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Vatnajokull Quick Facts:

  • Largest glacier in Iceland
  • Covers 8% of the country or island
  • Largest icecap in Europe by volume
  • Second largest by area


Vatnajokull Glacier

Vatnajokull Glacier is the largest glacier in Iceland and the largest ice cap in Europe based on volume. The glacier is the second largest ice cap based on area behind Austonna in Europe. The Severny ice cap in the Russia is larger than both. Whether this is part of Europe or Asia depends on where the continental line is drawn between the two.

Vatnajokull Glacier is the largest ice cap based on volume. The thickest part of the ice cap measures a depth of 3,300 feet (1,000 m) with the average thickness coming in around 1,300 feet (400 m). Hvannadalshnukur, which is Iceland's highest peak, is located near Vatnajokull Glacier helping make this region a wonder of nature.

It is hard to imagine, but there are several volcanoes underneath the ice cap. A recent volcanic eruption occurred in May of 2011 with the plume reaching a height of 12.4 miles (20 km).

Although questioned, Vatnajokull Glacier is recognized as the location of the world's longest sight line of approximately 340 miles (550 km).


Vatnajokull Glacier Accolades

Vatnajokull Glacier has served as the shooting location for several movies. It has even had repeat appearances in the James Bond series with the most notable probably being the opening scene for the movie, A View to a Kill. Although Vatnajokull served as the shooting location, Russia was given credit as the setting or scene location.

Vatnajokull Glacier is a candidate for one of the 7 natural wonders of Europe. Statistically speaking, it is the largest ice cap in Europe based on volume. As noted earlier, the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes this location as part of the longest line of sight in the world.

Best way to see Vatnajokull Glacier

More to follow after Vatnajokull Glacier is determined to be a notable for natural wonder of the world.


Best way to see and experience Vatnajokull Glacier

Although unrealistic, the best way to experience Vatnajokull Glacier and recognize the magnitude of this glacier is to capture a view from outer space. A part from that, the more realistic ways to experience Vatnajokull Glacier comes from leveraging one of the tours from the national park using a 4x4 vehicle for exploring the area. Additional endeavors can take to the waterways where you can capture views of the glaciers that float in the water and create amazing landscape images.

Vatnajokull Glacier National Park also has information for those interested in hiking and camping in the area. This, of course, is one of the more intimate encounters with the glacier and surrounding area.