One of the things we wanted to do during our Ring Road Trip, was go and visit the Vatnajökull, the biggest glacier in Europe. Initially, it wasn’t our intention to go up – or in – the glacier, because the temperature during our stay (last week of September, first week of October) could be quite high, so it wasn’t safe. Or so we thought.
After doing some research, we stumbled upon ‘Arctic Adventures’, an Icelandic adventure and activity company with an emphasis on ecotourism and environmentally friendly trips throughout Iceland, that organized daily trips to the glacier during out stay in the area. Score! We booked an ‘into the glacier’-tour, so we’d have the chance to go and explore the exterior and interior of the glacier. Awesome!
All tours start at the Glacier Guides booking office in Skaftafell (indicated when you’re following the Ring Road) where we get our gear and a brief introduction of what to expect. Ready? Set? Go!
We headed for the Svínavellsjökull glacier tongue and after we geared up and got our safety instructions from our skilled guide, we set out for our journey and put our first baby steps on the ice. HOW COOL IS THIS?! And for the record, being on the ice wasn’t even that cold!
We started our journey by hiking in a magnificent scenery, only to find our way to the ice caves where we spent approximately half an hour exploring. Normally, they only visit one cave, but our guide wanted to show us a second one, only discovered two days earlier. The descent into the cave is quite adventurous, as it gets very narrow at the end. But, totally worth it! Oh, and the black stuff? Ice & ashes!
After spending approximately 3h on the ice, we hiked back over the glacier, through an adventurous landscape of rugged ice. Our guide even lost his way for a moment, in the ever changing landscape. After a 4,5h hike in total, we hopped into the bus again, and took a last glimpse at the glacier.
This tour didn’t come cheap, but was worth every penny! Due to global warming, the glacier is retreating quite fast the past few years, so don’t miss this one out, now you still have the chance!
More about our Glacier Adventure:
- Reservations & availability: More on the Arctic Adventures website
- Duration and difficulty: 2.5 – 4 hours, depending on the weather. Not that difficult, just listen to the instructions your guide gives you
- Price: 19,999 ISK (around 160 euros) per person
- Definitely bring: Warm and waterproof jacket and pants, hiking boots and headwear and gloves (rental clothing and hiking boots available if necessary).