• Trip duration
    5 days
  • Trip level
  • Max people per guide
    12 people
  • Mountain range
  • Best period
    Jul, Aug


I consider the Vatnajökull 5-day backpacking and hiking tour as one of my great classic treks. The hike offers some of Iceland’s most unique landscapes on a trail not frequented by many. 

The trail takes us on a remarkable journey along the canyons of Núpsá river, and up to the Grænalón glacier lagoon quietly nestled between mountains and glacier. Crossing the Skeiðarárjökull glacier is a challenge rewarded by a visit to the Norðurdalur valley which some consider to be one of the most unique places ever.

On the last day the path takes us across the beautiful Skaftafell Mountains, over to Morsárdalur glacier valley and into Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park.

The total walking distance is 60 kilometers (38 miles). We will have an average of daily altitude gain of 450-800 meters (1475 to 2625 feet). The maximum ascent is one day will be 450 meters (1475 feet).

We will be sleeping in tents on breathtaking spots along our 5-day itinerary.

I particularly enjoy this hiking tour in the Vatnajökull Park because of the following elements:

  • Remarkable canyons and waterfalls
  •  An unforgettable day of glacier crossing
  • A night in a unique area above the glacier

The price is 119.000 ISK per person and it includes the following :

  • Guide fee
  • The food for 5 days
  • Transportation
  • Tents
  • Cooking gear

If you plan to come to Iceland and want to leave for a several-day hiking tour off the beaten tracks in the area of Vatnajökull, then you should get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to guide you there and let you discover the secrets spots of the south east part of Iceland. 

You’ll find here below the detailed / day by day itinerary.

Day 1

Meeting point is at the Harpa Concert Hall located in the  city center of Reykjavík. The address is Austurbakki 2 at 6:45am From there we take the Sterna bus number 12 at 7:30am. At the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur you will have time for lunch (not included) before we start our drive into Núpsstaðarskógar valley.There we change into the transport that will take us over the rivers and into the valley with its rich covering of Arctic birch.

Day 2

We start our hike from the valley bottom. After a short climb we come to the magnificent waterfalls of Tvílitihylur, we head up along the neatly sculpted canyons of the lower part of Núpsá river. A short climb leads us up to the deeper part of the canyons with walls up to 200 m high. Camping is on the Sléttur lava plains.

  • Distance: 15-20km (9-12mi)
  • Walking time: 6-7hrs

Day 3

Crossing plains pink with Arctic River Beauty flowers we start to climb the hills towards Grænalón glacier lagoon. After ascending the Eggjar hills, the view opens over the lagoon where it lies between the mountains with floating icebergs. Our campsite is north of the lake, with a spectacular view over the enormous glacier tongue of Skeiðarárjökull, streaming down towards the plains and covering almost 1600 km².

  • Distance: 18-22km (11-14mi)
  • Walking time: 6-7hrs

Day 4

This day is devoted to the crossing of Skeiðarárjökull, from Grænafjall Mountain to Norðurdalur valley, an area surrounded by ice and high mountain ridges. Almost a whole day is required to traverse the 15-km of ice, before standing again on solid ground in the hinterland of the Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park. Waiting for us is magnificent camping with views over the several glacial lakes with floating icebergs and colored rhyolite mountains in the background.

  • Distance: 18-22km (11-14mi)
  • Walking time: 7-8hrs

Day 5

After some climbing to a narrow mountain ridge, one is able to admire the view to the yellowish rhyolite valley of Kjós at the other side as well as to Iceland’s highest mountain the Hvannadalshnúkur. Descending into the valley of Morsárdalur, the vegetation becomes progressively more abundant. The beautiful Arctic birch forest of Bæjarstaðarskógur welcomes us before we continue to the main camp site of the national park in Skaftafell. Here we catch a bus back to Reykjavík where the tour ends in the evening.

  • Distance: 20-25km (12-16mi)
  • Walking time: 7-8hrs

Price includes

  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • All meals during trip
  • Transport during the trip

Price per person

1 Person119000ISK
Group of 2119000ISK
Group of 3119000ISK
Group of 4119000ISK
Group of 5119000ISK
Group of 6119000ISK
Group of 7119000ISK
Group of 8119000ISK