Are you planning a visit to Sólheimajökull Glacier in Iceland? Whether it’s your first time visiting this magnificent natural wonder or if you’re a regular visitor wanting to learn more about its incredible features and environment, this definitive guide is for you.
Here we will provide all the information you need before embarking on your adventure into this icy paradise, from how best to get there, what gear and clothing should be worn, and valuable guidelines to experience the glacier safely and within its boundaries. As a result, you can make the utmost out of your visits!
What is Sólheimajökull Glacier?
Sólheimajökull Glacier is a must-see destination for those visiting South Iceland. Located in the breathtaking Myrdalsjokull region, Sólheimajökull offers a unique experience of majestic icy crevasses and deep blue colors that captivate visitors of all ages.
Its rugged scenery makes it one of the most popular attractions in the area.
Sólheimajökull Glacier is famous amongst hikers and adventurers who enjoy exploring its beautiful landscape and taking in the surrounding scenery. On an organized tour, you can ascend the glacier’s rocky ridges and peaks with relative ease.
Where is Sólheimajökull Glacier?
Sólheimajökull Glacier is a fantastic destination to experience the wonders of Iceland‘s glaciers firsthand. Situated on the south coast, Sólheimajökull is an outlet glacier of the mighty icecap of Mýrdalsjökull and is easily accessible from Reykjavík, just 158 kilometers (98 miles) away.
How to get to Sólheimajökull Glacier from Reykjavik?
The best way to get to Sólheimajökull Glacier from Reykjavik is by car, as you can take a scenic road trip along the South Coast. It should take about two hours to reach the glacier from the city center of Reykjavik. Check out my Iceland driving guide.
If you want to take the bus from Reykjavik to Solheimajokull Glacier, the Straeto Bus 51 is the best option (Mjodd Bus Terminal to Vik).
Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a car, you can join an organized tour which will include transport and knowledgeable guides who can show you around this fascinating area. Several companies offer this service in Reykjavik, so book ahead for the best experience!
Sólheimajökull Glacier weather
When visiting Sólheimajökull Glacier, it’s important to be prepared for all kinds of weather. The glacier is located at the volcano’s edge, so conditions can be ever-changing and unpredictable.
In the summer months, temperatures range from 5ºC to 15ºC. It’s typically windy on the glacier, and rain or snow showers are possible anytime. During winter, temperatures range from -15ºC to 5 ºC, so prepare for extreme cold.
Wind chill also needs to be taken into account as temperatures may feel much colder than what is indicated by the thermometer.
When is the best time to visit Sólheimajökull Glacier?
The best time to visit Sólheimajökull Glacier is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the sun shines for extended periods, and days are longer, leading to more hours for glacier exploration.
However, due to its location in South Iceland, temperatures can still dip low at night, so be prepared for different weather conditions.
Additionally, the wind can pick up near the glacier, and snow may remain on it even during summer. Therefore, you should dress appropriately in multiple layers and wear sturdy footwear.
The ideal times to visit the glacier are early mornings and late afternoons, with less wind and better visibility. You’ll see stunning views as you explore the glacier’s unique formations.
How long is the Sólheimajökull Glacier hike?
The Sólheimajökull Glacier hike is an easy to moderate two-hour glacier exploration. You’ll be accompanied by a certified glacier guide who will teach you about the glacier’s geological features and provide safety tips while trekking on the ice.
The total time spent in Sólheimajökull is four hours, with two hours dedicated to the actual glacier trekking experience.
Before getting on your feet to explore and walk on the glacier, I recommend taking some time for photos and enjoying spectacular views from the observation point above Sólheimajökull.
Best things to do in Sólheimajökull Glacier
Here are some of the best things you can do at Sólheimajökull Glacier:
You can see spectacular views of the glacier while hiking. There’re marked trails that meander along its crevices, ridges, and inclines, making this hike suitable for all levels of hikers.
Experienced climbers can try ice climbing on Sólheimajökull’s frozen slopes. With proper guidance and safety equipment, climbers can ascend the glacier’s icy walls and enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Visitors of all ages can take a guided tour at Sólheimajökull, including a walk on the ice. During these tours, you get to witness mesmerizing sights such as blue pools, ridges, and towering crevasses.
Ice Cave Tour
Taking part in an ice cave tour is one of the most popular activities in the Sólheimajökull Glacier. While exploring this natural phenomenon, you can observe majestic ice formations inside the caves and stunning views from within them.
