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About tour

Exploring the largest glacier in Europe is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. This ice cave and glacier hike tour allows visitors to explore the stunning natural formations and crevasses on Vatnajökull with an expert guide.

The journey to the beautiful Skaftafell blue ice cave requires quite a climb, so it’s time to strap on your crampons! The ice hike is an incredible addition to the cave experience, providing awe-inspiring views across the ice giant. Double up your glacier experience with this incredible combo tour, the epitome of a volcanic experience in Iceland.

Highlights

  • Explore Vatnajökull - Europe's Largest Glacier
  • Visit natural ice cave

Included

  • English speaking licensed guide
  • Crampons and other necessary gear
  • All required safety equipment

What to bring

  • Warm clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Hiking boots
  • Head-wear
  • Gloves

Tour Snapshot

Availability Oct - April
Duration ~4 hours
Departs From Skaftafell
Level Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 8 years
Ratio 1:12 Guide to client ratio
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No

From

144
Per
Adult

From

144
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Itinerary

The tour starts at the Arctic Adventures booking office in Skaftafell. It’s a fantastic year-round experience for those looking for a stunning guided glacier walk with a visit to a mesmerizing natural ice cave!

The drive to the glacier takes around 20 minutes. Then, we hike for about 5 minutes up to Falljökull. When we get to the foot of the glacier, we gear up and get safety instructions from our skilled guides before setting foot on the ice. Following the safety demonstration, we can set off with the proper techniques across the awe-inspiring glacial ice.

The walk across the ice will take the group up to the ice cave, a naturally formed cave offering a unique and ethereal experience once inside. You’ll have time to explore and take as many photos as you like during your visit. The winter months are incredibly popular for ice cave tours like this. 

Note that the ice cave we visit is selected based on actual conditions each time. The ice hike and exploration of the glacier, including the cave, will take between 1.5 and 2 hours, so individuals considering this tour must be comfortable on their feet for this amount of time.

If you are looking for a more extensive (and more challenging) glacier hike in this area, then you might want to check out the Glacier Explorer tour!

This tour is highly dependent on conditions (including temperature, safety, and accessibility). Ice caves are ever-changing natural phenomena that are only accessible during winter when the temperature drops well below zero, so the water from the rivers that run underneath the glacier freezes and leaves us with this phenomenon to explore. Each year, new caves are formed in different locations. We will visit one naturally formed ice cave during this tour, and the cave we visit is chosen based on conditions and safety each time. The ice caves must be treated with the utmost respect. We cannot guarantee that the actual view during your visit will match the photographs, how the ice cave looks may vary depending on the season, time of the day, lighting, and other factors.

You must arrange your transportation to the meeting point of the tour (Skaftafell is 4,5-5 hours east of Reykjavik). The bus schedule during the winter is very limited, so it is highly recommended to rent a car and to stay in the area either the night before or after your tour. Driving times can be greatly affected by winter conditions, so please be sure to give yourself enough time depending on winter road conditions.  Find out more about the current road and weather conditions on road.is, vedur.is and safetravel.is

Due to limited daylight, the last departure of the day will be done partly in the dark during the darkest months.

Meeting point: Skaftafell Booking Center (Wooden house with Arctic Adventures Logo).

Please note: Skaftafell is located 327km (203 miles) from Reykjavik. The nearest towns to Skaftafell are Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 69km to the West and Höfn, 130km to the East.

Reviews

4.6
Based on 39 reviews

Skaftafell Blue Ice Cave & Glacier Hike Tour

FAQ

Yes, the parking fee depends on your car category.

Category A - Passenger car, 5 seats or less: ISK 750

Category B - Passenger car, 6-9 seats: ISK 1,000

Motorcycles: ISK 300

You can always check the newest fees here.

Skaftafell is located about 330 kilometers from Reykjavík. See map for directions.

What is the difference between the Into the Glacier tour and Crystal Ice cave tour?

The Into the Glacier tour departs from the Glacier Guides booking hut in Skaftafell National Park and is up to 4 hours in duration. After gearing up for our glacier adventure, we jump on a bus for a short drive to Falljökull glacier (approx. 15-20 minutes). This tour is perfect for those looking to try hiking on a glacier, exploring the crevasses and fascinating ice formations as well as experience what it’s like to be inside a glacier ice cave. This tour is rated easy (2 / 5) and no prior glacier experience is needed to participate on the tour. Participants need to be in good walking condition and be able to walk for 1.5 – 2  hours at a low pace with short breaks.

Your guide will take the time to explain to you the scenery that you are seeing and tell you all there is to know about glaciers.

The into the Glacier tour is a combination tour of glacier hiking and ice cave exploring.

 

The Crystal Ice Cave tour departs from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and is up to 3 hours in duration. A large off-road jeep will take you to an ice cave located in Breiðármerkurjökull Glacier, an outlet glacier from Vatnajökull. This tour offers you the chance to venture inside one of Vatnajökul’s beautiful crystal ice caves and take photos of its picturesque crystal surroundings. You will then jump back on the super jeep which will return you safely back to Jökulsárlón.

This tour is rated easy and no prior glacier experience is needed to participate on the tour. You will not need to walk as much on this tour as it only includes a short walk to, in and around the glacier for up to approx. 20-30 minutes. 

This tour doesn’t include much hiking, it includes exploring the ice cave and offers you the opportunity to take photographs from inside the cave. The ice cave is very beautiful, which makes it very popular with many other operators and tourists, for this reason very reason it is therefore likely that you will be sharing the location with other groups.

 

If you are looking for a tour that combines a visit to an ice cave with glacier hiking then Into the Glacier is the tour for you.

If you are looking for a tour that will take you directly to an ice cave for some great photo opportunities inside an ice cave then the Crystal Ice Cave tour is the tour for you.

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.

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.

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 Elding 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 summertime).

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 super 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.

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.

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.

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

When glacier hiking you will be provided with an ice axe, crampons, harness and helmet. This will help you to complete the tour safely. The minimum shoe size to attach crampons is EU 35.

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.

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.

We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.

The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.

Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.

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