A guide to a glacier hike in Iceland
The glacier hike guide in Iceland
Now that you have your flights booked, your lodging details all cross-checked, and tours are confirmed, you are ready to have the Iceland vacation of a lifetime! And one way to make this happen is by going glacier hiking. This is one of the many exciting activities that you can do in Iceland, and the tons of pictures of the incredibly blue ice is enough to convince you that there is an adventure waiting for you in this country.
Iceland’s glaciers are considered the most enchanting in the world. Shining in pearl blue and silver, they cover more than 10% of Iceland. Glaciers cannot be found anywhere on earth, making Iceland one of the rarest places to see one. Moving along the glacier walls and crevices gives you access to the immense beauty of this gift of nature. There are plenty of ways to get close enough to experience these giant ice wonders. Still, the best way is to go hiking on the Iceland glacier. How can you get the best out of a glacier hike? Well, we have all the answers to your questions, and this glacier hike guide will get you ready for your next adventure.
Getting ready to go glacier hiking
Imagine having unobstructed access to explore pure nature; This is what it means to hike through the glaciers in Iceland. As you walk on the ice, you will be pleased to hear the beautiful sounds under your feet. The ice sculptures and glacier formations around you are also other sources of amazement. This glacier hike will be like nothing you have ever experienced before, and you don’t want to miss out on this experience of a lifetime. While there are different tours to take you on this trip, it’s best to take the readily available ones from Reykjavik Outventure. It could take as little as three hours to get to the closest glacier. Getting the best out of your glacier hiking trip starts with knowing the perfect location to begin. With the several glaciers available in Iceland, you need to go for the best ones. So, we will start by listing the glaciers that are best for hiking in Iceland.
Taking a hike on the Sólheimajökull glacier
Remember, we talked about this glacier earlier, and it’s generally the highlight of our glacier hiking tours. An experienced guide is available throughout the year to help you navigate these trails and get the best of your trip. With our tour, the guide will pick you up from your location in Reykjavik. After visiting some other beautiful sites in Iceland, we will head to the Sólheimajökull glacier. Like a glacier leaving Mýrdalsjökull, there are several large volcanoes around it. In summer, the charm of this area is reinforced by a glacial lagoon that forms just in front of the glacier. Do you think you know the true meaning of the name Iceland? Well, you are about to discover it with glacier hiking.
Going Glacier Hiking on the south coast
When we talk about the southern coast, it encompasses both the Sólheimajökull glacier and some fantastic waterfalls. The south coast is full of beautiful surprises for you. Glacier hiking on the south coast begins in Reykjavik, where we drive south towards the glacier. You can stop along the way to enjoy the amazing sites and also have a snack. On the south coast is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which has a cave behind it. It is indeed fascinating to see how the waterfalls in a field of snow. Another waterfall on the south coast is the Skógafoss waterfall. It is not higher than the previous one but still radiates excellent power. This waterfall is impressive at any time of the year. But this brief introduction does not do justice to the magnificence that awaits you when hiking glaciers on the south coast. Here is a more detailed description:
Apart from being the largest in Iceland, the Skaftafellsjökull Glacier functions as an outlet of Vatnajökull glacier. Of the many beautiful features of this glacier, the first one you will notice is that it has an ocean of black sands that sink into your feet. These black sands are also surrounded by shiny and huge chunks of ice. Then, you get to look at the incredible mountains surrounding this glacier. The Skaftafellsjökull glacier tongue is found at Skaftafell in the Vatnajökull National Park, which is known worldwide as the largest in the country. From Vatnajökull, we have Skaftafellsjökull and other glaciers extending out to as much as eleven percent of Iceland. In the Vatnajökull National Park are the Jökulsárgjlúfur canyon in the north and the Jökulsárlon glacial lagoon in the south.
It is possible to walk through Skaftafellsjökull glacier with a fantastic perspective of this glacial tongue. After registering at the Skaftafell Visitor Center for the best routes and hiking conditions, an 8km trail takes you more than 350m to the Svartifoss waterfall. From here, you can see the glacier and its adjacent lagoon.
Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull are the icy languages of Vatnajökull within Skaftafell, and people often confuse each other, despite their distinctive characteristics. Most of the glacier hiking tours in this part of the country take place in Svínafellsjökull. This is where you will have one of the most beautiful views in the country. You really haven’t had a complete tour of Iceland if you haven’t visited the Svinafellsjokull Glacier. This glacier sits in the Skaftafell nature reserve, where there are several waterfalls and high mountain trails. This glacier also lies close to the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, where you will be fascinated as chunks of ice flow into the sea, creating a natural mural. Svinafellsjökull is famous for its impressive ridges and its incredible views from the top. Take a look at this summer day hiking tour. The best time to go hiking on this glacier is during the summer. On this visit, you will enjoy incredible views from the top. These extend to the Reykjanes peninsula and the western fjords.
The remarkable Jokulsarlon appeared in the best movies, including Die Another Day, Tomb Raider, A View to a Kill, and Batman Begins. If you are a James Bond fan, then you will be familiar with the movies, A View to a Kill and Die Another Day, which features this super spy. This fantastic location is the perfect backdrop for a film, so it’s not a surprise to see famous directors trooping to these spots. This glacial lagoon is not only very picturesque but also qualifies as one of the most incredible natural wonders in Iceland. Large chunks of ice regularly separate from the glacier and head out to sea through the glacial lagoon. The view from the shoreline is unforgettable, but you can also go boating on the lagoon to navigate the iceberg maze and learn about the blue ice. From land or in the water, you will also likely spend a long time watching as the seals playfully flap in the cold waters to cheers and happy whoops all around.
Right next to the glacier lagoon is Playa Diamante, whose name is as a result of the thousands of pieces of ice surrounding the beach. Of course, the ice is from the glacier, where it falls into the lagoon and floats to the shore. The bright contrast of the black sand beach and the blue chunks of ice make it unique and worth seeing.
The Falljökull Glacier is known for its striking blue colors and rough surfaces. You can find this glacier at Skaftafell, near the black sand coasts that are common on the south coast.
Vatnajökull National Park
There are three national parks in Iceland, and the Vatnajökull National Park is one of them. This historic park is the location of one of the most massive glaciers in Europe with its surrounding scenery that is a magnificent work of nature. Approximately, the Vatnajökull National Park covers more than 10% of Iceland’s landmass. The borders of this park are the Skaftafell and Jökulsárgljúfur national parks. The glacier reaches 2000m at its highest point with many active volcanoes below it. One of them is the most active volcano in Iceland, known as Grímsvötn. Many eruptions have been recorded here in recent years.
Surrounding this park to give it a diverse landscape are numerous mighty rivers, glacial ice, and volcanic activity in the region. This park is home to most of Iceland’s impressive natural attractions that get a lot of attention, including volcanoes like Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes. You can also find the Grímsvötn, Ásbyrgi canyon, and the mighty Dettifoss waterfall in the northern part of this region. Surrounding the national park are Hvannadalshnjúkur, in the extreme south, which is the highest peak in the country, the Lakagígar and Eldgjá volcanic fissures, and the lush Skaftafell oasis. This massive national park has five visitor centers and four territories. These include Gljúfrastofa in Ásbyrgi, Skaftafell, Skaftárstofa in Kirk jubæjarklaustur, Gamlabúð in Höfn and Snæfellsstofa in Skriðuklaustur. Within the park, there are tons of other exciting hiking trails to meet any level of experience.
The Vatnajökull Glacier covers more than 7% of Iceland’s surface, making it the largest in Europe. Another pleasant fact about this glacier is that it is connected to several other glaciers that form a walking path, including Svinafellsjökull. If you don’t wish to move with crowds while checking out this glacier, you can opt for private tours. Hiking on this glacier is definitely fun.
