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Vatnajokull National Park
Vatnajokull National Park

Vatnajokull National Park

Vatnajokull National Park

The Basics

The park’s southern territory of Skaftafell is the gateway to the most accessible area of the Vatnajokull glacier and one of the park’s most popular regions for outdoor activities. Visit the Skaftafell Visitor Center for information about attractions, hiking trails, and accommodations. Book an ice cave tour inside the Vatnajokull glacier or a hike on the Falljokull glacier, or book a longer day tour from Reykjavik that might also include visiting the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

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Small-Group 3.5 Hour Blue Ice Experience in Vatnajökull National Park
Small-Group 3.5 Hour Blue Ice Experience in Vatnajökull National Park
$97.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great Experience, Easy/Moderate Hike
Based upon some of the other reviews, I thought this hike was going to be a lot harder than it was. I'll admit that the first part of the hike could be seen as tough for some people, as the rocks are steep and loose, but overall, I thought the entire hike was quite easy/moderate. Older people or people who are out of shape could struggle. It was great to learn about the glacier and how things are formed. It's beautiful to see all of the beautiful ice formations and it gave me a greater appreciation for nature.
Darren_S, Jul 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Reykjavik

star-5
It’s a must!
Jax_P, Sep 2022
Ice Cave Tour in the National Park of Vatnajökull
Amazing you must go! We went as a family and it was a must! They take you in a large van, then you walk in pebbles - but he went at a good pace and checked on everyone- when we got to the cave he took pictures of us- and I can’t wait to frame them! We were under 300’ of water.... it was crazy cool! You have to experience this!
star-5
A One-of-a-Kind Experience
Claire_K, Oct 2022
Ice Cave Tour in the National Park of Vatnajökull
Exploring this ice cave was a one-of-a-kind experience. Most of the time on the tour was spent traveling to and from the cave. It was a 30-minute drive to the location and a 30-minute/~1.3 mile mild hike to the cave. Our tour guide was Ollie and he did a great job informing us about Iceland, the glacier, and ice caves and was also good at keeping the group together, explaining how to stay safe in the cave, and helping people take pictures. The cave was smaller and more crowded with other tour groups than I expected. There was around 10 people in our group and at least 2 other groups in the cave with us. But the guides did a good job keeping the groups separate in their own parts of the cave, and the cave was such a unique place to experience. My husband and I enjoyed the adventure and our group had a fun time drinking the glacial water coming down from the ceiling!
star-5
Perfect for a cool contact with the ice
Pere_L, Sep 2021
Small-Group 3.5 Hour Blue Ice Experience in Vatnajökull National Park
Very well organised and with enough time to enjoy the ice but not getting worried or tired. You can experience the ice in front of the big crevasses. It was just nice and cool.
star-5
Great experience on the glacier
LiviuDaniel_M, Jul 2021
Small-Group 3.5 Hour Blue Ice Experience in Vatnajökull National Park
Very well organized with the highlights of : Seeing a death trap up close thanks to the tour guide, climbing into two crevasses and tour guide explanations regarding the glacier, Iceland and mountaineering.
star-5
Adventure, mysterious, magical
Mauricio_B, Mar 2022
Ice Cave Tour in the National Park of Vatnajökull
The ice caves are amazing. I have never seen anything like this before. I didn't even know they existed until I was here in Iceland. They feel like a different world--magical, ancient, dynamic--alive!
star-5
Amazing experience!
Tifaine_H, Apr 2021
Small-Group 3.5 Hour Blue Ice Experience in Vatnajökull National Park
We had an amazing time on the glacier with our guide David. We had never climbed a glacier before but felt safe and the surroundings are out of this world! Would definitely recommend Icelandic mountain guides for such an experience!
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Dress in layers, bring waterproof boots, and be prepared for the weather to change unexpectedly.

  • A park entrance fee is charged on a per-vehicle basis.

  • Hiking trails are marked according to level of difficulty and indicate which are appropriate for wheelchair users or visitors with limited mobility.

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How to Get to There

To reach Vatnajokull National Park’s Skaftafell Visitor Center, you can either drive from Reykjavik (about four hours) or take a bus or organized tour. The town of Hofn is another park gateway, accessible from Reykjavik by regular flights or by bus.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The best time to visit Vatnajokull National Park is in summer when days are longest, trail conditions are best for hiking, and boat tours around the Jokulsarlon lagoon are possible. While crowds are sparse in the winter, daylight hours can be as few as four in mid-December and many sights may be inaccessible.

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Highlights of Vatnajokull National Park

Vatnajokull National Park is enormous, so you may choose to focus on a few highlights. Svartifoss (Black Falls), named for the black lava columns surrounding the falls, is a short hike from Skaftafell in south Iceland. On the edge of the park in southeast Iceland, Jokulsarlon was formed when the Breidamerkurjokull glacier began to recede—now it is the deepest lake in the country. In the northeast, glacial rivers flowing from the Vatnajokull glacier formed the mighty Dettifoss waterfall, which stands 330 feet (100 meters) wide and drops 144 feet (44 meters).

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Reykjavik?
A:
As well as visiting the Vatnajokull National Park, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: