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Glacier Wonders

Easy Glacier Hiking in Skaftafell

Glacier Hike from Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. This tour is a mind-blowing best seller - explore a great moving glacier!

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4.6 rating based on 19 ratings
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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.

  • Availability

    All year

  • Duration

    3.5 hours

  • Duration Overwrite

  • Level

    Easy

  • Pickup

    No

  • Meet on location

    Yes

  • Min. Age

    8 years

  • Ratio

    1:15

  • Departs from

    Skaftafell

  • Departs from Overwrite

  • Price from

    8.090 ISK

Tour highlights
Small Group Experience
Glacier Hike on Falljökull
Virkisjökull Glacier Views
Vatnajökull Glacier Views
Included
Guided Glacier Tour
Specialized Glacier Gear
All Required Safety Equipment
English Speaking Licensed Adventure Guide

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.

 

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.

We will visit either Falljökull glacier or Svínafellsjökull glacier depending on the season and conditions.

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 (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.

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 far from Reykjavik is the meet-up location for the tours at Solheimajokull?

We meet you at Sólheimajökull parking lot and the distance from Reykjavik is approx. 164 km / 101 mi. The drive takes around 2-2,5 hours.

For GPS: 63°31’00.48″N, 19°22’00.12W(WGS84).

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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Glacier Wonders | Average rating: 4.6/5 based on 19 customer reviews


