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Vatnajökull

Vatnajökull: Our most recommended tours and activities

South Iceland: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Tour

1. 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.

Vatnajokull Glacier: Ice Caving and Glacier Hiking

2. Vatnajokull Glacier: Ice Caving and Glacier Hiking

Begin in Skaftafell before heading to the Falljökull glacier tongue. Gear up and get safety instructions from your skilled guide before setting foot on the ice. Start by hiking to the ice cave while soaking up the magnificent scenery and spend approximately 30 minutes exploring. Afterwards, hike back over the glacier through an adventurous landscape of rugged ice. Ice caves are only accessible during winter when the temperature drops well below zero –  the water from the rivers that run underneath the glacier freezes and leaves this phenomena to explore. Each year new caves are formed in different locations.

Skaftafell: Blue Ice Experience with 2.5-Hour Glacier Walk

3. Skaftafell: Blue Ice Experience with 2.5-Hour Glacier Walk

You will meet your qualified glacier guide in Skaftafell National Park, where you will be outfitted with crampons and an ice ax. When everyone is ready, a short bus ride will take us to the foot of the glacier. During the tour, you will explore one of Vatnajökull National Park's many outlet glaciers, extending from the mighty Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. After a short lesson on how to use the crampons and ice ax, you will step onto the glacier and be transported to an icy, foreign planet. The unique landscape truly seems out of this world, with white, clear and deep blue ice, deep crevasses, ice ridges and stunning scenery as far as the eye can see. We will take our time and make sure there are plenty of photo opportunities while your guide explains the inner workings of these white giants. Glacier walks are one of the most popular outdoor activities in Iceland and this is where it all started. Operating since 1994, this easy and safe tour made the Icelandic glaciers accessible to everyone, and today, you can't really visit Iceland without going on a glacier walk.

Skaftafell: Vatnajökull Glacier Explorer Tour

4. 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.

Vatnajökull Glacier Natural Ice Cave 2.5 to 3-Hour Tour

5. Vatnajökull Glacier Natural Ice Cave 2.5 to 3-Hour Tour

Make your own way to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to experience a natural ice cave from the luxury of a huge custom-made super jeep. Drive for approximately 30-40 minutes to the base of the glacier outlet at Breiðamerkurjökull, where the glacier retreats every year to make every season a unique experience. Pick-up all the necessary security gear to explore the cave in safety using helmets and crampons. Then, enter the cave with a guide who will explain the most important features of the extraordinary phenomenon. Visit a crevasse after the ice cave, weather permitting.

Skaftafell: Extra Small Group Glacier Adventure

6. Skaftafell: Extra Small Group Glacier Adventure

Explore the glacier of Falljökull, an outlet from Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Travel with your guide through the beautiful surrounding area in a modified Land Rover Defender. Climb to the base of Falljökull outlet glacier. At the edge, your guide will show you how to put on the crampons and explain the safety guidelines of hiking on a glacier. After receiving these instructions, your glacier adventure truly begins. Travel safely through the beginning part of the glacier, and then towards the less explored part of the glacier. Discover stunning ice formations in the higher part of the glacier as you are guided through parts fitting both the conditions of the glacier and the group. Be prepared to be secured in a rope and take on some light climbing or rappelling where there are no fixed routes higher up on the glacier. As you reach the highest point that is safely accessible, take a short lunch break before starting the descend from the glacier. As you reach the edge of the glacier, you will jump back into the Land Rover and drive back to the Skaftafell Terminal Tour Center.

Skaftafell: Extra-Small Group Glacier Hike

7. Skaftafell: Extra-Small Group Glacier Hike

Embark on a small-group tour of Vatnajökull glacier and benefit from an intimate experience with a maximum of 8 participants. After meeting your guide at the meeting point in Skaftatell Airport, get geared up and prepare for your 20-minute 4x4 drive to the base of the Falljökull outlet glacier. At the base, step onto the glacier and listen to a quick briefing on how to wear your ice crampons. Then, it's time to begin your glacier hike. Follow your experienced guide through stunning ice formations, moulins, crevasses, and crystal-clear blue pools. Spend up to 120 minutes exploring the unique landscape of the glacier. Witness breathtaking views, listen to interest local anecdotes, and have your photo taken against this stunning natural landscape before heading back to the 4x4. Get dropped off back at the meeting point at the end of your hike.

