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Glacier Explorer

Glacier Hiking Adventure in Vatnajokull National Park

With crampons on foot and ice axe in hand, get intimate with the ancient ice formations of Europe's largest glacier!

Glacier-Hiking
Iceland-map-destinations
EXCELLENT
4.8 rating based on 32 ratings
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A five-hour glacier hiking tour on the magnificent Falljökull glacier. Falljokull is an outlet glacier from Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe and the King of natural ice sculptures. As you hike around this magical setting you will get all the information about this enchanting place by your friendly and knowledgeable guide who will take you to all the best spots to deeply enjoy the glacier.

This is the perfect experience for those looking to really explore and get to know Icelandic nature.

  • Availability

    All year

  • Duration

    5.5 hours

  • Duration Overwrite

  • Level

    Moderate

  • Pickup

    No

  • Meet on location

    Yes

  • Min. Age

    14 years

  • Ratio

    1:12

  • Departs from

    Skaftafell

  • Departs from Overwrite

  • Price from

    15.490 13.167 ISK

Tour highlights
Small Group Experience
Glacier Hike
Falljökull Glacier
Vatnajökull Glacier
Included
Guided Glacier Hike
Certified Glacier Guide
Specialized Glacier Gear
All Necessary Safety Equipment

Our world-renowned “Glacier Explorer” in-depth glacier adventure takes you to Falljökull, one of the most impressive outlet glaciers of the Vatnajökull ice cap. We will take an inspiring walk along a winding path through the dramatically changing landscape carved out by the glacier. Arriving at the tongue of the glacier, we will gear up on crampons. With your guide leading the way, you will soon be exploring an impressive terrain, walking through a wonderland of ice formations and brilliant blue colors.

You will enjoy vast, sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the amazing crevasse system. Depending on the glacier conditions we will enter the rugged and chaotic icefall where it tumbles over the side of the underlying mountain and down towards the ocean. Imagine that, standing in an actual icefall, up close and personal with the ancient ice.

This trip will provide you with plenty of photo opportunities and the chance to gain a deep understanding of this magnificent glacier, how it is formed and how it continues to change shape every day.

Meeting point: Skaftafell booking center (gray house with the turf roof).

Remember to bring: Warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket and pants, headwear and gloves. Good hiking boots are recommended.

What if I don’t own all of these clothing necessaries?
Don’t worry, you can always rent the necessary clothing in the booking process or on location.

Please note

Departure from our Skaftafell booking center (gray house with the turf roof). Skaftafell is located 327km (203 miles) from Reykjavík. The nearest towns to Skaftafell are Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 69km to the west and Höfn, 130km to the east.

How far are Skaftafell and the Glacier Guides sales office from Reykjavik?

Skaftafell is located about 330 kilometers from Reykjavík. See map for directions.

What is the difference between the Glacier Wonders (4 h) and Glacier Explorer (5.5 h) hour trips?

The main difference between these trips is that they take you to different locations on the glacier.

Our Glacier Explorer (5.5 hours) trip spends approximately 3 hours on the ice, exploring the magnificent ice-fall where it falls down from the Öræfajökull caldera.

The Glacier Wonders (4 hours) trip explores the easier part of the glacier which is lower and you will spend approximately 1 hour on the ice, giving you a fantastic but brief encounter to the highlights of Falljökull glacier.

Both trips start about 15 min driving away from our Skaftafell base camp. After the drive, we continue on foot following the retreat of the glacier for about 25-30 minutes where we set foot on the ice. Once there the 3.5-hour walkers spend their time exploring the features of the lower glacier and seeing spectacular views of the icefall. The 5.5-hour walkers explore the glacier more thoroughly and experience majestic pinnacles and deep crevasses. Both trips sometimes come across spectacular ice-caves but due to the nature of glaciers, this is not always the case.  

The 5.5-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.

What does meet on location entail?

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

How is it best to be ready for a pick-up for a tour with Arctic Adventures?

This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.

Here you should wait for your guide.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.

