Skaftafell Tours

Skaftafell Tours

Skaftafell tours intimately introduce you to Skaftafell nature reserve in southeast Iceland, an area of staggering beauty, composed of whispering waterfalls, creeping glacier tongues, black desert sands and green birch forests.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the best way of travelling to Skaftafell from Reykjavik?

The best and most comfortable way to travel to Skaftafell is to rent a car or to join a tour. A taxi to Skaftafell would be very expensive as the area is about 180 miles (290 kilometers) from Reykjavik. A ride with a bus requires frequent stops, you would have to switch buses multiple times, and stay overnight as the buses only depart once a day. Therefore, renting a car or joining a tour is the best travel option.

How far is Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon from Skaftafell?

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is around 34 miles (55 kilometers) away from Skaftafell.

I am going on a glacier hiking tour from Skaftafell, what should I wear?

You should wear warm and waterproof clothes, gloves, wool socks, and good hiking boots with ankle support. Your tour provider should supply you with the necessary equipment for your hike, such as crampons fitted directly to the bottom of your boots. It is also a good idea to bring sunglasses since the sun reflects off the white surface of the ice, making it very bright for the eyes.

Can I rent hiking shoes for my glacier hike in Skaftafell, Iceland?

Yes, you can rent these directly from your tour provider at Skaftafell.

Can I rent warm and waterproof clothes from my tour provider at Skaftafell, Iceland?

No, some operators might have rain ponchos, but you should have warm and waterproof clothes on arrival. If you didn't pack any for your trip, we recommend shopping for them at Laugavegur shopping street in downtown Reykavik.

Do I need to bring my own crampons on a glacier hike?

No, the tour operator will provide all safety equipment, such as crampons, an ice axe, and a helmet.

Can I take my DSLR camera on my glacier hike from Skaftafell?

Of course, you can. However, since you’ll be hiking up a glacier, you should take a camera you can easily carry.

Are there places to park at Skaftafell?

Yes, there is a parking lot where you can leave your car. There is also a Skaftafell visitor centre on-site.

Is it safe to explore Skaftafell without a guide?

While it is possible to hike and explore Skaftafell independently, joining a guided tour for activities such as glacier hiking or ice cave exploration is highly recommended, such as this 5-hour small group Skaftafell tour.

Expert guides ensure your safety, provide essential equipment, and share valuable information about the area's unique geology and ecology.

Can I join a Skaftafell tour if I have no prior experience in glacier hiking or ice climbing?

Many Skaftafell tours cater to beginners, and no prior experience is required for most glacier hiking and ice climbing tours. Your guide will provide the necessary equipment, instructions, and safety information. However, a moderate level of physical fitness is usually required for these activities, as they can be physically demanding. Make sure to check the tour description for information about requirements.

Are Skaftafell tours suitable for children?

Some Skaftafell tours are suitable for children, but age restrictions may apply for specific activities such as glacier hiking or ice climbing. Check the tour description to confirm age requirements and ensure the selected tour is appropriate for your family. If you simply want to hike around the area and see Svartifoss waterfall, it should not be a problem for most children.

Are there any accommodation options near Skaftafell?

Yes, we recommend the charming Hotel Skaftafell, which has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars from 598 reviews. Located in the middle of the Icelandic wilderness, it's a great spot to enjoy the midnight sun in the summer or catch the northern lights in the winter.

What is the best time of year to visit Skaftafell?

The best time to visit Skaftafell depends on your interests and desired activities. Summer (June to August) offers warmer weather, longer daylight hours, and better accessibility to hiking trails. Winter (November to February) is ideal for ice cave exploration and offers a chance to see the northern lights. However, please note that the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so always be prepared for changing conditions.

Do I need a permit to hike in Skaftafell?

You do not need a permit for most hiking trails within Skaftafell and Vatnajokull National Park. However, specific areas or trails might require permits or be subject to seasonal closures for environmental or safety reasons.

Always follow park regulations and guidelines, and check with park authorities for any specific requirements.

Are there food and drink facilities in Skaftafell?

There is a visitor center in Skaftafell that offers limited food and drink options. However, bringing your own snacks, water, and packed lunch is recommended, especially for longer tours or hikes. Some guided tours may include meals or refreshments, so check the tour description for specific details.

Are Skaftafell tours available year-round?

While some Skaftafell tours operate year-round, the availability of specific tours and activities may depend on the season. Glacier hiking tours are typically available throughout the year, while ice caving is only available in the winter. Some hiking trails can also be closed off during the winter, especially during heavy snowfall.

Are there restroom facilities available during Skaftafell tours?

Restroom facilities are available at the Skaftafell Visitor Centre. However, restroom facilities are unavailable during longer hikes or more remote tours. Therefore, it is recommended to use restroom facilities before starting your tour.

How can I minimize my environmental impact during a Skaftafell tour?

To minimize your environmental impact during a Skaftafell tour, follow these guidelines:

1. Stay on designated trails and avoid disturbing local flora and fauna.

2. Do not leave any trash behind. Carry a reusable bag to collect and dispose of your waste properly at designated waste disposal sites.

3. Use refillable water bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles.

4. Avoid approaching wildlife, as this can disrupt their natural behaviors and habitats.

5. Respect historical and natural sites by not touching, climbing or removing artifacts or natural formations.