Wild Backpacking in Iceland

Backpacking, Hot Springs, Glacier Crossing
10 Explorer Chicks
8 Days


Backpack in Iceland through canyons, mountains, and glaciers with our Women Only, Small Group Adventure Tour in Iceland. Trek through the hinterlands of Iceland surrounded by a varying landscape including sharp mountains, glaciers, lagoons, lava plains, steep canyons, rivers, and waterfalls. Experience the long days and the midnight sun of an Icelandic summer. Bask in the peace and quiet of a route that sees very little traffic avoiding the overcrowded trails of the summer on your 8 day/7 night backpacking trip in Iceland.

Four nights and five days will be spent deep in the wilderness of Iceland where only your two feet can take you. You’ll hike the canyons carved by the Núpsá river scrambling up cliff sides and overlooking roaring waterfalls. You’ll cross lava plains pink with the blooms of Arctic River Beauty flowers. You’ll spot floating ice bergs in glacier lagoons. You’ll trek for an entire day across the Skeiðarárjökull Glacier. You’ll climb, cross, and descend mountains yellow with rhyolite. You’ll finish your backpacking journey with a night camping in Vatnajökull National Park and a side trip to Svartifoss waterfall. On your final day in Iceland, you’ll soak in the soothing waters of Blue Lagoon before bidding farewell to Iceland.

  • 2 nights Reykjavik Guesthouse (Shared – 2 per Room) – Basic lodging centrally located and within walking distance to pubs, shops, and sites.
  • 4 nights backpack tent camping  – Shared – 2 per tent. Tent and shared camping supplies included.
  • 1 night camping Vatnajökull National Park – Tent and shared camping supplies included.
  • Entrance to the Blue Lagoon with public bus transportation to the spa and then to the airport.
  • All technical glacier traverse equipment including.
  • All entrance and public bus transfer fees
  • Meals as outlined in itinerary
  • Local English speaking guide(s) throughout the full itinerary.
  • A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt
  • One experienced Explorer Chick Leader ensuring your trip is seamless and unforgettable!
  • Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 10 women

*We require a minimum of 4 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm this trip is guaranteed before booking your airfare.

*Packages do NOT include your airfare, arrival airport transportation, alcoholic beverages, Explorer Chick Leader Tips, or costs for additional activities.

*You will receive a full packing list in your travel guide upon deposit, but for planning purposes mandatory gear includes:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Backpack 60-75L
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Waterproof and insulated hiking boots

*A passport that is valid for at least 6 months past your arrival date is required.

Day 1 – Arrivals to Reykjavik, Iceland

Velkominn Explorer Chicks to Iceland! You’ll be greeted by your Explorer Chick Leader upon arrival to our hotel. Your day is free to enjoy Reykjavik on your own. We will officially kick off your adventure with a Welcome Dinner at 7pm. Plan to arrive to Iceland before 6pm.

Accommodation: Reykjavik Guesthouse (Shared – 2 per Room)

Meals: Welcome Dinner

Day 2 – Into the Wild and Climbing a Cliff

Fill up on breakfast because we say, “Good Bye,” to society! Hooray! We’ll meet up with our Icelandic guide in the morning before heading to the local bus terminal. There will be a few short sightseeing stops along our way to Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Here, we will switch over to a more rugged vehicle that can take us over the rivers and into the Núpstaðarskógar valley. We’ll chow down on lunch and sort gear before finally heading out into the wild.

The hiking is short, but scenic today as we start our journey following the Núpsá river. The landscape is lush green from the river before we make our way into the highlands. You’ll have one exciting obstacle today – a 30 foot cliff time assisted with a safety rope!

Accommodation: Backpacking Tent  (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 3 – Chasing Waterfalls and Canyons

Hiking Hours: 6-7 hours

Distance: 9-12 miles

Today we continue along the Núpsá river starting from the valley bottom. A short climb will bring us to the dramatic overlook of the Tvílitihylur waterfalls. The two falls are fed by different water sources resulting in a pool with two different colors. We’ll continue to follow the river hiking along the it’s sculpted canyon reaching as deep as 650 feet. Our camp for the night will be on the lava plains of Sléttur.

