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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue

Updated: Apr 7

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue and lagoon
Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue and lagoon

From the massive ice cap Vatnajökull, there are many glacier tongues. On the south side, they form a fascinating landscape when you are driving the Ring Road in Iceland. Falling hundreds of meters in between cliffs and mountains at such a slow speed that it is impossible for the human eye to capture the movement. Giving the view a clean white top and, at least during summer, a beautiful green and yellow foreground. In between are the increasing cliffs as the ice melts and decreases. All of the tongues have names. On the southern side, the most famous and most accessible are Skaftafellsjokull and Svínafellsjökull glacier tongues.

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

There are many reasons why you want to see a glacier tongue up close. 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 when in proximity to this demolishing part of nature. Secondly, the beauty of this amazing landscape is so bright and clean yet so powerful. Thirdly is the weirdness when you can hear the movement and all the spooky sounds, although you can't see the movement. And then the 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.

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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