Skaftafell National Park | Iceland, 2000

bAvg.Time :  5 hours

Start / Finish :

  • Skaftafell Visitors Centre.
  • Click here for transport options to and from Skaftafell.

Season :  June to September

Maps / Info :

  • Click here for a comprehensive overview of Skaftafell National Park, in addition to a basic downloadable trail map.
  • For a more detailed map, try the Landmaelingar Islands, 1:100,000 & 1:25,000 Skaftafell. All maps in the Landmaelingar Island series are widely available throughout Iceland.

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Route / Conditions :

  • Starting from the visitors centre, head first to the impressive Svartifoss, the dark falls, so named because of the black hexagonal basalt columns which surround it.
  • From the falls head westwards to the trail junction at Sjonarsker, at which point you climb northwards towards the grassy crest at Nyorihnaukur.

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  • From Nyorihnaukur, the trail is obvious all the way to the scree-covered peak of Kristinatindar. The views over Morsarjokull are spectacular. After taking in the 360° panorama, retrace your steps for a few minutes, before heading SE at the trail junction. Soon you arrive at Giarna, overlooking the massive Skaftafellsjokull. Keep heading south along the western cliffs of the glacier to the viewpoint at Sjonarnipa. From there it is a straight shot SW back to the Visitors Centre.

Sleeping :

  • Officially speaking you are only supposed to camp in the designated area next to the Visitors Centre.

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  • Unofficially, the grassy crest at Nyorihnaukur would potentially offer the discreet hiker, who practiced no trace principles, an ideal spot from which to see spectacular sunset views. It may be possible to arrange a permit at the Visitors Centre.

Overview :

  • The loop walk around the Skaftafellsheioi is a short, but stunning hike which offers some of the best views in Iceland. Not to be missed if you find yourself in this part of the country.

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