Road Trip Iceland Part 4: No-Man’s-Land of the Skaftafell Glacier | Iceland
No-Man’s-Land: Glacier Ice Skaftafell Road Trip Iceland: Next stop on our road trip along the Diamond road number 1 counter clock was the stunning Skaftafell National Park. As gay travel blogger we were able to make beautiful pictures during wonderful hikes to unique waterfalls and over thousands of years old Icelandic glacier ice. On our way further in Eastern direction, we as a gay couple did a Zodiac speedboat tour over the Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlón.
The view over the glacier ice of the Svínafellsjökull Glacier during our hike but also during our Zodiac speedboat tour was stunning. We totally understand why these natural wonders of the South of Iceland’s East are a reasonable theater stage for traditional local stories and Hollywood movies, of course. Join us on our Icelandic nature discovery adventure: No-Man’s-Land Skaftafell Glacier Iceland and experience the perpetual Icelandic ice as one of our Top 13 Highlights of Iceland through a couple of men‘s eyes.
On our way from Vík to Skaftafell National Park
The time in the South Icelandic town Vík walking along the mystical black beaches created truly memorable moments. While discovering thousand of years old lava caves and seeing the last Puffins of the season, we drove through the no-mans-land along the abounded coastline to Skaftafell National Park as part of the Vatnajökull National Park. Endless barren landscape, long one-way bridges and a wide view over the sandy plain made the ride with our 4×4 to very special experience.
Skaftafell National Park – Hike to Svartifoss
Just 5 minutes before reaching the Visitor Center of the Skaftafell National Park, we took a short break with an incredible view over Glacier tongues of the Glacier. A stunning moment that made us excited for more! Next stop: Visitor Center at the foot of the mountain. Different hiking trails leading into the mountains with different difficulty levels are marked by a specific color and number. You will find a big route map outside the Visitor Center next to the wide campsite directly next to Skaftafell. We choose the direct route to the beautiful black waterfall Svartifoss. We guess you wanna how long the hike and how difficult the easy route is? It took us about 40 minutes to reach the top with a spectacular view over the wide plain and the waterfall together with a couple of American ladies taking their time to hold enough breath to reach the plateau. A proud selfie moment, no doubt!
It was not too busy at the waterfall although the weather was dry and the parking area was really busy around the Visitor Center of Skaftafell. Everyone got his moment to take pictures and enjoy every second of this beautiful waterfall as one of our favorite nature highlights of Iceland. The way back downhill through the valley was a peaceful wandering from one spectacular waterfall to another back to the Skaftafell Visitor Center.
Vatnajökull, Hvannadalshnúkur and …
.. Jökulsárgljúfur, Öræfajökull, Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull.
As you can read above, the naming and hierarchy of the Icelandic Glaciers and mountains are quite complicated, especially because of the unique Icelandic names and language. We are trying to explain the glaciers and mountains of Iceland as short as possible:
Vatnajökull is the biggest Glacier in Europe and the same time the name of one National Park in Iceland (there are 3 official national parks in Iceland in total). It includes the former National Parks of Skaftafell (south) and Jökulsárgljúfur (north). Jökulsárgljúfur is a canyon in Northern Iceland made by the Glacier River Jökulsá á Fjöllum coming from the glaciers and created the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss. The south part of Vatnajökull can be described as a mix of high mountains and volcanos and glaciers. Öræfajökull is the central volcano and Hvannadalshnúkur the highest peak of the South Icelandic part of Vatnajökull and of Iceland. Skaftafell, however, is like a green, fruitful oasis in the South with the world famous waterfall Svartifoss. It includes the Glaciers Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull as the two biggest glacier tongues. No-Man’s-Land Skaftafell Glacier Iceland!
And then it was time for our Ice-Adventure. You can imagine how excited we were right before our bus departed to Svínafellsjökull Glacier Ice, one of the glacier tongue of the Skaftafell National Park. Our advice: be at least 30 minutes before departure at the small wooden hut of the Arctic Adventures Glacier Hiking to get your crampons and introduction how the tour is organized. Let’s get started with thousands of years of Nature History of Iceland and Europe!
After a calm night with deep sleeping, we woke up the next morning totally excited about our next adventure: a Zodiac Tour on the Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlón with the team from Glacier Lagoon. Blue sky, crystal clear air and a warming sun were promising for our planned tour on the Glacier Lake. But be aware: there are two Glacier Lakes. The small Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, with a recently started operating tour program and the way bigger Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
Jökulsárlón Ice Beach – Ice on Black Sand
The ride over the ice water was stunning.. the view over the black sand beach covered with smaller and bigger ice cubes afterward was simply overwhelming. We had the sun on our faces and got blinded by the reflection from the ice. The seagulls were gliding over the sea and the seafoam was floating over the ice beach. Well, no more words can describe the beauty of these moments just a 5 minutes walk from the lagoon itself. How much time did we spend in the Jökulsárlón area? Plan at least half a day for this unique landscape, to be sure, a bit more! Worth every second.
Our Way further towards East Iceland
Back on the A1 Ring Road around Iceland in East direction, the landscape started to change rapidly and it began to be even windier. Iceland for us is not only the country of fire and ice. Iceland for us is the island of wind! Bleak landscape, fjords and a constant change of mountain peaks and deep and narrow valleys described our way along the East Icelandic Coast.
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Our Best of: Glacier Ice Skaftafell Road Trip Iceland Part 4
After collecting Memories of a South Icelandic Day in Vík, the time around the Glaciers with Ice and ice cold water were full of adrenaline and pure excitement. Walking along the black ice beach was a memorable moment of beauty. Make sure every single trip to the glacier ice is well organized and planned. We recommend booking your hiking tour of choice beforehand online.
Karl & Daan.