Vatnajökull Backpacking Trekking Expedition (Tents)

Summer Selected dates 7 Days Your hotel / guesthouse in Reykjavik Extreme Min 18 years old

This is a great opportunity for all trekking enthusiasts to experience a 7 Day Trek in Vatnajökull National Park. The route is known only to few people and is characterized by an extremely wild and quiet environment.

This 7 day backpacking tour will take you on a journey from civilization into the wilderness where the view that greets you is nothing but the vast nature of Icelandic highlands. You will be met by glaciers, glacial rivers and lagoons, waterfalls, lava fields and get a chance to soak in a hot spring.

Since this is a backpacking adventure participants will carry all their personal gear such as clothes, sleeping bag, insulation mattress, etc. The tents, stoves, fuel and other group gear, is distributed evenly among the group so everyone carries a fair share. There are 2 people sharing each tent, but single tents are available.


Day 1 –  Reykjavik – Djupa River

After pick-up in your hotel / guesthouse in Reykjavik, we start our scenic drive to Djupa river. From there we start our hike along the banks of Djupa river. We will wade across some streams and small rivers in this vegetated area where we will put our tents up for the night. The guide will have a final word on where to camp, but be sure that the best spot, depending on weather and conditions, will be chosen throughout the trek.
Driving time: 3 hrs. Distance: 11-14 km (7-9 mi) Walking time: 4-6 hrs. (L, r, D)

Day 2 – Djupa River – Gaesabrekkur – Langagil

We wake up to a scenic view, surrounded by the astonishing Icelandic nature. After enjoying breakfast and continue our way further along the Djupa river. We will come across numerous waterfalls which break their way down this glacier river originating at the southwest corner of Vatnajokull Glacier. We will trek the slope of Gaesabrekkur (e. Goose hills) heading east into the gorgeous mossy Langagil (e. Long Gully). We will set up camp in these rural and charming settings and enjoy this highland paradise.
Distance: 11-14 km (7-9 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs. (B, L, r, D)

Day 3 – Langagil – Beinadalur

We start the morning by enjoying a healthy breakfast before we head out for today trekking. The trek is in various surroundings: through deserted wastelands and into a lava field. Today we will head to the Valley of Bones, Beinadalur, where we will camp for the night. Our camping location is only a short walk from a wonderful hot spring with approximately 40°C clear, hot water, so after a full day of highland hiking, we can fully relax and soak in the essence of this idyllic setting.
Distance: 10-12 km (6-7,5 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs. (B, L, r, D)

Day 4 – Beinadalur – Slettur

Today we will continue our trek out of the Beinadalur valley and start hiking southbound towards Núpstadaskogur forest.  We will be met by some refreshing cold river crossing on the way and as we trek to lower grounds, more vegetation meets us. We follow the river Nupsa along canyons and waterfalls. We will hike up the hills of Slettur and camp there making the view for the evening breathtakingly beautiful surrounded by mountains and glaciers, as far as the eye can see on a clear night.
Distance: 12-13 km (7-8 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs.  (B, L, r, D)

Day 5 – Slettur – Nupstadarskogur – Slettur

Our goal today is to trek to Nupstadaskogur oasis where we will get fresh supplies and glacier gear for the next couple of days. Therefore we’ll leave most of our gear behind at the campsite and carry as little as possible in our backpacks so we can carry the fresh supplies back to camp. During today’s hike, we will enjoy views of the Sulutindar mountains and  Sula as we trek down Suludalur valley into the arctic birch forest of Nupstadaskogur.  On the way back to Slettur, we walk along Nupsa river. After climbing a rock face, assisted by a metal chain, and a steep scree we get a unique chance to admire magnificent waterfalls.
Distance: 22-23 km (14 mi) Walking time: 7-8 hrs. (B, L, r, D)

Day 6 – Slettur – Skeidararjokull – Nordurdalur

Today’s we hike on the glacier Skeidararjokull, which is one of the largest glacier tongues in Europe. We will trek on ice for most of the day until we reach the mountain range on the other side. Along the way, we will see beautiful glacial features like cauldrons and water sculpted ice. Our price for crossing the glacier is the campsite in Nordurdalur, possibly the most spectacular campsite in Iceland. From Nordurdalur we have views over a glacier, glacial lagoons with floating icebergs and dramatic, sharp mountains such as Faerneseggjar. There are no river crossings on this day but it is hard to estimate the walking time because the conditions for hiking on the glacier can vary greatly.

Distance: 14-16 km (9-10 mi) Walking time: 8-9 hrs. (B, L, r, D)

Day 7: Nordurdalur – Skaftafellsfjoll -Blatindur – Skaftafell – Reykjavik

From our camp in Nordurdalur, we hike over the Skaftafellsfjoll mountains on our way to civilization. These mountains are made of beautifully colorful rhyolite and have a dominant red and yellow color palette. We walk past Blatindur (e. Blue Peak) and then descend into Blahnukadalur (e. Blue Peak valley) where we finally start seeing some vegetation again. Soon bushes and trees become more dominant and as we approach Skaftafell a marked path that brings us to the national park appears. We drive back to Reykjavik shortly after we reach Skaftafell, we expect to arrive in Reykjavík around dinner time.
Distance: 18-20 km (11-13 mi) Walking time: 7-8 hrs. (B, L, r, D)
The entries the end of each day indicate the meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, r=refreshment, D= Dinner).
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Tour highlights

  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Glaciers & waterfalls
  • Núpstaðarskógur forest
  • Skaftafell Region


  • Transport.
  • Guiding service.
  • Tents & cooking gear, inflatable mattress.
  • All meals and glacier gear.

Optional extra

  • Special food

Good to know

Pick-up from hotels / guesthouses in Reykjavik can start up to 30 minutes before scheduled departure time.

This is a backpacking trek. Participants carry all their personal gear such as clothes, sleeping bag, insulation mattress etc. Tents, stoves, fuel and other group gear is distributed evenly among the group so everyone carries a fair share. There are 2-3 people sharing each tent, but single tents are available.


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