Solheimajökull Glacier is much more than just an icy landscape – it has amazing natural wonders that visitors can admire and exciting activities that make going to the glacier a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you’ve got an upcoming trip to the island, or you’re just curious to learn more about this magical place, read on. You might be surprised at what you learn about Solheimajökull Glacier.
What Makes Solheimajökull Glacier So Special?
Solheimajökull is a glacier tongue or outlet that is a part of Myrdalsjökull Glacier. It’s also the one glacier that’s probably never pronounced the right way by visitors on their first attempt.
Despite its spelling, Solheimajökull is pronounced sole-hi-ma-yo-coot-luh. Solheimajökull is the very definition of Iceland being the Land of Fire and Ice, as it’s surrounded by some of the island’s most impressive volcanoes, Eyjafjallajökull and Katla.
Where is Solheimajökull in Iceland?
Solheimajökull Glacier is Near Vik in Iceland (just north of it, to be exact). This is in the south of Iceland. In fact, Solheimajökull is considered one of the most southern accessible glaciers here in Iceland.
The glacier is about a 2-hour drive east from the capital city of Reykjavík, making it possible to visit as a day trip during the warmer months with sufficient daylight hours. But since it’s also conveniently close to the popular Ring Road, we’d recommend that you rather add it as a stop along a Ring Road road trip around the country.
How Do I Get to Solheimajökull Glacier?
The most common ways of getting to Solheimajökull Glacier are:
Via a Guided Tour
There are a myriad of tour operators and private guides here on the island that give visitors the opportunity to go to Solheimajökull Glacier. These can range from day trips with Solheimajökull as the sole destination and combo tours to even multi-day tours that include various local attractions including Solheimajökull. Many of these tours depart from Reykjavík although you’ll be able to arrange a tour from some of the other surrounding towns as well.
Via a Self-drive
You can simply drive to Solheimajökull yourself. If you make a road trip out of it, you can create a proper trip itinerary with various local landmarks and sites to stop at along the way (just remember to also leave enough time for those impromptu stops). It’s also really easy to drive to Solheimajökull.
You just need to get onto the Ring Road and head east for about 2 hours. Then you need to turn left onto Route 221. After about 4 kilometers, you’ll reach the Solheimajökull Glacier parking lot. Just keep in mind that even though you can drive to Solheimajökull yourself, you will not be able to explore the glacier or partake in any of its activities without an experienced guide with you due to safety concerns.
When is the Best Time to Visit Solheimajökull Glacier?
Even though it may sound odd, this icy wonder is open to the public all year round – even when things heat up here on the island and most of our ice caves are kept closed. That’s also why you might want to consider coming during our colder months, when you can go ice cave exploring too. And whilst cold, winter conditions are perfect for a glacier adventure, extreme weather conditions are not, so we suggest that you keep a close eye on the Icelandic weather forecast before heading out.
Can you Visit Solheimajökull Glacier on Your Own?
As we mentioned earlier, you will need to have an experienced guide with you if you’re planning on exploring the glacier or taking part in any of the activities offered there. This is because glacial terrain with things such as deep crevasses is nothing to mess about on, and the first priority is your safety.
The Solheimajökull Glacier Hike
If you don’t fancy going on a guided tour and hiking across the glacier, you can still get up close and personal to the glacier, but on your own terms with the Solheimajökull Glacier Hike.
This hike is roughly 2.5 kilometers long and will take you about 45 minutes to complete, depending on your pace. The trail is an out & back trail, so is not in a loop and is considered to be easy to moderate. The end of the trail is a viewpoint over the glacier. The start of the trail is at the end of Road 221, which lies just off the Ring Road.
Things to Do at Solheimajökull Glacier & Surroundings
You will find plenty of things to do and see at Solheimajökull Glacier and the surrounding area (hence why it’s a good idea to stay over for a night or two). These are just a few things that you can look forward to:
- Solheimajokull Glacier hiking via a guided tour
- Check out Solheimajokull Glacier Lagoon
- Cruise across Solheimajokull Glacier on a snowmobile
- Visit Skogafoss Waterfall
- Take a stroll on the black sand beaches of Vik
- Visit Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Where to Stay Near Solheimajökull Glacier
If you’ve decided to stay over and take proper advantage of everything the area has to offer, there are a wide variety of accommodation options available that’ll suit everyone’s preferences and budget. The following places come highly recommended:
Is Solheimajökull Glacier Worth Visiting?
Solheimajökull Glacier promises to be the icy adventure of a lifetime. From breathtaking views and sceneries to exciting activities – this glacier has it all. To make the most out of your trip to Solheimajökull, we suggest you rent a campervan in Iceland, and take on a Ring Road road trip around the island which includes Solheimajökull as a stop along the way.
You can even book a spot at Vik Camping so you can explore the area properly whilst camping in comfort and style. This way, Solheimajökull Glacier will not only be the adventure of a lifetime, but an affordable one at that. Happy travels!