There was an error with your log in

The Land of Fire and Ice is calling and we’re answering with a resounding YES! Say goodbye to civilization and say hello to epic adventures. We’re headed to some of the wildest spots of Iceland in what used to be Skaftafell National Park. It is now part of the massive Vatnajokull National Park, home to Europe’s largest glacier and a multitude of outlet glaciers—one of which we’ll traverse! We’ll also uncover the rainbow of colors in the Skaftafell mountains and wander through an ancient birch forest, one of Iceland’s oldest. And when it’s time to rest our heads it’s going to be at camping spots so incredibly beautiful, you’ll have to pinch yourself. Take this as a sign to pack your bags and go backpacking in one of the most surreal places on Earth. Ready to turn your adventure dreams into reality?

Book a call
  • Cross a glacier

    Nothing beats the feeling of navigating a magnificent icy expanse—one of the highlights of this tour

  • Unparalleled camping spots

    Pitching your tent above a glacier or beneath a summit is just what you needed!

  • Icelandic wilderness

    Learn what it’s like to be fully immersed in otherworldly Icelandic wilderness, far from civilization

Itinerary

Join your guide on an unforgettable 4-day Icelandic glacier hiking and backpacking tour, starting from Skaftafell. You’ll traverse Europe's largest outlet glacier, Skeiðarárjökull, and hike through the captivating Skaftafell mountain range. On the last day, you will also hike in an ancient birch forest. With all meals, camping gear, and technical equipment included, this immersive adventure promises breathtaking vistas and thrilling experiences at every turn. Say yes to adventure and explore the raw beauty of Iceland's surreal landscapes!

  • Your journey commences from your guide’s base in Skaftafell, a picturesque 4.5-hour drive from Reykjavik. After a captivating 30-minute ride along the highway, the real adventure begins as you veer off-road for another 30 minutes, arriving at the starting point of your 4-day trek. The excitement mounts as your group embarks on a trail alongside a captivating meandering river, guiding you towards a cliff that beckons to be climbed. Fear not, for this scramble is pretty easy with the aid of helmets, harnesses, and ropes, ensuring your safety as you ascend to the summit. The reward? Panoramic vistas that will leave you breathless. Continuing your journey through the awe-inspiring Nupstaðaskogar valley, you’ll ascend to the mesmerizing plateau above Skeiðarárjökull, where your group will put up a camp for the night. From this vantage point, marvel at the awe-inspiring spectacle of millions of tonnes of glacial ice sprawled before you, a testament to the raw power and beauty of nature.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

    Camping spot above an outlet glacier in the Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland, during sunset.
  • After breakfast and breaking down your camp, prepare to cross the mighty Skeiðarárjökull, one of Iceland’s largest outlet glaciers. As you navigate through its vast expanse, your group will encounter impressive crevasses and witness the mesmerizing sight of water pouring into moulins—deep holes that cut through this sleeping giant. Though the hike may be challenging, the reward is incomparable. And to make things better, after the hike, you will reach what is arguably Iceland’s finest camping spot. This extraordinary location provides an unforgettable setting for a dinner and a night immersed in nature’s grandeur.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

    Hikers crossing the Skeiðarárjökull glacier in the Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland.
  • After another hearty breakfast, it’s time to start hiking! Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, Day 3 takes your group on an ascent through the captivating Skaftafell range. Surrounded by a stunning rainbow of colors created by the mountains’ rhyolite rocks, you will traverse knife-edge ridges with calving glaciers far below. The pinnacle of this day’s journey is the summit of the highest mountain in the area, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. You will have the opportunity to camp a few hundred meters below the summit, nestled in a cozy little area next to a charming waterfall, enhancing the sense of tranquility and natural beauty. Enjoy the dinner and savor every moment of the evening, as it is the last of this adventure.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

    Hiker in the Skaftafell Mountains, famous for their multi-colored rhyolite rock formations.
  • After the regular morning activities, you will embark on a descent into one of Iceland’s oldest birch forests, immersing yourselves in the enchanting atmosphere of this ancient woodland. As your group makes its way down, the pace becomes more relaxed, allowing you to fully appreciate the serene surroundings. Finally, reach the outskirts of Skaftafell, bidding farewell to this incredible journey and leaving with memories to last a lifetime.

