Skaftafell 3-Hour Glacier Hike
Join us for a walk on the glacier, one of Iceland's most popular outdoor activities. Hike into the magnificent ice-world of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Your certified glacier guide will show you stunning scenery and astonishing ice formations.
✓ Views of Ice Formations ✓ Small group experience ✓ Hike on Vatnajökull glacier ✓ A taste of pure glacier water
✓ Free parking ✓ All necessary glacier equipment ✓ English speaking certified glacier guide
Are you ready for the adventure?
Skaftafell Glacier Hike Tour
Come and join us on this once-in-a lifetime-experience, a chance to explore Iceland’s largest glacier.
As glaciers continue melting at an alarming rate – roughly more than 1.2 trillion tons per year around the world, we would like to invite you to this unforgettable tour, where you will experience a rare phenomena of how half of our world used to look like, just 12 thousands years ago.
Like all other glaciers in the world, Vatnajökull glacier continues to melt, which will eventually lose half of its current ice by the year 2100 (which currently covers 9% of Iceland). It is estimated that by 2200, most of the glacier ice in Iceland will be forever lost.
Individual glacier outlets have already seen 15-50% of ice loss since the year 2000.
What are glaciers?
Glaciers form when loads of snow collects on the mountains within many years, and not enough of it melts. Snow becomes incredibly heavy over time, therefore starts compressing on its own weight – eventually becoming glacier ice. Roughly, 50 meters of snow compresses into 1 meter of ice.
About the Tour
Your tour will start at Skaftafell Terminal, where you will meet your highly qualified glacier guide, 20 minutes before departure.
Once you arrive to the spot, your guide will provide you with all the necessary gear – crampons, a helmet, an ice axe, and footwear / rainwear (if needed).
Once geared up, you will start your journey towards the glacier.
Due to large amounts of melted ice, it will take roughly 20 minutes (by walk) to reach the glacier. On the way, you will be able to see how the ice has deformed the bedrock, the moss line of the surrounding mountains will indicate where ice used to be just a few years ago, and a lagoon, where you’ll see the last remains of the melted ice.
Once you reach the glacier, your guide will teach you how to walk on ice, and after a quick safety talk, you’ll start your hike on the icy Falljökull glacier – one of the most magical yet mysterious outlets of the Vatnajökull Glacier. Falljökull outlet is different from other outlets due to the dramatically carved glacier landscapes, which you’ll be able to see while on the 3 hour hike. During the tour, your guide will take you to the most magnificent parts of the glacier – such attractions include crevasses, moulins, glacier mice (a type of moss), massive ice falls, and sometimes ice caves.
The hike is not technically hard, yet sometimes steep and rocky. Some physical strength is required and hiking experience is recommended.
The temperature on the glacier is just a few degrees colder than at the Skaftafell Terminal, however much more windy due to a higher elevation.
Find the weather information here
Wish you a magical hike!
About 3 hours
Easy to moderate
8 years old
✓ Certified Glacier Guide
✓ Small Group
✓ Glacier equipment: helmet, ice axe, harness, and crampons
- Warm clothes
- Inner layer – Shirt / T-shirt (wool or synthetic)
- Insulating layer – Polyester Sweater / Fleece Sweater / Insulated Down Jacket
- Outer layer – Waterproof jacket and pants (can be rented from Tröll)
- Hiking pants / fleece pants
- Socks (wool / hiking)
- Hiking / Climbing boots (can be rented from Tröll)
- Hat, gloves, sunglasses
- Small water bottle
- Joy & happiness!
• Jeans are not recommended for glacier activities. Once it gets wet, it takes a long time to dry, leaving you cold.
• All day tours can be cancelled up to 24 hours from the departure time with the full price refunded by sending an email to [email protected] All cancellations requested less than 24 hours from the departure time are non refundable.
• In the case of cancellation of the tour by the operator because of extreme weather, road conditions or other factors, we will assist you with rebooking to another date or booking other activities when possible, or provide a full refund.
We highly recommend that you arrive at our meeting point 20 minutes before the departure time stated on your ticket. Please note that if you arrive after departure time, your place on the tour cannot be guaranteed or refunded.
The meeting point is Skaftafell Terminal by the main road. You can look up “Skaftafell Terminal” on Google Maps to find the exact location and driving directions.
Driving time to Skaftafell from Reykjavík is around 5 hours in good road conditions. If you arrive early, you can visit Skaftafell Terminal which offers free parking and has restrooms.
Click on the map for the exact location and directions.
What should I wear for glacier tours?
Weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. For tours during winter: warm clothing as first layer, waterproof outdoor jacket and pants, hiking boots with high ankle protection, a hat and gloves are ideal. For tours during summer, bringing a light rain jacket and pants is in most cases enough protection. Icelanders often say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes”. Jeans are not recommended for outdoor trips as they become very heavy and cold when they get wet.
Do I need hiking boots?
We encourage bringing hiking boots for glacier tours. They have to have hard on the sole and be tight around the ankle. If you don’t have them, we have them available for rent in all sizes while booking or at the glacier hike location for ISK 1,500 per pair with cash or card.
How difficult are glacier hikes?
Our tours are considered to be safe for anyone in good physical condition. You have to be able to walk for about an hour up and down on slopes and uneven surface. Longer tours will be more challenging in endurance for some areas of the glacier. We also recommend you remember that we offer all the safety equipment necessary and you will be hiking with a professional and certified glacier guide. If you have specific questions regarding one of our glacier tours, feel free to email us.
If I am pregnant, can I join a glacier hike?
This is a personal choice. We have had pregnant women on our glacier hikes and we always recommend you read the description of the activity to get a better idea. In any case, feel free to contact our Service Team for further questions and concerns.
How does weather affect my tour?
Wind and rain are common in Iceland, in addition to snow in the winter, but we do not let challenging weather stop us from going out and enjoy nature. All we need to do is choose our clothing wisely, which is why we recommend wearing waterproof jacket and pants as the second layer. Of course, safety is our #1 priority, in case of extreme weather or road conditions, we will cancel our tours and do our best to reschedule your booking at a further date or provide a full refund.