Extreme 14-Hour Hiking Tour of Hvannadalshnjukur Peak from Skaftafell

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Tour starts
Skaftafell, Iceland
14 hours
English, Icelandic
May - June
Minimum age
13 years old


Conquer the highest peak in Iceland by joining this 14-hour hiking tour of Hvannadalshnjukur from Skaftafell. Thrill-seekers who want an adventure of a lifetime while surrounded by the diverse landscapes of Iceland’s mightiest glacier should join this small group tour today.

Your extreme expedition in Iceland begins as you meet your guide in Skaftafell, 200 miles (325 kilometers) from Reykjavik. Depending on your arrangement with the guide, you can meet them at the Skaftafell Visitor Center or Hotel Skaftafell. 

Before beginning the hike, the guide will brief you about the itinerary and complete details of the trip. This briefing ensures that everyone in your small hiking group is in excellent condition and prepared for the summit day.

In addition, to ensure your safety while hiking, the guide will provide you with the necessary glacier equipment. The tour price includes crampons, an ice axe, a carabiner, ropes, and harnesses. However, you must bring weatherproof clothing, sturdy hiking shoes, food, water, and other essential personal items.

Hvannadalshnjukur peak, also spelled Hvannadalshnukur, is the tallest mountain in Iceland, towering at 6,952 feet (2,109 meters). It’s part of the massive Oraefajokull glacier volcano in the largest glacier in Iceland, the Vatnajokull National Park.

The trailhead to Hvannadalshnjukur mountain begins at Sandfell, where a steep gravel hill and thrilling terrain await you. Glacial streams and spring crisscross this area, so don’t miss the chance to refill your bottle with crystal-clear glacial water. The elevation gain of this stretch peaks at 2,296 feet (700 meters).

One of the most challenging stretches of this tour is the hike to the Oraefajokull plateau. Crevasses dot the snowy hill leading to the plateau, but your guide is an expert in crossing rugged slopes. Once you reach an elevation of 5,905 (1,800 meters), you’ll stop for lunch and take photos of the surrounding views. 

The highlight of this journey is your hike to the summit of Hvannadalshnjukur, the highest point in Iceland. Ice and snow cover this area, so suiting up with the crampons is necessary. 

As you approach the crown of Oraefajokull, a breathtaking panoramic view of the Vatnajokull National Park and a sea of clouds will greet you. At the summit, your small group will have time to savor this hiking achievement and marvel at the spectacular scenery on top.

Soon after, you’ll slowly depart from the summit and return to the starting point of your hike. The journey back is faster and less strenuous, but you can still set the pace depending on your energy.

This tour takes about 14 hours, but dedicating three days to the adventure is recommended. Day one can be your travel to Skaftafell from your origin and briefing with the guide. Meanwhile, day three can be your resting time before driving back to Reykjavik or your hometown.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to reach the tallest mountain in Iceland with the help of an expert and experienced local guide. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Experienced hiking guide
Glacier hiking equipment (ice axe, ropes, carabiners, harness)
Small group tour (maximum of six)


Glacier Hiking

What to bring

Warm and weatherproof clothing with layers
Sturdy hiking boots
Hat and gloves
Food and snacks
Two liters of water
20 to 30L of backpack
Hiking poles (recommended)

Good to know

This hiking tour requires good weather and mountain conditions. Changes in itinerary or tour cancelation are possible depending on these two conditions.

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