Glaciers are a big part of Iceland. Quite literally – the word ‘Iceland’ consists of ‘ice’ and ‘land’. So experiencing the ‘ice’ part of Iceland is quite important! There are many glaciers in Iceland.
Actually, Iceland is home to one of the biggest glaciers in Europe – the Vatnajökull glacier. The best way to see some icebergs up close is to visit glacier outlets. So here are 5 glacier outlets you should definitely consider visiting in Iceland!
Read more >>> 7 famous places to see basalt columns in Iceland
1. Sólheimajökull glacier
Sólheimajökull glacier is one of the most easily accessible glaciers in Iceland! There is a wide parking lot (for a fee) that is reachable by all cars, even the smallest.
And then it is about 200-300 meters till the first viewpoint of the glacier. There is a smaller path after the viewpoint where you can continue to get closer to the glacier lagoon and see closer or even touch the ice.
You can even climb on the very edge of the glacier, but I do not recommend hiking on it any further without a guide or equipment, as it can be very dangerous. The ice is melting and can break.
The name of the glacier translates as the ‘home of the Sun’. It is an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull – the fourth-largest ice cap in Iceland. There are some guided tours available on the glacier as well if you are interested.
We had enough fun climbing on the side of the glacier and exploring it up close. This glacier allows you to see the ice and even touch it. It is not the situation at other glaciers in Iceland (unless you take guided tours).
2. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is part of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier – an outlet glacier of the biggest ice cap in Iceland – Vatnajökull. This lagoon is the most famous glacier lagoon and definitely the most visited one in Iceland. And there are many reasons for this.
First, it is very easy to get to – the lake is right next to the road. Second, there are boat tours available and you can see the big icebergs up close. Then, if you are lucky (just as we were!!) you might even see some seals swimming in the glacier lagoon!
And last, but not least – you will find the famous Diamond beach (read more about 5 beautiful beaches in Iceland in this blog post!) next to this glacier lagoon. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is connected to the ocean by a canal or river where the small pieces of icebergs float out in the ocean.
Then the ocean waves push them back to the shore and the iceberg pieces then are left shining on the beach on the black sand. It looks quite magical. The only downside to this place is that it can get very crowded.
3. Fjallsjökull glacier
Fjallsjökull glacier is an outlet glacier of the biggest ice cap in Iceland – Vatnajökull. This is a less-known glacier however it was definitely one of my favorites! It actually may be my favorite glacier in Iceland, haha!
The reason for this is that you can drive a car very close to it (there is a tarmac road and a big parking lot), and the hike to the glacier lagoon is merely 300 meters. So it is super easy to access. But that is not the best part!
The best part about this glacier is that there are hundreds or thousands of broken icebergs floating in the glacier lake! You can very easily descend to the lake and touch the icy water as well as actually take some iceberg pieces in your hands. How crazy is that?
We were lucky to get there in the evening when everything was glittering in the setting sun! It all looked quite magical! There are boat tours available as well, but just looking at this beauty was more than enough for us!
4. Svínafellsjökull glacier
Svínafellsjökull is one of the outlet glaciers of the famous Vatnajökull glacier. Fun fact about this glacier – it was featured in The Game of Thrones as the place ‘beyond the wall’ if you know what I mean. This place has become even more popular after featuring in the series.
And rightly so – this glacier is truly majestic. You can only admire and be in awe of the power of nature. Although it lies there silently (sometimes you can hear the ice cracking tho), it emits so much history and power.
Getting there is very easy – there is a dirt road (but in good condition) that leads very close to the glacier. Just drive as far as you can until the parking lot. Then continue on foot on the path that goes in the direction of the glacier.
It will be a 400 to 500-meter walk to the shores of the glacier lake. The big icebergs and glacier ice are very close to the shores of the lake, so you can really see everything up close.
If you turn to your right, you will see a snow-covered mountain – Hvannadalshnúkur. It is the highest peak in Iceland standing at 2110 meters.
5. Skaftafellsjökull glacier
Skaftafellsjökull glacier is another outlet glacier of the biggest ice cap in Iceland – the Vatnajökull glacier. Over the years the glacier has been melting and melting, and now it stands a bit further away from the shores of the glacier lake, so the view is not so up close as it is at other glaciers in Iceland.
However, this glacier is a very popular place for glacier tours that you can book online. Getting to the glacier is quite easy. You will have to park your car at the Skaftafell Visitor Center and then continue on the trail that leads to the glacier.
There is also a small path at the side of the slopes of the mountain where you can walk closer to the ice. However, we went there on a very rainy day and didn’t want to risk any landslides. But we did access the lagoon and observe the glacier from the shores of the glacier lake.
More Iceland travel inspiration!
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- Ring Road bucket list: best places to see in Iceland
Glaciers are an important part of Iceland the same as ‘ice’ is a big part of ‘Ice-land’. You don’t get to see glaciers in many parts and countries in the world, so being able to see them and even touch some pieces of glaciers and icebergs is a unique experience.
In my opinion, Iceland is THAT country everyone should visit once in their lives! It is full of magical and unbelievable nature spots and places you won’t really see anywhere else on Planet Earth! If you can, please, leave a comment below if there are any significant changes to anything that is written in this blog post! Many thanks!