Skaftafell National Park
The National Park at Skaftafell is a center of activity regarding glacier centered adventures. It is a kind of green belt between the vast sands of Skeiðarasandur and the vast ice plains of Europe’s largest Glacier – Vatnjökull.
The visitor’s center hosts a large campsite and is a meeting point for glacial tours. There is a cafe and souvenir shop. A comprehensive network of hiking trails culminate at the visitors center.
Camping is inexpensive and the season is between May and August. At Skaftafell there is a very thin layer of grass on the camp-site so don’t expect your tent pegs to slip into the ground, you will need a mallet and plenty of replacement pegs. Often times the camp-site is quite, but they can host huge groups for organisational events. There are facilities such as toilets and showers. In my experience, the showers have always been cold. Save yourself a bit of money and take a couple of big bottles filled via the hot tap outside and use these to have a nice warm shower.
Nearby is Svinafell which also hosts a campsite although much smaller, it is slightly more comfortable and less expensive.
From Skaftafell there leads a network of hiking trails. Some short ones lead up the hill to some beautiful waterfalls and extend further to viewpoints where the views across the glacier are incredible.
From the visitor’s center there are organised hiking tours that involve the glacier. Tours range from a simple walk on the glacier to a day-long hike up Hvanndalshnjúkur (Iceland’s tallest mountain). Other hiking trails include the long hikes to Mörsárdalur and surrounding areas.
Svartifoss waterfall is easy to find on a clearly marked hiking route. The route can very dangerous if it is icy. Please check hiking conditions to Svartifoss at the Skaftafell visitor’s centre before attempting to hike. The hiking conditions are written on a chalk board outside the Skaftafell visitor’s centre so you don’t even have to go in to check.
Photo tours that visit Skaftafell
Our guided, multi-day photo tours of South Iceland will give you incredible photo opportunities. The South coast is rich with, glacier ice, towering waterfalls and black sand beaches.
Prices from $2,291 USD
This multi-day tour will take you around the best of South & West Iceland in six days. Touring from North West to South East with many top photo locations.
Prices from $7,536USD
Iceland has a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes and this tour is designed to enhance that variety & capture Iceland’s full diversity in a week long tour around the country.
Prices from $8,847 USD
Behind the mountains
This picture was taken around 3.30 on a Summer morning. This was a private tour through the Southern Highlands of Iceland. The area for our adventure is known as the Fjallabak Nature Reserve and is a huge wilderness between the Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers and the Landmannalaugar hiking zone. In fact the whole area is a hiking zone and includes the world famous Laugarvegur trail which is a demanding trek through volcanic and glacier landscapes for 53km.
One of the keys to success when you are photographing the Northern Lights is the surrounding landscape or ‘Earthly’ features such as lighthouses or abandoned farm buildings. There is a little bit of luck involved, because the Northern lights have to be active in the right part of the sky.