Svínafellsjökull Glacier – A Journey Beyond the Wall


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The fact that Iceland is called the land of ice and fire is backed by two main geological attributes of the place, out of which one is the never-ending, larger-than-life-sized glaciers of the country. Svínafellsjökull glacier is one of those glaciers that Iceland is known for all over the world. The electric blue ice, unique structures, and formations, and enormous size of this glacial tongue make it an all-time favorite of the hikers and ice cave enthusiasts. To paint a picture with words, the view of the Svínafellsjökull glacier and its surrounding areas including a huge electric blue and white ice glacier standing amidst a clear sky with a foreground of lush green fields. Everything about the glacier is magnificent and you will feel the same when you finally stand the foot, ready to conquer the ice.

Svínafellsjokull glacier tounge - Vatnajokull glacier - Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Enjoy a Piece of the Largest Glacier of Iceland

Svínafellsjökull glacier is a glacial tongue of the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Iceland as well as in Europe. Svínafellsjökujll is a part of the Skaftafell Nature Reserve which is well-known for its picturesque landscapes, beautiful vistas, and raw, rugged beauty of nature. Now both the glacier and reserve are a part of the Vatnajökull National Park which was constructed later than the reserve. Skaftafell was used to be a national park before the construction of Vatnajökull National Park.

 Svínafellsjökull being a glacial tongue features many ice cracks that it has developed over the years. You can actually hear the ice move at times when you are atop this glacier, sounds endearing right? The environment is of a whole other class on this beautiful glacier. There are structures that you would barely see on any other glacier.

Svínafellsjokull glacier tounge - Vatnajokull glacier - Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Step on the Land that Lies ‘North to the Wall’

If you are a Game of Thrones fan then you may already know where this is heading. Svínafellsjökull glacier is the one which was chosen to represent the place that lies beyond the wall in the famous HBO TV series Game of Thrones. To jog your memory, beyond the wall is where both the wildlings and the white walkers were. The significance and the importance of the wall and the place that lies beyond is hidden from none and the same goes for the beauty. The popularity of the glacier got serious publicity after this featured appearance in the show making it one of the most visited glacial tongues in the country.

What to Expect?

If you are expecting to be completely lost in the enormous beauty of this glorious glacial tongue then you are on the right track. Expect to see electric blue ice structures with black lava veins crawling across, ridges that run very deep and are seemingly impossible to climb but definitely a sight to behold, and last but not the least, the views that you will be able to see from the top of the glacier. You will be able to catch a glimpse of the rest of the area of the Vatnajökull National Park which includes the rest of the glacial outlets, many mountain peaks, the forest as well as the ocean. The additional attraction, apart from the beautiful vistas and hiking expeditions, is the very own glacial lagoon of Svínafellsjökull glacier. It is quite small in comparison to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon but lacks nowhere when it comes to beauty and tranquility.

Svínafellsjokull glacier tounge - Vatnajokull glacier - Skaftafell Nature Reserve

How to Get There?

Aim to reach the Skaftafell Nature Reserve when heading to the Svínafellsjökull glacier. The Nature Reserve is located right off the main road of Iceland, otherwise known as the Ring Road. Simply start on route number 49 if you are traveling from the capital city of Reykjavík and exit on Route 1 i.e. the Ring Road at the roundabout. It will be a 4-hour-long journey from this point till you reach the left turn that continues on route number 998. After turning left, drive another 2.5 kilometers to reach your destination which will take about 10 minutes. The journey is long if you are driving from Reykjavik, but very simple and you can easily find the route on google maps. There are also numerus of locations to explore on the way and you can find great accommodation in the area. Check out the top 10 locations to visit on the south coast to make sure you don’t miss the best locations when driving this route. 

Map of Svínafellsjökull Glacier

Interesting locations in the area

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