Skaftafell National Park
The National Park at Skaftafell is a center of activity regarding glacier centered adventures. It is a kind of green belt between the vast sands of Skeiðarasandur and the vast ice plains of Europe’s largest Glacier – Vatnjökull.
The visitor’s center hosts a large campsite and is a meeting point for glacial tours. There is a cafe and souvenir shop. A comprehensive network of hiking trails culminate at the visitors center.
Camping is inexpensive and the season is between May and August. At Skaftafell there is a very thin layer of grass on the camp-site so don’t expect your tent pegs to slip into the ground, you will need a mallet and plenty of replacement pegs. Often times the camp-site is quite, but they can host huge groups for organisational events. There are facilities such as toilets and showers. In my experience, the showers have always been cold. Save yourself a bit of money and take a couple of big bottles filled via the hot tap outside and use these to have a nice warm shower.
Nearby is Svinafell which also hosts a campsite although much smaller, it is slightly more comfortable and less expensive.
From Skaftafell there leads a network of hiking trails. Some short ones lead up the hill to some beautiful waterfalls and extend further to viewpoints where the views across the glacier are incredible.
From the visitor’s center there are organised hiking tours that involve the glacier. Tours range from a simple walk on the glacier to a day-long hike up Hvanndalshnjúkur (Iceland’s tallest mountain). Other hiking trails include the long hikes to Mörsárdalur and surrounding areas.