Sitting right between Katla and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes is the Sólheimajökull glacier. It also forms a significant part of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. You don’t have to move through complicated paths to get to this glacier as it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. With a short drive from Reykjavik down the South Coast, you can get to this excellent spot for seeing the wonders in Iceland. On the way, there are lots of waterfalls that are worth taking a minute to admire. Even inexperienced hikers can get the best out of hiking on this glacier as it is easy to climb with the opportunity to take hundreds of pictures of the surrounding landscape.
Located in Skateftafel is the only Svartifoss waterfall in southern Iceland. Belonging to Vatnajökull National Park, it is definitely refreshing to see Skaftafell after driving through the vast black lava plains of Skeiðarársandur glacial lava. The Svartifoss waterfall is the picture of sophistication, and the black basalt formations that frame this structure lend an extra feeling of class. At 20 meters high, it gives an air of romance and would be a charming place to spend with a lover. There are tons of information at the Skaftafell Visitor Center on the best route to the Svartifoss waterfall. The good news is that it is opened all year round. The hike is 1.5 km from the visitor center. While making your way to the waterfall, you will also see a lot of other waterfalls in the gorge. In about an hour and a half, you will get to and from Svartifoss, even with a lot of photo stops. With a short walk, you will be able to see this waterfall up close with a much lifelike look. To protect nature from intruders that often don’t treat it right, there is a fence. However, you will be able to get close enough to get the ultimate experience. The state architect known as Guðjón Samúelsson was inspired to design the Hallgrímskirkja Church, one of Reykjavík’s notable landmarks, of the beautiful basalt formations.
On your way back, you can either return the same way or cross the bridge through Svartifoss and return on the west side. On that route, you will get a close look at some of the other three waterfalls. Just beneath the Svartifoss waterfall in the Wester gorge, you will find Magnúsarfoss, Þjófafoss, and Hundafoss. However, these weren’t all the waterfalls as there was also the Lambhagafoss waterfall. After the Skeiðarárhlaup glacial outbreak, it sadly became non-existent. Despite the trees slightly blocking the view of the waterfall, you can still see some significant parts of the Magnúsarfoss waterfall while at the east bank on during your journey to Svartifoss. It is the second waterfall that you will see on the walk, just after the Hundafoss waterfall.
Unfortunately, you can’t see this waterfall visibly from the east side of the river leading to the Svartifoss waterfall. However, there is a better view of this natural wonder from the west side. While they are both different angles, they are nonetheless beautiful on both sides of the river. The name Hundafoss means Dog’s Falls, and the origin of this name is quite impressive. Sometimes, dogs on the nearby farm float out of the waterfall when the river rises, this then led to the waterfall being named Dog’s Falls.
You can get a magnificent view of Magnusarfoss, which is located above an old electric generator. This generator was operational from 1925 to 1973, until the locals decided to rebuild it in 2001. A view of the Magnúsarfoss waterfall can be obtained from the west bank. Although there are lots of trees in this location that also block the view, you can get a better view from the edge of the gorge, which houses a smaller waterfall known as Þjófafoss. This waterfall is worth the walk to Mount Skaftafellsheiði to Sjónarsker, where you will have the chance to enjoy an excellent view of the surroundings. Approximately 300m above sea level is a dial designed by Jón J. Víðis.
After these waterfalls, comes the tongue of the Sólheimajökull glacier, where your glacier hiking experience begins.
Can you walk on a glacier safely?
Our big answer is yes but only with an experienced glacier hiking guide. We have a lot of people who express surprise at how accessible the glaciers in Iceland are. The Icelandic terrain may be rugged, but this doesn’t mean that there are no better options to move across the country quickly and safely. However, you can gain easy access to the glaciers, but you still need to step on them with a guide to be truly safe. With a trained professional guide, you will be able to understand how best to navigate the glaciers without being exposed to dangers that will hamper your enjoyable experience. With crampons, you don’t have to worry about stepping on slippery ice as they will offer a firm grip. Your guide will also take a quick survey of the areas to determine how safe they are and be more confident in the integrity of the ice. You will be guided by experts in glacier hiking.
