In the Vatnajökull region you find the real reason Iceland got its name. The area is dominated by the Vatnajökull glacier, which is the largest glacier in the world outside the polar regions. There you also find some of Iceland's most popular tourist attractions, such as the spectacular Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Skaftafell which is the jewel in Vatnajökull National Park and Hvannadalshnjúkur, the highest peak in Iceland and a popular hike. The Vatnajökull region is filled with contrast, with its black beaches and white glaciers. Serenity, energy and the forces of nature combine to make a visit to the Vatnajökull region a never-to-be-forgotten experience and a photographer's dream.
There is rich wildlife in the Vatnajökull region, with thousands of migrating birds passing through and herds of reindeer are a common sight. If you're lucky you might spot a seal at Jökulsárlón or an Arctic fox running through the land. You will also find dozens of companies that offer all sorts of activities year round, diverse accommodation and great restaurants with local food.
The Vatnajökull region is in the Southeast of Iceland and covers over 200 km of the Ring Road from Lómagnúpur in the west to Hvalnes in the east. It covers the South and most accessible side to Vatnajökull. There is one town in the area, Höfn, with a population of 1,600.
Activity, accommodation and restaurants
Much of the activity in the Vatnajökull region revolves around the glacier and the nature around it. You can choose between boat rides at Jökulsárlón, glacier walks, ice cave tours and ice climbing, snowmobile tours and jeep tours on Vatnajökull, ATV tours and geothermal baths at Hoffell, northern lights tours, reindeer excursions, a visit to the Þorbergssetur cultural museum, the local handicraft store, or the Farm zoo at Hólmur, and many more.
There are various accommodation options to suit different needs. Whether you want to sleep in your tent, in a hotel or anything in between, you will find a warm welcome from knowledgable hosts.
There are several restaurants in the area and most of them offer local food made in the Vatnajökull region by local people. Be sure to ask for the local beer Vatnajökull, which is made from icebergs from Jökulsárlón and Arctic thyme. A meal of lobster is also a good choice since Höfn is the lobster (lingoustine) capital of Iceland. Accessible the whole year.
The Vatnajökull region is easily accessible the whole year due to well prepared and maintained transport infrastructure. There is a daily flight from Reykjavík to Höfn airport during the summer and five days a week in other seasons. Buses between Reykjavík and Höfn are scheduled daily during the summer and three days a week during other seasons. There are three car rental companies in Höfn.