Iceland is a place that is full of adventures. One of the most exciting things we did when we were in Iceland was go on a glacier hike with Arctic Adventures.
With the limited time that we had in Iceland, we wanted to see the South Coast as well as do the glacier hike in a day. We decided to go with the Glacier Hiking, Volcanoes & Waterfalls tour from Reykjavik.
This tour is classed as the ‘easy’ level and it is available all year round. Pick up from hotel is available and the tour lasts around 11-12 hours.
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall
- Skogafoss waterfall
- Reynisfjara black sand beach
- Solheimajokull glacier
Hotel Pick Up
We were picked up at 8am directly from our hotel by a small van. The van was equipped with really comfy and spacious seats.
Our first stop of the day was at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The unique thing about this waterfall is that you can walk to the small cave and admire the waterfall from behind. (If you don’t mind getting wet!)
It was a bit of a struggle for us to get behind the waterfall as the ground was completely frozen over and we had to ice skate our way around. But we did eventually make it to the back of the waterfall and what a cool place to experience the full force of nature!
If you are bringing a camera, it will get wet… Both our cameras got very wet and the lenses fogged up so we recommend putting your expensive camera away or getting a waterproof camera.
Our second stop of the day was at Skógafoss waterfall situated on the Skógá River. Beside the 60-meter high waterfall are a set of stairs, 527 steps to be precise. You can walk up the stairs and look at the waterfall from a bird’s eye view!
We didn’t go up to the top as we didn’t want to rush our experience. We spent most of our time taking photos at the foot of the waterfall. We even spotted a rainbow!
Do be careful and tread carefully because the rocks are extremely slippery!
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
After all the waterfalls, it was time for lunch. Our lunch spot couldn’t have been more amazing! We were given plenty of time to stroll along the black sand beach and to climb some basalt columns.
Legend has it that the basalt stacks that rise from the sea are actually trolls that turned into rocks by the sun!
We were warned to never turn our back to the sea because the waves there can suddenly sweep unexpected people away!
We had such a lovely relaxing stop at the black sand beach where we ate our lunch and took a bunch of photos before heading back to the van. There is a restaurant as well as toilet facilities (free for customers, small fee for non-customers).
After lunch, we finally arrive at the main event of the day. We arrived at the Solheimajokull glacier where we boarded a stationary yellow school bus. Inside the bus is where we got our feet measured and collected our equipment for the glacier hike. Make sure you leave anything you don’t want to carry on the hike in the van before collecting your equipment.
We were given a helmet, harness, an ice pick and crampons. You do the hike in a small group (under 10 people) and an instructor is there at all times. They went through how to use the equipment and some safety aspect of the hike before we approached the glacier.
There is a 10 minute walk (slightly uphill) from the start to the actual glacier.
We were so amazed to see the glacier up close for the first time. Our guide spoke to us about the formation of the glacier and we made frequent stops at places where there are unusual ice formations. Due to safety, it is not recommended to stop and take photos during the hike. However, the tour does allow certain stop points where you are able to take some photos. Graham wore a GoPro on his helmet to capture this experience.
The hike itself was pretty easy as long as you follow the instructions given to you and you stick with the group. Going downhill can be a bit more difficult if you are afraid of falling (like me!).
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour as it was something we couldn’t have done by ourselves. This was a once in a life time experience and I don’t think we will get that many opportunities in the future to hike on a glacier!
What we loved about this tour is that we also got to do part of the South Coast tour without having a sacrifice another day.
The hike itself was phenomenal and we had so much fun. We felt very safe and well looked after by the experienced guide.
Artic Adventures sure know how to show off the best of Iceland!
- Bring snacks to eat of the van (but no hot items). We also purchased some sandwiches beforehand and had a little picnic at the black sand beach
- Wear appropriate clothing- make sure you wear something waterproof as you can get quite wet by the waterfalls. Waterproof coats and waterproof trousers are recommended.
- Bring a hat and gloves for the hike- the helmets are big enough to fit over woolly hats so make sure you wear one to keep your ears warm. Gloves are very useful as you will need your hands a lot to manoeuvre around the glacier.
- Wear appropriate hiking boots- although crampons are provided, you will need proper footwear for the glacier hike.
If you do not possess the appropriate clothing, they are available to hire.
Thanks Arctic Adventures for making our trip to Iceland even more unforgettable!
Make sure you check out all the other exciting tours offered by Arctic Adventures!
** Disclaimer: This was a complementary tour, courtesy of Arctic Adventures. However, all opinions and photos are our own.**