Información acerca de Langjökull

The view from the top of Langjökull glacier. The mighty Langjökull, the ‘Long Glacier’, is the second-largest glacier in Iceland, at 935 square kilometres (361 square miles). For jeep and snowmobile trips, Langjökull is the most popular glacier in Iceland, and skiing and hiking here is possible as well.

Visit Langjokull glacier on a glacier tour in Iceland. Many of the self drive tours and guided packages on offer such opportunities, including this 10-Day Self Drive Tour and this 10-Day Vacation. Renting a car and travelling around south Iceland will provide more chances to see this glacier.

Highland tracks

Hveradalur is a geothermal area near the Long Glacier.

Langjökull is located in the Highlands, and two main highland tracks, connecting the north and the south of Iceland, lie alongside it.

The Kaldidalur road stretches from Þingvellir National Park northwards to Húsafell. The Kjalvegur road, meanwhile lies east of Langjökull and west of Hofsjökull glacier, starting near the famous Gullfoss waterfall to the south, and passing through the beautiful Hveravellir geothermal area to the north.

The landscape of Langjokull

Langjökull is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and up to 20 kilometres (12 miles) wide, and the ice is around 580 metres (1,903 feet) deep at its thickest. The glacier reaches its highest point in its northernmost part, which is called Baldjökull, rising around 1,450 metres (4,757 feet) above sea level.

The glacier lies over a massif of hyaloclastite mountains. The tops of these mountains can be seen in certain places on the glacier. It also conceals at least two active volcanic systems, the calderas of which are visible from the air.

The best known of these systems fuels the geothermal area of Hveravellir, east of Baldjökull. Also in the east lies the Kjalhraun lava field, which formed about 7800 years ago.

To the northwest of the glacier is another system that produced the vast Hallmundarhraun lava field, through which the Hvítá river runs in the direction of Gullfoss waterfall. Also in the area is Iceland‘s longest lava cave, the fascinating Surtshellir.

Southwest of Langjökull is the Presthnúkur lava field, fissures of which creep under the ice. South of the glacier is the Lambahraun lava field and even further south lies the Skjaldbreiðarhraun lava field and the Skjaldbreiður shield volcano.

Compared to other regions in Iceland, the area is considered relatively calm, with only 32 eruptions in the last 10,000 years.

Into the glacier

Near the highest peaks of Langjökull exists a man-made ice tunnel, a true spectacle for any visitor passing by the glacier. Designed and constructed by geophysicist and presidential candidate Ari Trausti Guðmundsson, the tunnel exists to allow visitors to explore the inside of a glacier without having to come to Iceland in mid-winter for a chance to see the less-than-reliable ice caves.

Guests traverse beneath Langjökull's thick ice sheet, experiencing the vivid blue colouration within, and gaining an insight into the glacier's beauty, formation and processes. It is the only place in the world where this is possible. ‘Into the Glacier’ tours are often combined with adventure activities such as snowmobiling.

Nearby glaciers

The glaciers located nearest to Langjökull are Eiríksjökull, which conceals the highest mountain in west Iceland, and Þórisjökull. Hrútfellsjökull also lies on the east side of Langjökull.

Between Þórisjökull and Geitlandsjökull is a valley called Þórisdalur. Along with stunning views, it features prominently in Icelandic folk tales; the outlaw Grettir the Strong of Grettis Saga, for example, is reported to have resided here for one winter.

Langjokull and the Golden Circle

The water from the Long Glacier feeds into Gullfoss Waterfall.

Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route, the Golden Circle, would not be possible if not for Langjökull glacier; none of its three iconic features would exist in their current state without the melting ice.

Gullfoss waterfall is the most obvious example of this. The river that feeds into it, the Hvítá, is a glacier river flowing straight from Langjökull; the scale of the ice cap is hinted at by the sheer volume of water that cascades here every second.

The hot springs at Geysir, meanwhile, are supplied with water underground. Meltwater from Langjökull feeds into the surrounding lava fields, which have very porous rock, and flows in a subterranean river to the geothermal area, where it comes bursting out of the naturally forms vents.

