The Skaftafell Visitor Centre can provide all the necessary information about Vatnajökull National Park and its surrounding areas such as hiking trails, history, nature, services, and activities. S1: Skaftafellsjökull For that hike it is strongly recommended that you have good boots and trekking poles. If you are based in Reykjavik you can probably make a very long day trip out of it but it would entail around 8 hours of driving round trip. Distance: 10 km (20 km round-trip)  Walking time: 6 hrs.  Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)Â. According to Skaftafell’s hiking route overview, two of the routes are marked easy, one difficult, and six challenging. Only elves live under a rock! I have a Skaftafell Hiking Guide if you want to learn more. Explore breathtaking ice formations, tall snowy peaks of the surrounding national park, and the best of Iceland's frozen nature. Skaftafell is a nature reserve within the larger Vatnajökull glacier National Park. Skaftafell is a located in between the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Klaustur) and the town Höfn in Hornarfjörður in the preservation area in Öræfi, South East Iceland. The hiking and walking trails vary in length and level of difficulty in Skaftafell. The park is full of regular hiking trails of various difficulties. More soon on the essential items to carry along on your hike! Hiking maps for Skaftafell are available in visitor centres, information offices and from park rangers. The map of Skaftafell comes in the form of a double sided sheet, one with a map to the scale of 1:100,000, the other with a map of 1:25,000. Then continue back towards the camp site via Austurbrekkur. Skaftafell national park is next to glacier Vatnajökull and thr landscape is beautiful I took the hike to the glacier and it was a nice walk through the trees The visitor center was good Read more Date of experience: May 2020 We stayed overnight in Skaftafell and were able to scope out all the hikes and tours in the area. If you have any questions when you arrive, feel free to ask those that work there or even those who work at the glacier guides shop to help you out. Have fun out there! You can take a look at Hotel Skaftafell and some places nearby it. Skip the first signpost for Sjónarnípa. To go down you return the same way as you came up, with the exception of that when you arrive at the shoulder between the mountain peaks you take the path that goes to the left. On the return you take the same path towards Grjóthóll and continue across the walking bridge on Morsá river. The route will soon turn technical as you begin to walk on dirt, grass, rocks and a whole lot of mountain. Distance: 7,2 km (15 km round-trip)  Walking time: 5 hrs.  Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)Â. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; To get a better overview of the technical hikes see below in the next section which goes over the longer S3 Skaftafell hike. From the Svartifoss waterfall to the never ending glacier views, this hike has it all. Skaftafell is located within Vatnajökull National Park along the southeastern coast of the country and it’s known around the world for its incredible sights and hiking opportunities. There are plenty of trails to choose from depending on fitness level, all of which will have some incredible viewpoints to take in. Please note that there is no proper path or way marking. It is possible to go all the way to Svartifoss and then head on to Sjónarsker, but the shortest way is to cross the river on the walking bridge next to Magnúsarfoss and from there head to Sjónarsker. Feel free to comment below with any questions! From that point the path will take you down into the ravine below the waterfall). https://triptins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Skaftafell.mp4. Skaftafell National Park is located on the southeastern portion of Iceland. Skaftafell National Park is located on the southeastern portion of Iceland. Hiking routes in Skaftafell – Getting there By car: Road 1 goes from Reykjavík to Skaftafell (326 km). First you go in direction of Lambhagi to reach the Svartifoss waterfall. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; A scheduled bus goes between Reykjavík and Höfn via Skaftafell. The Visitor's Center has lots of excellent information and trail maps posted outside. This fantastic trail will show you several waterfalls in Skaftafell. One of the longer hiking trails in Skaftafell is the one leading to the top of Kristínartindar mountain. A decade ago, no one was talking about this tiny Nordic island in the North Atlantic.  And now it seems to be at the top of every traveler’s bucket list. amzn_assoc_asins = "1631218131,B06X99W1L6,1566955343,1628871806"; Once you reach the top portion of the hike, you will then make your way around the mountain following that “U” shape before crossing over and making your way back down. Take a Look at Some Itineraries & Guides below: Iceland Itineraries: 10 Day Ring Road Itinerary | 7 Day Southern Coast Itinerary | 5 Day Iceland Itinerary, Iceland Hiking Guides: Reykjadalur Hot Springs Hike | Glymur Waterfall Hike | Hiking the Skogafoss Trail, Other Iceland Guides: One Day in Reykjavik | The Golden Circle Route. There is a vide selection of glacier tours from Skaftafell; you can chose from easy 2 hour hikes or longer hikes with ice climbing. The list includes several different essentials such as: As you arrive at the base of Skaftafell you are to see a bunch of boards with maps of the area. Now Skaftafell is not just about glacier hiking. S1: Skaftafellsjökull Also do not forget to bring layers on layers and those hiking boats! Check out the guide for more! For the most part after reaching the top portion it is a lot of down hill but there are some valleys that you must climb up as well during the descent. Distance: 3,5 km (6,5 km round-trip)  Walking time: 2 hrs.  Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)Â. PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE AND READ CAREFULLY IF YOU ARE VISITING IN WINTERTIME. You can also use the ones here on the right; click on each picture for enlarged version. For example, on the west side of Skaftafell you will find the Morsádalur river valley … Distance: 2 km (4 km round-trip)  Walking time: 2 hrs.  Route difficulty: 1 (easy)Â. You can also use the ones here on the right; click on each picture for enlarged version. The last section of this guide goes into more detail about some of the accommodation options to choose from. … After a long day of hiking you can take a rest at the visitor center and grab some food from the cafeteria or nearby food trucks for a well deserved recovery. You can use the search box above to see accommodation options all around the area that would be the best fit for you. The trailheads to both of these easy, short hikes start from the Skaftafell Visitor Center. Do you want to stay up to date and receive the latest travel iTINeraries, guides and tips to better plan your next trip around the world? Once you start your way north up the mountain you will really feel the legs burning as it is a straight shot to the top of the mountain. A marked path goes from Grjóthóll towards Morsárjökull and the glacial lagoon in front of it. From the camp site walk up towards Svartifoss. amzn_assoc_title = ""; If you just have a couple hours you should probably take a look at the two easy routes – S1 and S2 – the first being a nice walk towards the glacier on the lower right hand side of the park and the second being one of those blue lines at the beginning of the park that just ends up at Svartifoss (a beautiful waterfall). Check out this video and take a listen. Located in Skaftafell, this waterfall is close to glacier hikes, marks the starting point of Kristinartindar Mountain, camping, and other beautiful waterfalls. If not, there are a bunch of small hotels and guesthouses nearby. - Hiking boots should be tight around the ankle and have a hard sole. Skaftafell, the jewel in the crown of Vatnajökull National Park, encompasses a breathtaking collection of peaks and glaciers. After passing the ravines it is relatively easy to walk across the sands back towards Skaftafell. If you are heading to Skaftafell you are most likely doing so from right nearby or a town/city not too far away such as Vik, Kirkjuaejarklaustur or Hofn. After enjoying the view you should walk back the same gravel path and then take another gravel path on the left which will lead you to Skaftafell Visitor Centre. Trails. If you are not comfortable with crossing the unmarked sands you can return the same way as you came. We have detailed road and hiking maps of all areas of Iceland. - Skaftafell is located around 4 hours and 30 minutes from Reykjavík 327km (203 miles). The map below can give you a better sense of where it is relative to the rest of the country. You then continue on the trail next to the river all the way down to another walking bridge by Götugil. Walk over the bridge on follow the marked path that leads to the camp site. A paved path goes from Skaftafell Visitor Centre towards Skaftafell glacier. You can rent shoes during the booking process. There are numerous trails to choose from so depending on how much time you have you can pick the trail that is best for you. Please be ready 30 minutes before departure time of the tour. The closest place would be right outside of the the national park itself. The hike starts at the base of the park where you can head straight towards Svartifoss before veering right towards S6. The route goes from the camp site in Skaftafell across the mountain heath to Grjóthóll in Morsárdalur. The hike will take about 1–1.5 hours (3.7km round trip). Hiking maps for Skaftafell are available in visitor centres, information offices and from park rangers. When arriving at the foot of Kristínartindar you have two options. Length 2.8 mi Elevation gain 396 ft Route type Out & Back Skaftafell geology; Jökulfell – the oldest tillite in Iceland? There’s enough in this one area of the country to plan a week-long trip full of outdoor adventures. Distance: 16 km  Walking time: 7 hrs.  Route difficulty: 3 (difficult)Â. Here you can find maps of Skaftafell (JPEGs): A map of the Skaftafell area. Hiking on one of the glacier tongues or exploring the constantly reforming ice caves is one of the best experiences you can find in Iceland. Whether you just have a couple hours or a full day, Skaftafell will have something for you. It is one of very few places in Iceland that is known for good weather, and especially so in the summer. Everyone is super friendly and can help point you in the right direction. The distance to Höfn is 136 km and the distance to the Glacial Lagoon is 56 km. This is about 1.7 km from the visitor center (1 … Kristínartindar Mountain. Guests should contact the service desk at the visitor centre prior to camping. Scenic nature, favorable weather conditions and a network of hiking trails make Skaftafell an ideal destination to enjoy outdoor activities in Icelandic nature. If you want to see the map in more detail check it out here. You can’t really blame them; the Land of Fire and Ice is one of the most spectacular, breathtaking places on Earth. The other option is to walk the path that goes through the rock scree all the way to the top of the mountain. The nearest towns to Skaftafell are Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 69km … amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "triptins05-20"; As you get closer to the bottom of the hike you will have the option to make a pit stop at Svartifoss, which is one waterfall not to miss out on. 4. Late arrivers should make contact first thing in the morning. Vatnajökull National Park does not offer any equipment rental. Maps of Iceland from the best publisher are available. Hope you enjoy it! Planning a Trip to Iceland? The map below can give you a better sense of where it is relative to the rest