Hikers enjoying the view from Kristínartindar in SkaftafellScenic landscape, favorable weather conditions and a selection of hiking trails make Skaftafell an ideal destination for those who like to enjoy outdoor activities in Icelandic nature.

[Visiting in winter? Please read this.]

Short and easy trails lead to waterfall Svartifoss and glacier Skaftafellsjökull, but for those who want to reach further out, the Morsárdalur valley and Kristínartindar mountain peaks are perfect in terms of distance and labour. Skaftafell is also the perfect base camp for those who seek to climb Iceland‘s highest mountain peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur.

Private travel companies operate in Skaftafell and offer guided hikes on the nearby glaciers and mountains. Also on offer are sightseeing flights over glacier Vatnajökull and other renowned attractions.

In 1967, Skaftafell National Park was established, but in 2008 it became a part of the newly established Vatnajökull National Park. To enjoy Skaftafell's true value it is recommended to spend at least few days there, either staying at the camp site in Skaftafell or in a nearby accommodation.


The Skaftafell Visitor Centre provides all the necessary information about Vatnajökull National Park and its neighborhood, hiking routes, nature, history, services and activities. Also in Skaftafell Visitor Centre is an exhibition about the glaciers and volcanoes in the area and the effects they had on the local settlement. [Read more]

Service fee in Skaftafell

There is a service fee in Skaftafell. For more information on rates and tariffs click here.


Skaftafell has a large campground, open all year round. [Read more]


Hikers will find plenty of hiking routes within Skaftafell. From mid-June to mid-August, park visitors can join park rangers on short walks around the park. Private companies offer guided glacier walks and other activities within the national park.

Getting there

By car:
Road 1 goes from Reykjavík to Skaftafell (326 km). Road 998 (2 km) leads up to the visitor centre in Skaftafell. Road 1 continues to the east from Skaftafell. The distance to Höfn is 136 km and the distance to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon is 57 km.

By bus:
A scheduled bus goes between Reykjavík and Höfn via Skaftafell. For further information check this website:

Restaurants / food stores

The cafeteria in Skaftafell is open from 9-18.

Opening hours over the holidays:

  1. janúar – closed

2.-6. janúar – open

7.- 31. janúar - closed

  1. febrúar – open

A restaurant can be found in Freysnes which is 5 km to the east from Skaftafell (opposite Hotel Skaftafell). It is operated all year round and also has a small-scale food store. Larger grocery stores are in Kirkjubæjarklaustur (70 km west) and in Höfn (136 km east).


Information on accommodation near Skaftafell can be found on the website of the regional tourism organisation.