Solheimajokull Ice Climbing & Glacier Hike
Get a taste of adventure and feel the chill of ice on this glacier hiking and ice climbing tour. Place your feet on ice for the ultimate Icelandic experience.
This four-hour long glacier hike and ice climbing tour is suitable for both the experienced and first-time glacier adventurers alike. Capable and experienced guides will be with you for the duration of your tour to assist you and show you the ropes.
Ice hiking and ice climbing is a perfect way to get up close and personal with the glacier that formed over 1000 years ago. A veritable natural wonder of this earth, a glacier is a place to experience the spirit of this land.
Sólheimajökull is a glacial tongue from the larger Mýrdalsjökull glacier and is situated next to the famous Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano, surrounded by black sand expanses and jagged mountains.
This tour starts at the Sólhemajökull parking lot, where you will meet your guides and prepare for the tour. All gear is included so you will get your ice axes, and crampons on site, but please remember to dress warmly, we're voyaging onto an ice-cap after all.
From the parking lot, there's a 30-minute hike to the glacier roots where you will have plenty of time to marvel at the gigantic mass of ice. Don't worry, as you walk on the glacier, your crampons will give you safe footing on the slippery ice.
Once on the glacier, your guide will provide you with climbing gear and assist you with your harness and carabiners. Never done ice climbing before? No worries; your experienced guide will teach you all you need to know.
You'll learn how to ascend the vertical ice shafts that lead to the heart of the glacier, known as the Moulin, with the assistance of a climbing rope, harness and your trusty ice axe. Deep under the glacier the volcano Katla sleeps, and who knows, you might catch a glimpse of her far below.
Gear up, head out on this amazing adventure and feel the ice under your feet. Check booking availability to choosing a date.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 4 hours
- Activities: Glacier Hiking, Ice Climbing, Climbing
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Minimum age: 12 years old
- Languages: English
Solheimajokull is a beautiful outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap.
Solheimajokull is a rugged glacial tounge riddled with crevasses and spectacular ever-changing ice formations, jagged ridges and sinkholes and is popular for hiking and ice climbing.
The glacier river Jokulsa a Solheimasandur has its source at the glacier, flowing over the sand plain of Solheimasandur towards the sea.
Mýrdalsjökull is a glacier in the south of the Icelandic highlands. It is the country's fourth largest ice cap, covering nearly 600 kilometres squared, and its highest peak is almost 1500 meters tall. It is most well-known for sitting atop the notorious and explosive volcano, Katla.
Photo above from the Katla Ice Cave Tour
Eruptions beneath Mýrdalsjökull
Since 2010, the world has known of the volcano beneath Eyjafjallajökull; few, however, are aware of the much larger volcano right beside it. Mýdalsjökull conceals Katla, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, having erupted, on average, once every fifty years since 930 AD. Because of the glacier above it, these eruptions tend to cause enormous ash clouds.
The last major eruption beneath Katla was in 1918, in which such huge lahar floods occurred that the southern coastline was extended five kilometres outwards. This area is also very susceptible to glacial floods, or jökulhlaups, during eruptions, even those which do not break through the surface of the ice, such as those that occurred in 1955, 1999 and 2011.
Historically, the area was little settled for this reason.
Katla is connected to the same volcanic system as Eyjafallajökull and usually erupts violently a few years after. As the ex-president, Ólafur Grímsson, said in 2010:
Katla is monitored heavily, and roads around it closed when seismic activity increases. All road closures around Iceland can be found on the roads website.
Tours on Mýrdalsjökull
While there are no eruptions immediately imminent, tours continue to run on Mýrdalsjökull, allowing visitors to enjoy the glacier. It is, for example, possible to snowmobile across its surface throughout the year and take ice caving tours beneath it from October to April, with departures from both Reykjavík and Vík.
Considering the ice caves under Vatnajökull glacier are usually only accessible from November to March, this provides a wider window of opportunity for travellers to Iceland outside of the depths of winter. It should be noted that these caves do not have the same blue ice, however.
Tours around Mýrdalsjökull
The best perspectives of the glacier, however, can be found on the popular Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail, which goes between Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. Part of this hike can be done in a day, or you can take the complete route from Þórsmörk to Skógar on a three-day trek.
The South Coast of Iceland is the country's most visited sightseeing route, along with the Golden Circle.
The famed South Coast shoreline stretches from the greater Reykjavík area and is dotted with natural wonders such as cascading waterfalls, volcanoes both active and dormant, black sand beaches and glacier lagoons.
Geography, Nature & Wildlife
Iceland is divided into eight geographical regions. Out of these, the Southern Region is the largest, as it spans over 24.000 square kilometres with its administrative centre in the municipality of Selfoss.
What is known as the South Coast embodies the shoreline of this particular region. The area consists of a lowland that is mostly composed of marshlands, bays and cultivated pastures that are met by a series of black beaches where the estuaries to the east and west of the district close off the coastal body.
Underneath the soil rests a vast lava field, known as Þjórsárhraun. Its edges reach several hundred metres offshore where the ocean waves crash upon them, thereby protecting the lowland from the invasion of the sea. This results in the South Coast being unusually lacking in the deep fjords that so distinctly characterise the rest of Iceland's shore line.
The region boasts vibrant bird life during all seasons. It is not only rich with both marshland birds and seabirds but also migrating birds such as the North Atlantic puffin. Some species stay throughout the harsh Icelandic winter, including the northern diver, the loom and various species of gulls and ducks.