Tips to keep you safe when walking on glaciers
First of all, you can safely walk on the glaciers. Most people do not believe that glaciers are easily accessible due to safety concerns. However, this part of the Icelandic landscape is very safe for walking and attracts thousands of tourists each year. They are easily accessible, but it should be noted that venturing into glaciers on your own can be dangerous. However, safety is guaranteed when accompanied by a trained professional who knows the route thoroughly.
To ensure complete safety, you must be fully equipped with the right equipment for the occasion. You always think of cold, powdery snow and slippery ice when people think of glaciers. Still, Iceland’s infamous changing climate means it can be even more challenging to know what to wear. Iceland’s weather is known for how fast it changes during the day. However, glaciers are always much warmer in summer than people expect. Sometimes you can even venture out on the ice without a jacket, but there can be sudden changes in weather conditions. Therefore, it is always better to pack the essentials to avoid problems. So here are items you should definitely have with you on a glacier hiking trip to Iceland:
- Thermal based layers: The first rule of thumb to visit Iceland is to dress in layers. With thermal layers, you can keep frost away while walking on the glacier in winter. The best part is that you can easily remove this during a glacier summer hike if you get too hot for comfort.
- Waterproof ankle boots: Glaciers are made of water, which means that you should always pack comfortably. The waterproof ankle boots will make sure that climate changes do not surprise you.
- Thermal Socks – Your toes will not be warm enough with thin ankle socks. Therefore, you will benefit a lot from having thick thermal stockings packed up during your glacier hike.
- Waterproof jacket: Summer in Iceland comes with high levels of rain. Therefore, it is better to wear a waterproof jacket. However, go for a waterproof jacket with light padding, so the weight doesn’t slow you down. There will be days when you don’t need it, but it’s never a good idea to leave it behind.
- Hiking pants: If there is an item you should never wear on a walk on the glacier, it is jeans. Instead, pack breathable, flexible pants to keep you company as you move.
Although Reykjavik Outventure will provide most of this during the tour, it is still best to know the standard equipment to take along on a hike. Some items that will keep you safe and make your experience even better are a helmet, harness, crampons, and ice axes.
How experienced are the guides?
Every guide in Reykjavik Outventure is well-trained with several years of experience as glacier hiking guides. It’s entirely possible that they have gone hiking on the glaciers more than a hundred times and know the trail like the back of their hands. They have also completed mandatary private training sessions to make them even better with the path. You will be in the best hands.
When is the best time for a glacier hike?
It’s no secret that summer has more options for walking on the glaciers, where you can enjoy full and half-day tours. However, if you have your vacation time in winter, it is not a terrible choice to go for glacier walks during this time. In winter, you can join in on several hikes through ice tunnels and ice caves. The best times for glacier hiking are largely dependent on the season as well. However, some times during the day are considered optimal. The hike on the glacier at noon is usually better, as the weather conditions will be brighter. In summer, you can enjoy walks on the glaciers throughout the day. During winter, your tour can start at sunrise and end at dusk, adding a little charm to any trip.
Going on an ice caving adventure in Iceland
When you talk about some of the most fascinating and extraordinary wonders of nature in Iceland, then it wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Iceland’s ice caves. They can certainly be counted among the most impressive views the world has to offer. Standing in an Icelandic ice cave is literally the same as standing inside a glacier. This is because you are surrounded by it, waiting for an absolutely magical and unique experience. Sometimes you will even hear the crunch of the ice, reminding you that the glacier is, in fact, a vibrant and moving phenomenon of nature. While glacier formations are mostly found on land, ice caves are formations that contain all of the ice internally.
The truth is, none of the ice beauties usually last long. Therefore, when you visit an Icelandic ice cave, the air is thick with a feeling of preciousness and rarity. Summer heat will bring rapid erosion, and winter frosts will stabilize newly formed tunnels and caverns. When a fabulous new ice cave forms, you have to seize the moment, as it may not be present for a few years after that. However, it will remain just as spectacular.
When should you take an ice caving tour?
