Skaftafell National Park is only about 15 minutes drive away from Nónhamar Guesthouse. Skaftafell is one of Iceland's greatest natural treasures where beautiful flora meets glossy black sands and giant white glaciers. Nowhere in Iceland is the natural variety and contrast as abundant and evident as in Skaftafell and most visitors concede that even by Icelandic standards it is unique. In 1967, Skaftafell was formally made into a national park and in 2008 it became a part of Europe's largest national park, Vatnajökull National Park.
The Skaftafell area has been shaped by volcanic eruptions, glaciers and lakes that have created diverse and unique formations. The area is renowned for its good weather and varied vegetation as Öræfajökull provides excellent shelter. The mountain slopes are covered with birch, in some places interspersed with rowan trees, and bottom vegetation is luxuriant. Around 250 types of vascular plants can be found in the area as well as nesting places of around 30 different species of birds.
There are plenty of hiking paths within Skaftafell and everyone should be able to find a suitable route. Easier hikes include the trails to Svartifoss and Skaftafellsjökull while the routes to Morsárdalur, Bæjarstaðarskógur, Kjós and Kristínartindar are more challenging.
The Skaftafell Information Centre, Skaftafellsstofa, has an exhibition room where the story of fire and ice is told; the way in which volcanoes and glaciers have struggled to form the surrounding region and the effects of eruptions and glacial outburst floods on daily lives of people. Skaftafellsstofa also has a gift shop that sells a variety of books, postcards and souvenirs.
Natural beauty, good weather and a wide selection of hiking trails makes Skaftafell the ultimate place to visit for those who want to enjoy the outdoors in Icelandic nature.