Skaftafell in Vatnajokull National Park
Skaftafell is located in the South East of Iceland, it is a protected area that belongs to the Vatnajökull National Park. It's about 4 hours from Reykjavik and is easily accessed by driving from Road 1 by following the signs for Skaftafell and arriving at the Visitor Center. Skaftafell is the ideal destination for nature lovers and hikers who want to surround themselves with mountains, glaciers, and impressive landscapes.
Hiking in Skaftafell
In the Visitor Center you can find plenty of information about hiking trails in the area, but here we describe the most popular ones, there are for all audiences, short or long, easy or challenging, surely one of them fits you:
Svartifoss waterfall with a backdrop of black basalt columns, and 20 meters high is a very popular visit in Skaftafell. The hike is easy, about 45 minutes (one way), and starts from the Visitor Centre.
Skaftafellsjökull, the trail starts next to the Visitor Centre and ends in proximity of Skaftafellsjökull glacier, there you will have good views of this scenic glacier. Is an easy and well indicated hike with a duration of approximate 1h- 1,5h.
Adventure in Skaftafell, which one is for you?
When you visit Skaftafell you are filled with the energy of its nature and want to experience it to the fullest. The most profitable and safe way is to do it with the help of local experts who know the area, the weather and know how to make the most of their knowledge to enrich your experience. In the area, the most popular activities par excellence is the glacier hike, ice climbing, ice cave, and the increasingly popular kayaking. Get to know the selection of the best tours in the area and choose your adventure.
Near Skaftafell you will find the glacial lakes Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón, they are one of the most spectacular and scenic places to visit in Iceland. They are formed due to the melting of the glaciers behind and become lakes with floating icebergs creating an incredible landscape. Due to how close the lake is to the ocean it is filled with fish and sometimes you can see seals swimming in the lake or relaxing on top of the icebergs. In addition, on the beach, pieces of icebergs accumulate in the black sand creating a very photogenic contrast, it is known as Diamond Beach. During the summer you can take boat tours on the lakes and sail among the icebergs! Don't miss out on this once in a lifetime experience.
Camping in Skaftafell
The Skaftafell campsite is open all year round, upon arrival you must register at reception at the Visitor Center. If you arrive after opening hours, you can pay the following morning.
The opening hours:
January - May: 10-16
June - August: 8-19
November - December: 9-17
Reservations cannot be made (for groups only), but there is space for about 400 tents. There is an area reserved for campers with access to electricity.
The campsite offers several services, such as showers, washing machine and dryer, and sinks for dish washing.
The showers are operated by Service Cards that can be purchased in an automat in the Visitor Centre (accessible 24 hrs), a credit or debit card with a PIN-number is needed.
Please note that there are no indoor dining or cooking facilities.