Skaftafell Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Skaftafell

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    Skaftafellsjokull

    by smirnofforiginal Updated May 1, 2011

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    A trek leads from the visitors centre to the face of the glcaier. It is a good path but NB - The Lonely Planet describes this path as being wheel chair- accessible. When I visited (April 2011) as we got close to the glacier the cliffs and thrown multitudes of boulders and large rocks down. Not only did they block the official (wheelchair-accessible) path but it had been closed as it was very unsafe. The cicuitous "path" we then followed to get to the glaciers face was by no means possibe by anything other than foot.... You can only see the glacier proper when you actually get down by it - if you are wheelchair bound I would strong urge you to ask at the visitor centre first - if you cannot get the full way along the path there is little point doing this route.

    The weather conditioons were so bad that, by the time I got to the glacier despite its awesomeness, I was more f the opinion of "oh, yes, lovely, now can we go back, please"... and I was the most enthusiastic member of our unhappy little group!!!

    I have to say, the hour there and back were probably the most 2 miserable hours I spent in Iceland - the rain was unrelenting - it fell with biblical proportions and nothing could keep me even vaguely dry. The icy wind whipped at me and my wet clothes - I was bitterly cold and very uncomfortable. The hail then started, pelting me and burning my face! Quite how the rain managed to sneak its way under water-proof clohting will remain one of my lifes mysteries!!! It was here my rather new and expensive camera broke. It is currently being repaired - I am convinced it was the weather conditions and temperatures that, despite my tender, loving care managed to cause havoc with it! I am convinced that in fine weather this would be a wonderful stroll and an amazing sight!

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    memorial

    by smirnofforiginal Written May 1, 2011

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    In 1996 Grímsvotn erupted. A glacial flood (jokulhlaup) followed. 3000 billion litres of water surged forwards carrying icebergs apparently the size of 3-storey buildings. Everything in its path was destroyed, including the Gígjukvis bridge (373m long) and the Skeidará bridge (900 m long).
    Just before you get to Skaftafell National Park there is a piece of cruelly twisted metal, once a girder from one of the bridges. It serves as a harsh reminder as to natures incredible force and power.

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    The Sandar

    by smirnofforiginal Updated May 1, 2011

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    Flat and barren, stretching far beyond what the eye can see. Eerie and empty, the sober desertesque expanse is almost soffocating. Black and charcoal grey interrupted only by the dark waters that appear to thickly slide through the density of the graina nd sand.
    It is awesome and incredible, like nothing on earth. This is the sandar whose only company is the stinging wind.

    Skeidarársandur stretches over 1000 square km which makes it the largest sandar in the world... and it is growing, eating everything in its wake.

    It is isolated, desolate and lonely... it is unimagineably impressive... it is neither gentle or welcoming and you can only feel like you are intruding across something mighty with the ability to be spiteful and vengeful... I loved it.

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  • melanief's Profile Photo

    Go see the Sel farmhouse

    by melanief Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Sel farmhouse
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    The Sel farmhouse is owned and maintained by the National Museum of Iceland. This sod farmhouse was a manor farm; and at one point this land belonged to the Danish king. I stopped at the Sel farmhouse on my way back down after seeing Svartifoss.

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  • melanief's Profile Photo

    Hike on Vatnajokull Glacier; largest glacier

    by melanief Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Me on Vatnajokull Glacier
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    The Vatnajokull Glacier, with of average thickness of over 1300 feet, is the largest glacier in Europe. It was not exactly what I expected, but it was awesome.
    I would recommend dressing in layers and wearing boots. Walk slowly until you get a feel for how it feels to walk on a glacier.
    *Word of warning* I would not advise going out too far on your own, as there can be deep crevices which you could slip into, and no one would know where to look for you.

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  • melanief's Profile Photo

    Hike to Svartifoss

    by melanief Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Me at Svartifoss
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    There are no roads in the Park, so you will park at the visitor's center and walk. At the visitor's center be sure to pick up a map and brochure and plan your day's adventure. Svartifoss is about 45 minutes’ hike from the main campsite. The day I hiked to Svartifoss, it was a beautiful sunny day. I started off with a long sleeve shirt, sweater and jacket and soon stripped off the sweater and jacket. For this reason, I would recommend that you dress in layers.

