Iceland is such a diverse, beautiful and ancient country. There’s so much to see and do here but if I could recommend just one thing to try, it would be ice climbing. While you can go ice climbing on many of the different glaciers in Iceland, why not head to Europe’s largest glacier? Vatnajokull Glacier measures 8,100 km2 and is the largest by volume in all of Europe, and second largest by area. Covering approximately 8% of Iceland, the easiest way to access Vatnajokull is through the Vatnajokull National Park in the south. There are a few companies that can take you glacier trekking and ice climbing but I suggest Glacier Guides located right at the visitors center of the southern entrance to the park (I suggest you make reservations ahead of time which can be done through their web site). Ice axes, crampons and a climbing harness all come as part of the tour but you might also have to rent ice climbing boots (at an extra cost).
Once everyone is outfitted with the appropriate gear, you all pile into a bus which drops your group off near the bottom of the glacier (about a 10 min drive). Once there, your guide will lead you on a hike across the rocky volcanic terrain for 15-20 min until you arrive at the base of the glacier. Then it’s time to strap on your crampons for the hike. As you trek up, you’ll pass lots of deep crevasses and beautiful glacier streams, flowing with the freshest water on earth (you can even fill up your water bottle!). Once you've hiked high enough, your guide will scout out a nice ice wall for the group to climb and set up the ropes. Everyone takes turns climbing the wall and once finished, your guide will disassemble the ropes and you’ll move onto another wall to climb. Depending on the skill level of your group, you might even have the chance to rappel down into a crevasse and then climb out! The views you’ll have from simply being on the glacier are breath taking and to be able to ice climb on Europe’s largest glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!