If you´re looking for a real one day adventure including hiking, glaciers and sightseeing, sign up for Snæfellsjökull Glacier.
The Snæfellsjökull Glacier lies on top of a volcano and its peak reaches 1446m (4745 ft.). The Mountain was first climbed in 1754 and like many other volcanoes in Iceland, it is still active – the latest eruption occurred 1800 years ago! Snæfellsjökull became world famous after Jules Verne described it in his book of “A Journey to the Center of the Earth” as the starting point of the journey. Hiking or cross-country skiing on this glacier is some of the best options, which will create some of the most unforgettable memories and will challenge you for the whole day.
To reach Snæfellsjökull glacier you have to drive towards Snæfellsnes Peninsula, passing the 6 km long underwater tunnel, which was constructed to reduce the driving time between Reykjavik and Snæfellsnes peninsula. Passing by Stykkisholmur, one of the cosiest Icelandic harbour towns, you will drive towards mountains and glaciers, along the west coast with farms on your way. The hike will take about 5-6 hours with average ascend time of 3-5 hours, 1-2 hours added if you decide to do it in winter time with the snow.The total elevation gain is 760 m (2,500 ft.) and the total hiking distance is 7-8 km (4,5-5 miles). Through moraines and hills you will find your way to the glacier. There will be a moment you will have to put on specialised ice-climbing gear like crampons and axes to walk on a glacier.
In the winter time if you go on Snæfellsjökull with no specialized vehicle you will have to leave it just at the entrance of the road which will add at least 5km of walk extra for each way. If you do have a specialised vehicle you can drive up to the foot of the volcano. To hike Snæfellsjökull glacier you should be prepared to walk for hours, it´s not a very difficult walk, although it can become increasingly more challenging due to different weather conditions. Since you are walking on a glacier, you have to have some experience in glacier hiking if you´ve decided to do it on your own.
Do not attempt to ascend without a proper briefing about road conditions and weather forecast. There is none or very poor phone reception from Hellissandur to Lóndrangar. Appropriate clothing, enough food, ice equipment, good energy and determination are a must in order to complete your mission. Headlamps are necessary if you will hike in the winter time when days are short. Choose a day with perfect weather conditions. No wind and good visibility will help you to experience the immense beauty of an Icelandic nature and you will be rewarded with endless self-satisfaction once at the top admiring unbelievable Iceland’s gorgeousness.