If there’s one thing you do in Iceland, hike a glacier. It’s worth it.
We almost didn’t do it because it’s a costly venture for two and half hours of walking on ice, but M convinced me with some sound logic: How often do we have the opportunity to hike a glacier? Answer: Not often.
I used our Chase points to allay the costs – about $240 for the two of us with Arcanum Glacier Tours. Iceland is filled with amazing glaciers, but most of them are more than a day trip’s drive. Sólheimajökull glacier is a two hour drive from Reykjavik, giving us some time to stop along the way back for additional sightseeing.
Our group was just four people and our guide – us and another couple. It’s about a 20 minute walk from Arcanum headquarters to the base of the glacier. We stopped to put our ice clamps on our sneakers, and then we began to climb.
I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never even seen a glacier before. But I quickly discovered two things. One — glacier hiking is a workout! Not only was I climbing an ice mountain, I was doing it with clamps strapped to my shoes. Two — it is so damn beautiful, I quickly forgot about the effort. Once we got up onto the glacier, it’s just ice for as long as the eye can see. Ice and sky and waterfalls. Every couple of minutes, I’d look around and wonder: How in the world am I here?
If you’re really adventurous (and trained) you can spelunk your way into an ice cave. We stood on the sidelines and gawked appropriately.
Hiking a glacier is a singular experience, and one of the coolest things I’ve done. Put it on your to-do list asap.