The traditional ice cave season in Iceland begins in November and lasts until March, which is very cold. The ice caves become stable enough to properly visit and explore during this period. However, two ice caves can be explored throughout the year: the artificial ice cave on the Langjökull glacier and the ice cave below the Katla volcano. The artificial ice cave is a spectacular alternative to natural glaciers, as you will get the winter experience you are looking for in Iceland. Reaching the cave is an adventure in itself. On this tour, you will go to the top of the Langjökull Glacier, which offers fabulous views of the vast white mountains in the surroundings.
Technically speaking, ice caves in Iceland should be called glacial caves. However, “ice cave” is the name that has become popular and is now recognized by tourists and locals alike. We will talk about some ice caves, and most of them are actually glacier caves. This is because they are made of ice inside glaciers. Simply put, an ice cave is just a typical cave that has a large amount of ice inside.
The formation of an ice cave is quite fascinating. Meltwater runs through or under the glacier. In the process, the ice melts and leaves tunnels inside the glacier. When the weather is significantly warmer in the summer, higher temperatures melt the ice on the glacier’s surface. This drainage water drains down through cracks in the ice or into sinks and moulins. These axes are usually almost vertical, allowing the water to descend to the bottom of the glacier. The channels or conduits are much larger than most people who have never seen a glacier would imagine. Usually about 10 meters wide, they descend to the base of the glacier, which helps it move.
How are the ice caves formed? They are usually made up of a combination of subglacial flowers and surface drainage of meltwater caused by geothermal heat. Another factor that causes the formation of ice caves is the flow of warm water or what is more commonly known as hydrothermal rivers. For example, there is a particular ice cave at Kverkfjöll that is entirely made up of geothermal activity but is difficult to access. In summer, the oldest caves break down and become structurally unsafe to explore. However, new ice caves form around this time, and you can easily explore all of its hidden beauties. Each cave has a different shape, despite being entirely designed by the hand of nature. With some caves, there is more than one entrance, which makes it more of a tunnel structure.
Iceland’s famous ice caves
Crystal Ice Cave
Iceland’s Crystal Cave is a well-known natural structure located in Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. For almost a decade, this cave has been formed more or less in the same place, with the flow of the large glacial river that forms it every summer. The light flowing through the very thick and heavy blue ice is exceptional to the eye and particularly photogenic. The grandeur of the Crystal Cave is impressive, with a sizeable cavern-like interior that’s spacious enough to accommodate up to 80 people one at a time. Taking a tour of the Crystal Ice Cave is one of the most impressive experiences to do in all of Iceland.
Blue ice caves
When a glacier has compressed below its weight for hundreds or even thousands of years, this causes air to bubble and enlarge the ice crystals, creating areas of blue ice. Sometimes there will be vast expanses of clear, crystalline, sparkling ice that looks like a deep blue quartz crystal with penetrating light. On some days, it seems more solid and opaque. Regardless of the opacity of the ice, intense blue tones can be displayed. Algae can be encapsulated within glacial ice, further strengthening vibrant blue hues, and very rarely, making these blues look so deep that we could call them violet hues.
Blue Diamond Cave was the name of one of the glacier caves that appeared in Vatnajökull in the winter of 2016-2017. The Blue Diamond Cave had a beautiful blue color, like many of the glacier caves, but was much smaller than the Crystal Cave. Not up to twenty people would fit into the Blue Diamond Ice Cave at a time. Arguably, the Blue Diamond had an even more beautiful blue color than the Crystal Cave, hence its name.
The Blue Diamond was, in fact, a Moulin cave, which was also called the glacier mill. It was made of snow, on top of the glacier, but not excavated by a glacial river like the Crystal Cave. A moulin usually is vertical, but the Blue Diamond was an exception, as it was horizontal. However, access to the Blue Diamond Cave was often possible even when the Crystal Cave was not accessible. This was because the Blue Diamond Cave was located higher up on the glacier, where the temperature would generally be lower. Still, it also means that it was more challenging to access. This cave, like many others, has become extinct. Close to the Blue Diamond Cave, the Black Diamond Cave was also accessible and could hold about fifteen people. But it only had black ice inside, and it wasn’t that popular with travelers.
