Tuesday, February 7, 2023


A glacier hike or ice cave tour is in your bucket checklist. And so it needs to be! You’ve little question seen the images of the extremely blue ice, the crunchy white floor, the bottomless crevasses, and the fascinating textures of those shifting giants. However the massive query from us is, are you prepared for it? And, is it the fitting selection for you and your fellow travellers? This Glacier Hike & Ice Cave Information covers all of your burning questions that can assist you make the fitting selection in relation to which tour to decide on.

Normal Questions Answered
Scroll all the way down to see actual specs for every model of glacier and ice cave tour

What health degree do I would like to participate?

Our glacier and ice cave excursions vary from straightforward to difficult. On our simpler excursions (apart from our helicopter excursions) you could have the ability to stroll at the very least 3 kilometres (2 miles) with out undue fatigue. The more difficult hikes require a reasonable health degree with the expectation which you can ascend and descend stair like slopes with out assist, and stroll between 6 and 9km (5 miles) on our longest hikes. Don’t fear, each tour is designed for first timers and your information is readily available to assist at each step of the way in which.

What degree of mobility do I would like to participate?

Whatever the issue degree, full mobility of your knees and ankles is required. Most glacier hikes contain some sloped strolling, so with the ability to carry your knees as much as your waist and having a full rotational movement of each ankles is essential. Don’t fear, we are going to offer you all glacier tools wanted for the journey to maintain you protected.

Will an harm or sickness cease me from collaborating?

In a phrase, no. We at all times assess on a case by case foundation. Nonetheless, it’s your accountability to inform Hidden Iceland workers earlier than the tour of any medical situations, diseases or accidents that may have an effect on your capacity to participate or make getting into a wilderness setting unadvisable. Not notifying us of related situations can put you and people round you in danger.

How briskly do I must stroll?

Additional particulars are defined beneath for every tour however since every tour is designed for first timers, we be certain that to take ample water and movie stops and stroll at a sluggish to medium tempo. On the longer excursions we even cease for lunch on the ice. It’s uncommon that you can be strolling for greater than 20 minutes at a time with out a break. You’ll be given crampons and different security gear to help you stroll on the ice with none fear of slipping.

Will I’ve a information for the whole time?

At all times. All of our guides are skilled and effectively skilled glacier guides. Every information has hiked on the glacier you can be strolling on lots of of occasions. They’ve all accomplished strenuous glacier {qualifications}. Every glacier hike information is a licensed Wilderness First Responder. They’re additionally skilled in superior rescue methods together with crevasse rescue. For self drive excursions and a few non-public excursions, we might utilise the talents of trusted native companions who match our degree of experience.

Is it chilly on the glacier?

On common, the glacier can really feel round 1-2 °C colder than the encircling areas (approx. 2-3 °F) however with fixed strolling, you’ll not often discover the distinction. With that mentioned, it is best to at all times carry gloves and a hat and waterproof clothes always of yr. In winter, further thick socks and added heat layers are possible wanted. Take a look at our yr spherical packing checklist right here. You’ll be able to borrow waterproof outer-layers and boots from us upon request.

What ought to I carry?

We’ll present all glacier tools for you (helmet, crampons, harness, ice axe and so on) however as customary it is best to carry hat, gloves and a number of layers (sure, even in summer time). Waterproof outer layers (high and backside) and climbing boots that assist the ankle are extremely beneficial on all excursions. These could be rented from Hidden Iceland or our companions if you happen to don’t have your individual. A small day pack to shed and add layers in addition to carrying water and snacks is a good suggestion too.

Is there a minimal age?

10 years previous. Upon request we will cut back that minimal age for personal excursions solely, thought it’s going to merely come all the way down to the bodily dimension of the kid and if they’ll match into the glacier tools with out being too small.

When is the most effective time to come back for a glacier hike or ice cave tour?

Ice cave excursions are solely accessible between late October and early April. Glacier hikes can be found all yr spherical. The ice is bluer between November and March however takes on a crunchy white texture in summer time which permit for simpler exploring. In brief, there’s no dangerous time to discover Iceland’s glaciers.


There are effectively over 400 named glaciers in Iceland, all with their very own distinctive traits. However for this glacier hike and ice cave information we are going to focus solely on those you’ll more than likely go to when with Hidden Iceland. Fortunately, we now have plenty of choices for many talents. Preserve studying to listen to about all of them.

