This tour is specifically conducted for every mountaineer's once in a lifetime experience - an unforgettable climb to the highest mountain (which also happens to be a volcano) in Iceland.
✓ Hápunktur Íslands
✓ Leiðsögn sérfræðinga
Are you ready for the adventure?
What is Hvannadalshnjúkur?
Hvannadalshnjúkur (or Hvannadalshnúkur) is the highest peak in Iceland, which stands on Iceland’s biggest volcano Öræfajökull – 2110 meters (6920 feet) above sea level (depending on the amount of snow).
Öræfajökull is an all-year ice-covered volcano, shielded by the biggest glacier in Europe – Vatnajökull Glacier. The volcano is the 2nd largest volcano in Europe – followed by Mount Etna. Vatnajökull glacier is the largest glacial ice cap in Europe – at approximately 8500 square km, and is larger than all of the continental European glaciers put together. The average thickness of the glacier is 400 meters, however sometimes as thick as 1100 meters.
About the Tour
The climb to the highest point in Iceland is quite challenging, so the hike is usually conducted to experienced hikers and / or mountaineers.
Your tour will take around 12-18 hours, depending on weather conditions and the pace. On the way to the top, you will experience many magical views, including cravasses, moulins, ice caves, and many other magnificent landscapes from the top of Iceland.
Experienced mountain guides from Tröll Expeditions will guide you throughout your whole trip – who will mainly be taking care of your safety, and sharing geological information about glaciers, volcanoes, and much more.
The trip starts early in the morning at Tröll Expeditions Skaftafell Terminal (less than a minute away from Skaftafell Airport), where you will meet your guide. Glacier gear (such as a helmet, ice axe, crampons, boots, and other clothing) will be provided upon arrival.
You will then start heading to Sandfell, on the east side of Falljökull, and start your climb using a Sandfellsleið Trail. The beginning of the trail has a steep gravel hill (1000m), which will roughly take 1-2 hours to reach. You will then stop to gear up, and have a chance to refill your water bottles from the melting glacier ice. You will then continue climbing up the mountain, which is fully covered by snow and glaciers. After a break, you will continue your way up to the volcano’s main crater, and from there, you will have the final meters of climbing.
- Weather on the glaciers can change very quickly, with very strong winds at times. Temperatures can be expected between -10° C up to 20° C at any time of the year. Click here to get more information on the weather.
- It is very important to wear clothing next-to-skin clothing that does NOT absorb moisture. Wool and artificial materials are recommended. Avoid using cotton in the mountains!
- Inner layer – removes sweat from the skin
- Insulating layer – retains body heat to protect you from the cold
- Outer layer – protects you from wind and rain
- Warm clothes
- Inner layer – Shirt / T-shirt (wool or synthetic)
- Insulating layer – Polyester Sweater / Fleece Sweater / Insulated Down Jacket
- Outer layer– Waterproof / Breathable jacket and pants (can be rented from Tröll)
- Hiking pants / fleece pants
- Socks (wool / hiking)
- Hiking / Climbing boots (can be rented from Tröll)
- 3L water bottle
- 20L-45L backpack
- Warm clothing (first layer)
- Waterproof clothing (second layer)
- Good hiking shoes (hard on the sole and tight around the ankle) (available to rent when booking)
- Gloves and a hat
Read more about How to dress in the mountains.
Feel free to contact Tröll customer service for any questions on [email protected] or call +354 519 5544 Wish you a magical hike!
- The most frequent reason for hikers not reaching the top is usually due to severe muscle cramps. Muscle cramps usually happen due to lack of minerals, dehydration and exertion.
- Therefore, a good high-carb breakfast (muesli, bread, etc), and loads of water before departure is highly recommended. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee, as it might lead to further dehydration (even hours later).
- During the hike, you will stop several times for some longer and shorter breaks – enough time to snack on some food and to rehydrate. It is also strongly recommended to bring some sweets (eg. chocolate, nuts) with you on the tour for some sugars, and high-carb foods (eg. sandwiches) that will provide you with long-term energy.
Tröll Expeditions Skaftafell
The tour is considerably safe, if instructions are carefully listened to. Your guide will take good care of you, and will help you in case of injuries, or any other issues.
Can the volcano erupt?
The volcano has not erupted for almost 300 years, however nobody knows when it will wake up again. Normally volcanic eruptions are predicted weeks before the eruption, due to a high number of earthquakes in the area. Seismographs are also closely monitoring the movement of the planet’s crust.