Skaftafell National Park: The Ultimate Road Trip Destination in Iceland

Driving to Skaftafell national park Iceland, Lagoon car rental.
Vatnajökull Glacier on the road to Skaftafell National park.

Ah, Iceland, a land of stark contrasts and natural wonders, where every turn along the road offers views worth framing. Among these treasures is Skaftafell National Park. A must-visit for anyone craving outdoor adventures set against a backdrop of breathtaking landscapes.

Planning Your Trip and Renting a Car

When to Visit: The best time to explore Skaftafell is from early June to late September, when the trails are most accessible and the flora is in full bloom. Venturing outside this period? Prepare for snowy paths and limited access.

Choosing Your Ride: Selecting the right car is crucial for navigating Iceland’s rugged terrain. I recommend a 4×4, especially for the gravel roads and unpredictable weather conditions you might face. Of course book with a reliable Iceland car rental company, that includes comprehensive insurance.

Icy roads and loose gravel can be tricky to handle without proper coverage!

Driving to Skaftafell National Park

From Reykjavik to Skaftafell, the journey is roughly four hours of stunning scenery. Driving along Route 1, Iceland’s picturesque landscapes unfold with every kilometer, from sprawling waterfalls to majestic glaciers. This drive is not just a route, but a highlight reel of natural wonders.

Driving Tips: Stay vigilant as the weather in Iceland can change in the blink of an eye. Adhere to speed limits and keep an eye on road conditions, as Icelandic roads can be narrow and winding, especially closer to the park.

Skaftafell waterfall lagoon car rental
Svartifoss waterfall at Skaftafell National Park.

Things to Do in Skaftafell National Park

Hiking to Svartifoss: Start with a hike to Svartifoss, one of the park’s most famous sights. This waterfall is framed by hexagonal basalt columns, reminiscent of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and has inspired Icelandic architecture, most notably in Reykjavik’s Hallgrimskirkja church.

Camping Under the Stars: To truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty, spend a night or two camping within the park. Camping in Iceland offers a unique opportunity to either bask in the midnight sun or gaze at the northern lights, depending on when you visit.

Glacier Tours and More: Don’t miss a guided glacier tour, an exhilarating chance to walk on ancient ice and learn about the park’s dynamic geology. For those who seek more adrenaline, ice climbing sessions are also available.

Practical Tips for Visitors

Prepare for All Weather: The weather in Iceland is notoriously unpredictable. Dressing in layers and packing waterproof gear is essential. Expect everything from sunshine to sudden showers.

Packing Smart: Along with clothing suitable for all conditions, pack high-energy snacks, a comprehensive first aid kit, and a reliable map. When hiking in Iceland, having a GPS or a reliable offline map on your phone can prove indispensable.

Blue ice cave lagoon car rental
See the blue ice caves at Skaftafell National Park.


Visiting Skaftafell National Park offers a unique blend of adventure, calm, and inspiring beauty. Whether you’re steering along the roads or pitching your tent, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Remember, always respect the natural environment. Tread lightly and leave no trace, helping to preserve Iceland’s pristine beauty for future explorers.

If you like to learn more about interesting places in Iceland and natural wonders, please check out Our Blog.