Glacier Encounter

Local Guide


The Glacier Encounter tour is a short glacier hike on one of the stunning outlet glaciers of Vatnajökull




Thu 01.Apr'21 09:15


10.900 ISK

This glacier hike is perfect for people looking to have an introductory glacier tour in Iceland.

This tour will start with a short drive from our base to either Svinafellsjökull, which is a neighbouring glacier tongue descending from the vast Vatnajökull ice cap.

At the edge of the glacier you will learn to put on crampons and have a small briefing. With an ice axe in hand we will then embark on a 1 – 1 1/2 km guided excursion of glacier.

Your guide will be pointing out some of the fascinating features of the ice while on the hike and teaching you about some of the local geography and history.

The glacier surface and colour changes a lot depending on the time of year, but summer is the perfect time to get up on the ice and explore.

What to bring: hiking shoes with ankle support, outdoor clothes depending on weather at the time. (e.g. fleece and waterproof jacket)

Duration: Around 2 hours in total, 1 hour on the ice.

Age limit: 10 years old for our public tours 5+ for our private tours


We are located right under Vatnajökull Glacier.

785 Öræfi

Our Location only 5 minute drive east of Skaftafell national park.

The parking lot at the Freysnes Shell Gas station.
Hotel Skaftafell is just across the street.

It is also worth to note that we are located 4 hour drive east of Reykjavík.

Local guide is a small family run glacier guiding company that has been operating in South East Iceland since 1991. The company was founded by my grandfather Sigðurður Bjarnason but since 2015 myself and my partner Helen Maria have taken over a part of the company.

We are proud to maintain the excellent reputation of Local Guide and we pride ourselves on hiring local guides with an excellent knowledge of the area and the island as a whole and offering small group tours to enhance your experience.

Whilst the company was established in 1991, we are three generations of glacier guides and up to five generations of explorers in the area, one of the first men to climb the highest summit in Iceland Hvannadalshnúkur, on the 17th of August 1891 was my great grandfather Páll Jónsson.

In the summer months we offer hiking on the glacier with half day hikes, family tours and full day advanced tours for those with experience who want an adventure on the ice.

During the winter months from October to March we offer ice caving tours.

Me and my father were the first people to offer regular ice cave tours in Iceland
and we are continuing to offer this service, we strive to find the best available caves to offer the best experience possible for our guests.

As a small company we love the flexibility this gives us to be able offer private tours and to
work on exciting projects for photography, film and print, we are always open to new
possibilities so would welcome your enquiry.

We hope that you will enjoy your tour with local guide and we look forward to meeting you.


Local Guide

Tel: +354 894 1317

Email: [email protected]

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My husband and I booked the Glacier Encounter short glacier hike and were very glad we went with the tour. It was raining while on the way to the meeting location, so we were worried that it could be cancelled. However, friendly Helen, who greeted us when we checked in, reassured us that the weather up at the glacier was really good and not rainy. And she was so right! We were glad that it was such an excellent weather for the hike. It happened to be a small group of 4 of us, so it was a really nice and cosy tour. Valdi, our guide, was really patient in answering the many questions we had and was also very attentive, making sure we could all keep up with him and that we were safe. As someone who comes from a tropical country (Singapore), I have zero experience with “snow” or hiking in general. Despite my low fitness level, difficulty with hiking on ice and was a little slower, Valdi was really patient and held my hand while climbing down or up some slopes. He was also very knowledgeable and excellent in explaining about the glaciers and we really learnt a great deal from him.
No regrets joining this hike at all! Great memories!

Ong MSuper good tour in a small group! Must do!
Visit Vatnajökull
Visit Vatnajökull