Tour Abstract:

  1. Sólheimajökull Glacier | Non-public Glacier Hike
    – reasonable, could be finished as a day journey from Reykjavík
    – could be loved yr spherical
    – most group dimension – 6 per information

  2. Sólheimajökull Glacier | Non-public Ice Climbing Tour
    – difficult, could be finished as a day journey from Reykjavík
    – could be loved yr spherical
    – most group dimension – 5 per information

  3. Falljökull Glacier | Glacier Encounter Hike
    – straightforward to reasonable
    – could be loved yr spherical although April to October is perfect
    – most group dimension – 12 per information

  4. Falljökull Glacier | Glacier Discovery Hike
    – reasonable to difficult (could be transformed to mountain climbing if non-public)
    – could be loved yr spherical
    – that is the one glacier hike we do on our Small Group Excursions (between April and October)
    – most group dimension – 12 per information

  5. Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier | Ice Cave & Superjeep Tour
    – straightforward to reasonable
    – solely accessible between November and the tip of March
    – that is the one ice cave tour we do on our Small Group Excursions (between November and March)
    – most group dimension – 12 per information

  6. Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier | Non-public Ice Cave Discovery Tour
    – reasonable to difficult
    – only accessible between early November and the tip of March
    – most group dimension – 12 per information

  7. Skeiðarárjökull Glacier | Non-public Helicopter Ice Cave Tour
    – straightforward to reasonable
    – solely accessible between November and the tip of March
    – most group dimension – 4 per helicopter

  8. Svínafellsjökull, Fjallsjökull and different glaciers | Glacier Viewpoints
    – straightforward, no glacier hike included
    – could be loved yr spherical
    – no most group dimension


Sólheimajökull Glacier

This glacier is sandwiched between the Katla and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes, two of Iceland’s most energetic volcanoes. Sólheimajökull glacier is likely one of the outlet glacier that stream down from Mýrdalsjökull glacier ice cap and is definitely accessible from the principle ring street. Each excursions beneath could be finished as a day journey from Reykjavík or as a part of your onward journey additional east. It’s ideally positioned near the city of Vík on the south coast. This glacier is thought for the stark distinction between the crevasse ridden, ash-covered, ice on the entrance of the glacier and the cleaner flatter ice as you enterprise additional up the glacier.

Please observe, this glacier is extra vulnerable to cancellation as a consequence of native situations and climate results. It will likely be as much as the information (and the Hidden Iceland operations workforce) on the day if the hike can begin as deliberate. If the glacier hike is cancelled, we are going to discover various actions to get pleasure from as a substitute. 

Non-public Glacier Hike

The glacier hike on Sólheimajökull, on our non-public excursions, is round 1.5 hours exploring the ice (round 2.5 hours in whole). You’ll hike round 3 – 4 kilometres (approx. 2 miles). The hike requires a reasonable health degree the place you’ll hike up and over uneven terrain. Regardless of the relative quick distance of this glacier hike, it’s thought of reasonable because of the altering terrain on the entrance of the glacier. This tour could be prolonged in size for personal excursions upon request.

Non-public Ice Climbing Hike

A typical non-public mountain climbing tour on the Sólheimajökull, will depend on many elements however we purpose to present you round 2.5 – 3 hours on the ice. Round 3.5 – 4 hours in whole. Usually you’ll hike round 4 – 5 kilometres (approx. 3 miles) with a number of alternatives to climb. The mountain climbing journey requires a robust health degree the place you can be anticipated to make use of ice axes and participate in vertical climbs. With that mentioned, this journey is designed for first timers and your information will care for you each step of the way in which.

Glacier Viewpoint Valley Stroll

The straightforward valley stroll to the entrance of the glacier could be simply as pleasurable if you happen to don’t need to hike on the ice itself. Actually, the view level over the glacier and the glacier lagoon is one thing we add into our scheduled South Coast: Fireplace and Ice tour, a number of occasions per week. This can be a 15 minute stroll every manner on a principally even, gravel path.

Falljökull Glacier

This glacier is positioned throughout the UNESCO World Heritage Web site of Vatnajökull Nationwide Park. The identify, Falljökull, actually interprets to ‘The Falling Glacier’ as a consequence of its spectacular ‘ice fall’ views within the distance. We discover this glacier’s distinctive glacier options and textures, stroll alongside the underside of crevasses, and hike all the way in which as much as the spectacular ice fall on our longer hikes. This glacier is one among our favorite glaciers within the nation. This glacier permits for a spread of excursions, from quick/ reasonable to longer/ difficult excursions relying in your needs.

