Our world-renowned "Glacier Explorer" is an in-depth glacier adventure that 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 glacier's dramatically changing landscape. Arriving at the tongue of the glacier, we will be gearing up the crampons. With your knowledgeable guide leading the way, you will soon be exploring 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 fantastic 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 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 understand this magnificent glacier, how it is formed, and how it continues to change shape every day.
Meeting point: Skaftafell booking center (wooden cabin with Arctic Adventures logo).
Please note: The meeting point for this tour is at the Arctic Adventures Booking Hut in Skaftafell National park. Skaftafell is located at approx 327km (203 miles) distance from Reykjavik.
Coordinates: 64°00'58.0"N 16°58'05.2"W
The nearest towns to Skaftafell are Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 69km to the west, and Höfn, 130km to the east.
Reviewed on September 27, 2021 by Julia Torralbo Review from TripAdvisor
An enjoyable hike with a great guide
Reviewed on September 04, 2021 by Guðmundur S Review from TripAdvisor
Consigliato! / Reccomended!
Reviewed on September 03, 2021 by fede cdm Review from TripAdvisor
Tour consigliatissimo. La nostra guida, Mark era molto competente, ci ha fornito molte informazioni sul ghiacciaio. Il gruppo era composto da 6 persone e questo sicuramente è stato un plus. Abbiamo incontrato gruppi da 20 persone e secondo me l'esperienza ne risente molto.
Consiglio il tour da 5h, in quanto la camminata non è molto faticosa né particolarmente tecnica e con 5 ore si riesce ad arrivare ad una buona altezza.
Il ghiacciaio è decisamente da visitare.
I would really reccomend this tour. Our guide, Mark, was very well prepared and very kind. He gave us a lot of information about the glacier and explained many things to us. Our group was made by 6 people and this was a big plus.
I would definitely recommend the 5hours tour as the hike is not very hard and does not require particular skills and in 5 hours you can reach a good altitude.
This glacier for sure is something to see if you are in an Iceland trip
Amazing Tour with the best guide.
Reviewed on September 03, 2021 by Sargam D Review from TripAdvisor
an amazing experience
Reviewed on August 29, 2021 by samuel Review from TripAdvisor
Fantastic Glacier Hiking Excursion
Reviewed on August 28, 2021 by Andrew G Review from TripAdvisor
Did this tour with a group of 4 of us, and it was fantastic! Got fully set up by the Arctic Adventures team after meeting at Skaftafell. Social distancing and mask policies were appropriately followed indoors. I felt fully equipped and safe before starting the experience.
Our guide, Claudia, was awesome! So incredibly knowledgeable about the glaciers in Iceland, how to navigate, and all of the fun stuff to explore along the way as well. So incredibly happy to have had Claudia as our guide for the adventure!
The glacier itself was stunning as it climbed up toward the mountain tops. Quite unlike anything I have seen before, and it's really striking and illuminating to see how far the glacier has receded in the past 10-15 years as our climate further warms. One of the most visible evidences of climate change I've seen yet.
This tour was incredible and has ignited a greater desire to get out, explore,
Reviewed on August 16, 2021 by Luna Review from TripAdvisor
Amazing glacier tour with awesome guides
Reviewed on July 31, 2021 by Ashley M Review from TripAdvisor
Glacier Hike from Skaftafell Not to be Missed
Reviewed on June 13, 2021 by lever858 Review from TripAdvisor
Glacier Explorer Skaftafell 5-hour hike. Despite rain and wind, we had a fantastic time. Our guide, Ollie, is the best guide we have had in approximately 100 countries on 7 continents. He taught us how to use the equipment, helped us navigate the glacier, and was an inexhaustible fount of knowledge on every issue from the science of glaciers to hiking techniques. As well as being enthusiastic and charming personally. My wife says his mother should be very proud of him. I think his father should be too. Incredible experience in every way.
