciers to visit are Snæfellsjökull, Drangajökull, Eiríksjökull, Langjökull, Hofsjökull, Tungnafellsjökull, Vatnajökull, Mýralsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. From these glaciers run outlet glaciers, some of which are pretty famous, like Breiðarmerkurjökull (home to the Crystal Ice Cave) and Sólheimajökull

Most of the glaciers are located in the South or the Midlands because more snow falls there than manages to melt away. This occurs when damp winds heading over the North Atlantic give rise to the air over Iceland. The air gets colder and more saturated before turning into drops which become crystals that fall down, if it is cold enough the crystals will turn into snow. When the winds reach the north, most of the moisture is already out of the air which results in less precipitation. About 20% of precipitation falls over glaciers.

The glaciers cover about 11% of Iceland’s surface area, which is equivalent to about 11,400 km² (4,402 sq mi) or 103,125 km² (39, 817 sq mi). Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier, covers about 8% of the land.

The History of Glaciers in Iceland

It is believed that the last ice age came to an end about 10,000 years ago, following this came a period of warmer conditions. Iceland is thought to have been completely glacier-less (or at least almost) about 9,000 years ago. This, along with the milder weather, lasted until around 2,500 years ago, when Iceland became colder once again and the glaciers that we see in the present times started to form.

Are Icelandic Glaciers Melting?

Around the year 1995, glaciers started shrinking rapidly and now make up about 20% of Icelandic rivers and waterfalls. Vatnajökull Glacier has been shrinking at an alarming rate and predictions are that the glaciers in Iceland will only continue to melt, creating even more streams that will carve their way around Iceland. This is also thought to impact the rising sea levels, as the melting glacier water will, in the end, join the sea.

Solheimajokull glacier ice melting

Volcanoes and their eruptions can also affect the melting of the glaciers, something that was very evident when the Eyjafjallajökull stratovolcano erupted in 2010. The glacier shrunk considerably and its rivers and waterfalls gained flow.


Most of the glaciers in Iceland can be seen right off the Ring Road. They are mainly located on the South Coast of Iceland and in clear weather, you can see them from afar.

If you are staying in Reykjavík, the closest glacier to you is Mýrdalsjökull’s outlet, Sólheimajökull. It can be seen from Road 1 when weather conditions are clear, otherwise, you can join a glacier hike to explore.

If you are on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula you will easily spot the beautiful Snæfellsjökull that thrones the lava-covered land. You will need to drive for about 1.5 hours from Reykjavík before you begin to catch a glimpse of the icy wonder.

If you’re driving or taking a tour to southeast Iceland, the glaciers will be in your line of sight for most of the journey. This is because the southeast is covered in glaciers; you’ll even find the largest ice cap located here as it stretches its outlets down towards the road.

In the Westfjords you will find only one glacier, Drangajökull. It is hard to reach this isolated beauty but there are some hiking trails and tours in the area.

Glaciers should never be visited without an experienced, knowledgeable guide.

Group standing by Sólheimajökull glacier



One of the most accessible ways to experience Iceland’s glaciers is glacier hiking. Strap on crampons, a harness, and a helmet to set out on your hiking expedition. Once you get the hang of walking with crampons, a technique that beginners will quickly master, you can begin to take in your surroundings. Bright white ice contrasts with black volcanic rock and ash, trapped for millions of years within the glacier beneath you. You’re often surrounded by ice as far as the eye can see, with soaring mountains in the distance. 

We offer a large number of day and multi-day tours that include a hike on one of Iceland’s glaciers, typically Sólheimajökull or Falljökull. Our tours include an expert guide and all the equipment you could need to assist you on the ice. Your guide will be able to point out the most unusual ice formations and most treacherous spots, where pools of water could reveal mile-deep drops to the glacier’s core.


If you’re up for something a little more adrenaline-piquing, ice climbing is a fantastic addition to a glacier hiking tour. This is a great tour option for those looking to embrace the adventure that lies around every corner in Iceland. Try your hand at making your way up a sheer ice face using your crampons and ice axes with the expert guidance of your tour leader. Sólheimajökull is our most popular glacier for our glacier climbing tour options.


Another way to enjoy the glaciers that lie within Iceland’s borders is to embark on an ice cave tour. These tours take place at multiple glaciers and outlet glaciers, including Breiðamerkurjökull, Mýrdalsjökull (Kötlujökull), Falljökull, and Langjökull. We take you deep inside these ice formations, offering an experience like no other. The light shining through the thick ice is truly something to behold, creating ethereal effects and leaving you speechless. Our guides are happy to answer any questions about the formation of these curious caves while you walk within them.


If you’ve seen a glacier from below, the next best thing is to explore the landscapes on top of one, and what better way to enhance your experience than with a snowmobile? Our glacier snowmobiling tours allow high-speed and high-adrenaline exploration, taking in stunning landscapes without a dull moment. Langjökull and Vatnajökull are the glaciers that are most popular for snowmobiling.

How to Choose the Right Glacier tour in Iceland?

When making a bucket list for Iceland odds are that you wrote down “go on a glacier hike” and you were right to do so, the island is after all named after ice. But there is only one problem you might encounter; there are too many tours and options to choose from. Fear not, we are here to help!

explorers looking at glacier ice crevasses

The first questions that need to be asked are:

  1. Are you joining a day tour or a multi-day tour?
  2. If you are joining a day tour, will you have a car?

After that, you might want to consider the time you have in Iceland. If you are staying only a short amount of time, maybe on a stopover, or simply prefer the Reykjavík city life then Langjökull, Sólheimajökull, Kötlujökull, and Snæfellsjökull are the closest glaciers. These can easily be visited on day tours from the city.

This gives you the option of snowmobiling on Langjökull “the second-largest glacier in Iceland” or even snowmobiling and ice caving if you are visiting in winter.

Sólheimajökull, “home to the sun glacier”, then invites you to explore its incredible blue ice and all the wonders it creates all year long with these options:

Up next, we have the magical Kötlujökull, an outlet from Mýrdalsjökull and his brother Sólheimajökull. Not too long ago, a natural ice cave was found here that lasts throughout the year. At the time, this was completely new and had never been known to exist in Iceland. Kötlujökull is named after the volcano Katla as it sits under the glacier. This is why the tour, which is available from Vík and Reykjavík, has been named the Ice Cave under the Volcano.



If you are staying for a longer period in Iceland, over three days or more, then your glacier tour options scale opens even wider. You have time to visit the Vatnajökull Glacier area, the largest glacier in Europe, and with that comes endless options for even more glacier adventure. Here are the options for meeting on location tours, made possible with a rental car, or on a multi-day tour.

For winter traveling in the region, you could join a Crystal Ice Cave tour, the most popular ice caving tour year after year. You could do the glacier hiking and ice caving combo called Into the Glacier or join a shorter glacier hike, the Glacier Wonders (available all year). Those who want to go further up on the glacier can then join the Glacier Explorer (available all year) but if you are there in summer the Glacier Grand Slam is ideal!

When choosing a glacier hike, multi-day tours give you many intriguing options, both with and without accommodation, with pick-up, or including a rental car (a self-drive trip).

Again, we have to ask questions:

  1. Do you want to stay in Reykjavík and do day trips out?
  2. Do you want to join a guided tour?
  3. Do you want to do a guided self-drive trip?

Those who want to stay the night in Reykjavík but join glacier hiking experiences, as well as other fun activities on day trips, can look at our adventure packages in Iceland. Where you get 10% off each day trip.

Those who want to join a guided tour with a glacier hiking experience that travels further out of the city, exploring hidden gems and staying at farm hotels, can look at our multi-day adventures in Iceland.