Tucked in amongst Vatnäkojull, the second largest natural park in Iceland, you will find Skaftafell. This small town on the side of Road 1, the main highway in Iceland, holds many treasures of different landscapes. Breaking ice, falling water and centuries of volcanic activity make this truly the land of fire and ice. Each day is spent with abundant activities from glacier hiking, skidoo, and natural trails leading to a basalt column waterfall. While adventuring you can ask around for many sites where they filmed Game of Thrones, including the infamous “wall” which is actually a glacial wall connected by a lagoon. However, this place has seen far worse ravages than Games of Thrones, in the 1300’s a volcanic eruption from Öræfajökull decimated the small farm town and was known as a wasteland for centuries following, another eruption hit in the 1700’s. Öræfajökull is the largest volcano in Iceland and earthquake tremors have been felt in 2017 and 2018. In addition, while going on a glacial hike, our guide from Arctic Adventures pointed out the erosion lines from the 1920’s to present day, and the exponential rate at which climate change is affecting the planet is shown plain as day. This stop on our road trip was one of the most incredible places I have seen in my entire life, but soon it could be all but a memory. Walking on thin ice, is an understatement.
DO. IT ALL BUT CONTACT THOR FIRST
Artic Adventures, the ultimate tour company in Iceland they can arrange your entire itinerary or your daily adventures in each town. Thor is in charge of private experiences, they offer group tours as well but screw that..
Svartifoss, 8, Iceland impeccable waterfall made with elegant basalt columns created from nature but look like something out of a crazy science fiction novel, my video explains the natural phenomenon
Svínafellsjökull Glacier, Iceland
Vatnajokull National Park, Klapparstígur 25-27, Iceland 14,000 sq km park with camping grounds and vaste ranges in climate and nature, was our main attraction for all the different elements you see here
Diamond Beach, Diamond Head Dr, Merritt Island, Iceland could potentially be my favorite place in Iceland, I have never in my life seen such contrasted color and beauty. Most definitely where an ice queen would sun bathe
Fjallsárlón, the quieter of the two glacial lakes. We arrived here at 8am with not a soul in sight, it was heaven, just five minutes down the road you will find Jokusarlon, which has that disneyland feeling. Regardless, both are quite the site to see, and once you see the blue of the small icebergs you can see how the whitewalkers get their color eyes.
Jökulsárlón, the main attraction when it comes to glacial lakes, but boy is it worth it. Glacial structures and colors I have never seen, could inspire anyone. It has a haunting stillness and reflection that you respect and lean into.
Skidoo with Glacier Journey , we did not do this in the end but emailed and spoke with the lovely Arna, you can also book on their site super easy! firstname.lastname@example.org
The Glacial Hike with Artic Adventures
STAY. SIMPLE BUT WARM
Hótel Skaftafell, Skaftafelli 2 Freysnesi, 785 Öræfi, Iceland
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon, Hnappavellir, 785 Öræfi, Iceland
EAT. FULL SERVICE
You can either eat at the two hotels listed above if you are staying there, but the menu is limited and very expensive. Instead, you can also go to this Shell Freysnesi and buy artisanal snacks like this lava cheaps! They also have burgers, local arctic char, fresh cheese, fruit and excellent yogurt. Stash some for the snacks on the road next day!
Last stop before heading to the next town was this little beach I explored.. be careful not to get too close to the tide as they have phantom swells which release and can suck you into the water. I was careful and it was beautiful.