OverviewKristínartindar is located in South Iceland, between two glaciers reaching out from the great Vatnajökull icecap, Skeiðararjökull and Öræfajökull. It is inside Skaftafell, Iceland's second largest national park. The region around is called Öræfi. You can learn more about the area on Öræfi homepage.
As most mountains in Iceland, Kristinartindar is also a result of volcanic activity. Its half-round ridge surrounds an old crater, not active any more.
Though with its 1126 meters not among the highest in altitude, Kristinartindar is a popular place for hikers in Iceland. The reason is its location close to the entry of Skaftefell National Park, and the splendid view you get from the summit. You can glance Iceland's highest peak, the volcanic Hvannadalshnúkur, and admire the glaciers enclosing the mountain in the surrounding valleys.
Getting ThereGetting to Iceland is easiest with Icelandair from both Europe and America, and a cheaper solution from several European cities (London-Stansted, Stockholm, Göteborg, Frankfurt, Koppenhagen) is Icelandexpress. International flights land at Keflavík, near the capital of Reykjavík.
There are long distance bus lines, but the easiest way to get around Iceland is by car. Renting a car is quite expensive (Geysir was the cheapest company I could find in 2005), and I would suggest to choose a 4WD car or jeep, because there are places you can only approach with those. Skaftafell National Park however is along the main road (Nr. 1), so you can get there by any vehicle.
The entrance of the national park with a huge parking place is just a few hundred meters from the main road.
When to ClimbThe summer months, mainly July and August are the best periods to climb. In this season there probably is no snow at this altitude. I am not sure about winter ascent possibilities, but I doubt it would be a good idea.
Red TapeNo fees, no permits required. Parking is also free at the entrance of Skaftafell.
The area is a national park, so the common rules are valid: no littering, no fire, no camping outside the campsite.
It is advised not to leave the beaten track or climb up the glaciers without authorized guides and proper equipment. At the main building of the campground you can get maps and information and you can also contact the Icelandic Mountain Guides there.
Camping, AccomodationThere is a big campsite at the entrance of Skaftefell. It is Open from May 1st to September 30th.
Tel.: +354 478-2236
Fax: +354 478-1627
The nearest guesthouse is in Bölti.
Bölti Guesthouse - 785 Öræfi - Iceland
Tel.: +354 478-1626
Fax.: +354 478-2426
Open from 1st March to 31st October.
Nice place with a traditional atmosphere but quite small and often full, so you will have to book in advance!
Other possibilities are sleeping bag accommodations and farm houses nearby. Look for those east from the national park in Svínafell, Hof or Hnappavellir. Skeiðarársandur area along the main road to the west is quite abandoned - even for Icelandic standards.
There is also a hotel nearby, quite expensive... The hotel website however has some useful information of the area.
Tips for accommodation here
Mountain ConditionsGet prepared with REALLY waterproof boots, because the southern slopes in the first half of the ascent are pretty swampy.
On the upper part very steep trail leads among sharp cliffs. No special gear needed, but beware of loose rocks!
Weather in the area is considered friendlier because Öræfajökull protects it from wind and rain coming from the sea.
About weather and mountain conditions you can get information on the spot from the Icelandic Mountain Guides at the campsite in Skaftafell.
External LinksTravel services in the area, including accommodation, food, transport. Good link!
Short description of Kristinartindar
Weather in Iceland
About Skaftafell National Park on the website of Öræfi area
MapsYou can buy your tourist map at Skaftafell campground.
Some maps you can find on the web:
Maps of Skaftafell - I would rather define them as sketches
Map of Öræfajökull and Öræfi. (Kristinartindar is on the top left corner of this map)
Satellite of Kristínartindar area on Google maps
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