On our third day in Iceland we woke up bright and early and headed out for our 3.5 hour drive to Skaftafell National Park where we would be participating in a glacier hike that I booked through Icelandic Mountain Guides. We did the Glacier Adventure Hike: IMG 22 which was a 4 hour hike on the glacier. Because this drive was a considerable distance from our rental home I decided it would be best to stay one night close to this location following our day on the glacier and then the next day we would make our way back towards our rental home...stopping along the way to see all the other sites in that region. It ended up working out very well and I'm glad we did it this way! We were all pretty wiped out after hiking the glacier.
It was a pretty warm day so we didn't need to use alot of the things we were told to bring. No heavy winter coats! We just brought everything with us in the car and once we arrived we decided what we needed to wear. I did have on thick tights under my Columbia pants. These pants are amazing. So comfortable and stylish. Even my 18 year old daughter got the same ones. That's saying alot! I did alot of research on what to wear and everyone repeatedly said not to wear jeans. Too stiff and too heavy if they get wet. It did start to rain at the end of the hike, so it's wise to pack a windbreaker or rain jacket with hood. One of my sons used THIS one and it worked quite well. I also wore this Cuddl Duds Climate Control shirt and this Eastern Mountain Sports Micro Fleece. I felt very warm and very comfortable.
When we arrived at the location we were able to use the restroom facilities and purchase water if needed. We headed over to the Icelandic Mountain Guides office which is located right in the parking lot and checked in for our adventure. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. They fit you with crampons for your boots, a harness (in case of emergencies) and give you an ice pick. They also have hiking boots available for rent if needed. Then they take you by bus to the glacier. Our guide "Philly" was from London, England. She was great! Very patient and very knowledgeable. She taught us how to use the crampons properly and how to navigate our footing. What an amazing feeling to be walking on this glacier...it's something we will all never forget.
After our glacier hike we decided since we were so close to the Jökulsárlón-Glacier lagoon (about a 45 minute drive further east) that we would just go for it! Thank God for no setting sun! This allowed us to sight see the entire day. There were many nights that we found ourselves out adventuring at midnight! Whew...so amazing and so worth it.
After exploring the icebergs we headed to Systrakaffi Restaurant for dinner.
It felt great to sit and relax after our long day!
Then off to our one night rental house in the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur...
called Eldhraun Holiday Home.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS:
- If you don't want to pack heavy duty hiking boots you can rent them. I do recommend bringing them to Iceland but if you don't then you have this option.
- Pack a backpack with water and some snacks such as energy bars. You will be glad you did!
- Use a waterproof cell phone case that hangs from your neck. You can tuck it into your jacket. Believe me, you won't want to be fumbling with your phone in your pocket and you'll want to get pictures. This is one we used.
- Wear good thick socks. You don't want your toes cold. And you'll need the cushioning.
- Wear sunglasses. There will be a glare and you'll see much better!
- You can also pack a light lunch as there will be a few minutes break to sit along one of the rims of the glacier.
- You might want to have some ISK to tip your tour guide if desired.
~ Day 4 will be next...thanks for visiting!~
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