Skaftafetl - National Park at the foot of the largest glacier in Vatnajökull

Feb. 11, 2022 | Iceland

In the southeastern part of Iceland is the extraordinarily beautiful Skaftafjökull National Park. It is located at the foot of Iceland's largest glacier, Vatnajökull.

This is a great place to:

  • enjoy the amazing nature;
  • see the waterfall falling from the basalt rock in the form of columns;
  • walk up close to the glacier;
  • take a starting point to Iceland's highest mountain;
  • take cool photos and feel the atmosphere here.

From Reykjavik it will take 4 hours by rented car (326 km) along the scenic road along the coast. A car here as a prerequisite for a successful trip. And at the end of the article we will tell you why.

What to see in the park

Skaftafetl is remarkable for its unusual landscape, where glaciers alternate with volcanic rocks, forests and green glades. It is pleasant to walk here, so the day can fly by very quickly.

In the park you will see 12-meter waterfall Svartifoss. It is not the largest in the country, but it is fascinating in its overall view. The rocks on which the waterfall flows have atypical relief in the form of black and gray columns. Green vegetation lays densely around, making the landscape even more amazing.

But most striking is the mighty Vatnajökull Glacier, which is part of another national park with the same name as the glacier. There is a sapphire cave Skaftafetl. It was formed thousands of years ago and is still forming, forming new passages and labyrinths.

Its main feature is the blue shade of ice. It looks amazing! However, during the warmer months the entrance is prohibited, when the glacier thaws. The cave can be visited from November to March as part of the tour. It is recommended to book tickets in advance, because there are a lot of those wishing to explore the cave.

Walking around the park you will meet birches, willows and rowan trees. In high season the flowers bloom and it seems that you are in a fairy tale. And the fauna can delight you with an encounter with a fox or a mink.

If you want to conquer the highest point of Iceland - mountain Hvannadalshnukur, the reserve can be a good starting point for climbing.

Tips

When traveling in Iceland it is important to remember a few nuances that will greatly simplify your journey:

  • The best method of travel is by car. It can come out cheaper and much faster than public or sightseeing transport. Plus, you'll be able to load up all your necessities, particularly a tent, and travel around the island, camping overnight;
  • Everything is very expensive here, so stock up on food. A car will help with that as well. All the food is with you, you can easily have picnics in nature with gorgeous views;
  • Have a raincoat, especially in the low season when it begins to rain heavily with winds. Although the weather in the country can be unpredictable all year round.

All the nuances are nothing compared to the emotions of what you will see in Iceland. It is an amazing, unique in its beauty island.

Alla Bregova