Vatnajokull glacier is the largest glacier in Iceland and second largest glacier in Europe. It was formed 2,500 years ago and covers an area of about 8,100 square kilometers and has a thickness of about
1,000 m at the highest point. The average thickness is 400 to 500 m. It covers 8% of the Iceland’s landmass.


Vatnajokull National Park was established in the year 2008 which includes Skaftafell in the south and Jokulsargljufur in the north. It was declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2019. There are many active volcanoes and the melt waters are fed to numerous rivers in Iceland. This national park has a captivating variety of landscape features such as, breathtaking waterfalls, stunning natural marvels, huge glacial rivers, beautiful canyons and glacier lagoons.

Vatnajokull National Park is a paradise for outdoor adventurous activities. This is the perfect destination in Iceland for ice climbing, glacier hiking, cave exploring and many more thrilled activities. Below mentioned are the best outdoor activities to do in Vatnajokull National Park.

Go For Glacier Hiking

Glacier hiking is the best way to explore Vatnajokull. There are about 30 outlet glaciers which offer glacier hiking in Vatnajokull, out of which Falljokull is the best hiking place. Through hiking, you can explore the beautiful landscape and learn about the history and geology of the area. For safety hiking, it is always recommended to accompany with the experienced guide. Hikers are provided with necessary hiking gear such as, ice axes, helmets and crampons. Never miss this exciting vatnajökull glacier hiking during your Iceland trip.

If you are craving for a glacier hike try, Eyjafjallajokull Glacier. Here you can trek across a volcano completely covered by an ice cap.

Take a Boat Ride at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is the most attractive place in the vatnajökull national park. The zodiac boat tour through the glacier ice bergs is the stunning experience. The glacial water is crystal clear and deep blue in colour. Riding the zodiac boat, the inflatable rubber boat, gives you the most enthralling journey in this glacier lagoon. You can witness Seals, Seagulls, Arctic Terns and Great Skuas during the boat ride.

After completing the boat ride, visit the Diamond Beach, which is located at the edge of the lagoon. It is the black sand beach, which glitters with ice bergs and crystals. This picturesque view of the beach is one of the best photogenic places on earth. Take beautiful pictures at this beach and enjoy watching the lagoon at the beachside.

Visit Majestic Ice Caves

Ice caves are one of the best things to visit in Vatnajokull during winter. New ice caves are formed every year by the cooling glaciers. This is the natural phenomenon which can be witnessed in the Iceland only during winter. Inside the cave, there is a colourful wide spectrum of bright and dark blue lights.

Ice caves must always be explored with the guide for safety measures. The expert guide takes you deep down to the ice caves. This will be your most exciting journey in Vatnajökull national park.

Go For Ice Climbing

Ice climbing in Vatnajokull is the paradise for adventurers. Solheimajokull, which is an outlet glacier at Vatnajokull, has smooth ice walls and is the perfect destination for ice climbing. Many tours in Iceland organize ice climbing for adventurers. They provide you the guide and all the necessary safety equipment for ice climbing. You will have the marvelous experience when you reach the top of the ice.   

Shop these necessary hiking gear below

Ride the Super Jeep

Super jeep ride in Vatnajokull is one of the thrilling experience. There are many super jeep tours, which takes you to the stunning peaks, breathtaking views and active volcano sites. The jeeps go on both on road and off road and gives you the most exciting journey. They even stop for short hikes at hiking places. It is always suggested to wear hiking boots when you go for a super jeep ride.

Go For Snowmobiling

To get an adrenaline rush, book for snowmobiling. It is the most exciting experience to drive through the glaciers. Adventurers get thrilled with this ride on the uneven and slippery surfaces. Overall, you will have a jaw dropping experience in snowmobiling at Vatnajokull.

Many tours in Iceland offer you to explore Vatnajokull and provide you the expert guide for complete thrilling experience with all the outdoor activities. Some of the tours are mentioned below.

Vatnajokull National Park Tours by viator

Try Vatnajokull Glacier: Ice Caving  and Glacier Hiking by GetYourGuide

Glacier tours on Vatnajokull glacier from arctic adventures

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Image credit: Photo by Aayush Gupta on Unsplash

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