Plan your Visit
Description

Skaftafell

Hiking routes in Skaftafell

Sudursv_SkaftafellFollowing are suggestions for a few of the more popular hiking routes in Skaftafell. Whenever possible the suggestion is a circular route. Please note that these are only suggestions; in most cases it is possible to use alternative routes, return the same way, do a reverse circle etc.

Also note that distance and walking times are for reference only.

Hiking maps for Skaftafell are available in visitor centres, information offices and from park rangers. You can also use the ones here on the right; click on each picture for enlarged version.


Sudursv_Skaftafell_insert

S1: Skaftafellsjökull

Distance: 3.7 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 1 - 1.5 hrs.
Route difficulty: 1 (easy)

The trail starts next to Skaftafell Visitor Centre and is well indicated. It is paved half the way, while the latter half has a fairly comfortable gravel surface. The trail ends in close proximity of Skaftafellsjökull glacier and you will get a good view of this impressive glacier. Those who wish get closer can do so but are encouraged to follow instructions on a warning sign at the trail's end. When heading back to the visitor centre it is possible to take an alternative route by turning left on the crossroads that you arrived at some 300 m before the end point (well indicated with signs).


SKA-Svartifoss-GOES2: Svartifoss - Sjónarsker - Sel

Distance: 5.5 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 2 hrs.
Route difficulty: 1 (easy)

The trail starts next to Skaftafell Visitor Centre and is well indicated. The first 250 meters go through the campground but the trail then turns right and uphill. Follow the signs until you arrive at a viewpoint above the waterfall (140 m ascent in 1.5 km). Continue down into the ravine, across the footbridge, and climb up the basalt column steps on the other side of the ravine. Continue on this trail to the viewpoint at Sjónarnípa, then head back towards the old turf house at Sel and then back to the visitor centre via Lambhagi.


SKF-GO-Glama-120829S3: Skaftafellsheiði

Distance: 16.7 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 5 -6 hrs.
Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)

The route starts from Skaftafell Visitor Centre and is the same as if you were going to Svartifoss. It is possible to go all the way to Svartifoss and then head on to Sjónarsker, but the shortest way is to cross the river on the walking bridge next to Magnúsarfoss and from there head to Sjónarsker.

From Sjónarsker the path goes all the way towards Kristínartindar. When arriving at the crossroads at foot of Kristínartindar continue straight towards Gláma. From Gláma the path takes you down to Sjónarnípa and then onwards to the visitor centre/campground via Austurbrekkur.


SKF-GO-Kristinartindar-120829S4: Kristínartindar

Distance: 17.9 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 6 -8 hrs.
Route difficulty: 3 (difficult)

The route starts from Skaftafell Visitor Centre and is the same as if you were going to Svartifoss. It is possible to go all the way to Svartifoss and then head on to Sjónarsker, but the shortest way is to cross the river on the walking bridge next to Magnúsarfoss and from there head to Sjónarsker.

From Sjónarsker the path goes all the way towards Kristínartindar. When arriving at the crossroads at the foot of Kristínartindar turn left and follow the trail through the steep rock scree, all the way to the top of ridge. Then turn left and continue all the way up to the top.

To go down you return the same way as you came up, with the exception of that when you arrive back at the ridge you should continue on the path that goes to the left. That path will take you down towards Gláma. From Gláma, continue down to Sjónarnípa and then onwards to the visitor centre/campground via Austurbrekkur.

Please note that the trail to Kristínartindar is usually closed from early spring and sometimes through June because of thawing conditions. There are no alternative routes to Kristínartindar.


SKF-GO-lon-vid-Skaftafellsjokul

S5: Sjónarnípa

Distance: 6.4 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 2 - 2.5 hrs.
Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)

The trail starts next to Skaftafell Visitor Centre and is well indicated. The first 250 meters go through the campground but the trail then turns right and uphill.
Follow the trail towards Svartifoss until you arrive at crossroads and a signpost that indicates that Sjónarnípa is to the right. Follow that trail until you arrive at Sjónarnípa. Then continue back towards the visitor centre via Austurbrekkur.
 

SKF-GO-Austurbrekkur-111005S6: Svatifoss and Sjónarnípa

Distance: 7.4 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 2.5 - 3 hrs.
Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)

The trail starts next to Skaftafell Visitor Centre and is well indicated. The first 250 meters go through the campground but the trail then turns right and uphill.
Follow the trail towards Svartifoss and ignore the first signpost that indicates that Sjónarnípa is to the right. Continue until you arrive at the viewpoint above Svartifoss. Then turn onto the trail that leads to Sjónarnípa (indicated on a signpost). Return to the the visitor centre via Austurbrekkur.


SkaftafellGO144M1: Bæjarstaðarskógur

Distance: 15.8 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 4 - 5 hrs.
Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)

From Skaftafell Visitor Centre head towards Sjónarnípa and continue to Morsárdalur. Continue across the footbridge over Morsá river and straight on the marked trail that leads to the birch woods in Bæjarstaðarskógur. The trail continues through the woods and past two beautiful ravines that are worth a closer look. Please note that there are no way-markers in front of the ravines nor a well-defined trail. However, a way-marked trail re-starts next to Jökulfell and continues to the footbridge at Götugil. Cross the bridge and follow the marked trail to Skaftafell Visitor Centre.


SKF-GO0018-MorsarjokullM2: Morsárjökull

Distance: 20.9 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 6 - 7 hrs.
Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)

From Skaftafell Visitor Centre head towards Sjónarnípa and continue to Morsárdalur. Continue on the marked trail between Grjóthóll and the glacial lake in front of Morsárjökull. Return to Grjóthóll and continue across the footbridge on Morsá river. Continue on the trail next to the river until you come across another footbridge by Götugil. Cross the bridge and follow the marked trail to Skaftafell Visitor Centre.


SKF-GO-Kjosareggjar-120629

M3: Kjós

Distance: 29.8 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 8 - 10 hrs.
Route difficulty: 2 (challenging)

From Skaftafell Visitor Centre head towards Sjónarnípa and continue to Morsárdalur. Continue across the footbridge over Morsá river and straight on the marked trail that leads to the birch woods in Bæjarstaðarskógur. Turn right when you arrive at the signpost in the woods. There is no well-defined trail leading to Kjós, instead you have to find a suitable route yourself. Continue until you arrive in Kjós. The same route will take you back towards Grjóthóll but instead of crossing the bridge you should continue on the trail next to the river until you arrive at the footbridge by Götugil. Cross the bridge and follow the marked trail to Skaftafell Visitor Centre.