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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
9 REVIEWS
BEST PRICE GUARANTEE
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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

  • Level

    Moderate

  • Pickup

    No

  • Meet on location

    Yes

  • Min. Age

    14 years

  • Ratio

    1:12

  • Departs from

    Skaftafell

  • Price from

    13.990 ISK

Tour highlights
Glacier hike
Falljökull glacier
Vatnajökull glacier
Small group guarantee
Included
Guided glacier hike
Certified glacier guide
Specialized glacier gear

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 should we wear on our glacier trip in Iceland?

Iceland is known for 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 to dress in layers. Dress is 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof wind-breaker. 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 reflection 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 or some extra clothing.

Can I bring my camera along on a glacier tour?

You can bring you 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 each trip glacier tour we offer.

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 per person.

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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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