With its breathtaking landscapes and fascinating features, Sólheimajökull Glacier is an ideal place for photographers and nature lovers. Whether you’re looking to snap a few pictures of the glacier or capture some close-ups of its features, this spot won’t disappoint.
Sólheimajökull Glacier tours
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a fun adventure, Sólheimajökull Glacier tours have something for everyone.
Small group Sólheimajökull glacier hike
This tour takes you on an unforgettable guided glacier hike on pure ice in Sólheimajökull glacier. A professional guide’ll accompany you as you walk through the frozen valley, beginning at the foot of Sólheimajökull and ending at the top.
You’ll be hooked as you learn about the formation and history of this icy wonderland and explore natural ice formations, crevices, shafts, and ridges.
Ice climbing tour
On this ice climbing and walking tour of the Sólheimajökull glacier, you may discover one of Iceland’s most magnificent natural locations and delve further into the nation’s complex geology.
With your guide by your side, you’ll ascend the Sólheimajökull glacier’s steep crevasse walls while secured in your harness and take in the breathtaking scenery. On this 12-person small group tour, take advantage of the individualized attention from your guide.
Iceland South coast tour
On this full-day tour from Reykjavik, you may experience the southern Icelandic scenery. As you explore the Sólheimajökull and Mrdalsjökull glaciers, you’ll pass through lava fields, icebergs, and glacial lakes.
When admiring the impressive Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, dramatic rock formations, and black sand beaches of Vik, be sure to have your camera at the ready.
What to wear when visiting Sólheimajökull Glacier?
When visiting Sólheimajökull Glacier, it’s important to dress for the weather conditions. Layering your clothing is the best way to do this. By wearing multiple layers of lightweight and warm fabrics, you’ll be able to adjust your temperature as needed throughout the day.
Start with a base layer of wool or synthetic material that can wick away moisture. Follow that with a middle insulation layer like a fleece jacket or thermal top, then top it off with a waterproof shell such as a windbreaker or raincoat.
Remember to wear hats and gloves in colder months and sun protection (like sunglasses and sunscreen) in warmer months. Investing in good quality glacier hiking boots is also essential for maximum comfort and stability on the glacier.
What to pack for Sólheimajökull Glacier?
When packing for Sólheimajökull Glacier, you should bring the following items: warm and waterproof clothing, sturdy shoes (ideally boots with good grip), sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, hat), plenty of water, snacks and/or a packed lunch.
It’s also essential to have layers of clothing (including an extra pair of socks) that can be added or removed as needed throughout the day.
If you’re planning to take photos during your trip, remember to bring a camera and other accessories such as lenses.
Additionally, depending on the season and weather conditions, you may need items such as crampons or trekking poles. Finally, it’s always recommended to carry a first-aid kit with you just in case.
Food & drink
After taking in the stunning scenery, you can enjoy refueling with a meal at one of the many restaurants near Sólheimajökull Glacier.
The cozy and inviting Hotel Skogafoss Bistro & Bar is located just miles away from the glacier and serves delicious dishes made from fresh local ingredients.
For those looking for something more casual, Hotel Skogafoss Restaurant offers a variety of comfort food that pairs perfectly with an icy cold beer.
If you’re looking for something unique, check out Restaurant Hotel Skogar, which specializes in international cuisine with an Icelandic twist. Mia’s Country Van is also a good option if you want to refuel with fast food, such as the best fish and chips.
Other tips for visiting Sólheimajökull Glacier
When visiting Sólheimajökull Glacier, you should be aware of the current weather conditions and wear appropriate clothing.
Temperatures can vary greatly in Iceland depending on the time of year and location, so I recommend layers to help keep you comfortable. Bring waterproof outerwear, rain gear, and sturdy shoes for walking on uneven terrain.
It’s also useful to bring snacks and plenty of water because there may not be any shops or restaurants nearby for an isolated spot, so be sure to stock up on supplies before you set off.
Finally, remember that Sólheimajökull Glacier is a sensitive and fragile environment. Avoid walking in areas with signs of erosion, and never leave any trash behind.
Exploring Sólheimajökull glacier is an experience like no other — a trek through breathtakingly beautiful glaciers and the awe-inspiring landscape of Iceland. With careful planning and the right precautions in place, you can safely traverse this unique environment and gain an appreciation for its beauty.
Always check weather forecasts before visiting, wear warm clothes and sturdy waterproof shoes, and hire a certified glacier guide if necessary. As long as you respect the environment, Sólheimajökull makes for a spectacular sight with memories that will stay with you forever!