To experience the glacier by walking is totally different from seeing the glacier by boat. You have to try to walk on the glacier once you get to have a c
Glacier Hike from Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. This tour is a mind-blowing best seller - explore a great moving glacier!
Glacier Wonders is a superb glacier hiking tour taking you into the magnificent ice-world of Falljökull glacier, a tongue of the mighty Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Your certified glacier guide will show you astonishing crevasses which wind through the ice and incredible glistening ice formations. You will learn how a living glacier moves and why this magical ice-kingdom is always changing.
Meet on location
- Tour highlights
- Glacier hike on Falljökull
- Virkisjökull glacier views
- Vatnajökull glacier views
- Small group guarantee
- Guided glacier tour
- Certified glacier guide
- Specialized glacier gear
This Iceland glacier hike day tour is filled with variety. You meet your certified and very experienced glacier guide at Skaftafell Booking Center, the gray building with the turf roof, near the car park at Skaftafell Visitor Center in Vatnajökull National Park. Then the excitement really begins!
We drive towards Falljökull through stunningly spectacular scenery as the soft vegetation around Skaftafell gives way to the impressive mountain landscapes which surround the southern edge of the majestic Vatnajökull glacier. The drive takes around 15 minutes – we then hike for about 30 minutes up to Falljökull, surrounded by the most stunning mountain glacier scenery every step of the way. Hvannadalshnúkur, Iceland´s highest peak will be towering high above you on the right side.
You will also take a look at Virkisjökull, another of the majestic glacial tongues which radiate towards the coast from the great ice-hub of Vatnajökull. Your guide will explain the way the glaciers move and show you the unique features of the retreat patterns of both Virkiskökull and Falljökull. You will clearly see the influence of global warming upon these precious shimmering white giants.
At Falljökull, we strap on our ice crampons ready for the magic moment – setting foot on the glacier! Your guide will explain this unbelievably vibrant, moving and living world to you. You will see incredible crevasses which wend their way, twisting and turning through the glacier, these labyrinths are always forming, moving and changing in tune with the dance of nature. See the great moulins which descend deep into the glacier, and stunning ice falls as ancient ice drops hundreds of meters from the mountain top. A glacier is never static, it is movement which makes a glacier one of the most stunning and magnificent forces in nature. It does not do it quickly, but the glacier will carve a pathway through a mountain leaving a valley in its wake. These ice-wonders are shaped by nature, particularly temperature, it should be also be remembered that they possess the power to shape the land.
Although Falljökull is moving in the direction of the ocean it will never actually get there, unless global warming reverses it will continue to recede. See this ice giant in full majesty – book this tour today! Coveting amazing photos and matchless memories you make the return hike, getting a very different perspective on the spellbinding vistas all around you.
Meeting point: Skaftafell Booking Center (grey house with turf roof).
Remember to bring: Warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket & pants, headwear and gloves. Good hiking boots are essential, it is not possible to fit ice crampons to any other footwear.
What if I don’t own all of these clothing items?
Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking boots, waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process. You can also rent gear at the Glacier Guides booking house in Skaftafell.
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.
We will visit either Falljökull glacier or Svínafellsjökull glacier depending on the season and conditions.
Skaftafell is located about 330 kilometers from Reykjavík. See map for directions.
What is the difference between the Glacier Wonders (3.5 hours) and Glacier Explorer (5.5 hours) 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 (3.5 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 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.
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.
You can bring you 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 each trip glacier tour we offer.
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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