    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Hikers enjoying a natural geothermal hot spring in the Icelandic wilderness.
Get free trip brochure
Download Explore Wild Iceland: Backpacking & Glacier Hiking Tour Brochure
The brochure contains:
Adventure and location overview, itinerary, available dates, what's included, how to prepare, and much more.
Brochure sent, check your inbox
Talk with us and let one of our adventure experts help you plan your perfect adventure.

Meet your guides

Dan Saulite
5.00
Dan Saulite
A native of Scotland, Dan Saulite cultivated his passion for the outdoors from an early age. In order to hone his skills, Dan went on a journey to Patagonia in 2011, where he underwent rigorous training as a mountain guide over two years. Since then, he has guided adventurers from New Zealand to Nepal. In 2018, drawing upon his wealth of experience, Dan founded Pict Expeditions. With the highest Icelandic guiding qualifications, Dan specializes in mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing, and glacier guiding. He loves sharing tales daring adventures around the campfire—perhaps even treating travelers to a fireside sing-along with his guitar.
Svanhvít Helga Jóhannsdóttir
5.00
Svanhvít Helga Jóhannsdóttir
Svanhvít Helga Jóhannsdóttir
Born and raised in Iceland, Svanhví boasts unparalleled expertise in the southeastern region of the country. With her intimate knowledge of the area, she guarantees the ultimate experience for adventurers seeking the best of the region. Holding Iceland's highest guiding qualification, Svanhvít excels in guiding and instructing in alpine, ski, rock climbing, and glacier disciplines. As an active member of the local search and rescue team and the Icelandic Mountain Guides association, she is dedicated to ensuring safety in outdoor pursuits.
Mike Walker
5.00
Mike Walker
Wilderness First Responder, AMGA single pitch instructor, CAA level 1 avalanche technician
Wilderness First Responder, AMGA single pitch instructor, CAA level 1 avalanche technician
Mike's journey from the Pacific Northwest's Cascade mountains to global guiding has been nothing short of extraordinary. With experience spanning four continents and over half a dozen countries, Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to his craft. Since settling in Iceland in 2014, he's embraced outdoor pursuits, from rock climbing to skiing. Certified as a Wilderness First Responder, AMGA single pitch instructor, and CAA level 1 avalanche technician, Mike's expertise ensures safety in every adventure. As a fully certified hard ice and alpine trekking guide, he's dedicated to sharing Iceland's wonders with others.
Arnaud de Leveleye
5.00
Arnaud de Leveleye
Hailing from Belgium, Arnaud's journey from air traffic controller to certified mountain guide is a testament to his passion for the outdoors. After exploring the highest peaks of the Americas via bicycle, he found his home in Iceland, becoming certified through the Association of Icelandic Mountain Guides. With mountaineering experience spanning the globe, from Denali to Kilimanjaro, Arnaud is a specialist in Patagonia, Iceland, and Greenland. Known for his infectious enthusiasm, Arnaud ensures memorable adventures filled with good food and laughter.
Bjartur Tyr
5.00
Bjartur Tyr
Bjartur's roots in the rugged landscape of the Icelandic island of Heimaey fostered a lifelong passion for exploration. From scaling sea cliffs in search of birds to climbing Mont Blanc at 18, his journey as a mountain guide began early. Now, Bjartur shares his expertise as a glacier guide in Iceland, instructing hard ice and alpine trekking courses for the Association of Icelandic Mountain Guides. With over 100 frozen waterfall ascents and numerous first ascents under his belt, Bjartur's adventurous spirit knows no bounds. Currently aspiring to become an IFMGA guide, he thrives as a heli-ski guide in spring and an alpine guide in the Alps, perpetuating his love for the mountains year-round.
Pict Expeditions
5.00
Pict Expeditions
Founded in 2018, Pict Expeditions is a tightly-knit family of guides that provides adventures that are safe, memorable, and tailored to individual preferences. With professionalism, charisma, and expertise, the team goes above and beyond to entertain, motivate, and impress while prioritizing safety. Rigorously trained in risk management and emergency procedures, their guides' allows adventurers to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Whether seasoned or new to exploration, clients are supported and encouraged every step of the way, ensuring an unforgettable journeys.
5.00 (3 reviews)
Awesome trek with wonderful guide
Jim K (source: Tripadvisor)

