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Walking On A Glacier In Iceland

Walking On A Glacier In Iceland

Icelandic Horse Riding was fun, but the primary reason we were on the Horses and Glaciers Tour with Icelandic Mountain Guides was to go walking on a glacier.

Excitement levels quickly started rising after our guide Jón picked us up from Eldhestar’s farm and began driving us towards Mýrdalsjökull glacier, approximately 2 hours southeast. After a quick stop at the picturesque Skógafoss waterfall, we finally arrived at the edge of the spectacular glacier and were fitted for our crampons.

Amy getting her crampons fitted

Amy getting her crampons fitted before our glacier walk

We were then handed our ice axes, which weren’t really required for our glacier walk but were told “look great in photos”. Good enough for us! After everyone in our group had their crampons and axes, it was time to trek across the lava field and over to the ice.

Amy ready to go walking on a glacier

Amy ready to go walking on a glacier

Upon reaching the glacier tongue, we paused for a moment in awe – are we really about to go walking on this natural wonder?! We were experiencing another one of those truly magical travel moments words can’t describe, many of which have occurred for us in Iceland.

Looking at the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue

Looking at the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue

Jón showed everyone how to attach their crampons (a lot harder than it looks!) and went over a few basics of glacier walking before taking the lead and stepping out onto the ice, making it look easy.

Jón teaching us how to walk on the glacier

Jón teaching us how to walk on the glacier

We slowly and awkwardly followed, crunching our crampons into the ice as hard as we possibly could to ensure we weren’t the first to fall over. The two of us weren’t making fools of ourselves today!

The rest of the group walking up the glacier

The rest of the group walking up the glacier

Climbing up that first steep hill was slow and strenuous, but we soon found our groove and walking on ice became natural to us!

A crevasse in the glacier

A crevasse in the glacier with varying colors of ice

For the next 90 minutes we walked around on the glacier and Jón introduced us to crevasses, ice caves and explained how the glacier works. We also learned that the varying color bands can be used to tell the age of the ice, much like growth rings around a tree trunk. Fascinating, right?



Walking on a glacier in Iceland was an amazing experience, made even better by our guide Jón who taught us so much about the spectacular terrain that surrounded us. We knew we were going to enjoy our glacier walk, but had no idea that we would love it as much as we did!

In front of a Glacier Cave

In front of a Glacier Cave

Our time on the ice concluded with some free time to explore some of the nearby ice caves and take some photos. As you can imagine, we didn’t waste any time!

Photos from the nearby Ice Caves

Photos from the nearby Ice Caves

Iceland Mountain Guides have a range of glacier tours and ice climbing adventures for your visit to Iceland. We only got a small taste of what it’s like to walk on a glacier but are already looking forward to walking on ice somewhere else in the world very soon – it truly is quite the adventure!

Have you walked on a glacier before? Or is it on your bucket list?

A huge thanks to Eldhestar and Icelandic Mountain Guides for providing us with a complimentary Horses and Glaciers Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.


  1. Posted November 24, 2011 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Oh wow this looks amazing! Sounds like y’all had a great time. The pictures are so cool (jajaja get it? No okay sorry). Hope y’all are enjoying Paris as much as I did! Be sure to see everything you saw during the day at night… they are so much prettier.
    Jaime recently posted..Bye Barcelona… see you in Istanbul!!!

    • Posted November 24, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Hahaha funny guy! Paris is beautiful, planning a big last day/night of sightseeing tomorrow before we leave here on Friday morning.

  2. Posted November 24, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Your Icelandic adventures look awesome but God it looks cold there. I can’t even handle Southern California in the winter : /
    Chris recently posted..Backpacking Laos – 4,000 Islands (Si Phan Don) Savings Tips

    • Posted November 24, 2011 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! If you’ve got your thermals on and your face covered, it’s really not that bad… in fact, we’ve been colder in Melbourne than we were on a glacier! Crazy, huh?

  3. Posted November 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh, this looks so amazing! Would love to do this one day…
    Lauren recently posted..Exploring Taroko Gorge

  4. Posted November 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve gone glacier hiking in New Zealand! It was an amazing, amazing experience. One of my favorites from NZ, in fact! (We didn’t get axes to look cool in photos though! Lol.)
    Amanda recently posted..You Can Live an “Normal” Life and Travel, Too

    • Posted November 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      We had no idea how much we would enjoy it – apparently ice climbing is the next adventure but that seems a whole lot more strenuous! I remember reading your NZ glacier post, might have to add that one to our list (shame about the lack of ice axes though haha!)…

  5. Posted November 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I was lucky enough to walk Franz Josef Glacier last year. It really was an amazing experience. Love the photos you guys snapped too.
    Chris recently posted..Guest Post: How Travel Bloggers Talk About Sex

    • Posted November 26, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Awesome! That’s two who have done it in NZ, guess we’ll have to add it to the list. :)

      Thanks for featuring our post in your recommended reads too!

  6. Posted November 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous photos of the glacier and the ice caves! I love glacier trekking. There’s nothing like being out on the ice. Heading to Iceland next year so will have to put this on my list.
    Cherina recently posted..On The Road: American Road Trip

    • Posted November 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Cherina – we’re guessing you’ll love some of the more advanced tours that Iceland Mountain Guides have to offer! :)

  7. Posted December 2, 2011 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    I love the bigger photo of the two of you!! My only Iceland experience has been a layover at an airport and I would LOVE to do this one day.
    Heather recently posted..Heather the International Career (breaking) Panelist

    • Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      That’s a shame you didn’t venture out of the airport! Maybe you can organize a longer stopover if you fly to Europe via Iceland again soon?

  8. Posted December 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! We went hiking on a glacier in New Zealand and it was incredible!
    Jade Johnston recently posted..How To : Tongariro Crossing

  9. Memnia
    Posted December 14, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Looks amazing guys and I bet on the photos it looks much easier than it actually is! I’m visiting Iceland soon and I was wondering if it was worth going at the glaciers. Do they give you that uniform or do you have to bring with you that sort of ski outfit? Thanks

    • Posted December 16, 2011 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      Hi Memnia – once you get the hang of it, it really is quite easy although a basic level of fitness is definitely recommended. We brought our own clothes however Iceland Mountain Guides can at the very least provide you with a rain coat if not the full outfit. Best to contact them to confirm.

  10. Posted January 9, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I am absolutely 100% doing this. It looks amazing! Was it mostly groups or couples? Or were there solo travellers in the tour as well?
    Kristy recently posted..Tattoos in Thailand

    • Posted January 9, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      It was a mixture on our tour – I think there were 4 couples and maybe 3 solo travelers. But it’s obviously completely by chance who you get that day!

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