Reviewed on June 06, 2021 by Amanda M Review from TripAdvisor
Reviewed on January 25, 2021 by Hannah S Review from TripAdvisor
Glacial explorer 5,5 hour
Reviewed on August 08, 2020 by CLJ_DK Review from TripAdvisor
As mentioned we did the 5,5hour glacial explorer with Marcel as our guide. We were a small group of 10 going to Falljökull outlet glacier. We had an awesome time. Marcel was knowledgeable and both entertaining and serious. Hiking the glacier was absolutely jaw dropping!
Reviewed on March 02, 2020 by Harriet Mandeville From our post-trip system
Reviewed on February 18, 2020 by Noémie Bontyes From our post-trip system
Reviewed on January 27, 2020 by Carolina From our post-trip system
Me and my boyfriend had an amazing time on the Glacier Explorer tour. I was afraid it was going to bee too difficult, but it was perfect. We were a group of 5 including the guide, and he was very aware with our safety the entire time. The view is amazing and we got inside some ice caves! Highly recommend!
Amazing experience on the glacier explorer
Reviewed on December 13, 2019 by Stephanie Way From our post-trip system
We had an amazing day exploring the glacier with Arctic Adventures and our guides Kate and Adam. We got to explore much more of the glacier than I was expecting, and our guides were passionate about the natural wonders of Iceland and happy to answer our questions. We saw other groups being led onto the glacier with 20 tourists to 1 guide, and we were so glad we had chosen Arctic Adventures and had a real authentic experience!
Experience of a lifetime!
Reviewed on November 11, 2019 by AneMeiro Review from TripAdvisor
I booked the explorer glacier hike and I enjoyed it so very much. The beauty of the nature is one thing, it is why I did the tour. But feeling safe and well guided is what made me enjoy the tour to max level. As long we still have these wonderful glaciers in the world I recommend to check them out by making your own experience, guided safely and professional by Arctic Adventures. Enjoy!
Very nice experience on the glacier
Reviewed on October 28, 2019 by Vaiva Kartais Review from TripAdvisor
Glacier Explorer small group glacier hike
Reviewed on October 22, 2019 by Slapchop08 Review from TripAdvisor
We took the 5.5 hour glacier hike with Lead Guide Nick (Higgs? Haitch??). 9 of us in the group total and Nick was thorough, funny, attentive and safe.
The weather worked out perfect. This was the best day by far in Iceland.
Highly recommend and would tour with Arctic Adventures again.
Reviewed on October 11, 2019 by photoguy_10 Review from TripAdvisor
We really enjoyed our 3.5 hour glacier tour led by Mathew. The process was very organized at the start. We also had great communications with staff with the online sign up and subsequent changes we made with dates and times. Communications were quick and efficient. We were prepped well at check in, had a nice bus ride in a nice bus to get to the glacier. I will warn others that the walk from the bus to the start of the glacier climb is about 20 minutes or more and is not for the frail. It only gets harder as you climb up steep hills to reach the ice. We had excellent leadership and guidance from our guide Mathew. He was very concerned about safety of our group of 14. The only real complaints I had was spending too much time putting on the crampons and losing time on the glacier as a result. I wish we could have explored more of the glacier. Seemed like we were under tight time schedule as Mathew had another group to guide immediately after ours. Overall good tour and price value.
Amazing close look at the glacier!
Reviewed on October 10, 2019 by Mariana S Review from TripAdvisor
Glacier Explorer tour was amazing!
Reviewed on September 24, 2019 by canam10 Review from TripAdvisor
My friend and I recently did the Glacier Explorer tour which we booked through Extreme Iceland. We decided to be daring and opted for the longer 5.5 hour tour which had us on the ice for around 3.5-4 hours and I’m so glad we did!
I have a major fear of heights but our guide Dan was wonderful. He took the time to make sure we had a good understanding of the equipment, explained a lot about the glacier and made sure we were all okay. We actually ended up climbing higher than I expected but we felt safe and in good hands.
The glacier is beautiful and the views from up there were incredible. It was an unforgettable experience!!