Accommodation: Backpacking Tent  (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 4 – Hiking Plains, Mountains, and Lagoons

Hiking Hours: 6-7 hours

Distance: 11-14 miles

This morning we’ll wake to cross the plains pink with Arctic River Beauty flowers. Our route then takes us up the Eggjar mountains where we’ll find the Grænalón glacier lagoon. We’ll continue to hike along the lagoon to our campsite overlooking the lake from the north. You’ll enjoy the remarkable view of the lagoon surrounded by the mountains and dotted with floating ice bergs. Our camp has a spectacular view of the Skeiðarárjökull glacier – the next day’s challenge.

Accommodation: Backpacking Tent  (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 5 – Crossing the Skeiðarárjökull Glacier

Hiking Hours: 7-8 hours

Distance: 11-14 miles

Today is our most challenging day and is dedicated strictly to crossing the Skeiðarárjökull glacier, one of the largest glacier tongues in Europe. We’ll make our way from Grænafjall Mountain to Norðurdalur valley while surrounded by ice and high mountain ridges. It will take almost the entire day hiking on the ice before we are back on solid ground. Your reward for a long day of glacial travel? One of the best camping sites in all of Vatnajökull National Park. We’ll be in a remote area of the park with incredible views over several glacial lakes and brightly colored rhyolite mountains. The extra long summer days will leave plenty of time to relax after a challenging day and take in the beauty that surrounds you.

Accommodation: Backpacking Tent  (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 6 – Skaftafell Mountains and a Celebratory Feast

Hiking Hours: 7-8 hours

Distance: 12-16 miles

This morning we climb a narrow mountain ridge to enjoy the yellowish rhyolite valley of Kjós. You’ll also have a view of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnúkur. We’ll then begin our descent where the vegetation becomes more abundant. Our journey takes us through the Arctic Birch forest of  Bæjarstaðarskógur before we finally reach the main camp site in Skaftafell. We’ll spend one night here giving you time to shower and slowly acclimate back to front country civilization. This evening we’ll skip the freeze dried trail food in favor of a yummy hot meal.

Accommodation: Backpacking Tent  (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 7 – Svartifoss and Return to Reykjavik

Before we jump on the bus to Reykjavik, you’ll have time to visit the Svartifoss waterfalls. The black lava columns surrounding the falls inspired it’s name, “Black Falls.” We’ll then hop on the bus with a few short stops along the way to return to Reykjavik. In the evening we’ll reconvene for one final farewell dinner together.

Accommodation: Reykjavik Guesthouse (Shared – 2 per Room)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Farewell Dinner

Day 8 – Relaxing at Blue Lagoon and Farewell Iceland

No trip to Iceland is complete without a trip the famous Blue Lagoon. You’ll spend a couple of hours marinading in the soothing geothermal waters of the spa. The warm temperatures ranging from 98-102°F will be the perfect ending to your backpacking adventure in Iceland. You’ll have full access to the spa’s saunas, steam rooms, locker rooms, and showers. You’ll be able to securely store your luggage and shower before our departure. After saying our good byes, you’ll board the shuttle to the airport.

Meals: Breakfast

*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, or other unforeseen incidents.

We require a minimum of 4 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm your trip is guaranteed before booking your airfare.

Your trip begins and ends in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Arrival: Plan to arrive on Day 1 in Reykjavík, Iceland prior to 6pm. (KEF)

Departure: Plan to depart Reykjavík, Iceland after 1pm on Day 8. (KEF)

Your arrival airport transfer in Reykjavík are NOT included with your package. There are several options for booking your transportation including public shuttle services.

You will receive a travel guide attached to your booking confirmation with all the information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip!

We highly recommend training prior to your retreat in all conditions with a pack. You will be responsible for carrying your own gear plus shared gear on your trip. This is backpacking after all!  Please be aware of hiking distances as described above and be prepared to hike that distance daily with up to 30 lbs. Train with your pack gradually adding weight to it to allow your body to adapt. To get the most from your Adventure we recommend having a solid fitness base with training on the trails and inclines in a variety of weather conditions. Train how you play!

All Explorer Chicks will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Physical Demands as part of their waiver upon booking.

To protect your travel investment and your hide, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive an no-hassle, online quote in less than 2 minutes.

Questions? We love them! Check out our FAQ’s page first. You’ll probably find your answer there.

If not, send us an email at Info@Explorerchick.com

Trip Price:

From $4,099

Save $300 with Early Bird Pricing!

See your trip’s Facebook page for the Discount Code and Expiration!

Non-Refundable Deposit: $500 due at booking to secure your spot

Reserve Your Spot

Want To Be An Explorer Chick?

Get the latest News & Adventures!

Get notified of our events by subscribing to our Facebook Events!