*** To be able to participate in the glacier hike you will need hiking shoes of similar type as shown on the picture in the picture section. If you don't have good hiking shoes you can rent them from us when you book the tour online.
It varies from one trip to another where we stop and for how long. It depends on weather, the group, how much daylight we have, etc. During summer months we usually have the boat tour on Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in the morning of the second day. And we usually have the glacier hike on Svinafellsjokull glacier on the second day as well. If the weather is good on the first day, and the weather forecast is bad for the second day, then the guides often put the glacier hike on day 1. During winter (15th September to 15th April) we hunt for the northern lights in the evening of the first day (if the sky is clear). In the tour description here below you can read about the areas and places we see during this tour, but it does not mean that we stop at all those places.
Day 1 - South Coast Marvels
We pick you up from your Reykjavik hotel and head on route 1 with our first stop at Seljalandsfoss , a very photogenic waterfall that plunges down over 60 m from ancient sea cliffs to a shallow pool. It is one of very few waterfalls where it’s possible to take a walk behind it and enjoy the beautiful scenery from there. The waterfall is fed by the infamous volcano and glacier Eyjafjallajökull .
Our next stop will be at another waterfall - Skogafoss. It's also around 60 m high and considered by many to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. There is another hidden secret there, the Katla volcano beneath the Myrdalsjokull Glacier , a very active and explosive one.
We then drive to the village of Vik where we will stop to admire a black volcanic sand beach with some magnificent sights such as the picturesque basalt column formations and the incredible Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
If you interested in geology you should pay attention when your guide starts speaking of "Jökulhlaup" and you see enormous devastated areas of sandy plains and ash. Glaciation doesn’t always cause changes over thousands of years. When a volcano erupts under a glacier, it might destroy an ice dam or release huge volumes of melt water by heat alone, causing a devastating flood, a “Jökulhlaup”. This Icelandic term has been adopted in English too. The longest bridge in Iceland, at 900 m, is over one of those areas formed by glacial floods.
After driving through the glacial floodplains we drive to the Skaftafell area in the Vatnajokull National Park , where we'll make a short stop. The glacier tongues make the national park look like a magical fairy tale scenery. Jokulsarlon has been used as the film location for many Hollywood productions. It is situated at the end of an outlet glacier of the great Vatnajokull Glacier . Massive blocks of ice break from the glacier and end up floating in the lagoon and out to sea.
After enjoying the lagoon with its icebergs we head to our accommodation for the night at one of the Country Hotels in south Iceland. All rooms have a bathroom and free WiFi is available in the dining room. The restaurant uses local produce to prepare what’s on the menu. Breakfast is included in the price. We’ll have dinner upon arrival (not included in the tour price). During the evening, and into the night, we will keep an eye for the and go out to watch them if the conditions allow.
Day 2 - Total Glacier Encounter
We’ll have more time after breakfast on the 2nd day to get to know the glacier lagoon even better. You will see icebergs of all shapes and we’ll also take a walk by the lake and on the black sand shores and look for seals which may be spotted in the lagoon.
Following that, is one of the highlights of our trip - getting up close and personal with the Svinafellsjokull glacier . Unlike what you might think, glaciers are not made up by frozen water but out of fallen snow. It turns into ice simply by compression due to its weight as it keeps accumulating. Imagine taking a handful of fluffy snow and squeezing it into a hard snowball, then keep on doing it for hundreds of years. The ice will eventually get so compact that most of the air will forced out of it. This is the reason why glacial ice can have this fascinating crystal blue color, and the older the ice, the more intense the color. We will put on our crampons and embark on a one hour long glacier hike in the Skaftafell area. If you want to join the glacier hike you will need to have good hiking shoes, or you can rent a pair from us. The crampons cannot be fitted onto sneakers or other light walking shoes. Giant cracks, called crevasses are formed at the places where the glacier flows more rapidly. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced specialist tour guide when you walk on a glacier - the crevasses can get covered over by snow and become a real hazard.
We head back to Ingolfsskali which is also our switching point for the Magical auroras tour. We normally arrive there between 18:00 and 20:00. You can enjoy your dinner there (not included in the tour price) or bring your own food. Our specially trained guides would have checked the cloud forecast and would know just where to take you, to maximise your chances of seeing this beautiful phenomenon.
We will drop you off at your hotel between 20:00 - 21:00 on day two, or if you choose to go on the northern lights evening tour then drop-off is estimated between 00:00 and 01:00. You can let the guide know which option you chose earlier on during the second day.
We hope that you would have had the time of your life with us! The unique beauty of Iceland's nature is more than likely to stir your sense of wonder.