My wife and I did the Núpsstaðaskógar trek in Iceland with Dan in July 2022. Between amazing hiking and scenery and Dan’s wonderful guiding, it was a perfect trip. The route, selected by Dan, passes through spectacular, varied and diverse terrain. Broad green valleys with streams and impressive waterfalls. High desolate plateaus and ridges with big views of glaciers, peaks and the Vatanjokull ice cap. Full day glacier crossing. Fabulous campsites. Were completely alone for the whole trip. Dan is a fantastic guide. Fun to hang out with, good stories and conversation, high level of technical skills, patient and supportive and attentive, well organized. I can unreservedly recommend this trip and Dan – one of the highlights of our trip to Iceland.

Unreal views and great guiding
LonesomeDove123 (source: Tripadvisor)

I did a guided trip in Iceland with Dan and it was a fantastic experience! We were hiking over some pretty slippery terrain near Skeiðarárjökull glacier. The conditions were tough at times but Dan made sure everyone felt safe. He was very attentive during the hike especially when crossing the more challenging areas. I would definitely recommend Dan as a guide. He is really good at assessing when to push you a little beyond your comfort zone and when you need a hand. Thanks for the awesome trip Dan!

M2M Iceland
Hannah B (source: Tripadvisor)

The most supportive, helpful and confidence giving experience with these two in Iceland. They made the whole trip so memorable with their knowledge and were part of our team from day one, not just our guides. Thank you

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 4 days of trekking and glacier hiking in Iceland’s Highlands
      • Transport to the start of the hike from the base and back
      • All meals during the adventure
      • Tents, stove, and fuel
      • All technical glacier travel gear
      • All scrambling/climbing gear

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to the meeting point
      • Accommodation before and after the tour—if applicable
      • Some personal backpacking equipment (backpack, sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner)
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To participate in this backpacking and glacier hiking adventure in Iceland, a reasonable level of fitness and solid hiking experience are required. You should be capable of carrying a backpack weighing between 20-30 lbs (10 to 15 kg) and hiking for approximately 6 to 8 hours per day, often in rugged and sometimes in exposed terrain. While speed is not crucial (it’s not a rush!), maintaining a steady pace with regular breaks is essential. It’s recommended to prepare by going on hikes of similar duration in hilly terrain, while carrying a weighted backpack to build endurance. Additionally, engaging in general exercise will contribute to your overall fitness level.

    While prior experience with glacier hiking and scrambling and the use of glacier travel and scrambling/climbing gear is not necessary, having an adventurous spirit and a willingness to learn are key. You’ll have the guidance and support of an experienced guide throughout the journey, who will teach you new skills and ensure your safety and enjoyment. So, while a good level of mountain fitness is essential, enthusiasm and a readiness to embrace new challenges are equally important aspects of participation.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Backpack (+50L)
      • Sleeping bag liner and pillow case
      • Hiking boots with good ankle support
      • Walking poles
      • Water bottles (2L capacity in total)
      • Hiking jacket (Gore-Tex or similar)
      • Hiking pants (Gore-Tex or similar)
      • Wool or synthetic base-layer top (2 pieces)
      • Mid layer or fleece
      • Warm down jacket
      • Thick hiking socks (2 pairs)
      • Underwear
      • Gloves
      • Warm Hat and buff
      • Head lamp (not needed in June and July)
      • Sunglasses
      • Personal hygiene kit (sunscreen, lip balm, hand disinfectant, insect repellant, bite cream etc.)
      • Blister kit (blister plasters or tape)
      • Personal medication (Inhalers, insulin, painkillers etc)
      • Pair of crocs or light trainers (optional) for walking around camp and river crossing
      • Mobile phone/camera
      • Towel (optional)

    Bring comfortable clothes appropriate for the season. We suggest checking the weather forecast and being prepared for different conditions—weather is pretty volatile in Iceland even in the summer and especially at higher elevations. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • The food provided during the backpacking and glacier hiking adventure in Iceland is carefully selected to ensure both sustenance and enjoyment throughout the journey.