of the country. Then instead of walking into the woods you should turn right and walk on the gravel bank of Kjósarlaekur. Check out the best trails in Iceland here. The Skaftafell visitor centre has many interesting displays and sells a hiking map. Below is a map of the hiking area where you can see the different routes highlighted. Falljökull is a glacier tongue of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. You can snap some photos from a distance and have the option to get pretty up close to it as well. The Skaftafell Ice Climbing and Glacier Hike tour is a great addition to a day in Skaftafell. Geology of Svartifoss area; Rauðhellrar geology; Kjós central volcano; Svínafell´s geology; Hafrafell´s geology; The skerry in the Skaftafell glacier; Age dating – dr. Robert Duncan; Handheld magnetometers and geology; Legend for geology; Hot and cold spots . It includes everything I bring along on day hikes, and it will have you better prepared when taking part of trails all over Iceland. A close-up map of the area near the visitor centre and the main hiking trails If you are planning on going all along the Ring Road or just exploring the Southern Coast, there are a few towns nearby that could work for you. Whenever possible the suggestion is a circular route. Skaftafell is located 57 km (about 50 minutes) west of Jökulsárlón Lagoon and offers a number of hiking trails for all skill levels. A larger grocery store is in Kirkjubæjarklaustur (70 km to west) and yet another one in Höfn (136 km to east). Cross the bridge on follow the marked path that leads to the camp site. Road 1 continues to the east from Skaftafell. The same route will take you back towards Grjóthóll but instead of crossing the bridge you should continue on the trail next to the river all the way down to another walking bridge by Götugil. Take a look at our other Iceland itineraries and guides to help out with any other trip planning. They can inform you of the conditions of the trail and the expected weather conditions You can also use the ones here on the right; click on each picture for enlarged version. If you are wondering what to bring along when taking part of hikes in general take a look at the comprehensive Hiking Packing List that I put together. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "false"; A marked path goes from Grjóthóll towards Morsárjökull. At the base of the park you will find a visitor center, cafeteria, restrooms and some food trucks. The park is farther east in Iceland, near the town of Hof. Backpacking for 5 days in Iceland - Núpsstaðarskógar to Skaftafell Trek. From Sjónarsker the path goes all the way towards Kristínartindar. Choose that path towards Sjónarnípa. This Skaftafell hiking guide will go over what the park has to offer and will provide a more in depth review of one of the main hikes to take part of. As the name suggests, this comprehensive tour combines ice climbing and glacier hiking. The most incredible part of this experience was the absolutely insane winds that were coming down the glacier towards the edge of the hike. It offers hot soups, sandwiches, cakes and coffee, along with some basic dairy products, bread, biscuits and fruits, to mention some. As you make your way to the point where S5 meets S6 you will get an incredible view of the Skaftafellsjokull glacier (the point on the map above is called Sjonarnipa). Read Up On Some Top Rated Iceland Guide Books Before Your Trip. We created this Iceland travel blog to help you discover what to see and do in Iceland. There are short, easy hikes over paved roads and a fairly comfortable gravel surface. After enjoying the waterfall and its surroundings you should walk up the basalt column steps on the other side of the ravine and follow that path all the way down to the campsite via Lambhagi. » You can also take part of a Skaftafell Glacier Hike, where you will have the chance to hike on a nearby glacier. We did an all-day hike – I think we covered about 10 miles – and packed lunch with us as well as lots of snacks. Hiking tour on remote trail of Iceland’s most unique landscapes along canyons, glacier lagoons, mountains and into Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. The unique Svartifoss waterfall is pretty central to the park and there are a few hiking routes that pass through it. The setting is Svínafellsjökull glacier, which is part of the biggest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull glacier. Do not miss any of our freshly baked posts!. After 450 meters another ‘Sjónarnípa signpost’ appears. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; The Road 998 (2 km) leads up to the visitor centre in Skaftafell. As mentioned the weather can change drastically in Iceland and you should be prepared for all conditions. The Skaftafell Ice Climbing and Glacier Hike. Walk over the bridge on follow the marked path that leads to the camp site. The route goes from the camp site in Skaftafell across the mountain heath to Grjóthóll in Morsárdalur. Driving time to Skaftafell from Reykjavík is around 4 hours and 30 minutes. Information on accommodation near Skaftafell can be found on the website of the regional tourism organisation. PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE AND READ CAREFULLY IF YOU ARE VISITING IN WINTERTIME. All the signage on the trails is extremely good. The key is to follow the trail signs to Sjonarsker, where there are 360 degree views, and clear trail markers to Kristínartindar. The hike is about 17km in length (~10 miles) and can take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on fitness level (and stopping numerous times along the way for photo ops). From Grjóthóll continue across the walking bridge over Morsá river and straight on the marked path that leads to the woods in Baejarstaðarskógur. A couple top hotel options there would be Hotel Laki and Hotel Geirland. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. 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