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Vatnajökull

Vatnajökull: Our most recommended tours and activities

Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Guided Tour

1. Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Guided Tour

Meet at the Café by Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, about 40 minutes east of Skaftafell, for the start of a unique winter activity and look at an extraordinary natural phenomenon. Go inside some of the ice caves that form after water runs beneath the Vatnajökull Glacier during the summer. Every fall, local guides hunt for new ice caves, as their location can change each year. The structure and condition can also vary from year to year, but rest assured your guide will decide which is the best cave to visit, depending on the safety and weather conditions. Drive for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to the ice cave chosen by your guide, and then walk for 5 to 15 minutes to the mouth of the cave. Upon arrival, enjoy between 1 and 1.5 hours to look inside at the miraculous blue ice of the cave, and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Guided Trip

2. Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Guided Trip

Explore the dramatic landscapes of the south of Iceland on a full-day sightseeing tour by bus. Go to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon outlet of the largest glacier in Europe, leaning about its history and formation from your local guide. Following a pickup from your hotel in Reykjavik, transfer to the southern coast and the dramatic Glacier Lagoon. Enjoy plenty of time to see the floating icebergs and enjoy the stunning scenery. During the season, make sure to reserve your ticket to the boat cruise on the Jökulsárlón and experience the unique Glacier Lagoon spectacle up close. When you prebook, your place is guaranteed. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is Iceland’s largest and deepest glacier lagoon. It branches from Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. Return to Reykjavik, stopping at the gorgeous waterfall Seljalandsfoss. You will visit the Diamond beach with black sand, and there will be an additional stop in Iceland's southernmost village at Vík for dinner.

Hof: Skaftafell Ice Cave Guided Day Trip and Glacier Hike

3. Hof: Skaftafell Ice Cave Guided Day Trip and Glacier Hike

Explore breathtaking ice formations and glacier mills on this guided tour in Skaftafell. Marvel at a naturally-formed, blue ice cave and learn how glaciers are formed. A professional hiking guide will take you to the base of Falljökull, an outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull ice cap, and lead you up to the cave. On a clear day, be sure to look out for Hvannadalshnúkur in the distance.

Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

4. Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

Discover what it feels like to walk on impacted ice on an amazing hike across the outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. Get breathtaking views of the ice-covered peaks of Skaftafell National Park in the epic wilderness of Iceland. Meet your guide at the meeting point to pick up your crampons, ice axes, harnesses, and helmets. Then, drive by bus to the start of your hike and put on your crampons and steel frames tied to your hiking boots for the amazing adventure ahead. Spend around 60 to 90 minutes on the ice to see crevasses and deep cracks on the surface. Learn about the vertical shafts known as moulins, formed when melting water finds its way into the fissures and cracks. Look into small ice tunnels and capture the beautiful blue heart of the ice in the winter. Learn the history of the glacier from your English-speaking guide.

From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Ice Cave Guided Day Trip

5. From Jökulsárlón: Crystal Ice Cave Guided Day Trip

Experience the majestic beauty of a natural ice cave on a tour of Vatnajökull Glacier. Meet your certified glacier guide at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and then take a 20-30 minute scenic drive to the ice cave.  Get ready to see a magical world of blue ice as you enter the ice cave. Your guide will ensure that you are safe and secure once inside the cave. Gear up with all necessary glacier gear, provided for your safety. Cast your eyes on the heavenly shades of blue ice once you are inside the cave. Take stunning photos of the ice as you spend approximately 40 minutes exploring this miracle of Mother Nature. Discover all that the ice cave has to offer before heading back to Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon.

Skaftafell: Guided Glacier Hike Day Trip

6. Skaftafell: Guided Glacier Hike Day Trip

Enjoy a frozen adventure in the wilderness of Skaftafell and hike across a stunning outlet glacier of Vatnajökull in the company of an expert guide. Get a short safety briefing and collect all the necessary equipment at the meeting point. Then, marvel at the majesty of the landscape on the short hike to the ice cap. Put on your crampons for security out on the ice. See different formations, including deep crevasses and ice sculptures, and get panoramic views over Skaftafell National Park. Learn how glaciers are formed and hear how their future is under threat as a result of global warming. Get an introduction to more advanced stages of glacier hiking before heading back to the meeting point.

Skaftafell: Extra-Small Group Glacier Hike

7. Skaftafell: Extra-Small Group Glacier Hike

Embark on a small-group tour of Vatnajökull glacier and benefit from an intimate experience with a maximum of 8 participants. After meeting your guide at the meeting point in Skaftatell Airport, get geared up and prepare for your 20-minute 4x4 drive to the base of the Falljökull outlet glacier. At the base, step onto the glacier and listen to a quick briefing on how to wear your ice crampons. Then, it's time to begin your glacier hike. Follow your experienced guide through stunning ice formations, moulins, crevasses, and crystal-clear blue pools. Spend up to 120 minutes exploring the unique landscape of the glacier. Witness breathtaking views, listen to interest local anecdotes, and have your photo taken against this stunning natural landscape before heading back to the 4x4. Get dropped off back at the meeting point at the end of your hike.

From Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Tour

8. From Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Blue Ice Cave Tour

Your journey will begin by meeting your driver guide and the biggest custom-made super jeeps in Iceland! We depart from the Glacier Lagoon and drive for about thirty minutes or as close as possible to Breiðamerkurjökull, the glacial tongue that extends from southern Vatnajökull. During the journey, your guide will explain how ice caves form. They will also share information about the glaciers, volcanoes, and the culture of this area. After arriving, walk for about twenty minutes (1,5 km) until you reach the glacier and the cave’s entry. Before you enter the cave, your guide will go over some safety issues and provide you with helmets and crampons if conditions require them. As Ice Caves are completely natural and change very quickly, nature dictates which caves you are able to access. As the glacier and the caves are in constant change, the conditions for each tour can vary. Keep in mind that from season to season (even within the season), the ice caves change, old ones disappear, and new ones form.

Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Ice Cave Guided Day Trip

9. Jökulsárlón: Vatnajökull Glacier Ice Cave Guided Day Trip

Seize the opportunity to experience one of the stunning blue ice caves within Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. This tour is rated as easy, as our modified 4x4 allow participants to get very close to the entrance of the cave without exerting much effort. Head into the more easily accessed ice caves for an encounter with the stunning blue ice and the beautiful views for which Vatnajökull is famous. In the warmer summer months, the glacier melts and forms holes and crevasses. After they freeze, get an up-close look at what nature has created. The winter months are all different and the glaciers and caves are constantly evolving, making the sites extra interesting. Each season, the best available cave is chosen for this tour. The tour begins from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in Southeast Iceland. Meet your professional glacier guide and climb on board a 4x4 Superjeep to begin the rugged journey towards the glacier. The drive is an experience in and of itself. Once there, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the icy blue caves of Vatnajökull.

Vatnajokull Glacier: Ice Caving and Glacier Hiking

10. Vatnajokull Glacier: Ice Caving and Glacier Hiking

Begin in Skaftafell before heading to the Falljökull glacier tongue. Gear up and get safety instructions from your skilled guide before setting foot on the ice. Start by hiking to the ice cave while soaking up the magnificent scenery and spend approximately 30 minutes exploring. Afterwards, hike back over the glacier through an adventurous landscape of rugged ice. Ice caves are only accessible during winter when the temperature drops well below zero –  the water from the rivers that run underneath the glacier freezes and leaves this phenomena to explore. Each year new caves are formed in different locations.

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What people are saying about Vatnajökull

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,419 reviews

Our guide was fantastic and shared his adventures and the history of the glacier and ice caves. We were in a group of about 13 people including ourselves. The van ride was very crowded but getting to the ice caves relieved that experience. The hike to the caves was about 30 minutes and beautiful rocky and icy scenery. The ice caves were stunning. There were other groups but it wasn’t overly crowded. We were able to get photos with just the two of us and no one else in the background. I’d do it again, it was a great experience!

Monika and Tomek provided us with the most amazing experience that all who visit Iceland MUST book onto. I can’t thank either of them enough for the places we’ve seen and the memories made! Never a dull moment during Monikas sometimes comedic talks and interesting music choices!

Wonderful experience to walk on this beautiful glacier. The ice cave is not very big, but still impressive! It was great. The guides speak very good English.

The tour was amazing! Guna (not sure how to spell their name) was upbeat and so informative. If you have a chance to go on this adventure, don’t miss it!

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and we could tell how much he loved his job. The views and caves were spectacular and the hike was great!