Waterfall cave at Vatnajökull glacier
The waterfall cave existed in the winters between 2015 and 2017. This large cave was safe to enter, despite a small river and waterfall running through it. This cave was formed by the river that flows into it, instead of running out of it. Of all the glacial caves mentioned here, it is the only one to the east of the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, next to the Veðurárdalur valley. The ceiling was not very high, but this cave was quite large. Following the small river, you would end up in the small but picturesque waterfall.
Northern Lights Ice Cave
To get into the Northern Lights Ice Cave, you will need some crampons. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist anymore. This impressive cave was named after the dancing auroras referred to as the Northern Lights. One distinct feature was the beautiful lines on the ceiling of the cave, which were very similar to the image of the Northern Lights.
Black ice caves
The ice in a natural Icelandic ice cave can be black, gray, white, or blue. It can be incredibly crystalline or opaque, depending on how it forms. In a large percentage of the ice caves, only one color is seen. However, some ice caves may only show one color occasionally. Dark Rubin is a black ice cave in Iceland, located near the Vatnajökull Crystal Ice Cave. Being a black ice cave, it is not surprising that it is quite dark. However, it could comfortably accommodate as much as twenty people. Due to the lack of light, this is not a place that many people would choose to visit. On the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, there is another black ice cave near the famous Katla volcano.
Langjokull Ice Cave
This is an artificial cave in Iceland. It has a full church with a chapel room integrated into its s icy depths. When you walk through the ice tunnel, this will take you directly to the vastness of Langjökull, the second-largest glacier in Iceland. Although this ice cave is man-made, nature adds its beauty. Inside this ice cave, there are beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. However, this is not all, as there is always something beautiful around every corner. It is possible to visit this ice cave at any time of the year, which means that it can be visited as part of a summer vacation or winter vacation. You will also be able to experience the thrill of being high up in the ice cap, giving you a real appreciation of Langjökull’s vast white nature. This ice cave stands out for being particularly unusual and surprising, with incredibly beautiful and dramatic colors. The ice roof produced a truly vibrant “river” of turquoise blue ice running through it. Around this stream of deep blue ice, the ash from volcanic eruptions has left layers of gray, zebra-like patterns on the surrounding white ice. Getting there requires a long and exciting journey from Reykjavik as it is in a remote location.
Glacier hiking tours you should check out
The beauty of hiking the glacier is when you know you are 100% safe, and you wouldn’t miss the best sites. Searching online for tips on glacier hiking is not enough; You need the help of an experienced guide who could even tell you some little secrets to improve your experience. There are also unique places where you can enter with a local guide, giving you that extra spice that comes with having someone knowledgeable. So here are our best glacier hiking tours you won’t want to miss.
This tour crosses the Sólheimajökull Glacier, Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Reynisfjara / Black Sand Beach, and the Viking House. This is definitely a glacier hike worth remembering as it takes about twelve hours on the southern coast of Iceland. The tour begins in Reykjavik, where an expert guide will pick you up to take you through the land of volcanoes and ice. The drive from Reykjavik takes you to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which has walking trails. This waterfall is home of wonders, and if you are luckier, you might be able to catch a glimpse of a rainbow on particularly sunny days. Rainbows are as magnificent as the hype surrounding them. After the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is the Skógafoss waterfall.
The only thing we can say confidently about this waterfall is that it is perfect. You’ll also have a lot to say about it if it doesn’t leave you speechless in awe. The next step is the hike on the Sólheimajökull glacier, which is the highlight of the tour. How would you feel when you walk on a glacier with the most powerful volcano in Iceland just below your feet? Well, there is only one way to find out. The surreal experience of this glacier hike has caused all tourists to yearn to return again. Even better, you can dig into Icelandic cakes and hot chocolate during this hike. However, the tour doesn’t stop here. We will head to Black Sand Beach, which has its history. This place is so iconic that the scene where the troll tows three masts from the ocean to shore was filmed here. Looking around, you will be dazzled by the basaltic rocks on the mountain. As much as you won’t want this tour to end, it stops at the Ingólfsskáli Viking House for dinner. This Viking house is every inch a Viking house. Entering this hostel takes you over a thousand years ago when Vikings still existed. The owner also gives you an idea of the real experience dressed as a Viking and serving Icelandic lamb.