While Þingvellir would still have its National Park and World Heritage status without Langjökull, which it received for being the original site of what is now the longest-running representative parliament in the world, it would be notably less beautiful.

Many springs exist throughout the park, also formed by the underground meltwater of the glacier. Due to its long filtration process, the water emerges as some of the clearest naturally occurring water in the world.

Silfra fissure, therefore, is the best snorkelling and diving location in the country and consistently ranked as one of the top ten places for such activities in the world.

Global warming

Langjökull is shrinking fast and concerns have been raised about the glacier due to the effect of global warming. Some researchers fear that if climate change continues at its current rate the glacier may be gone in 150 years. Less optimistic scientists have said it could be gone in as few as 50.

 

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Puntos de interés cercanos Langjökull

Kaldidalur

The road of Kaldidalur valley  is a highland road, stretching from Thingvellir to Husafell (in Borgarfjordur district),  between Langjokull glacier an...

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Þórisjökull

Thorisjokull is a small glacier volcano in the Icelandic Highlands. Thorisjokull is 1350 m high and located by the mountain trail Kaldidalur valley,...

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Eiriksjökull

The  1675 meter high Eiriksjokull is located in the Borgarfjordur district, just east of Langjokull glacier. Eiriksjokull lies on the fringes of the I...

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Deildartunguhver

  Deildartunguhver is a hot spring located in Reykholtsdalur, a district of West Iceland. Deildartunguhver is the highest flowing hot spring in E...

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Húsafell

Húsafell is a large farm and church site in the Borgarfjörður district of West Iceland. With incredible natural beauty, it has been a popular restin...

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Surtshellir

Surtshellir, named after the fire giant of Norse mythology is the longest and most renowned lava cave in Iceland. Explore this area while on a sel...

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Víðgelmir

Photo from: The Cave Explorer | Family Friendly Tour of Vidgelmir Lava Cave Viðgelmir is the largest lava tube in Iceland at 1585 metres (5200 ft) lo...

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Hallmundarhraun

Hallmundarhraun is a lava field of the pahoehoe type (i.e. smooth unbroken basaltic lava with a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface) located...

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Barnafoss

Barnafoss is a rapid waterfall in West Iceland, just a short walk away from the serene Hraunfossar falls. It is best known for its dark history in f...

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Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar ('Lava Falls' in English) in Borgarfjörður district is a series of beautiful waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming out of the...

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Skjaldbreiður

Skjaldbreidur is a shield volcano in Southwest Iceland. It is indeed shaped like a broad shield, whence it derives its name. The volcano culminates...

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Hvítárvatn

Hvitarvatn is a glacier lake in the Icelandic Highlands, feeding the glacier river Hvita in South Iceland. The lake lies where the highland road Kjalv...

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Tungufljót

The beautiful Tungufljot in Southwest Iceland is one of Iceland‘s most cherished rivers for fishing sea trout. Explore this area on a self drive tour...

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Río Hvítá

Hvíta is a glacier river in Arnessysla in South Iceland. It is one of the most popular rivers in Iceland for rafting, salmon fishing, and it is home...

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Kúalaug

Kúalaug is a set of two small, natural pools, both around 40°C (104°F), in the Bláskógabyggð area. Explore this region on a self drive tour in Icel...

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Valahnúkur

Valahnúkur is one of the most notable and famous mountains in the beautiful Þórsmörk valley in South Iceland. It should not be confused for cliffs...

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Haukadalur

Haukadalur is a geothermal valley in South Iceland on the popular Golden Circle route.  Lying to the north of Lake Laugarvatn, it is home to hot sp...

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Strokkur

Strokkur is Iceland’s most visited active geyser. One of the three major attractions on the world-famous Golden Circle sightseeing route, it is usua...

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Geysir

Geysir es una famosa fuente termal en la zona geotérmica del valle de Haukadalur, en el suroeste de Islandia. Geysir está a menos de dos horas en c...

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Gullfoss

Gullfoss (traducido como "Cataratas Doradas") es una de las cataratas más icónicas y queridas de Islandia, y se encuentra en el cañón del río Hvítá...

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