Glacier Encounter Hike | Shorter Glacier Hike

Lots of our self drive and personal excursions friends want to take the simpler glacier hike which focuses on the underside part of the glacier (the glacier tongue) the place you’ll be able to discover the ice however not journey too excessive. That is nice for folks with a common health degree. We regularly companion with native glacier guides for these shorter hikes sometimes called a Glacier Encounter. You’ll spend round 1 hour on the ice (2.5 – 3 hours whole) and encounter some slopes however with the principle purpose of experiencing the good views and having fun with the environment.

Glacier Discovery Hike | Longer Glacier Hike

On our Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 day tour (and personal excursions) we are going to participate in a longer glacier hike. You’ll spend round 2.5 hours on the ice (round 4 hours in whole, together with a valley stroll). This glacier hike is taken into account reasonable to arduous degree of issue since we are going to journey over uneven and ascending terrain. You’ll be masking about 6 – 9 kilometres (approx. 4 – 6 miles). Upon request, we will prolong this into a fair longer hike or mountain climbing tour that enables us to enterprise all the way in which up into the ice fall space. We regularly companion with native glacier guides within the space to help on these longer hikes.

Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier

Additionally located in the identical UNESCO World Heritage Web site. This glacier is hidden behind the well-known Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and might solely be accessed utilizing off street automobiles. This glacier is lots flatter than the 2 earlier choices however pivotally it’s a nice glacier to find the winter ice caves. We often companion with native ice cave consultants within the space to help with these extra distant excursions. The ice cave excursions can vary from reasonable to difficult relying in your needs.

Ice Cave & Superjeep Tour

Our ice cave tour on the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave 2 Day Tour, begins with a superjeep journey throughout bumpy tracks, adopted by a forty five minute stroll every manner on principally flat however rocky terrain, ending with round 1 hour contained in the ice cave itself. There are a couple of areas that require some further care, together with contained in the cave, although your information will likely be readily available to help. That is thought of an straightforward to reasonable hike with no bodily strolling on the glacier wanted. From begin to end, this tour lasts round 4.5 hours.

Ice Cave Discovery Tour

Upon request on non-public excursions, this may be prolonged into an Ice Cave Discovery tour which provides in glacier climbing and a number of smaller caves. The tour begins with the identical superjeep journey and stroll to the entrance of the glacier however pivotally, when you get to the ice cave you strap on some crampons and take a glacier hike on the icy floor. As you discover, you’ll uncover smaller caves, crevasses and options earlier than returning to the principle cave system to finish the tour. This can be a reasonable to difficult hike with altering terrain. The added hike lasts for an extra 1.5 hours. From begin to end, this tour lasts for round 6 hours.

Skeiðarárjökull Glacier

This glacier is a bit more distant however nonetheless within the UNESCO World Heritage Web site. Sadly, to get entry to this glacier, and its hidden ice caves, it’s essential to go by helicopter. We solely take non-public journeys onto this glacier.

Non-public Helicopter Ice Cave Tour

We go to this glacier on our Blue Dragon Helicopter companion tour. Usually that is coupled with a couple of days of personal adventures too. The ice cave tour on Skeiðarárjökull is categorised as straightforward. Actually, it’s barely a 5 minute stroll to the ice cave entrance out of your helicopter touchdown spot (relying on the accessibility on the day). As soon as on the glacier you should have ample time to discover the a number of ice caves in relative tranquility. The helicopter journey takes round quarter-hour, every manner with round 1 hour to discover the distant ice caves.

Svínafellsjökull, Fjallsjökull and different glaciers

Not everybody is able to strap on a pair of crampons and go on an journey. Fortunately, there are many glaciers that may be mixed with extra tranquil nature walks to get near spectacular views and superb photograph alternatives. We go to the Sólheimajökull view level on our South Coast: Fireplace and Ice tour however there are a lot extra to witness in case you are self driving or exploring different components of the nation.

The character walks to entrance of Svínafellsjökull, Skaftafellsjökull, Fjallsjökull, Kviarjökull and even Gigjökull on a highland tour are effectively well worth the time. The good factor is that they’re all accessible on foot, with out the necessity for a glacier hike. You received’t be shut sufficient to the touch them however you can be handled to some breathtaking views and smaller glacier lagoons. These walks are designed for folks with low capacity. The character walks to the view factors can vary from round 5 minutes to 50 minutes every manner relying on the route you’re taking and the view you want. The walks are principally flat however on rocky/ gravel paths.

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