No matter how far you wander, Iceland is one place which has to be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s home to steaming hot springs, more than 20 active volcanoes, natural attractions and bubbling geysers. And how can we miss the insanely gorgeous Northern lights! But there is one more stunning attraction in Iceland which is so pretty that it almost looks unreal! Yes, we are talking about the largest ice cap in Iceland- Vatnajökull.
All About The Vatnajökull Glacier
Translated as Vatna Glacier in English, Vatnajökull is the most voluminous and largest ice cap in Iceland, and it is the second-largest glacier in Europe. Located in the south-east of the island, Vatnajökull covers approximately 8% of the country. The name Vatnajokull means, ‘the river glacier’, as it is the origin of many rivers and lakes. Covering an area of 7,900 km² with an average ice thickness of 1,250 feet and a maximum thickness of 3,120 feet (yes!), Vatnajökull is the second largest ice cap in Europe. In June 2008, the glacier became a part of the Vatnajökull National Park.
Also, the glacier boasts over 30 more outlet glaciers (valley glaciers because they are in the shape of mountains), that are the channels of ice that flow out of ice caps but remains constrained on the sides of the valley. Even, numerous rivers run out of the Vatnajökull glacier that makes up some of the greatest glacial rivers in Iceland and also makes for scenic views!
The Last Volcanic Eruption in 2011
Like all other big glaciers in Iceland, Vatnajökull Glacier also has an active volcano underneath the ice. In today’s time, the volcanoes continue to erupt beneath the glaciers that eventually results in many documented floods. One of them was Grímsfjall, the last eruption in the spring of 2011. The sudden melting of ice glaciers creates massive floors.
Apart from that, there are ice caves too, that are formed as canals for water running through or at the bottom of the glacier. The ice caves are formed in the summer when the flow of meltwater is at its peak. And yes, each winter the weather cools and conditions changes.
Vatnajökull National Park
Established in June 2018, Vatnajökull National Park covers an area of 14,141 square kilometres and is the second-largest national park in Europe. It includes 14% of Iceland, and along with Vatnajokull glacier, the park encompasses surrounding areas Jokulsargljufur in the north and Skaftafell in the south. You won’t find another national park like this as it offers stunning landscapes that make it unique in the world. There’s no other place on the earth where you will find a combination of the dynamic ice cap and outlet glaciers with a frequently active sub-glacial volcanic activity.
Popular In TV Series And Movies
The beauty of the Vatnajökull glacier and the Vatnajökull National Park is something that can’t go unnoticed. Many famous scenes in Hollywood web series and movies have been shot here. Many films like James Bond: A View to Kill, James Bond: Die Another Day and Batman Begins have been shot here in the park and feature the glacier too. Most famously, the famous and most-watched HBO series Game of Thrones, the second season was filmed here for the north of the wall.
We are sure like us you are also remembering the episode now and thinking what a stunning natural wonder we have on our planet!
(Featured Image Source: mountainguides)