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Things to do in Skaftafell

Things to do in  Skaftafell

Welcome to Skaftafell

At the southern tip of the mighty Vatnajökull glacier, the preservation area of Skaftafell lies within Vatnajökull National Park and showcases the diversity of Iceland’s landscapes—from birch forest and rugged mountains to black basalt columns and shimmering glaciers. A network of trails through forests, past waterfalls, and over black sands makes Skaftafell a playground for hikers and it’s the perfect base camp for those planning to climb Iceland‘s highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur. Another of the best things to do in Skaftafell is a glacier adventure, whether hiking or ice caving.

Top activities in Skaftafell

Small Group Glacier Wonders Adventure From Skaftafell
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Ice Cave Tour
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Ice Cave Tour

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Glacier Hike from Skaftafell - Extra Small Group
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Ultimate Sightseeing Flight from Skaftafell
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Sightseeing flight over black sands and riverbeds from Skaftafell Terminal
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All about Skaftafell

When to visit

Like most of Iceland, Skaftafell is most popular in the summer, when lots of extra daylight and a mild climate lets visitors fill their days with outdoor activities. That said, the reserve is a great place to visit all year round. In winter, if you don’t mind the cold and dark, you can enjoy the sight of blue-hued glaciers crawling toward the lowland.

Getting around

While it is technically possible to reach Skaftafell by taking a public bus from Reykjavík (via Selfoss and Vík), getting around the nature reserve and Vatnajökull National Park is easiest if you have your own vehicle. If you prefer not to drive, you can book a guided tour. Multiple operators offer hiking tours, glacier walks, and other adventures departing from either Skaftafell or Reykjavík.

Traveler tips

Surrounded by dark lava basalt columns, Svartifoss (which translates to black falls) is one of Iceland’s most striking waterfalls. However, far fewer people visit this sight than the popular Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss falls. To get to the waterfall, you’ll need to hike about 30 minutes each way; there are several trails to choose from, of varying levels of difficulty. This hike helps keep the crowds down but is well worth the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top activities in Skaftafell?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Skaftafell?
A:
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