All about Glaciers in the South of Iceland
Solheimajökull Glacier is one of Iceland’s most popular locations for guided glacier hiking tours. It is conveniently close to Reykjavík, just a two-hour drive, and it’s a top-rated day tour for those that want to connect with some actual ice in Iceland. It’s an unbelievable experience to walk across the icy expanse, looking at the different colors, textures, and interesting ice formations. It’s a great activity to appreciate Iceland’s unique nature. Sólheimajökull is an outlet glacier from the massive Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and is surrounded by some of Iceland’s most enormous volcanoes, including Eyjafjallajökull. A glacier lagoon forms in front of the Sólheimajökull glacier during the summer months, and it’s incredible to see the massive chunks of ice in the lagoon.
Tours to Sólheimajökull Glacier
Gray Line offers a day tour combining sightseeing along the South Coast with a glacier hike on Sólheimajökull. Travelers are picked up and dropped off at their accommodation in Reykjavík get to see the epic waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss and enjoy a guided glacier walk.
Safety is a top priority for tour companies like Gray Line. Glacier hiking tours are safe, but it’s vital that you follow instructions and don’t attempt to walk on the glacier without a professional tour guide. The snow can hide sinkholes and crevasses, and falling into the glacier can result in severe injury. Gray Line’s experienced glacier guides are trained for the conditions and landscape and have all the necessary safety equipment and gear. There are numerous ways to explore glaciers through tours, whether snowmobiling, glacier hiking, or ice climbing.
How to dress
It’s crucial to dress appropriately for glacier activities, even in the summer months; it can be pretty cold on the glacier. It’s recommended to:
- Wear warm outdoor clothing
- Bring layers or thermals
- Wear a waterproof jacket and pants
- Have sturdy hiking boots with ankle support
- Bring headwear and gloves
Other glaciers in South Iceland
Eyjafjallajökull became Iceland’s most famous volcano after its eruption in 2010 halted air travel across Europe, stranding tens of thousands of people. Before Eyjafjallajökull made headlines, the volcano had been a popular destination to explore, and it remains so today, with a rugged and icy landscape.
Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe; it’s also part of Vatnajökull National Park, the largest protected area in Europe. Vatnajökull has roughly 30 outlet glaciers and is one of the best places in Iceland to go on guided glacier hikes.
How long is the walk to Sólheimajökull?
Guided tours transport you to base camp, and a Gray Line tour guide leads the group on the glacier. The amount of time spent on a glacier hike is approximately 1 hour.
Can you hike Sólheimajökull Glacier without a guide?
No, never walk on a glacier without a trained glacier guide. Gray Line guides are familiar with the landscape and prepared to look for sinkholes or crevasses. It can be very dangerous to attempt to walk on a glacier without a guide.
How old is the glacier in Sólheimajökull?
Geologists estimate Sólheimajökull to be between 400 and 600 years old.
What is the translation of Sólheimajökull?
Sólheimajökull translates to “home of the sun” in English.
Can I take a glacier hiking tour in the summer?
Yes, glacier hiking tours are available year-round. However, tours can be canceled if the weather and road conditions are unfavorable.