Skaftafell: Our most recommended tours and activities

Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Guided Tour

1. Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Guided 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.

Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Guided Trip

2. Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Guided Trip

Explore the dramatic landscapes of the south of Iceland on a full-day sightseeing tour by bus. Go to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon outlet of the largest glacier in Europe, leaning about its history and formation from your local guide. Following a pickup from your hotel in Reykjavik, transfer to the southern coast and the dramatic Glacier Lagoon. Enjoy plenty of time to see the floating icebergs and enjoy the stunning scenery. During the season, make sure to reserve your ticket to the boat cruise on the Jökulsárlón and experience the unique Glacier Lagoon spectacle up close. When you prebook, your place is guaranteed. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is Iceland’s largest and deepest glacier lagoon. It branches from Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. Return to Reykjavik, stopping at the gorgeous waterfall Seljalandsfoss. You will visit the Diamond beach with black sand, and there will be an additional stop in Iceland's southernmost village at Vík for dinner.

Hof: Skaftafell Ice Cave Guided Day Trip and Glacier Hike

3. Hof: Skaftafell Ice Cave Guided Day Trip and Glacier Hike

Explore breathtaking ice formations and glacier mills on this guided tour in Skaftafell. Marvel at a naturally-formed, blue ice cave and learn how glaciers are formed. A professional hiking guide will take you to the base of Falljökull, an outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull ice cap, and lead you up to the cave. On a clear day, be sure to look out for Hvannadalshnúkur in the distance.

Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

4. Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

Discover what it feels like to walk on impacted ice on an amazing hike across the outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. Get breathtaking views of the ice-covered peaks of Skaftafell National Park in the epic wilderness of Iceland. Meet your guide at the meeting point to pick up your crampons, ice axes, harnesses, and helmets. Then, drive by bus to the start of your hike and put on your crampons and steel frames tied to your hiking boots for the amazing adventure ahead. Spend around 60 to 90 minutes on the ice to see crevasses and deep cracks on the surface. Learn about the vertical shafts known as moulins, formed when melting water finds its way into the fissures and cracks. Look into small ice tunnels and capture the beautiful blue heart of the ice in the winter. Learn the history of the glacier from your English-speaking guide.

From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Ice Cave Guided Day Trip

5. From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Ice Cave Guided Day Trip

Experience the majestic beauty of a natural ice cave on a tour of Vatnajökull Glacier. Meet your certified glacier guide at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and then take a 20-30 minute scenic drive to the ice cave.  Get ready to see a magical world of blue ice as you enter the ice cave. Your guide will ensure that you are safe and secure once inside the cave. Gear up with all necessary glacier gear, provided for your safety. Cast your eyes on the heavenly shades of blue ice once you are inside the cave. Take stunning photos of the ice as you spend approximately 40 minutes exploring this miracle of Mother Nature. Discover all that the ice cave has to offer before heading back to Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon.

From Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach

6. From Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach

Embark on a guided tour from Reykjavik to the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon. Witness the mighty Hvannadalshnjúkur mountain and black sand desert that sprawls between Skaftafell National Park and the lagoon.  Stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk behind the cascades to reach the other side. Continue to the majestic Skógafoss waterfall and admire the impressive 60-meter drop. Continue to Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and stroll along the shores of the lake. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the area as 1,000- to 1,500-year-old ice breaks away from the Vatnajökull glacier and floats silently on the water. Recognize locations from some of the many movies that have been filmed in the area, such as Batman Begins and Tomb Raider. Stop at the spectacular Diamond Beach and admire the strand of black sand speckled with clumps of ice, giving an appearance of shimmering diamonds. In the warmer months, enjoy an added boat ride around the lagoon and witness the floating icebergs up-close.

Skaftafell: Guided Glacier Hike Day Trip

7. Skaftafell: Guided Glacier Hike Day Trip

Enjoy a frozen adventure in the wilderness of Skaftafell and hike across a stunning outlet glacier of Vatnajökull in the company of an expert guide. Get a short safety briefing and collect all the necessary equipment at the meeting point. Then, marvel at the majesty of the landscape on the short hike to the ice cap. Put on your crampons for security out on the ice. See different formations, including deep crevasses and ice sculptures, and get panoramic views over Skaftafell National Park. Learn how glaciers are formed and hear how their future is under threat as a result of global warming. Get an introduction to more advanced stages of glacier hiking before heading back to the meeting point.

Glacier Wonders Glacier Hiking Trip from Skaftafell

8. Glacier Wonders Glacier Hiking Trip from Skaftafell

To get your glacier adventure started, board one of the buses leaving from Skaftafell National Park several times a day for the short 15-minute ride to access Falljökull glacier. After arriving at the glacier tongue, strap on your crampons and start your hike into Iceland's wilderness. As you get on the glacier, make your way up the icy but easily accessible slopes. On the way, you will see the area's unique ice formations, learn about how they were formed and how the glacier continues to change shape every day. Then prepare to approach and watch the awe-inspiring icefall to see how the chunks of glacier ice stoically fall hundreds of meters off the mountain top below, flowing ever-so-slowly towards the ocean. Then listen to how the glacier's journey will never be completed, as global warming continues to fuel glacial melting and their slow retreat. Take your chance to explore the peaceful Icelandic scenery and get up close with the ancient ice and gain a new understanding of why these glaciers are so important to the world as a whole.

From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Blue Ice Cave Super Jeep Tour

9. From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Blue Ice Cave Super Jeep Tour

Jump onboard a Super Jeep to witness one of the worlds rarest natural phenomenons: a blue Ice Cave. Enjoy this fantastic winter experience in Vatnajökull National Park in Southern Iceland, departing from Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon.  The tour starts at the famous Jökulsárlón - Glacier Lagoon. There you will jump on a Super Jeep that will take you up to the glacier. From there you will be able to walk inside one of the amazing Blue Ice Caves. Standing inside an ancient glacier and witnessing the blue ice all around you is a truly unique experience. This stunning phenomenon is a must see for anyone visiting Iceland during wintertime and one of Iceland's most famous tours.

Skaftafell: Extra-Small Group Glacier Hike

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Skaftafell

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 5,370 reviews

AMAZING tour. One of the highlights of my trip. Our guide, Albert, was so fun and knowledgable, and even stopped some extra times to show us even more sights! We even got to see the Northern Lights on our night at the hotel. A fantastic way to see the south coast, and the ice cave tour was awesome. Would recommend bringing some power bars/snacks, as we didn't stop for lunch/dinner until 5pm the second day. But the bus made lots of bathroom stops and you could buy snacks there too. The hotel was great that they had booked us in. All around a well planned and super fun tour! (our tour bus didn't have outlets unfortunately, so I would definitely recommend a portable charger)

Our guide was fantastic and shared his adventures and the history of the glacier and ice caves. We were in a group of about 13 people including ourselves. The van ride was very crowded but getting to the ice caves relieved that experience. The hike to the caves was about 30 minutes and beautiful rocky and icy scenery. The ice caves were stunning. There were other groups but it wasn’t overly crowded. We were able to get photos with just the two of us and no one else in the background. I’d do it again, it was a great experience!

Wonderful experience to walk on this beautiful glacier. The ice cave is not very big, but still impressive! It was great. The guides speak very good English.

The tour was amazing! Guna (not sure how to spell their name) was upbeat and so informative. If you have a chance to go on this adventure, don’t miss it!

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and we could tell how much he loved his job. The views and caves were spectacular and the hike was great!