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About tour

Glacier Experience is a small group experience that offers an easy glacier hike on the Sólheimajökull glacier with an experienced glacier guide. This amazing tour is available all year round. The tour package offers optional pick-up from Reykjavík. Otherwise, we'll meet directly at the Sólheimajökull glacier. Add even more adventure to your stay in Iceland, and explore this incredible crawling glacier with us.

Sólheimajökull glacier is an outlet from the mighty Mýrdalsjökull and is surrounded by some of Iceland's most grand volcanoes. A glacier lagoon forms in front of the glacier during summertime, only adding to the location's charm. 

This popular day tour is the perfect way to know the actual reason behind the name Ice-land!

Highlights

  • Glacier Hike
  • Epic Landscapes
  • Sólheimajökull (Solheimajokull glacier)
  • Seljalandsfoss & Skogafoss Waterfalls (from Reykjavik only)

Included

  • Guided Glacier Hike
  • Specialized Glacier Gear
  • All Required Safety Equipment
  • English Speaking Certified Adventure Guide
  • Pick-up & drop-off from Reykjavík (optional)

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headwear
  • Gloves
  • Good hiking boots with ankle support

Tour Snapshot

Availability All Year
Duration 3 / 11-12 hours
Departs From Sólheimajökull / Reykjavik
Level Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 8 years
Ratio 1:15 Guide to client ratio
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up Yes

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Itinerary

The Glacier Experience tour starts with an introduction to the necessary glacier equipment provided in the tour and the basic safety rules needed to explore the beautiful Sólheimajökull glacier. An expert guide will be there for you to ensure your safety and answer any questions throughout the whole tour. Then, you will take off on a short but scenic walk across the pitch-black volcanic ash and sands between the Sólheimajökull glacier and the parking lot.

The ash and sand are from the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull stratovolcano that took place in the year 2010 and is a reminder of the closeness of volcanoes and glaciers in Iceland. That's truly a fantastic and unique start!

The Sólheimajökull glacier tongue originates at Mýrdalsjökull, which is famously also the home to the volcano Katla. There is no doubt that the glacier and the surrounding area are exquisite. Your knowledgeable glacier guide will point out to you how the glacier is retreating and give you a fascinating history and geology lesson to get you to understand the true magic of the glacier.

People having guided glacier hike in Iceland

Right at the foothills of the glacier, you will lace up your crampons and follow your guide to explore this otherworldly natural wonder, a rugged, raw, and ever-changing hub of ancient frozen water. This glacier hike is an adventure like no other, and with the rapid rate of global climate change, this popular activity is only available in very few parts of the world.

You will see how the primal elements shape and affect the glacier, creating mesmerizing labyrinths of ice ridges and deep V-shaped crevasses that crisscross and scar the surface of the ice. Not to mention the enormous sinkholes, called “moulins,” that sometimes have drilled their way through the glacier, draining the meltwater of the ice through little waterfalls and streams.

The glacier also carries ashes of volcanic eruptions from the distant and not-so-distant past. You might even be lucky enough to collect a little of the Eyjafjalljökull volcanic ash from the world-famous 2010 eruption!

The hiking part of the tour is about 2 hours, with 1-1.5 hours spent on the glistening glacier.

Group standing by Sólheimajökull glacier

Add some adventure to your Iceland tour and explore a great crawling glacier before it becomes inaccessible due to climate change.

If you select the Reykjavík pick-up option, our tour guide will pick you up at your chosen meeting location in Reykjavik. After pick-up, we drive in an easterly direction out of the city on our way to the glacier. On our way to and back from the glacier, we stop at a few of Iceland's most magnificent natural attractions: the waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

About an hour and a half from Reykjavik, we will arrive at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The waterfall is about 65 meters (213 ft) high and can be inspected from different angles. The water flows from the Seljalandsá river, which has its origin at the infamous volcano glacier, Eyjafjallajökull. It is even possible to walk behind it during summer to experience it from another perspective!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Summer Iceland

Skogafoss waterfall

About 30 km further up the south coast, we have Skogafoss, another majestic phenomenon, located close to the small village of Skógar. It is one of Iceland's largest waterfalls, with a width of 25 meters (82 ft) and a spectacular 60 meter (197 ft) drop. Due to the amount of spray, single and even double rainbows are pretty frequent on sunny days.

Gigantic Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Pick-up is at 08:00 am from your hotel or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavík. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes. Your patience is much appreciated.

Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’ pick-up list.

If you select the Meet on Location option, please meet your tour guide at Sólheimajökull Parking Lot.

Please give yourself plenty of time to drive from Reykjavík – there is no way you want to miss this stunning adventure on Sólheimajökull Glacier. In good conditions, the journey takes just over two hours without stops. It is always worth allowing the extra time so you can relax. With poor weather or road conditions, the journey will take longer. The distance from Reykjavík is approximately 158 km (98 mi).

GPS coordinates: 63°31’00.48″N, 19°22’00.12W(WGS84).

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Glacier Experience - Sólheimajökull Easy Glacier Hike

FAQ

Meet on location means traveling to the location of the tour yourself and then meeting our tour guides rather than being picked up and taken to the location.

We meet you at Sólheimajökull parking lot and the distance from Reykjavik is approx. 164 km / 101 mi. The drive takes around 2,5 hours.

For GPS: 63°31’00.48″N, 19°22’00.12W(WGS84).

Iceland is known for its colorful weather. It can sometimes show you all 4 seasons in one day.

Dressing for this sort of weather can be a challenge so we always recommend dressing in layers.  3 or 4 upper layers are highly recommended such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof windbreaker.

Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet.

Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best and then wind/waterproof pants over. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflecting off of the glacier.

You will need sturdy hiking boots with ankle support that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours. If you do not own a pair then we rent out good hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and trousers.

We recommend bringing your own backpack on our full day or 1/2 day tours. It’s great to carry a small lunch and some extra clothing.

You can bring your camera along, and you should definitely bring one since the setting on the tour is full of amazing, scenic views.

This is, of course, a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips. We recommend you take a close look at our trip description and difficulty rating, they will hopefully give you a better idea. It is also good to contact your physician, pregnant women’s health can be quite different. Feel free to contact us if you have further questions or concerns.

We do not provide lunch on any of our trips, so we recommend you bring your own lunch (for the longer trips), snacks and a bottle of water (you can refill it on the trip).

Crampons are metal spikes that we attach to the soles of your hiking shoes, these enable you to walk on the glacier ice without slipping. Find out how to put crampons.

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified glacier guide on every glacier tour that we offer.

When glacier hiking you will be provided with an ice axe, crampons, harness and helmet. This will help you to complete the tour safely. The minimum shoe size to attach crampons is EU 35.

When snow stays long enough in one place it turns to ice. Over long periods of time, the ice layers up becoming huge blocks called glaciers. As there is a lot of snow in Iceland,  it forms to create ginormous glaciers that sweep across huge masses of land. Iceland is home to Europe’s largest glacier named Vatnajökull. This Glacier Guide will also tell you everything you may want to know about Glaciers.

Rain is not uncommon in Iceland. However, we do not let the rain stop our tours. This is why having appropriate clothing is very important to keep you warm and dry. Nature is not something that we can control and therefore we need to adapt to the weather. If your safety is compromised by going on the tour, we will cancel and you will be fully refunded.

This guide to Glacier Hiking includes all the information you might need when preparing for a glacier hike.

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