Glacier Walk & Ice Climbing in Vatnajokull National Park

Glacier Walk & Ice Climbing in Vatnajokull National Park
Ascending the ridge of a glacier in Iceland.
A sheer wall of ice on Svínafellsjökull glacier.
Glacier hiking in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park is a wonderful bonding experience.
Svínafellsjökull glacier has beautiful seascapes.
Bring sunglasses for your glacier hike, as the rays reflecting on the ice can be intense.
Near the top of Svínafellsjökull glacier.
Based on 10 traveller reviews

Join this adventurous combo tour of both glacier hiking and ice climbing on a majestic outlet glacier of Vatnajökull during a small-group experience within Vatnajökull National Park. If you’re looking for the ice in the land of ice and fire, this is the excursion for you. 

Your adventure begins as you meet your certified glacier guides in Skaftafell, where you’ll check in and receive all the necessary gear for hiking up an ice cap, including crampons, helmet, harness and an ice axe. 

Once you have gone through the safety briefings, you will board a minibus with the rest of your small group of travel companions and drive to the foot of the glacier. 

Then, it’s time to snap on your crampons, sharpen your axes and begin your hike. Glaciers are powerful beasts in constant formation, and experiencing them from afar can never compare to walking across their surface. 

Be prepared to witness a wonderland of ice sculptures, narrow ridges and deep crevasses. Your knowledgeable guide will happily share with you the history and geology of this frozen natural marvel, as they bring you to the best viewpoints to enjoy the magnificent mountainscapes around you, including Iceland’s highest summit of Hvannadalshnúkur. 

What separates this tour from other glacier walks is that your guide will lead you to sturdy ice walls or sinkholes, where you can test your skills in ice climbing. No former experience is needed, and your guide will make sure to match the wall with your skill levels, allowing everyone to have a go at the climb. 

After approximately three hours of hiking and climbing on the ice, you will make your way back to the minibus and be brought back to base camp. 

Don’t hesitate in securing your spot on this fantastic combo tour, walking up an ice sheet and testing your luck at ice climbing. Check availability by choosing a date. 

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Dec. - Aug.
  • Duration: 4,5 hours
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Ice Climbing, Sightseeing
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: 14 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Attractions: Vatnajökull, Hvannadalshnúkur, Skaftafell, South Coast
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 09:45. 12:00,

IMG lodge at Skaftafell visitor Ccentre

Please be at the tour start location in good time before departure. If you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly. Please note that this tour starts from Skaftafell visitor centre, in Skaftafell, South Iceland.

  • Professional glacier guide

  • Crampons, ice axes, safety equipment

  • Pickup (meet on location)

  • Snacks and drinks

What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothing

  • Good gloves

  • Good hiking boots

  • Sunglasses

  • Water and snacks

  • Camera

Good to know:

Please note that this tour starts at Skaftafell Park. Hiking boots and waterproof outer layers can be rented on location, but please dress according to weather.

Verified reviews

Average4.910 reviews
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Great tour, good amount of time on the glacier. Guide was wonderful. Only disappointment was only getting to ice climb once as we ran out of time to try again. Otherwise would highly recommend!
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The tour guide was great! She explained ice climbing well and gave me opportunities to try it out. I had a lot of fun!
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This is an experience that will be remembered! It is worth every penny! The views were breathtaking and it is not everyday you are walking on a melting glacier. Our guide was excellent and very knowledgeable, thanks Pete. We learned about the basics of ice climbing and like he said. It is all about technique. So just come prepared for the changing weather and then all will work out. I have even met an amazing older couple from Australia who were in our group, who done well with the tour. -thanks
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excellent experience
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The glacier is impressive. Walking up there is a marvellous feeling. It is definitely a must-do experience in Iceland. Ice climbing though requires some previous practice if you really want to enjoy it. it is not for beginners.
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