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Svínafellsjökull Glacier Iceland – What to do and where to stay

Svinafellsjokull Glacier cyrill-hanni

Vatnajökull’s immense size means it has many outlet glaciers radiating out from its edge like fingers. One of these is Fjallsjökull glacier, which is above us here at Fjallsárlón, while another is Svínafellsjökull glacier located close by. We’d suggest you make time for both as you travel along Iceland’s scenic south coast, so here’s what to see and do at Svínafellsjökull.

Svinafellsjokull Glacier – movies and series

Svínafellsjökull is located within the breathtaking Skaftafell Nature Reserve, part of Vatnajökull National Park. The name translates as “pig hill glacier”. It’s long been a star of the big and small screen, featuring in movies such as Interstellar and Batman Begins. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you might recognise the place. Some of the most dramatic scenes in Season 7, depicting “north of the Wall” where the free folk lived. Though the Wall was created with CGI, the arresting landscape that forms the backdrop is entirely real.

This glacier has a sculptural quality, replete with seracs (vertical pinnacles of ice) and ice caves. Particularly in the softer light of winter, the ice appears to be a deep blue, as well as streaked with ash. The ice here has been pulled apart into deep cracks and crevasses. Like all glaciers, it is constantly evolving. But such change also creates danger.

Svinafellsjokull bianca-fazacas 2

Is it safe to hike on Svinafellsjokull Glacier

Iceland’s Civil Protection Agency, which monitors risk, currently advises against travel on Svínafellsjökull due to the danger of landslides and rock falls. While it’s never been a good idea to hike up on a glacier independently due to the risk of falling into a water-filled crevasse, here guided tours on the glacier are also discouraged – at least for the time being.

The official advice reads:
“Travellers are advised to stop only for a short while at viewpoints by the glacier tongue.”

Basically, a few years ago, the Icelandic Meteorological Office found a significant crack in the rock. There was a big landslide which could happen again. Glacial retreat means that the ice that once supported the rock is now not doing so. If there was a collapse, there’d be a huge surge of rock, ice and water – as much as 60 million cubic metres – and it could fall in one go. While you can access the area via a couple of private roads, it’s not sensible to do so.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office continues to measure and monitor the area closely but for now, this is one place that’s best viewed from a safe distance. Save your guided glacier hike for Fjallsjökull, beside Fjallsárlón.

Svinafellsjokull Glacier alexander-marinescu-landslide

Need a place to stay?

Hotel Skaftafell (photo) is another option located close by Svinafellsjokull. If you are looking for rooms with bedding, private facilities and modern amenities such as tv and WI-FI Hotel Skaftafell would be the perfect place for you. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their restaurant. Across the road you will find a petrol / gas station and small shop as well as a restaurant offering buffet style food as well as fast food.

Svinafell camping offers a charming camping site and sleeping bag accommodation for nature enthusiasts. Surrounded by towering glaciers and verdant landscapes, the camping site is a perfect retreat for adventurers. Whether you prefer pitching a tent or seeking more comfort in cozy cabins, Svinafell caters to various preferences, bathrooms and shower facilities are shared with other guests.

Hotel Skaftafell Iceland
Overnight Adventure Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon Credit Teitur Thorkelsson

Overnight Adventure, at Fjallsarlon about 40 minutes’ drive away from Svinafell, you will find one of the most unique stays you will find in all of Iceland. The AuroraHut or OVERNIGHT ADVENTURE offers you a comfortable accommodation, a boat that floats on Fjallsarlon glacier lagoon. If you are a nature lover and want peace and quiet this would be a great choice for you.



5-6 hours

29.900 ISK

May - Nov

Your multi adventure starts with a calm boat ride on Fjallsarlon glacier lagoon. Following the boat ride, you’ll land at the foot of Fjallsjokull glacier, a place we have secluded access to. After the glacier hike, you will walk to a jeep for a fun 15-20 min. return drive.


75-90 min

10.100 ISK

Apr - Nov

Sail with us in a Zodiac boat, amongst floating icebergs on the majestic Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon. This adventure tour will allow you to connect with the Icelandic nature in a way you have never experienced before. Come, have fun and cruise with us!



155.000 ISK

May - Oct

Immerse yourself in the spectacular Icelandic wilderness and spend a memorable night on the lagoon. The magnificent view over the glacier lagoon towards Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe is sure to impress even the most experienced traveler!


75-90 min

101.000 ISK

Apr - Nov

On this private tour you can decide along with your captain how your cruise evolves. Cruise among icebergs and sail beside the glacier wall in your own style! This tour is popular with couples, friends & families who want to share an adventure in a private and personal way.


2 hours

255.000 ISK

Apr - Oct

Cruise to a secret island located close to the edge of the glacier in the lagoon. Set foot on land that only few have entered! Sip champagne and take in the magnificent view towards Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. Create memories that will last a lifetime.


3,5-4,5 hours

24.500 ISK

Nov – Mar

Explore the Icelandic wilderness on our way to a blue ice cave located in Breidarmerkurjokull glacier outlet.
Ice caves are a natural wonder that every adventurer should behold.



3-4 hours

21.900 ISK

Encounter the extraordinary by joining our exclusive glacier hike! This trip is tailored for those who seek adventure, are physically fit, and have a deep desire to explore the untouched, rugged attraction of Fjallsjökull glacier.

Fjallsarlon Iceberg Boat Tour Iceland

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