Highlights of the South Coast
The South Coast offers an unprecedented array of natural wonders that draw thousands of visitors each day. When driving the route from Reykjavík City, the highlights in their correct order are:
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Vestmannaeyjar; The Westman Islands
- Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Volcano
- Skógafoss Waterfall
- Sólheimajökull Glacier
- Dyrhólaey Peninsula
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
- Coastal Village Vík í Mýrdal
- Skeiðarársandur Glacial Sand Plain
- Vatnajökull National Park
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
These attractions count for but a fraction of what the South Coast has to offer. The vast sand plains of Sólheimasandur are home to a crashed DC-3 Plane Wreck, and close to Seljavellir by the Skógar Village there's Seljavallalaug, one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland.
- Explore the many wonders of the area on these South Coast Tours
Starting time : 09:00
Pickup is available from Reykjavík for 7.000 ISK. If you choose pickup then be ready in front of your hotel or designated pickup are at 9:00.
Starting time of the ice climbing is at 13:00 and departure is from Sólheimajökull glacier car park. If you do not choose pickup please make sure to be there at 12:45 to meet our guides.
Experienced glacier guide
Glacier Gear: Crampons, Harness, Helmet
What to bring:
Warm, waterproof clothing
Good to know:
This tour starts at Sólheimajökull parking lot, approx 150 kilometres from Reykjavík. Please dress according to weather.
My family and I had an AMAZING tour and climb! We range in age from 29-56 and all of us were able to do walk the glacier AND climb it! Our 2 guides (our group was larger than normal so we were lucky enough to have 2 guides) were so perfect. One was extremely knowledgable and more serious and the other was so funny and wanted everyone to have fun. This tour made our trip to Iceland over the top! We loved seeing geysers, waterfalls, and the lagoons but this tour MADE OUR TRIP! I would do it over and over again! Thank you so much for the amazing experience! - Ross family
The tour was excellent, Bergher the guide very knowledgeable. Certainly climbing an ice cliff wasn’t something I had ever thought I would do. Family and friends who have viewed the pictures think I am pretty cool
Definitely one of the coolest things I've ever done! Our guide took us onto the glacier and we took turns scaling down the glacier and climbing back up. Seeing the bottom of the crevice was unreal and climbing back up was so fun. Would HIGHLY recommend to anyone visiting Iceland.
I have to first thank my friend for requesting that my husband and I join her ice climbing and then I have to thank our guide Vincenzzo for being such a good teacher who knew exactly how to make us feel comfortable and confident. He was humorous and knowledgeable and we had the best experience ever. This is a must-do activity for the brave of heart! We never felt rushed and developed a new respect for Solheimajokull. Thank you, Vincenzzo and thank you, Troll Expeditions!
I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience hiking the glacier and especially Ice Climbing. The best adrenaline thrill and most memorable tour during my stay in Iceland. Helgi our guide was very supportive and knowledgeable as we did several climbs including dropping into a moulin! Very thrilling - now i need to find another place to go ice climbing again closer to home. Thanks again!
Erik C Ohlrogge
I had a great time with the Ice Climbing tour on Solheimajokull with Helgi! His guiding was awesome. It is plain to see that he loves what he does. He was very knowledgeable, and I always felt safe with him. He even took the time to show us extra techniques for crevasse rescue and different methods of setting up ropes. He was not afraid of taking time to explain different techniques or answer questions. All in all, it was a great experience, and I would love to do it again.
Ice Climbing at Sólheimajökull is a must. I went with Mike, down the blue abyss which was both really scary and amazing. The blue color in the ice is amazing and something you can't describe well enough. Mike really knows his craft and I felt 100% safe the whole time.
I had awesome time with the guides on Icelandic glacier! The guides were really fun and asking how we were doing all the time. It is really encouraging especially when you have a big challenge like ice climbing! I am not really active person but enjoyed the trip a lot thanks to the wonderful tour guides!
Highlight of my stay! I was thrilled to get the chance to finally go on a glacier (and Ice climb on the "Interstellar" glacier!) Definitely something that has been on my to-do list for a long time and it was Awesome! Got a crazy cool guide which was both professional and very funny - deadly combination and made the trip extra memorable. Definitely recommended!
No words can describe this tour! AMAZING! The guides are professionals and so friendly. I highly recommend this tour for everyone who is going on the south coast! This is a must do!
This tour is such an adventure! I went totally out of my comfort zone and with the help of Troll Expeditions amazing guides I felt so relaxed and comfortable. They think of everything so I didn't feel nervous. Top guides and top equipment! This tour is demanding, especially if you haven't gone ice climbing before but it was not a problem, anyone can do it! and how awesome is it to tell your friends you went ICE CLIMBING! Highly recommend this tour.
I would give this tour 6 stars if I could. No need for words.
I went on a gacier hike at Sólheimajökull with Troll Expedition. It's was an amazing experience, I've never tried anything like it. We were small group, so we were able to see a lot of parts and get a lot around on the glacier. I will definitely recommend this trip, it might be one of the coolest things I've tried in Iceland.
Everyone that has ever wanted to try Ice Climbing, look no further. This is the absolute adventure to tell your friends about. This tours was very keen on showing us how to operate a safe and enjoyable Ice Climbing session. We learned all the basics about Crampon use and rope work before we were given and Ice axe in hand to swing at this 1.000 year old ice. MAN IS IT HARD, you can swing as hard as you can and the ice axe only penetrates very shallowly. I learned so much over these 3 hours and the adrenaline was pumbing when I was Ice climbing. I will never forget the sights, guides and the fantastic feeling when it was all over and I had really accomplished something amazing this day.