"Great tour" | 5 stars By Charlene 12/07/2018
Thank you for an amazing day on the glaciers at Skaftafell National Park! We did the glacial wonders for which ran from 10am-2pm and had a German guide (sorry can’t remember her name) and we managed to have a fairly easy hike with a few steep inclines on the glacier. We were well looked after and managed to get great shots of the glacier! Great to taste glacier water, learn about how they form and explore the ice. Thank you for a great day!
"Peachie" | 3 stars By Ruth 11/07/2018
I felt that there was too much time spent looking at the glacier and not enough time looking at the icebergs. Did not get as close to icebergs as the other boat that went out at the same time
"Our guide made the trip great!" | 5 stars By Carlos Alas 05/07/2018
Our tour with artic Adventures to one of Iceland’s glaciers was awesome. It was our first experience that we will remember greatly. Our tour guide, Procop, made it so much more interesting and fun, while still very safe, and we had a good day overall.
"Walking on a glacier" | 5 stars By Sarah 03/07/2018
The glacier tour was a very special experience! Our guide was funny and we learned a lot about the glaciers and their history. The hiking wasn't too difficult and we had lots of time on the ice and time to make photos.
"As the oldest member of our tour group..." | 5 stars By Vicki Herbig 23/06/2018
As the oldest member of our tour group at 62 I found this “easy” rated hike a bit hard for me. However, I was able to keep up with the 20 and 30 year olds! It was an amazing trip with a great guide and I would definitely do it again. ‭
"Amazing experience!" | 5 stars By Audrey Thornton 21/06/2018
We had an amazing time on our glacier tour. Caroline was engaged, excited to share information and willing to tell a member of our party to behave when he was doing things that weren't safe. We had a wonderful time and would be happy to do another tour with Artic Adventures!
"Great fun" | 5 stars By Stefani 18/06/2018
The glacier is pretty and the tour guide informative. We were a slow bunch and he had the patience to repeat instructions and wait for us. The group is small and intimate, overall a very worthed experience. Iceland is a very beautiful country.
"Amazing experience" | 4 stars By Gianmarco Rossi 17/06/2018
The hike is really nice, one of the best experience we had in Iceland! Our guide, Claire, was very firendly and passionate about her job and she answered all our questions. We hiked on Falljokul a nice and “joung” glacier
"A professional company to rely on across all iceland activities" | 5 stars By Anik Shah 17/06/2018
We had booked two tours with the company. One was glacier walk (the easy one) and the second was with its sister company extreme iceland which was of volcano cave tour. I must add that they are the ones who know how to take care of their customers. In both the tours we were small groups (not more than 6) so that we felt like as if we were on a private tour. They also have professional and friendly guides who are always ready to go beyond their limits. I really recommend this company for any activity booking across the iceland. Trust me you will not be disappointed.
"Nice glacier walk, a little too short" | 3 stars By Enri San 16/06/2018
The guides were great, the landscapes amazing, the hike was safe. I just think it was a very short walk and you don't get too far into the glacier. I would recommend this to families and groups with old people or kids, but if you like hiking and you have a good condition, I would suggest you to look for another tour that lasts a few hours more.
"We should have been told...." | 4 stars By Pat Manthey 12/06/2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. It was a hot, sunny day. It would have been nice if your staff would have told us we didn’t need to pack all our rain gear up there. Otherwise it was great.
"The glacier grand slam was an amazing..." | 5 stars By Sanoor Rasheed 10/06/2018
The glacier grand slam was an amazing experience package. Will surely recommend it to anyone visiting iceland. Great team at arctic adventures from the desk staff to the guide. Special thanks to Marcus who was Brilliant a guide!
"Easy glacier walk" | 4 stars By Mandy W 08/06/2018
Informative guide
"Thank you for an amazing time!" | 5 stars By Kelly 13/05/2018
We had a blast hiking up the glacier and learning about the history and formation of the glacier from our tour guide. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone traveling to Iceland!
"Fun Trip. Great Guide." | 5 stars By Steve Foster 13/05/2018
On this, my second trip, to Iceland I wanted to do something I didn't on the first trip so I scheduled this Glacier Walk. We had a great time. Christian, our guide was funny, engaging, helpful and fun to hang out with. It was easy to find the office at the National Park Visitor's Center, parking fees were very reasonable and the bus ride to the drop off point was very short. We lucked out compared say, to the groups the day before, and got PERFECT weather! Perfect!! This is an easy hike. I thought I'd signed up for a more challenging trip that pushed further on to the glacier needing helmets, harnesses and ropes but this was not that trip. Nonetheless, it was a good time and appropriate for anyone with a normal level of fitness. My only suggestion to the tour group for this hike is to make the ice axes optional. Clearly they were for effect in photos and I would have preferred not to have to carry it. Great time had by all.
"Stunning!" | 5 stars By J C 11/05/2018
The Glacier Hike was amazing - Bee, our tour guide, provided a lot of information about the glaciers and sights, and was extremely helpful in assisting our small group with putting on the crampons. An action item that is definitely worth doing in Iceland and should be done soon!!
"Fun & Amazing" | 5 stars By Shasta 24/04/2018
Our guide was "Joey" and he was a lot of fun. Really enjoyed taking us on the tour, was very knowledgeable of everything we asked about, and added plenty of entertainment on the way with stories and jokes. The view was just beautiful and the hike was manageable even for a "novice" explorer. Would definitely check this out when you're visiting or just looking for added fun.
"Great bunch" | 5 stars By Toby Hallam 16/04/2018
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Great guide (Ollie). The team were very welcoming and helpful, and we would certainly recommend to others. A note to the Marketing team: you need to better co-ordinate changes in the schedules. Our ticket said arrive 9.30 for a 10am start. We arrived to find it had been changed to a 1030 start. This meant we had less time to reach our next trip (45mins away, starting at 2.30 with a different operator). The local team were very accommodating to try and rectify this for us, and did a great job to help us make up that time. It was just an unnecessary stress that could have been avoided by better co-ordination from head office. Other than that hiccup, I would still recommend Arctic Adventures.
"Karthik" | 5 stars By Karthik 11/04/2018
We had an awesome glacier hike, the tour guide was very friendly and informative, would love to go on another hike with you guys to another glacier in the future, and would definitely recommend to friends to go on a glacier hike soon cus they're not likely to last very much longer!
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