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Hiking near Vatnajokull

East Vatnajökull Trek

Example 7 Day Tour
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Trek four days in one of Iceland's most remote regions. Hike in East Vatnajökull National Park on this Iceland hiking tour which starts at Mt. Snæfell and stays in three various mountain huts en route to the old farmstead of Eskifell in the Lónsöræfi region. On this Iceland trek, you have the opportunity to admire stunning landscapes, including the Tröllakrókar Cliffs, views from Geldingafell Mountain, and colorful rhyolite hills. Wild reindeer do roam this area certain times of year and may be spotted by keen observers. Stay in comfortable mountain huts on this light backpacking trek, and arrive finding your day's rations already stocked up for you. This is a challenging hike in a very remote and unique area and is not recommended for those looking for more of a 'main highlights' hiking trip in Iceland.
Mountain hut in East IcelandHiking the remote landscape east of VatnajökullAdmiring the view around VatnajökullThe long traverse upwards.Hiking in very remote landscapeVast landscapes to admireHiking Southeast IcelandHiking east of Vatnajökull GlacierHiking near Vatnajokull
  • Trek from Mt. Snæfell to the remote yet stunning Lónsöræfi region
  • Observe colorful rhyolite hillds and snow-capped mountain scenery
  • Keep your eyes peeled for possible wild reindeer sightings in the area
  • Stay in comfortable mountain huts on this light backpacking trip
Places Visited
  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Iceland
  • Reykjavik
  • Egilssel Hut
  • Egilsstaðir
  • Geldingafell Hut
  • Hofn
  • Mulaskali Hut
  • Snæfell-Lónsöræfi Trek Start
  • Vatnajökull National Park
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Reykjavik

Arrive to Reykjavik where you check in and settle for the night.

Day 2: Fly Egilsstaðir | Geldingafell Mountain

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Transfer to the airport early this morning for your domestic flight on to Egilsstaðir. Meet the rest of your group and your guide here before setting out on a drive to the Eyjabakkar area. Here you get out of the vehicles and start the hike, first following along the riverbanks of the Jökulsá glacial river with the majestic Mt.Snæfell in the background. Arrive to the edge of the Vatnajökull glacier and turn east towards the Geldingafell mountains. Here the lush vegetation fades away and the area becomes rough from the receding glacier. The area also has the distinction of being one of the few where you may be able to spot reindeer roaming freely. Arrive to your comfortable mountain hut for the evening.

Hiking: 9.5 miles (15 km) / 6-8 hours
Ascent: 490 ft (150 m)

Day 3: Geldingafell Mountain | Egilssel Hut

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Get ready to hike over the mountain of Geldingafell today. Your efforts reward you with excellent views over Vatnajökull Glacier and its adjacent lagoons. Follow the top of the valley of Vesturdalur before you descend towards Lake Kollumúlavatn and your fully equipped mountain hut for the night, Egilssel.

Hiking:  9.5 miles (15 km) / 6-8 hours
Ascent/Descent: 980 ft (300 m)/1640 ft (500 m)

Day 4: Tröllakrókar Cliffs

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Circle the lake today and arrive to the Tröllakrókahnaus, a basalt column outcrop on the majestic Tröllakrókar cliffs. Hike along the cliffs' edges and enjoy the stunning views of rock formations and mountains. This one-toned landscape soon changes into a colorful display of rhyolite hills with purple, orange, and pink colors showing in the soils. Hike down into the glacial valley of Jökulsá í Lóni River and arrive to your hut for the night. 

Hiking:  7.5 miles (12 km) / 5-7 hours
Ascent/Descent: 650 ft (200 m)/1450 ft (450 m)

Day 5: Eskifell

Cross the river using the nearby footbridge today before you start the climb of Illikambur Hill. Enjoy the colorful landscape and stunning views once atop the ridgeline. Follow the Jökulsá í Lóni River, crossing the glacial river again by another footbridge. Continue south to the old remote farmstead of Eskifell where a bus awaits to take you to Höfn for a well-deserved hotel overnight.

Hiking: 7 miles (11km) | 6-8 hours
Ascent/Descent: 820 ft (250 m) / 980 ft (300 m)

Day 6: Return Reykjavik | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Drive the rest of the way back to Reykjavik today where you continue on with your travels or return home.


Fosshotel Baron

Historical Rooms with lofted ceiling
Treats at the bar
Historical Room

Fosshotel Vatnajökull

At the east edge of Vatnajokull
Stunning views in the dining room
Relaxing bar and lounge

Dates & Prices

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Rates based on Group Departures of 6-15 people.
Private Group Rates available starting at $3335 for group of 4.
Rates are based on the current exchange rate with the Iceland Krona and may fluctuate.

Rates may vary based on current exchange rate.

  • 2 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
  • 4 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Gear Rental: Sleeping Bag (recommended to bring sleeping bag liner)
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Internal Flights - Reykjavik - Egilsstaðir - Reykjavik


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.


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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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