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Vatnajökull: Our most recommended tours and activities

Skaftafell: Vatnajökull Glacier Explorer Tour

1. Skaftafell: Vatnajökull Glacier Explorer Tour

Take a tour with a certified guide of the Vatnajökull Glacier — the largest in Europe. Head with your group to the ice fall, a scenic and exhilarating walk that requires crampons and a safety briefing. Along the way enjoy artful ice sculptures formed by nature. Your certified guide will take you on a scenic walk, during which you can appreciate the dramatic landscape carved by the glacier. Once at the tongue of the glacier, put crampons on, have a safety briefing, and then make your way to the real adventure. Head up towards the incredible ice fall (from which Falljokull derives its name), where you will soon be exploring a dramatic terrain, full of frozen ice formations and ice sculptures. Get plenty of photo opportunities while witnessing the rugged and majestic ice fall. Your guide will explain how the glacier was formed and how it keeps changing its shape day after day.

South Iceland: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Tour

2. South Iceland: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Tour

Meet at the Café by Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, about 40 minutes east of Skaftafell, for the start of a unique winter activity and look at an extraordinary natural phenomenon. Go inside some of the ice caves that form after water runs beneath the Vatnajökull Glacier during the summer. Every fall, local guides hunt for new ice caves, as their location can change each year. The structure and condition can also vary from year to year, but rest assured your guide will decide which is the best cave to visit, depending on the safety and weather conditions. Drive for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to the ice cave chosen by your guide, and then walk for 5 to 15 minutes to the mouth of the cave. Upon arrival, enjoy between 1 and 1.5 hours to look inside at the miraculous blue ice of the cave, and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

From Hof: Vatnajökull Glacier Guided Walk & Ice Exploration

3. From Hof: Vatnajökull Glacier Guided Walk & Ice Exploration

Discover the magnificent glaciers of Iceland with an expert instructor and guide and the proper equipment, including crampons. Walk along deep crevasses and moulins and admire variations of blue that you've never seen before. The tour departs from Jökulsárlón and after you get your equipment, crampons, helmet, and a harness head off on an approximately 30-minute super jeep ride on one of Iceland's biggest super jeeps. The super jeep takes your tour group to the base, close to the glacier and from there walk for about 20 minutes until reaching the edge of the glacier. Before stepping a foot on the glacier the guide helps you put on the crampons and goes over the safety restrictions. They also teach you a few things you need to know before walking on a glacier. Spend about an hour and a half on the glacier, exploring its ever-changing landscape and formations. During this tour, you have the possibility to even see crevasses, moulins, and the world-famous glacier wall on Jokulsarlon. Once you hit the ice, you will not only be amazed by the beauty but also mesmerized by the colors and the sounds as the ice beneath your feet crunches. If possible, you might even be able to get a peek at the ice cave, but it depends on its conditions. After the walk on the glacier, head back to the car and to Jökulsárlón. The tour in total takes about 4 hrs. and the walk in total is 6-10 km.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vatnajökull

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What people are saying about Vatnajökull

It's one of those things you only do once in a lifetime. First thanks to our guide Bassy, who picked us up at the meeting point, put us in a giant car and throughout the journey he told us curiosities about the island, its people and customs, the glacier, its evolution in an entertaining way, with his jokes and everything in between. Once we reached the point where the hike to the glacier started, he gave us the crampons and the helmet and we started walking for about 20 minutes until we reached the foot of the glacier. We entered it and we were observing the ice caves that honestly seemed impressive to me. Bassy was very nice, he solved all our doubts and took photos of all of us in the group in the most photogenic places in the caves. Perhaps I missed walking on top of the glacier, which based on what I had read in the description I had imagined would happen, but it was a unique experience nonetheless.

A great tour and a great guide (Erik). As promised, we didn't stop every 5 meters in the valley to take supposedly great pictures. Erik promised us from the start to take us to the best views of and into the glacier. So we quickly passed all the other groups up into the exciting rugged area of the glacier and were able to see a lot there, explore the glacier and enjoy the time there while the other groups were still taking photos at the foot of the glacier. Put on waterproof pants, sturdy hiking shoes (ice spikes for the shoes were available on site), a light sweater and a water-repellent jacket. Also thin gloves. When climbing the glacier, you will quickly get super warm, which is why it is not advisable to wear too thick clothing.

The 5.5 hrs glacier hike at Vatnajokull was a great experience. Barbara (our guide) was great, always aware of everyone’s safety. She was very knowledgeable with everything about the glaciers.

Great activity in the blue cave of Vatnajökull! The guide was great, the big Jeep outing was super nice, then the visit to the glacier, madness! I recommend ++ thank you for this tour!

Excellent guide, beautiful ice cave with gorgeous blue ice - What more could you ask for! We really appreciated getting to spend a lot of time in the cave. Thanks for the great trip!