"Skaftafell NP" H÷fn Things to Do Tip by schielen

H÷fn Things to Do: 34 reviews and 62 photos


Skaftafell is Iceland's second largest National Park after Ůingvellir. It lies in the so-called Glacier Country, a remote but attractive part of the south. The park covers an area of about 1,600 sq km which spreads over three valley glaciers of Skei­arßrj÷kull, Morsßrj÷kull and Skaftafellsj÷kull on the southern fringes of Vatnaj÷kull, Europe's largest glacier ice-cap. Founded in 1956, the park is one of the nation's distinctive natural attractions of extravagant beauty.

Most visitors to the park concede that even by Icelandic standards it is unique. Nowhere in the country are the natural variety and contrast as abundant and evident as in Skaftafell. Vast glaciers, ice-blue glacial lakes with silent icebergs, forbidding crevasses, mute peaks, jagged rocks, gulches, canyons, hanging valleys, shimmering ice tunnels, giant grotesque ice-arches, ice-falls, mountain torrents, roaring glacial rivers, ice-cold mountain streams flowing in ravines with luxuriant vegetation and wild flowers, waterfalls, basalt columns of most unusual configurations, rare birds and plants, birch forest, lush vegetation, and many other natural marvels have created this tellurian spectacle.

It is no wonder that the park is one of the most visited in Iceland during the summer, both by Icelanders and foreigners alike. Part of its popularity lies in the fact that it affords close exploration of the massive Vatnaj÷kull glacier. Skaftafell is also endowed with more sunshine hours than other parts in the south, as well as mild weather since it is shielded from rain and wind by ÍrŠfaj÷kull.
The picture shows Svartifoss waterfall.

Address: About 3 hours by car west of Hofn.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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