Icelandic Tourist Board
TREK 65 - Glacier and Volcano Challenge is a six-day trip where you will encounter some of the most challenging places in Iceland, hike the highest summits, volcanoes and glaciers. You will get a chance to explore the highlights of the South and West of Iceland all while challenging yourself in new ways and surroundings.
- Hiking the summit of Snæfellsjokull (e. Snaefellsjokull glacier)
- Golden circle: Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Þingvellir (e. Thingvellir National park)
- Lava caves
- Eyjafjallajökull (e. Eyjafjallajokull glacier and volcano)
- Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull (e. Vatnajokull glacier)
- The highest summit of Iceland, Hvannadalshnjukur (e. Hvannadalshnukur peak)
- Jökulsárlón (e. Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon)
- Skógafoss (e. Skogafoss waterfall)
- Seljalandsfoss (e. Seljalandsfoss)
- Reynisfjara - The Black Beach at Vík
- We will pick you up at your accommodation in Reykjavik at 7:30 am. Please note that it can take up to 30 minutes for us to arrive.
- Guiding Service
- Accommodation in hostels
Glacier and Volcano Challenge takes us to the most iconic places in Iceland. From the highest summits through volatile volcanoes and immense glaciers to waterfalls and glacier lagoons. We will be exploring Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, hiking on Snaefellsjokull Glacier, daring the highest summit of Hvannadalshnjukur and admiring the beautiful surroundings and natural gems of the Golden Circle, The Black Beach at Vik, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls, Skaftafell - Vatnajokull National Park, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon with its millennial icebergs of all shapes and sizes. We will stay in various hostels along the way and enjoy a taste of the traditional Icelandic cuisine. Glacier and Volcano Challenge is perfectly suited for demanding customers thanks to its diversity and detailed travel planning And to add value for our clients Trek Iceland will take care of the main luggage and drive it in between accommodations, so we can travel light and only with our day backpack.
Day 1: REYKJAVIK-SNAEFELLSJOKULL GLACIER HIKE
Our tour starts from Reykjavik and we pick you up at 7:30 am at your accommodation. It’s about a 3 hours drive to Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its fascinating landscape of lush fjords, haunting volcanic peaks, dramatic sea cliffs, sweeping golden beaches and crooked crunchy lava flows, crowned by the Snaefellsjokull glacier. Taking the road above Arnarstapi and driving to the top of the pass on Snaefellsnes where we start to hike. This is challenging glacier hike where we walk on sand and lava in the beginning but soon start walking on snow. Where the glacier begins we supply you with glacier equipment and hike up to the top of the glacier. In the late afternoon, we will head back to our hostel in Borgarnes to have dinner and get a good night's rest.
(L, r, D). Driving: 3 hrs. Distance: 7-8 km (4,5-5 mi) Walking time: 5-7 hrs Total Ascent: 760 m (2500')
Day 2: GOLDEN CIRCLE, CAVING AND WATERFALLS
Today you will be admiring the Golden Circle area, with Strokkur (Geysir) spouting every 5-10 minutes to the delight of onlookers and the spectacular Gullfoss Waterfall, probably the most photographed waterfall in the country. We will visit Thingvellir National Park where the Vikings formed the world’s first democratic parliament and also the place where the two tectonic plates meet in the most beautiful way. We will continue with exploring the lava by entering Gjabakkahellir lava tube and then move further east to be greeted with some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. The night will be spent at the lush Skogafoss area at Skogar hostel.
B, L, r, D). Driving: 4 hrs total.
Day 3: EYJAFJALLAJOKULL VOLCANO
On the third day, we will head for more unforgettable experiences and adventures. Today we will hike up the 1666 m high Eyjafjallajokull volcano, all the way to the top. There we will see the enormous crater left by the recent eruption and a great view over South Iceland; Westmann Islands, Thorsmork and Volcano Hekla to name a few. Our professional guide will provide glacier equipment such as crampons and ensure our safety as we hike up the snow and ice, crossing crevasses and cauldrons. We will spend the night at a hostel in Skógar, where the gorgeous waterfall Skogafoss flows so powerfully.
