Skaftafell Travel Guide

  • Jokulsarlon panorama
    Jokulsarlon panorama
    by Assenczo
  • The sky is the limit
    The sky is the limit
    by Assenczo
  • Things to Do
    by Assenczo

Skaftafell Things to Do

  • Lambhagi "Lamb pastures" in Skaftafell.

    Now this is a beautiful spot in Skaftafell. In the olden days until 1900 ewes were milked by the farmers. Their lambs were kept here in Lambhagi overnight as the ewes were milked in the mornings. After the milking the ewes and the lambs were reunited.This is such a lovely spot and imagining it being crowded by lambs makes it even more special. The...

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  • Svartifoss waterfall - the Black falls.

    Svartifoss is situated in Skaftafell in S-Iceland. At the Visitor centre you can get information on how to get to Svartifoss waterfall. It is 1,5 kilometres from the Visitor centre, uphill and on the way to Svartifoss you come across 2 other waterfalls Þjófafoss (Thieves' fall) and Hundafoss (Dogs´fall). The hike is ca 90 minutes back and forth...

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  • Skaftafellsjökull glacier.

    Skaftafellsjökull - glacier is located in Skaftafell national park. From the Visitor Centre at Skaftafell there is an hour's hike back and forth to the glacier. Dress warmly as the temperature drops when you get close to the glacier. Don't get too close though and never go on the glacier unaccompanied. In front of the glacier there used to be...

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  • Everything is frozen solid.

    If there is frost here in winter time everything will freeze solid. On my way to see Skaftafellsjökull glacier I encountered a totally frozen small waterfall. The water took on strange ice formations, so that the grass and plants by the waterfall were covered in ice. It is worth making a stop here just to admire these ice formations. Some of them...

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  • Skaftafellsjökull glacier - in winter...

    Visiting Skaftafellsjökull glacier in the winter time is a different experience from visiting it in the summer time. Walking up to Skaftafellsjökull glacier is always amazing, but when the sun is wery low on the sky it lits up the glacier in beautiful golden and pink colours. It totally transforms the glacier.Everything is totally frozen here in...

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  • The Skaftafell Visitor Centre.

    There is an Information Centre at Skaftafell called Skaftafellsstofa or Skaftafell Visitor Centre. It is open all year long. They have different opening hours almost every month, apart from the summer months when the opening hours are 8-21. I add their website for opening hours. I visited them in November 2013 and then they were open until 16 o´...

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  • Landmannalaugar Voyage

    Landmannalaugar is the location of a tiny campsite in the land behind the Myrdalsjokull glacier. It is technically in the interior of Iceland (not on the escarpment itself along the remote Kjolur or Sprengisandur routes) which in turn makes it one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. To traverse it, one has to have inclination for dangerous...

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  • The lesser evil

    Skaftafelljokull has the easiest access point containing a nice “welcome” joint complete with a shop, cafeteria, exhibition hall and even a movie theater where the story of the area is being told through the most powerful media. Outside of this commercial haven one needs no intermediaries – the mountains and glaciers are in full view just a...

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  • Breathtaking scenery

    It is not immediately clear what the impression is that Jokulsarlon produces on the poor souls visiting it during lousy weather. For the lucky folk attending the spectacle at its prime with beautiful blue sky, it is mesmerizing. There is a feeling of being if not on another planet than at least at its opposite end – Antarctica. Just the lack of...

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  • Lagerfljótsormurinn (Lagarfljot worm)

    A little south of Egilsstadir is Lagarfljot. A glacial lake that is fed from Vatnajokull and flows out to the Arctic Ocean. Ever since Viking times a monster, the Lagerfljot worm, has been spotted. However, I was not lucky enough to spot it,,, despite my best attempts! Actually the worm has not been spotted since the 1980s... The Icelandics view...

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  • Reydarfjordur, Eastfjords & WWII

    During the war there were aprox 3000 soldiers stationed here in Reydarfjordur. The Americans convinced the locals to help them build some hospitals here. There were never used for this purpose. No Icelanders actually faught in the war but many fisherman did get killed bringing their ships with fish to the UK.There is a war museum here, surrounded...

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  • Eastfjords

    Oh the Eastfjords are beautiful. Vast stretches of crystal clear water thinning into fingers that stretch into the shoreline upon which pretty, little villages sit with their brightly coloured rooftops and square, wooden churches. Small harours of gayly painted boats and snowy capped mountains and cliffs. Shy reindeer coyly grazing where the snow...

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  • Hofn - Seamen's monument

    You can see the monument from the harbour and can drive up to it. I am sure in better weather the views from here are rather nice.

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  • the road to Hofn

    The road to Hofn, from Jokulsárlon there are some gems to look out for, including the abandoned building with Banksy-esque style graffiti on it. I was happily whizzing along at 90kpm when I saw it, slammed on breaks and broke sharp right to stop - that woke the family up!!!Some beautiful abandoned buildings are along this stretch of road.The...

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  • Hofn

    Hofn means harbour which is name that suits this town!Having left Kirkjubaejarklaustur that morning, Hofn made for the ideal place to bed-down for the night. It was a good place to restock too.I was not particularly taken with Hofn. The harbour area was ok but otherwise I thought it was a bit drab and sprawling. As I said, though, it did make a...

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  • Jokulsárlon

    Blue, turquoise, aquamarine, white, green, grey and black are the colours trapped in ice of Gargantuas size and splendour, sprawling across the glacial lake. Frozen sculptures rise from the freezing waters. It is surreal, beautiful and, despite its hype, will not fail to leave you gaping and gawping.The lake is 17 square km,600m deep and only a...

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  • Skaftafellsjokull

    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...

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  • memorial

    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...

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  • The Sandar

    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...

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  • Go see the Sel farmhouse

    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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  • Soak in the beauty of Lambhagi

    Lambhagi is a beautiful, peaceful haven that is surrounded by pine and aspen trees. The trees were planted, near the end of WWII, by past residents of the Bolti farm.

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  • Hike on Vatnajokull Glacier; largest...

    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...

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  • Hike to Svartifoss

    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...

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  • Go up the glacier

    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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  • Hundafoss and Þjófafoss waterfalls in...

    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...

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  • See the power of water vs. metal

    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...

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  • Take a hike to the svartifoss

    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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  • Svartifoss Waterfall...

    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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  • Svartifoss Waterfall...

    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,...

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  • Svartifoss Waterfall...

    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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  • Svartifoss Waterfall...

    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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  • Svartifoss Waterfall...

    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...

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  • Svartifoss Waterfall...

    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 !Finally, I reached Svartifoss Waterfall !I was proud of myself...

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Skaftafell What to Pack

  • hat53's Profile Photo

    by hat53 Written May 28, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: don't forget to bring a daypack f you go hiking.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Wind stopper
    Rain jacket and trousers
    Hiking shoes type B will do

    Photo Equipment: Fast film when cloudy. Visitor center sells film.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring you hiking poles, the can be handy. When it rains the trail can be muddy. With your poles it is easier to climb or descent.

    Miscellaneous: Don't overdress, wear layeres. Hiking can be very intens, if you dress to warm you wil get wet for sure ;-)

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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