Scenic 45 Minute Airplane Tour over Skeidararjokull Glacier & the Black Sands of Skeidararsandur

The vast plains and braided rivers of Skeiðarársandur in East Iceland.
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Tour starts
Skaftafell Terminal - Tour Center, Flugvallarvegur, Öræfi, Íslan
45 minutes
All year
Minimum age


See Iceland’s natural wonders from above during this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you soar over the black sands and glaciers of the East in an airplane. If you want the chance to see the stark beauty of this volcanic island from the air, this is the tour for you.

Your adventure begins in Skaftafell National Park, where you will meet up with your pilot at Skaftafell Terminal before boarding the plane. Then, get ready to take flight and begin your excursion to the sky.

You'll be flying over Skeiðarárjökull, a glacier tongue of Vatnajökull which is the most massive glacier in Iceland. Its meltwater gives birth to several streams that cut across the black sand plains of Skeiðarársandur. On the western edge of the glacier, meltwaters blocked by the ice of Vatnajökull have pooled into a small lake, cradled by this natural dam and stunning to look at from a bird's point of view.

Skeiðarársandur is the most extensive sand plain in the world, caused by glacial meltwater pouring over the landscape and washing away any vegetation. It is haunting in its desolation, but also undeniably beautiful. Nature tries to find a way, and as the sands turn to mud and clay closest to the coast, large flocks of skua birds nest there each year during the warm summer months.

It is hard to believe that all those colourful glacial rivers meandering across the dark volcanic sandy plains are not just part of an enormous abstract painting. The textures of the bluish and sometimes green, yellow or milky glacial waters twisting and swirling over deep black ash, are nothing but incredible.

You'll also enjoy the tree-lined hills of Skaftafell Nature Reserve in the area near the takeoff point. It is a great favourite of hikers and campers who visit to contemplate the peaceful quiet of the glacier or meditate in the shadow of Hvannadalshnjúkur, Iceland's highest peak.

You can also expect to see some of the scenic South Coast during takeoff and return to Skaftafell, gleaming with black cliffs and sandy beaches, seabirds circling overhead.

Get going on a flight across the sweeping sands and glistening glaciers of Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date.

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English guide
Sightseeing flight



What to bring

Warm clothes

Good to know

Skaftafell Airport is a private airport located just 2 km from the Vatnajökull National Park Visitor Center, Skaftafellsstofa. The airport in Skaftafell is located right next to Highway 1 or Road 1. You exit Road 1 at the same turn-off as if you were going to the Vatnajökull National Park Visitor Center. See map below.

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