(B, L, r, D). Driving: 3 hrs. Distance: 17 km (10.56 mi). Walking time: 8-10 hrs total. Ascent: ~1666 m (5465').
Day 4: SKAFTAFELL, VATNAJOKULL NATIONAL PARK AND SVARTIFOSS WATERFALL
Today we will recharge our energy by enjoying an easy and relaxing day in the stunning surroundings of Skaftafell. The jewel of Southern Iceland encompasses a breathtaking view of mountains and glaciers. In the morning we will walk up to Svartifoss Waterfall, flanked by black basalt columns, and then up to Sjonarnipa where we have a view of Iceland’s highest summit which will be climbed on the next day. We will spend the night at a hostel in Svinafell.
(B, L, r, D) Driving: 2 hrs total. Walking time: 2 hrs total
Day 5: HVANNADALSHNUKUR - THE HIGHEST SUMMIT OF ICELAND
Today we will challenge the highest summit of Iceland, Hvannadalshnukur (2110), which pokes out from the ice cap Oraefajokull, an offshoot of Vatnajokull. This lofty peak is actually the northwestern edge of an immense 5 km-wide crater- the biggest active volcano in Europe. Although this day promises to be one of the highlights of the tour, it is both physically and mentally challenging as the total elevation gain is more than 2000 m. Be prepared for a very long and taxing day of mountain climbing and ice bridge crossing. In the evening, we will invite you to a delicious barbecued lamb meat dinner.
(B, L, r, D). Driving: 15 min. Distance: 24 km (14,9 mi). Walking time: 12-14 hrs total. Ascent: 2000 m (6,500' ).
Day 6: JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON-SOUTH COAST-REYKJAVIK
This is the last day of the Glacier and Volcano Challenge. We have already climbed the most iconic mountains of Iceland and admired the extreme beauty of the Icelandic nature. In addition, you will explore one of the best parts of Iceland and an authentic gem of nature, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. There you will experience the fantastic scenery and have the option (for an additional fee) to travel by boat among icebergs of all shapes and sizes. On the way back we will visit the memorable Black Beach at Reynisfjara with its beautiful basalt sea stacks. Our day will end in Reykjavik at around 6:00 PM.
(B, L) Driving: 5 hrs total. Walking time: 2 hrs total.
*At times the weather in Iceland doesn’t allow for the itinerary to go according to plan. When this occurs Trek Iceland provides the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.
- Hiking boots, good sturdy boots with sufficient ankle support for walking on rough trails. They should have a robust sole and preferably waterproof
- Long sleeve top and long johns, thermal underwear made of wool or synthetics, not cotton
- Warm jacket, fleece, primaloft or similar
- Rain jacket with a hood, preferable breathable fabric such as Gore tex or similar
- Rain trousers, preferable breathable fabric such as Gore tex or similar
- Gloves and mittens, one pair each. Wool or synthetic, waterproof
- Hiking socks, wool or synthetic, 2-3 pairs
- Warm hat and/or balaclava
- Backpack, 20-30 litres
- River shoes, old sneakers or similar for fording rivers
- Sleeping bag and travel pillow. A light sleeping with no specific temperature rating will be sufficient for the mountain huts but a sleeping bag with 0-3 degrees Celsius comfort level for the Camping treks.
- Liner if you rent the sleeping bag
- Travel sack for your baggage that is transported between huts. Suitcases are not recommended
- Tooth brush and personal toiletries
- Sunglasses/sunscreen (high protection, the sun in Iceland can be really strong)
- Water bottle
- Small personal first aid kit (compeed and tape for blisters)
- Pain killers such as aspirin or ibuprofen
- DONT FORGET TO BRING EXTRAS OF IMPORTANT HEALTH SUPPLIES OR SPECIALPRESCRIPTION MEDICINE IN CASE YOU NEED ANY
- Hiking poles
- Pen knife
- Camera, batteries, memory card
- Headlamp for trips in late season, after august 10th.
- Earplugs/Sleep mask (especially if you sleep in a tent in Summer)
- Swimming suit