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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
4.7 rating based on 9 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

    13.990 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.

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.

Disclaimer
All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.

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Price from: 13.990 ISK

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Glacier Explorer | Average rating: 4.7/5 based on 9 customer reviews


"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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