Located in southeast Iceland, Skaftafell is a good base for further trips or short day tours to other attractions in southern Iceland, such as Solheimajokull Glacier, Skogafoss Waterfall, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and Fjadrargljufur Canyon. You can go further, west to Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the black basalt and black sand beach, or north to Lake Myvatn. Bordering Vatnajokull National Park, you will find the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, formed from the melting glacier.
Prior to being a national park, Skaftafell was a major farm established not long after the settlement of Iceland in the 9th century. However, in 1362, a disastrous eruption destroyed the community, turning it into a wasteland. When settlers tried to re-establish the farms, the climate was starting to cool, detrimental to farming. In addition, the area continued to be threatened by volcanic eruptions and ashfall. In 1988, farming in Skaftafell was officially discontinued.
There are no roads within the park, but there are several trails for hiking. On you tour of Skaftafell National Park, the Skaftafell Visitor Centre is a good resource to find out more about recreational activities and the best hotel for you in the area. The visitor centre can also give you information about the Skaftafell hiking trails, as some hikes use the visitor centre as the starting point. Make sure to wear good hiking boots! The rugged terrain , breathtaking scenery, and beautiful ice landscapes of the nature reserve has much to offer.
You can go on a hiking tour or an ice cave tour, go ice climbing, or do a glacier walk among the ice formations. Skaftafell has beautiful waterfalls, such as the otherworldly Svartifoss waterfall, framed by black basalt columns.
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