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Vatnajökull National Park is one of three national parks in Iceland. It encompasses all of Vatnajökull glacier and extensive surrounding areas. These include the national parks previously existing at Skaftafell in the southwest and Jökulsárgljúfur in the north.

The unique qualities of Vatnajökull National Park are primarily its great variety of landscape features, created by the combined forces of rivers, glacial ice, and volcanic and geothermal activity.

Getting there

The best way to reach the park is to fly to Reykjavik and drive a car to the national park. It is generally recommended to drive a car when exploring Iceland. This provides great flexibility in terms of visiting some of the more secluded areas. The drive from Reykjavik to the national park is around 4 - 5 hours.

When to visit

This is the most popular national park in Iceland and there is something to do in every season. It is popular in all seasons and accessible as long as you plan your visit during the colder months. Check with the local authorities for any warnings regarding landslides/volcanic activity etc.


Park website


Park size

14141 km²

Park founded


Useful links

Skaftafell Hiking Map


Camping & Huts


Map of Vatnajökull National Park

Image gallery of Vatnajökull National Park

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Visitor/Information centres in Vatnajökull National Park

Most national parks have an associated visitor centre to help visitors. They are usually open most of the year but some close in the off-season. You will often be able to find information on all the activities in the national park. A visit to the visitor centre is often recommended before venturing into the park.

Natural Sights

Most national parks have there own trademarks. This goes for both natural sights and man-made. This section will list any popular sights in nature.

Mushroom hunting in Vatnajökull National Park

Iceland is not popular for foraging in general. Much of the land is barren in the colder seasons and it's not a popular place for mushroom hunting. The same goes for the national park.

Camping rules in Vatnajökull National Park

Wild camping is not permitted in the national parks on Iceland. It is permitted on public lands if you hike to permitted areas with a tent. Make sure you check the land is public before pitching a tent and stay clear of national park land. This national park has areas designated for wild camping.

Bears in Vatnajökull National Park

Bears in Vatnajökull National Park

No bears in the park

This national park has no bears and you do not need to take precautions.