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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue

Updated: May 10

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue and lagoon
Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue and lagoon

There are many glacier tongues that stem from the massive ice cap Vatnajökull. When driving the Ring Road in Iceland on the south side, the glacier tongues create a fascinating landscape, with ice cliffs falling hundreds of meters and moving at such a slow speed that the human eye can't capture the movement. The view is decorated with a clean white top and a beautiful green and yellow foreground during summer. As the ice melts and decreases, the cliffs in between the tongues increase. Each tongue has a unique name, with the most famous and accessible being Skaftafellsjokull and Svínafellsjökull on the southern side.

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue  is in the South Region on the Map of Iceland
Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue is in the South Region on the Map of Iceland

Svínafellsjökull is a great place to get close to a glacier tongue

Svínafellsjökull glacier
Svínafellsjökull glacier

You want to see a glacier tongue up close for many reasons. First is the ice breaking apart and forming hundreds of cracks and stacks of an endless formation. It is always a mild attack on your imagination as you just can't avoid strange thoughts in proximity to this demolishing part of nature. Secondly, the beauty of this amazing landscape is so bright and clean yet so powerful. Thirdly, there is the weirdness when you can hear the movement and all the spooky sounds, although you can't see the movement. Then, there are many motives you can find to photograph. We could probably go on and on. Svínafellsjökull glacier has also gained fame as an attraction after this fascinating site was selected as a location for Game of Thrones season seven to represent "north of the wall."

Glacier tongues and lagoons

The Svínafellsjökull glacier falling like a slow river
The Svínafellsjökull glacier falling like a slow river

You will find a lake or at least a small pond at the end of many glacier tongues. Some are larger glacier tongues, like the famous Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón, where the icebergs float on a relatively large lake, and some are small with icebergs that have broken from the tongues. The lagoon by Svínafellsjökull is small but enough to give the glacier a fascinating and compelling look. The glacier tongue is simply a fascinating phenomenon in nature, and there are not many places you can visit such a natural wonder with such proximity as you can by visiting Svínafellsjökull. Svínafellsjökull is also part of the Ring Road drive in Iceland, and I recommend reading my article about the Ring Road drive.

For those interested in seeing Svínafellsjökull, you only need to drive a few kilometers east from Skaftafell on the Ring Road and turn left to drive the short distance to Svínafellsjökull.


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