Here is a summary of the places this tour covers: Reynisfjara black beach, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Solheimajokull glacier hike, Skógafoss waterfall, and a look at the Skyr factory. Of course, this tour starts at your location in Reykjavik, where we will start early because it will be a long day of fun. The journey begins with a visit to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which stretches from Eyjafjallajökull. Eyjafjallajökull is a volcano that erupted in 2010. About twenty minutes from the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is the Skógafoss waterfall. Granted, there are several spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, but this one takes the cake. You can see it from two different angles, either walking towards it or watching the water run from above while standing on top.
Next up is the part you have been waiting for. Solheimajokull Glacier is right next to the waterfall, a glacier off Myrdalsjokull. Feel the thrill of having the most powerful volcano right under your feet as you walk on the glacier. The Katla volcano has not erupted in over a hundred years, and it would be a sight to behold when it erupts again. Glacier hiking is super cool, and with our guide, you have artfully infused excitement in the mix. Let’s not forget that I will Enjoy Icelandic cakes and hot chocolate during this hike. After the glacier hike, we head to the black sand beach, which has been featured in several movies. Everything around this beach is a gift to unwrap. You have small caves at one end, basaltic cliffs at the other, and glaciers twinkling around you. This tour ends at the Skyr factory. You have probably never heard of this factory before, and you will be given a detailed description of its history. This was where the Vikings survived during the cold winters. Here, you will be given dinner and many tasty drinks.
The first good news here is that all the necessary equipment for this tour are available, so you have no worries. This private south coast tour covers Black Sand Beach, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skogafoss waterfall, and the highlight is the glacier hike. If you are doing this tour in the summer, then we can start anytime because this season features twenty-four hours of light. However, winter comes with shorter days, and we’ll have to start the tour early. As expected, the journey begins with a pickup from the capital Reykjavik region. From here, we head to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you would be excited to take hundreds of photos. This place is so beautiful that you will want to document memories in detail with your camera, and we really can’t blame you for this. You’ll get a little wet as you walk behind the waterfall, so don’t forget your waterproof jacket. The source of the water in this waterfall is the glacier on top of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
After exploring this waterfall, we will take a short trip to the Skogafoss waterfall, which we consider one of the best in Iceland. We believe it our number one waterfall in Iceland and also for a good reason. If you mentioned the perfect waterfall, this is probably the first one you can think of. The following is the highlight of the trip: the glacier hike. This is where you can feel all the energy of the glaciers and immerse yourself in Iceland’s rich history. A walk on the glacier takes your vacation to the next level. We could tell you all about it, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise. Your personal experience of this tour will let you know how amazing it is. After the walk, our last stop is the black sand beach, also known as Reynisfjara beach. Around this beach, there are volcanic cliffs, glaciers, and volcanoes. There’s a lot to discover, and Game of Thrones fans will be happy to know that some scenes were filmed here.