Can I drink alcohol before or during Arctic Adventures tours?

Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.

After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.

Do you offer any family friendly tours, for younger children?

Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Special Tours, has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summer time).

Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.

Can the itinerary for the tour change?

Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures tour?

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.

All of our tours are guided in English.

Can the guide advise if I am eligible for rescheduling the tour and/or a refund?

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

What type of power outlets are used in Iceland? Do I need to bring an adapter?

The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.

How are the tours rated in terms of difficulty?

Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.

For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.

 

What should I wear on our glacier trip in Iceland?

Iceland is known for colourful 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 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.

Do I need to bring a backpack on a glacier trip in Iceland?

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.

Can I bring my camera along on a glacier tour?

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

I am pregnant, can I still join a glacier hike?

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.

Do I need to bring a lunch with me on the glacier tours?

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).

What are crampons?

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.

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures glacier tour?

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

What equipment is provided when taking part on a Glacier Hike?

When glacier hiking you will be provided with an ice axe, harness and helmet. This will help you to complete the tour safely.

Why are there glaciers in Iceland?

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.

What if it is raining?

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.

Where can I find more information to prepare me for my Glacier Hiking tour?

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

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Bookings work for any travel time

Offer ends 31.05.2019 at midnight (GMT)

Promotional code: MAY15

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Price from: 15.490 13.167 ISK per person.

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Glacier Explorer | Average rating: 4.8/5 based on 32 customer reviews


