The 5 Best Glaciers in Iceland

Discover the World’s Greatest Glaciers in Iceland

|June 29, 2020
Jessie is your basic nature lover with a particular interest in all things water. From the high peaks of the Himalaya's to the lush depths of the Amazon, she's hiked some of the the world's greatest trails.

Glaciers in Iceland are among the best natural wonders in the world. In fact, the country’s glaciers are so great that you can see them from space!

With ice caps covering over 11% of the country’s land area, Iceland is one of the top destinations for glacier exploration. To help you plan your glacier adventure, here is a list of the 5 best glaciers in Iceland:

Map of glaciers in Iceland

1. Vatnajökull Glacier: Europe’s Largest Ice Cap

View to Vatnajökull Glacier

Vatnajökull Glacier is Iceland’s largest and most famous glacier. Located inside Vatnajokull National Park, the ice cap covers 8% of Iceland’s total land with an area of 8,100 km2 (3,100 sq mi). The glacier is also home to Hvannadalshjukur, Iceland’s highest peak.

Vatnajökull has roughly 30 outlet glaciers in Iceland’s southern region. From ice caving to snowmobiling, these outlets are an excellent place to have a glacier adventure. They also create a spectacular view from your window if you’re driving along Iceland’s South Coast.

2. Mýrdalsjökull: The Glacier that Covers Katla Volcano

Myrdalsjokull Glacier in Iceland

Mýrdalsjökull Glacier is another glacier in Iceland’s southern region. It’s most famous as the glacier that covers Katla Volcano, the largest active volcano in Iceland. Mýrdalsjökull is also known for its glacier tongue Sólheimajökull.

Sólheimajökull is a 10-km-long glacier outlet surrounded by unique rock formations and stunning scenery. Adventurers travel to the glacier for Sólheimajökull Glacier activities including hiking and climbing.

3. Langjökull: The Second Largest Glacier in Iceland

Langjökull glacier in Iceland

Only a 1.5-hour drive from Reykjavik, Langjökull Glacier is the closest glacier to Iceland’s capital city. The glacier covers an area of 953 km2 (592 m2) and is the second largest ice cap in Iceland.

Langjökull Glacier is famous for being the best spot for snowmobiling in Iceland. Hop into a snowmobile and glide atop an icy wonderland. Another popular Langjokull activity is the Into the Glacier ice cave tour. Walk inside Iceland’s largest man-made ice cave inside Langjokull.

4. Snæfellsjökull: The Glacier on Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Snaefellsjokull Glacier in Iceland

Snæfellsjökull, also known as the Snowfall Glacier, is on the tip of Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland. The glacier is famous for being featured as the Center of the Earth in Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Snæfellsjökull Glacier was named Iceland’s first national park in 2001. The glacier and its surrounding area are a great place to explore Iceland’s greatest natural wonders. A few of the main attractions include coastal villages, red-sand beaches, and Icelandic wildlife.

5. Eyjafjallajökull: The Most Notorious Glacier in Iceland

Distance view to Eyjafjallajökull glacier in Iceland

Eyjafjallajökull is a world-famous glacier-capped volcano in South Iceland. The small glacier became famous in 2010 after it erupted and caused a major disruption to international air traffic.

If you’d like to get up close to Eyjafjallajokull Glacier, it’s advised to take a guided tour to the area. The most popular Eyjafjallajokull attraction is a super jeep guided tour of the 2010 eruption area. Another fun activity to do in the area is to get a bird’s-eye view of the glacier with a helicopter ride.

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