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Fake glacier trips in Iceland

A real glacier or the nearest snowy mountaintop? That is the question. PIC Martin_vmorris

Team Total Iceland can confirm that some of the trips advertised as glaciers trips or tours never really go near a real glacier.

It is not clear how widespread this practice is but the glacier tour companies substitute very snowy areas for a glacier and few people are any wiser. Even Icelanders themselves have been taken in and very easily since a snowy mountain area is really not that different from a glacier. But the mountaintop is naturally much much safer and much less hassle for the tour guides and in some cases much cheaper for the organizer too.

you will probably not know the difference

Two persons working for these companies confirm to Total Iceland that the practice is common but it also depends a lot on the weather and conditions. It is not advisable to be on a glacier if winds are picking up and snowmobiling, a popular sport on these trips, is hazardous on a crevasse filled glacier as most are.

As an experience you will probably not know the difference but Team Total Iceland believes a glacier trip, which are pretty costly, should be a glacier trip and not just a trip to the nearest snow blanketed area. If in doubt on a trip ask and ask again. You could also find the coordinates for a glacier you are visiting and compare on the way if a signal is possible.

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