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  • hat53's Profile Photo

    Go up the glacier

    by hat53 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Steep descent

    We went walking on the Svínafellsjökull for 2,5 hour. It was a great and safe experience even for me. I have high anxiety but guide helped me on the steep descent.

    Note that you are not tied together. Equipment is provided and you wil get a short instruction befor you start your trip.

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Hundafoss and Þjófafoss waterfalls in Skaftafell.

    by Regina1965 Updated Sep 24, 2010

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    Hundafoss as seen from the west-side of the river.
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    On the way to Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell you will walk by two much smaller waterfalls, the first one is Hundafoss (Dogs´fall) and the second one Þjófafoss (Thieves' fall). They are not so visible on the east-side of the river leading to Svartifoss, but if you return on the west-side of the river there you will see them clearly.

    Hundafoss is the larger one of the two and is marked, so that you cannot miss it. It got its name "Dogs' fall" from the fact that during the swelling of the river dogs from the farms there sometimes floated off the waterfall.

    Þjófafoss is a smaller waterfall below Hundafoss.

    On the west-side of the river there is a trail from which you can walk both down to the waterfalls and many beauty spots where you can clearly see the waterfalls.

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  • melanief's Profile Photo

    See the power of water vs. metal

    by melanief Written Sep 6, 2006

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    Me at the remains of a bridge
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    In 1996, a volcano erupted beneath the Vatnajokull Ice Cap creating a flood of water and lava. Roads and bridges were destroyed. There is a video that you can watch in the visitor's center concerning the volcano and the flood. This piece of metal is the remains of a bridge or roadway that once stood before the flood. It is amazing to see the power of water against metal. The force of the water must have been incredilble to be able to bend this steel like a pretzel.

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  • hat53's Profile Photo

    Take a hike to the svartifoss

    by hat53 Written May 28, 2005

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    You can walk from the visitor’s center to the svartifoss. This is a nice hike and you will see another foss on the way. Half way you will have a nice view over the big black plain you crossed if you arrived from the west part of the island.

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Svartifoss Waterfall...

    by coceng Written Aug 22, 2004

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    Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

    Svartifoss Waterfall can be reached by a well-trodden track leading up from the camp site...
    Normally 1 1/2 hours return trip, depending on how fast you walk up & then climbing down...Another photo by me; Trying to capture the waterfall from this plant...but it turned out the plant is blurry ! Maybe I'm long-sighted !

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Svartifoss Waterfall...

    by coceng Written Aug 22, 2004
    Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

    Svartifoss Waterfall can be reached by a well-trodden track leading up from the camp site...
    Normally 1 1/2 hours return trip, depending on how fast you walk up & then climbing down...
    I knew I could walk behind the waterfall but I chose not to...I was alone there, if I slipped who would I called help to ?
    The splashing of the waterfall is also hard, everything would get wet...

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Svartifoss Waterfall...

    by coceng Written Aug 22, 2004
    Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

    Svartifoss Waterfall can be reached by a well-trodden track leading up from the camp site...
    Normally 1 1/2 hours return trip, depending on how fast you walk up & then climbing down...
    Felt really good being there ! All the photos that I saw on this waterfall slowly eroding from my mind as I could take my own photos of the waterfall !

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Svartifoss Waterfall...

    by coceng Written Aug 22, 2004
    Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

    Svartifoss Waterfall can be reached by a well-trodden track leading up from the camp site...
    Normally 1 1/2 hours return trip, depending on how fast you walk up & then climbing down...
    I spent some times around Svartifoss Waterfall, I was alone there...Just amazingly looking at the hanging basalt columns

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Svartifoss Waterfall...

    by coceng Written Aug 11, 2004

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    Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

    The name 'Svartifoss' means Black Waterfall. It is the symbol of Skaftafell National Park.
    The hanging basalt columns hanging from the cliffs, surrounding the waterfall makes it look like organ pipes, encircling a theater !
    The area is so beautiful !
    The last tourist left the area as I came closer to the waterfall; I could enjoy the waterfall on my own !
    On a 'busy' day, this area will be filled with hikers/tourists as it's one of the most photographed features, in Skaftafell National Park...

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