14 In Hiking + The Outdoors/ Iceland/ Travel

Hiking to Sólheimajökull Glacier, Iceland

Our trip to Sólheimajökull Glacier was pure chance and spontaneity. When we were making our way to Vik, we spotted lots of things that we wanted to see on our way back. The drive through here is just stunning and we found ourselves pulling over to take photos and making mental notes of where we wanted to stop on the way back to Reykjavik.

There aren’t really shoulders on the roads in Iceland, or not much of one, at least, so we found ourselves pulling into driveways when we could to be sure to capture photos of the many different mountains we saw along the way.

  

As we were driving, something immediately caught our attention. Even though the sky was gray and overcast, there was a part that seemed to have a blue glow above a mountain top. It was such a gorgeous glow, that we were sure to ask about it at the N1 Station we stopped at for lunch in Vik. It was there that we found out that it was a glow from a glacier. We immediately knew that that was going to be a must-see.

Getting There

The road that leads to the glacier trailhead winds alongside a flow off and weaves in between mountains. It turns out that this isn’t just a trailhead, it’s Katla Geopark. Katla is an active volcano that sits very near Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that erupted and grounded a ton of flights in 2010. This road sits between the two volcanoes with makes for an incredibly scenic drive. It was hard to not try to pull over every few minutes. Once again, though, there was no shoulder on the road.

The road ends at a large, gravel parking lot and you can see the glacier from a distance, mountains, a waterfall and even a lake formed by the glacier with small chunks of calved glacier floating in it.

The glacier from near the beginning of the trail.

The Hike To + Info About Sólheimajökull Glacier

My mom rocking the trail. It isn’t strenuous and only takes about 15-20 minutes depending on your pace. The weather is the major deciding factor of how long it’s going to take. On the way back up from the glacier we encountered extreme winds blowing sleet into our faces… That was not pleasant, but it was worth enduring for such an incredible experience.

   

The views around this area were absolutely unbelievable. My mom and I both decided that the one thing that we would say was our favorite experience, if we had to pin it down really specifically, would have to be this trip to the glacier.

If you’re wanting to really get out on the glacier, there are many tours you can book. We didn’t have any plans to do this, so we just walked to the edge of it, and on top of it a little ways.

    

Sólheimajökull Glacier, is an outlet glacier that juts off of the glacier Myrdalsjökull which is the ice cap that covers the caldera of Katla. It was largely formed almost 2,000 years ago. Of course, there were times that it has been larger and smaller, but it’s still very cool to know that we’re looking at an incredible piece of ice that was formed so very long ago.

Look at those stunning shades of blue.

I had seen glaciers in Seward, Alaska, both by boat and on foot, but it was really exciting to get to share this experience with my mom. She was so excited to touch a glacier. Even thought I had seen others, never this up close and personal.

   Sólheimajökull Glacier

There is a really cool arch made by the glacier, so my mom crouched underneath it [left]. My mom is basically the coolest.

I love all of the intricate patterns in the glacier. It’s one of Mother Nature’s many works of art.

   Sólheimajökull Glacier

Booking a glacier tour means you could be one of the people you see up on top of the glacier. It’s definitely a must for next time.

A look back at the trail from the glacier. You can see that it’s pretty level and something a novice hiker can do with ease.

Even in the sleet, it was hard to leave this place. The entire area is just stunning and it’s one of those experiences that just leaves your heart racing. This is definitely a trip that gave me a memory to last a lifetime.

The craziest thing about the Southern Part of the Ring Road is that this isn’t it. There’s even more to see. Stay tuned for some waterfalls that we hit up as well.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Nano @ Travel With Nano B.
    March 20, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Wow Paige, this looks incredible, there is so much rugged beauty in those glaciers. What a fantastic experience.

  • Reply
    Anne @TravelTheGlobe (@TTGLOBE4L)
    March 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Oh wow the colours are awesome. The photos of you and your mum are really cute too. What a great find

  • Reply
    The Soul of Seoul
    March 20, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Good thing you decided to stop. Just beautiful.. even in the sleet. That’s interesting about there being no shoulders.. did anyone come out and wonder why you were in their driveway?

  • Reply
    Sarah Kim
    March 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    The glaciers are so beautiful! I love that this was a spontaneous trip, and I know how you feel about wanting to go back to spots. I want to go back to places all the time, but my mental notes seem to slip away.

  • Reply
    thetravelpockets
    March 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    So cool you got to expereince this with your mom. I wish I could take trips like this my mother. The glaciers in Iceland are simply breathtaking and it’s great that the hike isn’t strenuous…minus the extreme wind 🙂

  • Reply
    Ferna
    March 21, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Look at those stunning colors of the place, it’s really interesting. The more I read about Iceland, the more I get to know the country deeper. And I love your experience as you are able to be with your mom on this stunning country. I feel you of wanting to come back those places, I will bookmark this one for my Iceland future trip

  • Reply
    Aubrie
    March 22, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Seeing the glaciers in Iceland was one of my favorite experiences! I love all of the pictures that you took!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    March 22, 2017 at 12:40 am

    What a lovely hike. The blue glow caused by the glacier is indeed spectacular. The landscapes seem to have dropped straight from heaven. The fact that you had your mom with you must have added an extra glow to the entire experience.

  • Reply
    Nisha
    March 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos! It would have been an exhilarating experience for both of you. Your mom look so happy and so do you. 🙂
    The sight of glacier is spectacular. Looks like not a difficult hiking trail. Now I am tempted to do it.

  • Reply
    Tara
    March 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    What a great experience! I love so many things about – that you basically stumbled upon this amazing glacier and it become the most memorable part of your trip, that you took incredible photos despite some less than pleasant weather, and that your mom is such a rock star. I’ve explored a bit of Iceland when I was younger, but I’ll admit that I wasn’t near as adventurous as you!

  • Reply
    TalesOfABackpacker🌍 (@clairesturz)
    March 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I really want to go to Iceland! I’ve heard it’s expensive though so it’s good to know there are things you can do without a guide – although walking on the glacier looks awesome! The landscape there is just unreal.

  • Reply
    sugarandstamps
    March 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    OMG I’ve been wanting to visit Iceland for SO long now! Your photos look absolutely stunning and you look so cute & warm! I’m especially loving that panoramic shot. I can’t wait to be up close with these glaciers someday!

  • Reply
    Agness of aTukTuk
    March 27, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Amazing post. I would love to go there one day!

  • Reply
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