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Glacier Activities Not To Miss This Winter

Iceland's Best Glacier Activities For Winter 2024

|January 26, 2024
Takes inspiration from ancient cultures, philosophy, nature, and travel. Anton is a music creator on the side, but his main passion is to click-clack on his keyboard, creating a read that paints a picture.

Iceland is known for its fantastic landscapes and the abundance of glaciers. The beautiful ice formations become even more outstanding as the winter rolls around. A real winter wonderland unfolds, spotlighting the ethereal, crystal-clear glaciers waiting to be explored. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on any of that, so we’ve compiled a handy guide to this winter’s best glacier activities!


Many things come to mind when we think about Iceland, and ice is certainly one of them! Iceland’s very name hints at its abundance. This faraway land has become almost synonymous with icy glaciers that captivate visitors with enchanting beauty. And they’re not just icy surfaces; they are living, breathing ecosystems filled with life, covering 11% of Iceland. You cannot separate glaciers from Iceland; they are a signature attraction and a must-see for any Icelandic traveler!


Group of people hiking on glacier

First timer, or just can’t get enough of glaciers? Step into the frozen world of Iceland with a glacier hike. It’s an exhilarating experience that allows you to explore Iceland's glaciers at your own pace. With the help of experienced tour guides, you'll step onto the glacier's surface, crunching through snow and admiring the panoramic views of the serene surroundings. 

You'll discover hidden ice caves with crystal-clear walls and vibrant blue hues. You may even encounter the occasional icefall, when chunks of ice break off and crash into the water below, breaking the silence of the peaceful ice world. The air will be crisp and clean, with the occasional wind whispers creating a natural soundtrack to your journey. You’ll fall in love with the moment and its endless inspiration. 

If you’re after a more comprehensive experience, you can challenge yourself with some ice climbing. Iceland boasts diverse ice-climbing opportunities for climbers of all levels. One such opportunity is ice climbing on Sólheimajokull, which offers breathtaking climbs amidst stunning surroundings. It will require a basic fitness level, but you’ll get an exciting thrill of the process in return. 

Glacier hiking is a rewarding activity and a chance to get an up-close look at the raw beauty of Iceland's glaciers. If you're seeking an adventure that will leave you with lifetime memories, glacier hiking is definitely for you. 


Couple inside glacier tunnel

Enjoyed walking on top of a glacier? Time to go inside one! The popular “Into the Glacier” tour lets you explore the second-largest glacier in Iceland from the inside. Langjökull, also called “the Long Glacier,” covers about 950 km² (367 mi²). In 2010, two nature enthusiasts decided to make the longest man-made ice cave in this glacier, which could be accessible year-round. 

Once inside, you’ll be amazed by the blue hues of the surrounding ice formed by centuries of compression and erosion. Ice crystals reflect light and create fascinating a dancing multicolor, expanding your imagination and sense of wonder. You’ll enter a serene space full of ice sculptures and even a remarkable ice chapel. It’s a photographer’s dream and an excellent opportunity to picture-frame your memories. 

What’s also amazing about the tour is that you get to monster truck your way up to the glacier. Thanks to experienced tour guides, you’re up for an immersive adventure that will reconnect you with nature, a profound experience to take back home.


Couple standing at bottom of ice cave

If you want to deepen your glacier experience, ice caving is your pick. It’s a popular Icelandic activity taking you deeper into the glacier. Unlike the artificial Langjokull tunnel, the natural ice caves are formed by the glacier's constant movement and meltwater erosion. Such ice caves lie beneath Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. Accessible only in winter, when the caves' structure is solid and stable, our ice-caving tours take you through the frozen veins of the glacier. 

As you venture into the depths of icy tunnels, you will first be surprised by the sheer scale of the ice formations. You’ll see towering columns rising above you like the pillars of a frozen temple. Sunlight, piercing through the cracks, casts a magnetic glow and illuminates the whole space with blue and green shimmers. 

Each ice cave is formed by the glacier's ever-changing dynamics. Some caves have soaring ceilings decorated with abstract ice sculptures, while others feature narrow passages and hidden chambers fueling your curiosity. The silence within the caves is profound, broken only by the crunch of your boots and the occasional echoes of meltwater drip.

Ice caving in Vatnajökull is an unforgettable adventure that’s hard to describe. It’s a portal into pure, crystalline beauty. Advancing into the glacier, you will discover tranquillity and connection with nature.


People on snowmobiles on snow surface

Continuing our top picks for Icelandic winter experiences is an opportunity to snowmobile on the top of a glacier. Our glacier snowmobile tour is a real arctic adventure on the surface of Langjökull. As winter transforms Langjokull’s landscape into a white wonderland, snowmobiling becomes a thrill of speed and maneuver. The dynamic ride will take your leisure to the next level. You’ll have an unforgettable, action-packed day in true Icelandic style. 

With experienced guides leading the way, you'll journey across the snow-covered plains, carving through the white canvas. You’ll get a hang of the powerful snowmobile and feel the adrenaline rush. It’s not merely a recreational activity; it’s a transformative experience that connects you with nature and the raw effects of Icelandic winter.


Man kayaking in glacier lagoon

Go off the land and into the water with glacial lagoon kayaking. Where, you ask? Jökulsárlón Lagoon near Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier is a realm of enchanting landscapes and turquoise waters. Kayaking there is an extraordinary experience you wouldn’t want to miss. 

You’ll be amazed by large ice sculptures when you glide through the blue-green waters. You can wave to the seals that occasionally show up. Drifting through this glacial oasis on the backdrop of Vatnajokull Glacier will stay with you long after your paddle has touched the shore. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a first-time explorer, this experience will leave you with a deep appreciation for nature.


Group of people on glacier background

Icelandic winter is a magical time to broaden your horizons and gather new experiences. It’s a chance to discover this faraway land’s unique glacial environment. If you’re considering traveling to Iceland this winter, look no further than its glacier activities. It’s the perfect way to get in touch with the country's natural beauty, make unforgettable memories, and take away a deserved sense of adventure that will stay with you.

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