1. Iceland
  2. South Iceland
  3. The Svínafellsjökull glacier
Written by Sandrine Published on 27/10/16

Once again, Iceland impresses us with its immense glaciers, stretching over kilometres creating surreal landscapes! With its 8 kilometres long and approximately 800 metres wide, the Svínafellsjökull is one of these incredible ice monsters. And yet, on the map of Iceland, he seems ridiculous compared to the immense Vatnajökull, and even to the Öræfajökull, the glacier from which he comes.

Svínafellsjökull seen from drone
Svínafellsjökull seen from drone

1How to get to the Svínafellsjökull ?

The Svínafellsjökull is located in the immediate vicinity of Skaftafell Park. At 3 km from the Skaftafell car park, towards Hof, a small gravel road branches off from road 1 in the direction of the North-East. It is just signposted Svínafellsjökull. The road approaches the Öræfajökull foothills. After 2 kilometres, it ends with a small parking lot. Be careful because it can be saturated in summer.

2Little Iceberg Lake at the feed of Svínafellsjökull

After a few meters on foot, you will soon be on the shores of a large lake where the end of the glacier is bathed in rather brownish water. The last bits of ice that come off the tongue end up here, little by little devoured by the sun and feeding the water of the lake.

Svínafellsjökull glacier
The lake is formed by the melting of the glacier

The colour of the water comes from black ash deposits that were collected during the eruptions on the glacier. If the weather is mild, you will see water vapour escape from the lake, creating beautiful fog clusters that are very photogenic.

Svínafellsjökull glacier
The little bits of icebergs end their lives.
The mist on the lake.

3The incredible Svínafellsjökull glacier

An access by the rocks allows you to take a little altitude and to have a very nice view on the whole of the ice tongue. There is no definite path, but you can walk on the rocks along the side of the glacier. Continuing for a few tens of meters, you can see the glacier climbing up a mountain of ice in the distance. In the sun, the glacier reveals sublime colors of a brilliant blue!

Be careful and do not climb on the glacier without a guide, as the ice is unstable and cracks are numerous.

Svínafellsjökull glacier
The glacier's getting higher in the distance.
Svínafellsjökull glacier
The cracks are numerous, shearing the ice.

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