    For breakfast, Real Turmat or similar field meals are provided, typically consisting of muesli or porridge. However, if you have dietary preferences or restrictions, your guide can accommodate alternative options upon request.

    Lunch starts immediately following breakfast and continues until dinner! Each day, a savory and a sweet trail mix are provided, containing nuts, dried berries, dried mango, jerky, Polish-style snack sausages, gummies, and chili rice crackers. Additionally, there are tortilla wraps with various fillings such as cheddar, hummus, and pesto, which you can prepare the evening before.

    Dinner consists of quality dried meals, usually Real Turmat freeze-dried field meals (700 kcal) or similar options. To begin, a cup of soup is served for rehydration and comfort, along with crackers and cheese. Dessert options vary but are always enjoyed after dinner.

    Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free preferences can be accommodated. Simply inform your guide in advance by leaving a note during booking, and they will ensure suitable meal options are provided for you.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this group adventure, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 10:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 4 people for this tour to operate.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Trekking and a glacier hike in Iceland’s Highlands can be arranged for private groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors 14 or older may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Reykjavik, the starting point of the tour, most people fly into Keflavik International Airport. From there, we suggest taking a 40-minute bus ride to the city. There is a line connecting the airport and the city after each arrival. Participants are recommended to arrive in the city one day before the tour, especially if flying from afar.

    You will meet your guide at the visitor carpark in Skaftafell in the morning of Day 1. To get here, you can either rent a car or take a connecting bus from Reykjavik.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the trails, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in the Highlands, Iceland, please refer to Iceland’s foreign travel advice.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Iceland, the “Land of Fire and Ice,” has forever lived with volcanic activity. Minor and major eruptions have occurred every few years since the island was formed. Some of Iceland’s appeal, aside from sheer natural beauty, surely stems from this very fact.

    However, every new eruption, such as the recent Reykjanes Peninsula fissure, will make some travelers, tourists, and adventurers uneasy, especially given the fact that sensationalist media is not immune to misinformation and speculation.

    Since we work with a number of expert local guides in Iceland, we thought we’d share their input and fill you in on what’s actually going on.

    First of all, air traffic has not been affected. Flights to and from Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík Domestic Airport are operating as they always do.

    Second, the effects of volcanic activity have been localized, with some roads closed, and all services in Iceland are operating as usual. Reykjavik, the capital, is around 40 km (25 miles) away from the volcanic fissure, and life there is as normal as ever.

    And third, trips offered by 57hours are taking place much further away, and are thereby even less likely to be affected by the volcanic activity, being perfectly safe for adventurers.

    Naturally, the authorities (and guides) are monitoring the situation and doing everything possible to keep both local residents and visitors safe and well informed.

    In case you have any additional questions or dilemmas, feel free to get in touch with either your guide or 57hours. For more information, please visit:
    https://safetravel.is/
    https://www.visiticeland.com/article/volcano-info

    Or watch the video with Dr. Matthew Roberts from the Icelandic Meteorological Office explaining the recent volcanic activities in Iceland:
    https://youtu.be/QA3-BXYuYrw?feature=shared

  • Secure your place by paying the full tour upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to 2 weeks (14 days) in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to an 80% refund.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
Have more questions? Read our FAQ, or Talk with us
From $1,590 ()
/ 4 days
Saved to bucket list
Removed from bucket list

Choose a currency

  • USD - $
    US Dollar
  • EUR - €
    Euro
  • AUD - AU$
    Australian Dollar
  • CAD - CA$
    Canadian Dollar
  • GBP - £
    British Pound Sterling
  • CHF - CHF
    Swiss Franc
  • JPY - ¥
    Japanese Yen
  • SGD - S$
    Singapore Dollar
  • HKD - HK$
    Hong Kong Dollar
  • DKK - Dkr
    Danish Krone
  • NOK - Nkr
    Norwegian Krone
  • SEK - Skr
    Swedish Krona