"Amazing glacier hike" | 5 stars By April 23/04/2019
"I can’t say enough great things about our hike and our tour guide. This was our first time hiking on a glacier and the guide made it very easy and safe. We really enjoy hiking (have never hiked on a tour with a group before though), and I was afraid a group tour might be too easy/underwhelm. However, we did the 5 hour hike and it was absolutely fantastic-got a good workout in and got to go up high with amazing sights/views of the glacier. Would recommend to anyone and would definitely do again."
"Amazing experience" | 5 stars By Rubén Castillo Heredia 18/04/2019
Thank you for the experience. Our Polish guide was the best we could have, funny and entertaining.
"Very recommendable" | 5 stars By Mario 25/03/2019
We were lucky that the weather was much better than the day before (when it was very windy) and therefore the ice very blue! We had a small group of six and a very motivated and nice guide who could show and tell us a lot about the glacier.
"Amazing tour" | 5 stars By Kellie Mooney 23/03/2019
This was the best tour we did in Iceland. Totally recommend for the adventurous. It is a little hard in the beginning but totally worth it. Our guide was great and helped us have a good time and stay safe all at the same time.
"A beautiful day" | 5 stars By Liliana Romão 20/01/2019
Staff super friendly and helpful and the view was beautiful. Having a small group was awesome!
"Amazing!" | 5 stars By Melissa Mederi 18/01/2019
One of the best experiences I have done on a holiday. Our guide was fantastic and so knowledgeable. The feeling of walking on a glacier is indescribable! A must do activity when visiting Iceland.
"Glacier" | 5 stars By Mauro Kopte 30/12/2018
Must do tour in Iceland! Amazing view and experience with the crampons.
"Glacier explorer" | 5 stars By Daniella 16/12/2018
The glacier hike was by far the highlight of my Iceland adventure. I was so lucky to have Tony as a quide who taught me about the glacier formations as well as allowed me to explore and venture safely to the deep glaciers, slide through some cave formations and walk along the rifts. The experience was fantastic because it allowed you to explore close up the intricacies of the snow and ice, and frozen waterfalls, as well as discover untouched terrain. The arctic adventures group were so kind and responsive to our needs, i received all the information necessary.
"Explorer Glacier tour" | 5 stars By Victoria Moris 16/11/2018
"I highly recommend this tour. It is a great experience on the glacier. First, we booked the tour ""into the glacier"" which was cancelled because of flooding. At the end I was happy we did instead the explorer hike. We had 5 hours on the glacier which was great! I was afraid that in the reality the tour would be shorter than described because of the preparation (equipment, etc.) but it was not the case. Our guide was really nice and precautioned. The material was also new. In the end it was really an amazing experience!"
"Excellent experience" | 5 stars By Qian 31/10/2018
We were really glad that we picked the Glacier explorer tour rather than Wonders. We got to hike on actual glacier for majority of our tour. Our guide was funny and knowledgeable. We had a great time!
"Awesomeeee" | 5 stars By Rosalía López LLorca 22/10/2018
it was an unforgettable experience. Our guide made us have a great time and an incredible adventure. I totally recommend it
"Great tour" | 3 stars By Borja 04/10/2018
The guide was great, extremely dedicated and fully committed with safety. The only thing that we didn't like was the fact that we were expecting something more challenging, but we understood that the pace shall be adequate for all the group.
"Best experience ever" | 5 stars By Beatriz de la Torre Alvarez 29/09/2018
Glacier Explorer is the activity no one should miss while visiting Iceland: having the chance to feel its immensity was the top of our trip. The group was small enough to be absolutely safe and although I was a bit nervous the night before thinking it will be too hard for me, the difficulty wasn’t too much (I dont usually ejercize). We were so lucky for having Aaron as a guide, we’d like to thank him once again
"Outstanding Hike!" | 5 stars By Kendall Taylor 27/09/2018
Our glacier hike was incredible! The group was a perfect size and made the hike very enjoyable! Our tour guide, Alpo, was very knowledgeable and excited about the glacier!
"Glacier Hike" | 5 stars By Larry Bateman 10/09/2018
We could not have been happier with our Glacier Hike or Guide, Marika. Marika was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and very safety conscious throughout the day. She made sure we were challenged on our hike, but not to the point of placing us at risk. A fun day and an unforgettable experience! Highly recommend for anyone interested in an amazing Iceland experience.
"A+ experience" | 5 stars By Stephanie 09/09/2018
My friends and I loved this tour—while our entire trip to Iceland was wonderful, this was absolutely the high point. (Just make sure you bring gloves!)
"Above and beyond" | 5 stars By Brian Taylor 08/09/2018
Our guide Thomas did a tremendous job. I've been hiking on glaciers in Alaska and this was a much more intense and enjoyable experience. He took us through tons of different areas on the glacier and even let us rappel inside of it. I would definitely recommend this company to take you on your tour. They were professional, knowledgeable and kept us safe.
"Wonderful experience on the glacier" | 4 stars By S. H. Kuo 21/08/2018
"Peter is a very experienced tour guide and taught the crew how to suit up for ice claw and use ice axes. Always reminded the crew to mind the step. Also, he always created new path so that we can have more views and surprising experience. Do join this tour as recommended for Must Do in skaftfell national park."
"Low Fat Yogurt" | 5 stars By Amanda 16/08/2018
