Frequently Asked Questions


What does Vatnajökull mean?

 In Icelandic Vatn means water and jökull means glacier, Vatnajökull is the name of the ice cap. The Vatnajökull glacier is about 7700 km2 and it covers ca 8% of Iceland. It is still Europe’s largest ice cap by volume, although it has lost more than 15% of its volume during the last century. It conceals seven active central volcanoes, valleys and glacial troughs. The Vatnajökull National Park was established in 2008 and it includes the Vatnajökull ice cap itself and extensive areas around it.


Where is the highest place in the park?

The highest place in the park is actually the highest peak in Iceland called Hvannadalshnjúkur 2110 m / 6922 ft. It is located south on Vatnajökull ice cap and is visible from Skaftafell and Kirkjubæjarklaustur when the weather is good.


What are the condition of roads?

There are paved roads, dirt roads and unmaintained 4x4 roads in Vatnajökull National Park. The 4x4 roads have river crossing that can change quickly with inclement weather. Always check for current conditions before taking mountain/backcountry roads in. For standard road conditions go to the The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration website. 

For information and openings of mountain roads click here. The mountain roads open in very different times according to location, and very different time each year.

Remember that off road driving is strictly illegal in Iceland!


Can i pay online for the service fee in Skaftafell?

Yes you can pay online here. For more information on rates and tariffs click here.


Do I need to make a camping reservation?

No! Vatnajökull National Park does not offer visitors to make camping reservations. The national park manages a number of camping sites. Most are small and remote, but we also have very large ones such as Skaftafell and Ásbyrgi. The only exceptions are in Skaftafell, where groups (minimum 10 units) can reserve electrical outlets. No reservations can be made in Ásbyrgi but large groups should contact the visitor centre prior to their arrival.