Vatnajokull Glacier

Vatnajokull Glacier
Photo by: ezioman, Creative Commons

Iceland is famous for its natural wonders including its humongous glaciers. The largest of which is the Vatnajokull Glacier situated in the southeast part of the country. This glacier is considered the largest in the continent by volume. Its average thickness is 400 meters and can reach up to a maximum thickness of 1000 meters. It has an approximate area of 8100 km2. Several active volcanoes are underneath this large glacier’s ice cap. The most active of these volcanoes is the Grimsvotn volcano which has just erupted in November 2004. Tuyas or steep-sided volcanoes were formed because of these volcanic eruptions. Hvannadalshnjukur, Iceland’s highest peak is found on the Vatnajokull Glacier. It rises to an astounding 2110 meters above sea level. The glaciers landscape includes plateaus, valleys and canyons.

In the past years, Vatnajokull Glacier has started to decrease in size. This may be due to some environmental concerns like climate change and the continuous volcanic activity.

Tourists can choose from a wide variety of activities on the ice. There are activities like ice climbing, snowmobile riding, trekking, and sailing. You don’t have to be an experienced climber to hike the glacier. Professional climbers will assist you and ensure your safety. Tourists can cruise between the giant glaciers and icebergs floating on the sea. One can go all over the glacier with an experienced guide while riding a snowcat or jeep. Humpbacks and Blue Whales, if you are lucky, are present in the place. You can also enjoy watching dolphins.

Fishing in the nearby village is also a big attraction in the place. There is so much to see in Vatnajokull Glacier like the hot springs in ice caves and the cavern system below the glacier. Vatnajokull Glacier is famous not only because of its enormous size. It is also well-known for the fun-filled activities and the breathtaking sights you can experience and witness at the same time.

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