The Mount Esja hiking tour is another unforgettable tour that is one of a kind. From the food and drinks to a pool trip that makes you reluctant to end the tour. Even better, the tour guide knows all about Mount Esja and Reykjavik with enough stories to tickle your fancy. No doubt, all locals and travelers who have experienced this tour all have good things to say about it, especially about its overall quality and value. This Mount Esja tour consists of a small group that will hike through Icelandic nature, taste its delicacies including Icelandic fish and beers, bathe in a geothermal swimming pool, and generally has a fantastic time. You certainly don’t want to miss out on a chance to see Reykjavik through its best angles, visit the famous Kopar restaurant and take a dip in the Lágafellslaug swimming pool
The tour, of course, starts at Reykjavik city, where Mount Esja towers over the city in the distance. Although there are lots of people who love to run up the mountain daily, we will be taking our time during the hike up so you will savor every moment. There will be a lot of time to chat with the guide about the scenery and admire the view as you get higher. The ride to Mount Esja from your pickup location takes about thirty minutes. During this ride, you can be sure that there will be no dull moment as we entertain you with the best Icelandic music and believe it when we say that music inspires you to move. Of course, you will be expected to have your hiking shoes, a water bottle to keep you hydrated and appropriate clothing for the weather so that you are as comfortable as possible. While you may be able to rent a towel and swimwear at the pool, it’s best to come along with these to avoid disappointments.
Have we told you about the Icelandic spring water? Iceland has one of the cleanest water supplies in the world. The water is so pure that you can drink our tap water and be completely safe. We will fill up the water bottles at the brook before hiking to Steinn, which is a landmark rock close to the top of Mount Esja. This is the perfect spot for some local refreshments to freshen up and refuel for the journey down the Mount. Here, you will have an unforgettable view from the top of the Mount with a lot of pictures to keep the memories alive. Up next is resting your tired feet by taking a relaxing dip at the Lágafellslaug swimming pool. This is entirely optional, but no one has regretted getting into this pool so far. So, it’s okay to try out the sauna, steam bath, and hot tubs. After this fantastic experience, you will head to Kopar restaurant, which is the final stop. This is where you will get a taste of a variety of beers, cake, and Icelandic fish. We couldn’t have ended this Mount Esja tour in a more perfect way. It’s up to you to spend the rest of the day exploring Reykjavik as much as you want.
The second highest waterfall, Glymur waterfall, is the highlight of this fantastic tour. All 180m or more of this waterfall provides a spectacular sight that is nothing short of remarkable. Although, you could refer to this site as a well-kept secret as it is a secluded space with most people overlooking this work of nature. However, as untouched as it is, it represents a well-preserved beauty that you would be proud to gaze upon. So, on this beautiful tour, you will be taking a hike up one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, drop by at the geothermal bakery, and stop for a relaxing dip at the geothermal hot spring. Of course, the food is not left out as it represents an integral part of the Icelandic experience. The trip starts at your pickup location in Reykjavik, where you will be taken to Hvalfjordur. This drive takes about an hour, but you can fill up this time by asking your guide anything and everything you want to know about mysterious Iceland. You will be so carried away by the exciting answers that it would seem like a five minutes’ drive. As soon as you get to the foothills, you get your hiking shoes fitted, and it’s time to hike up the mountain. For close to two hours, you will make your way on the hike accompanied by your guide, who will point out some lovely views on the road. As soon as you get to the top of the Glymur waterfall, you can stop for a while to refuel with your packed lunch. We can’t forget to mention that this spot gives you a good view of Whale Fjord.
As soon as you are done with the hike, the next location is the geothermal hot spring, which has been spruced up with some luxury bathing facilities. One thing that is very common in Iceland is the geothermal hot water, which has been used by Icelanders for centuries to regenerate their sore muscles. So, you can also get in on this tradition as you dip your legs in the hot waters and feel all the tension leave your body. After this invigorating experience, you will be visiting a horse farm where its inhabitants use the heat underground to bake bread. Yes, it’s a real thing! The geothermal baked bread is so delicious that you may end up stuffing yourself with several batches. After this, you can head back to your lodge, where you will get a taste of Reykjavik’s nightlife. Be sure to go on this hiking tour with your towel, swimsuit, and rain gear in case nature has some surprises planned. It’s time to have some fun.
Do we need to say more? Glacier hiking has become so popular in Iceland that there are many opportunities for you to go exploring on the ice and creating fantastic memories. With the right equipment and appropriately dressed in the right clothes, you are ready to make your mark on our glaciers. Reykjavik Outventure will be eagerly anticipating your presence on our next tour, where our guides will take you to unique places and provide you with a trip to remember.