About 10% of the land area of Iceland is covered by glaciers. Iceland has 269 named glaciers including outlet glaciers, alpine, cirque glaciers, ice caps, mountain glaciers and piedmont. This therefore means that you will have plenty to choose from when traveling to Iceland.
Tours of the ice fields and glaciers leave from the capital city of Reykjavik, which is usually visited by a number of cruise lines. Once you get to the ice, exploration includes hikes, snow mobile rides and jeep adventures. The following are some of the best glacier destinations you should visit when you take a glacier cruise to Iceland.
This is the largest glacier in Iceland and in Europe as a whole. This glacier is situated in the south-east of the Iceland. Due to its size, Vatnajokull has many glacial tongues on each side of the glacier, each with its own name. The famous one being Oraefajokull glacier which is ideal for hiking since it has the highest peak in Iceland. On top of that, Grimsvotn, which is the most active volcanic system in the country, is also situated in Vatnajokull. On the south-eastern side of this huge glacier is the beautiful glacial lake Jokulsarlon.
This is Iceland’s second biggest glacier with two active volcanoes. The name Langjokull means “long glacier” and it is derived from the elongated shape of the glacier. This glacier is located in the West of the Icelandic highlands and it is clearly visible from Geysir.
This is the third biggest glacier in Iceland that can be reached by glacier cruise. Hofsjokull glacier is situated in the mid-highlands. It is the largest active volcano in the country, a shield with caldera. On top of that, Hofsjokull is also the source of Pjorsa, Iceland’s longest river.
Drangajokull is found in the Westfjords. It is the fifth largest glacier in Iceland and the only glacier that has not decreased in size during the past few years. On top of that, it is the only glacier in the country that is completely below 1000 meters.
This is the fourth largest glacier in Iceland. It is located right next to Eyjafllajokull glacier, the sixth largest glacier in the country. These two glaciers are located in the southern part of Iceland. This glacier is home to the largest and most active volcano in the country Katla. In 2010, there was an eruption in a smaller volcano in the same area. Between the Katla and the small volcano, there is a very popular hiking path known as Fimmvorduhals. This hiking path attracts a lot of tourists to the newly formed and still warm mountain.
Iceland is home to a number of famous glaciers in the world. These glaciers are accessible by cruise. However, there are other smaller glaciers in Iceland that are rapidly decreasing in size. Snaefellsjokull glacier is one of the small glaciers in the country yet it is one of the most famous ones in the country.