Nature, Tips

Skaftafell

Skaftafell in Öræfi county was one of Iceland´s most isolated areas until the early 70´s when the last glacier river at the vast sands of Skeiðarársandur was bridged to complete the Ring Road of Iceland.

It is known as one of Iceland’s most beautiful places with its magnificent contrasts of white glaciers, black sands and green meadows. The area of Skaftafell is one of the most eminent jewels in Vatnajökull National Park; providing an array of hiking trails, a perfect place to witness the range of contrast and natural wonders that the national park boasts.Skaftafell is a must-see for all visitors of the Vatnajökull Region.

Additionally, Skaftafell has a good visitor center where visitors can access practical information about activities and accommodation in the area. The Skaftafell Visitor Centre provides all the necessary information about Vatnajökull National Park and its neighborhood, hiking routes, nature, history, services and activities. Also in Skaftafell Visitor Centre is an exhibition about the glaciers and volcanoes in the area and the effects they had on the local settlement

Short and easy trail leads to waterfall Svartifoss. Svartifoss is one of the unique waterfalls in South-Iceland. It is situated in Skaftafell, which belongs to Vatnajökull National Park. Svartifoss is a 20 meters (80ft) high. It is bordered on both sides by tall black basalt columns, which gave rise to its name. The hike to Svartifoss starts at the Visitor Centre in Skaftafell. There you can also find all sorts of information and advice about the area. The hike is about 1.5 km or 45 minutes (one way).

For those who want to reach further out, the Morsárdalur valley and Kristínartindar mountain peaks are perfect in terms of distance. On this webpage you can find more detailed information about hikes and other hiking destinations.

Skaftafell is as popular in winter as it is in the summer. Visiting in winter is much different from the summer. The biggest change is probably the outlet glaciers that crawl down to the lowland. Their appearance changes completely from white to blue, creating a stark contrast from what you see in the summertime.

Private companies offer guided glacier walk and other activities within the national park. Find out which tours go from Skaftafell here:

Visit Vatnajökull
Visit Vatnajökull