Skaftafell Ice Climb and Glacier Hike

8. Skaftafell Ice Climb and Glacier Hike

Experience what it feels like to walk on ice on a hike across the outlet glacier of Vatnajökull. Brave Europe's largest glacier to get breathtaking views of the Skaftafell area. Learn how to put on and walk in your crampons and learn the basic techniques of ice climbing. Meet your guide at the Skaftafell Terminal to collect all the necessary safety equipment. Gear up with your harness, crampons, ice axe, and helmet, then jump aboard the shuttle bus for the 10-minute ride to the glacier. Challenge gravity as you climb up walls of ice, and hike around the glacier. Learn how it was formed, and its fascinating history, including its recent use as a film location for movies such as Interstellar, Batman Begins, and the epic TV series Game of Thrones.

From Reykjavík: South Coast 4-Day Getaway with Accomodation

9. From Reykjavík: South Coast 4-Day Getaway with Accomodation

See the best of Iceland's south coast on a 4-day adventure with farmhouse accommodation included. Learn more about the unique landscapes of this region, head out on a quad bike tour, discover some of the most picturesque locations, and, if conditions allow, admire the northern lights. Day 1 - The Golden Circle Your tour begins with the famous Golden Circle. First, head to the UNESCO-listed Þingvellir National Park. Explore the landscape and see the faultlines where the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates drift apart, splitting Iceland in half. The next stop is Geysir where you can experience the erupting hot water geyser, a natural phenomenon that can only be seen in a few places on Earth. Finally, the last stop on the Golden Circle is Gullfoss and the impressive Golden Waterfall. The day's sightseeing comes to an end as you head to your cozy farmhouse accommodation, a sheep farm offering an authentic countryside experience, food, drink, and a place to relax. After dinner, there will be a northern lights hunt if conditions allow for it. Day 2 - The Adventure Ground The second day is filled with adventure, starting with a quad bike tour on the black sands of Mýrdalssandur. See the black sand beaches and stop by the famous plane wreck on the sands. Then, drive across a river to access a beautiful mountain ravine. In the afternoon, embark on a scenic hike on one of the trails in the area before returning to the farmhouse where you will get a chance to visit the sheepfold and assist with feeding the animals. After dinner, there will once again be a northern lights hunt if conditions allow for it. Day 3 - The Glacier Lagoon Travel further east and cross the vast open black sand plains of the south-east and look for Europe's largest icecap in the distance. The Vatnajökull Glacier has formed the landscape for centuries and, by visiting the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, get a sense of the powerful forces at play. Visit the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. A short distance from the lagoon is Diamond Beach, named after the countless icebergs stranded on their way to the sea. In the evening, there will be a northern lights hunt if conditions allow for it. Day 4 - Glacier Walks, Black Sand Beaches, and Waterfalls Begin the final day with a Glacier Walk on the Sólheimajökull Glacier. A specialist glacier guide will lead you through this frozen wonderland of the Icelandic outlet glaciers. If you are lucky, you may come across an ice cave on the route. Enjoy the scenic landscapes of the south coast on your way back to Reykjavík with stops at the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach and Skógafoss Waterfall.

From Hof: Vatnajökull Glacier Guided Walk & Ice Exploration

10. 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.

  • Guided tours
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  • Multi-day trips

Other Sightseeing Options in Vatnajökull

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What people are saying about Vatnajökull

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 631 reviews

Cave larger than it seems, as you go deeper the colors change. An experience that if you go to Iceland is worth enjoying. We entered the first ones and we did not have to wait for the rest of the groups. You do not get to walk on the glacier

The guide that touched us made us a dive in the fantastic cave, with tricks for good photos included. It was worth the experience!

fantastic experience, highly recommend it, a shame that with global warming the ice caves are retreating so quickly

We loved our guide :) the cave was amazing and we had a really nice experience.

Is awesome. The super knowledgeable guide on the matter. To repeat.