We had an amazing time on the glacier explore tour... we lucked out with amazing weather, a great group, and Ned our tour guide rocked... he was like a spider monkey running a head and carving out steps and setting ropes to help us achieve the goal of being the group that made it the highest on the glacier... this was truly my favorite experience in Iceland on our trip next to the blue lagoon... I highly recommend the tour you won’t be disappointed!!!
"Thrilling tour" | 5 stars By Idan barzilai 05/08/2018
The weather was not as the best that day, as we heading to the shuttle bus, we were told that it is going to rain. As we start climbing the glacier the rain began. Our guide was confident and show the group the right way to walk on in the glacier cracks, the rain continued and became moderate as you climb back. The glacier melt rapidly, water came from all directions, a scotfel bridge almost collapsed when big parts of the melting glacier drift towards it. The guide took us to safety.
"Glacier walk" | 5 stars By Anil kalavakolanu 27/07/2018
Our family of three enjoyed the hike. The guide took very good care of the group and made sure that everybody was safe on the hike. Would highly recoomend Arctic Adventures.
"Must do experience!" | 5 stars By Beck 23/07/2018
"Great tour - Must do when in Iceland! Informative and friendly guide (Rhys). Efficient check in and equipment fitting process. Spectacular views both on and around the glacier. Suitable for moderately fit people. Plenty of stops for photo opportunities."
"Awesome Glacier Trek" | 3 stars By Tony Bivona 20/07/2018
First and foremost our guide Marika was wonderful. Her expertise in navigating the glacier and ensuring safety for the entire group was evident throughout our 5 hour climb. She was attentive to each member of the group and assisted members who required additional support. Her directives was clear, she maintained an upbeat group vibe and became familiar with each of us. Marika was able to maintain a pace which moved our group along which resulted in viewing more of the glacier. What struck me was her attentiveness to keeping each of us safe. Would definitely recommend this hike to others as it was packed with spectacular views at a moderate pace. Thank you Marika for making our family glacier hike an overwhelmingly positive experience.
"Glacier Explorer - Dan the Man!" | 5 stars By Sam 19/06/2018
We were a group of 5 that signed up for the Glacier Explorer and had Dan as our guide. He was super friendly , was full of knowledge and kept us very safe along the way. He would always check back on his group to make sure everyone was still comfortable and keeping up. There were 3 groups of 10 and our was the fastest - we got to see so much. It was a wonderful experience and I have already recommended this to others that are travelling to Iceland. This is a must do! Definitely one the highlights of my trip. Thank you Arctic Adventures and Dan for such a wonderful experience. :)
"Wonderful experience!!" | 5 stars By Danielle Dowdy 08/06/2018
We originally booked the Xtreme Glacier Climbing, but the weather was bad so they had to cancel that group. They were very accommodating and gave us a partial refund and let us join the Glacier hiking group. Our guide was "Bee" and she was fun, charismatic, and very knowledgeable! Would definitely recommend any tour by her and any excursion with Arctic Adventures!! Very relaxed and knowledgeable group.
"Glacier tour" | 5 stars By Peter Greijn 07/06/2018
Wonderful tour with good equipment and professional guide.
"Great experience" | 5 stars By Sara Carty 07/06/2018
We hiked with Peter and Marie(?). They were great. Took their time helping us with our gear and were very attentive while we were with them. The knowledge and information shared by them along the way was very interesting We would recommend this hike to anyone looking for a little adventure and amazing scenery! Thank you for a great day!
"Great experience.. very cautious" | 3 stars By Kevin MacElhaney 24/05/2018
The tour was a great experience. The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. I felt like our group was babied a little too much. I understand the glacier is a dangerous area and people get hurt. We had no issues but the abundance of caution was overwhelming. The pace was very slow, but again, I understand it was due to safety concerns. I would probably not do another glacier tour, but I enjoyed it while I was there. Any friends looking to do a tour would be recommended to try arctic adventures with the review.
"Definitely recommended" | 4 stars By Saskia 18/05/2018
We had an awesome tourguide, full of energy and enthusiastic. We had a beautiful and safe trip up on the mountain. Company was flexible when a friend could not join the tour. Better than expected!
"Excellent tour with a great guide" | 5 stars By Leevana Neemar 04/05/2018
This tour was beyond our expectations. Guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and accomodating.
"Thanks for the amazing experience! " | 5 stars By Juliane 20/04/2018
Hey, thanks for the amazing experience! I loved being on a glacier, I loved the speed of getting to know the equipment and the information - I always felt safe and with Macca we had the most fun guide ever who even let us try a little ice climbing! Thank you for providing this insight into another world!
"Great Glacier Hike with Knowledgeable Guide" | 5 stars By Emily 18/04/2018
We had a great experience on the 5 hour Glacier Explorer tour with guide Thomas. He was super knowledgeable, teaching us about the geography and forces at work to form the glacier, ensuring our safety throughout the tour, answering questions, and making sure we were able to see as much as possible throughout our time on the Glacier. The check in process was well-organized, and the hike began about a 15 min bus ride from the check-in point. Would definitely recommend these tours!
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