Reviewed on August 30, 2019 by madd Review from TripAdvisor
Glacier Explorer Tour - Fantastic!
Reviewed on July 28, 2019 by Brandey A Review from TripAdvisor
I did the Glacier Explorer adventure tour, which was a 5.5 hour glacier hike at Skaftafell. We spent between 3-4 hours being directly on the ice (takes time for a bus ride to the glacier tongue, walking to the glacier, and putting on equipment). This tour was absolutely the highlight of my trip! We hiked within ice crevasses, and we gained some good elevation on the glacier to see wonderful views! My guide (Adam) was phenomenal in leading the group and was friendly to all group members to make you feel included. Also the hiking path that you'll take might be chiseled by your guide as you go, which was fun to see the ice carved into steps! Felt safe with the guide and he gave information on the glacier and also how to walk with the crampons. Fantastic activity!
Glacier Explorer (5hrs)
Reviewed on April 30, 2019 by Ace Y Review from TripAdvisor
Absolutely Amazing Glacier Explorer Tour
Reviewed on July 11, 2018 by erin464 Review from TripAdvisor
We did the Glacier Explorer Tour of the Vatnajokull Glacier, departing from Skaftafell. The tour was 5.5 hours and we loved every second of it! It was so incredibly amazing to be walking on a glacier and to actually be able to climb high up into the icefall and see all the beautiful formations up close. We had to walk for about 30 minutes from when we were dropped off until we reached the glacier (and the same walk on the way back). Once at the foot of the glacier our guide helped us get set up with all of our safety gear - including a helmet, crampons, safety harness, and ice ax. From then on, it was a lot of upward walking and climbing up over often uneven and slippery surfaces, including steps chipped into the ice and streams of water coming down the glacier. Our friendly guide (don't recall his name but he was from the UK) led the way, chipping into the ice wherever he felt steps needed to be created and going forward to investigate the path ahead to ensure it was safe (with melting ice, this can apparently change daily). We were kept far away from the part of the glacier where there are deep crevasses, and while we were there we witnessed other guides working to fill in smaller crevasses along our route with snow and ice to make sure everything was safe for us. About halfway up we got to stop for a snack and to get some fresh water from a stream coming off the glacier (so good!). This was a once in a lifetime experience for sure, but I would only recommend it if you are reasonably fit and sure-footed. We were really glad we did this one instead of the shorter one (Glacier Wonders) as I don't believe that one goes up into the icefall (just the bottom part of the glacier). Highly recommended!
Amazing Glacier Tour
Reviewed on July 30, 2017 by ifthen Review from TripAdvisor
Reviewed on February 15, 2017 by ZroseZ Review from TripAdvisor
I'm giving it 5 stars because I survived it AND our guide (Anula) totally had my back. I'm writing this as a 55 year old woman with lots of arthritis and not used to long walks, let alone on hard ice We booked an ice cave tour and my thought was they would drive us to the base of the glacier, we'd go into a cave and learn some cool stuff, then head out. Not so. I had absolutely no business being up there, but I sucked it up because I wanted to climb a glacier (that probably won't be there in another 10 years). If you go, know that there's a lot of walking involved, even before you get to the glacier. Lots of it is at a decent incline. You have to think about every step. One split second of not paying attention and my crampon got caught on my pants and down I went. I mean I didn't fall DOWN a glacier, but I did fall ON a glacier, and ice being ice, it's hard. Coming down was difficult because my legs were like rubber and I was feeling the fall. BUT, on the upside, I found if I took my sons arm (just lightly) it was enough reassurance that I wasn't going down again. That made things way easier. When we got back to the bottom of the ice, Anula suggested I take the jeep with her back to the bus, so that cut about a mile and a half off my trip. I KIND of wanted to finish it out, but I was done. Hey, I climbed a glacier....and didn't die.
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.
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.
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.
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, harness and helmet. This will help you to complete the tour safely.
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.