Information about Mýrdalsjökull

The strange ice formations on Mýrdalsjökull

Mýrdalsjökull is a glacier in the south of the Icelandic highlands. It is the country's fourth largest ice cap, covering nearly 600 kilometres squared, and its highest peak is almost 1500 meters tall. It is most well-known for sitting atop the notorious and explosive volcano, Katla.Mýrdalsjökull is visible from Route 1 on the South Coast, sitting to the north of the village of Vík.

Eruptions beneath Mýrdalsjökull

Since 2010, the world has known of the volcano beneath Eyjafjallajökull; few, however, are aware of the much larger volcano right beside it. Mýdalsjökull conceals Katla, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, having erupted, on average, once every fifty years since 930 AD. Because of the glacier above it, these eruptions tend to cause enormous ash clouds.

The last major eruption beneath Katla was in 1918, in which such huge lahar floods occurred that the southern coastline was extended five kilometres outwards. This area is also very susceptible to glacial floods, or jökulhlaups, during eruptions, even when the lava does not break through the surface of the ice.

Historically, the area was little settled for this reason.

Katla is connected to the same volcanic system as Eyjafallajökull and usually erupts violently a few years after. As the ex-president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson said in 2010:

‘The time for Katla to erupt is coming close… it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption’

Katla is monitored heavily, and roads around it closed when seismic activity increases. All road closures around Iceland can be found on Road and Coastal Administration's website.

Tours on Mýrdalsjökull

While there are no eruptions immediately imminent, tours continue to run on Mýrdalsjökull, allowing visitors to enjoy the glacier. It is, for example, possible to snowmobile across its surface throughout the year and take ice caving tours beneath it from October to April, with departures from both Reykjavík and Vík.

Considering the ice caves under Vatnajökull glacier are usually only accessible from November to March, this provides a wider window of opportunity for travellers to Iceland outside of the depths of winter. It should be noted that the caves in Mýrdalsjökull do not have the same blue ice, however.

Tours around Mýrdalsjökull

Mýrdalsjökull can be seen on all South Coast tours that reach Vík and beyond in clear weather. It can also be seen from above on helicopter tours that depart from Reykjavík.

The best perspectives of the glacier, however, can be found on the popular Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail, which goes between Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. Part of this hike can be done in a day, or you can take the complete route from Þórsmörk to Skógar on a three-day trek.

 

Services near Mýrdalsjökull

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Mýrdalsjökull

Katla volcano

Katla (meaning “Kettle”) is one of Iceland's largest and most active volcanos. Situated in south Iceland, Katla is partially buried un...

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Katla

Katla is an active volcano situated under the glacier Myrdalsjokull in South Iceland. It is one of Iceland's most well known volcanoes. Katla...

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Fimmvörðuháls

Fimmvorduhals is one of Iceland's most popular hiking trails. It made the world news when the Eyjafjallajokull eruption started there in 2010. T...

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Móði

  Modi is one of the two youngest craters in Iceland, along with Magni. These two craters are situated between glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjaf...

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Magni

  Magni is one of the two youngest craters in Iceland, along with Modi. The craters are situated between glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjalla...

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South Iceland

South Iceland is the most popular part of the country and contains some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Iceland, among them the Golden Ci...

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Sólheimajökull

Solheimajokull is a beautiful outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap. Solheimajokull is a rugged glacial tounge riddled with crevasses and specta...

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Þórsmörk

Nestled between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull is Þórsmörk (Thor's V...

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Markarfljótsgljúfur Canyon

Photo Credit: Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Borvan53. Markarfljótsgljúfur is a canyon in Iceland's southern Highlands, west of ...

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Bláfjöll

  The Blue Mountains are a beautiful mountain range of the tuff type, located around 20 km from Reykjavik, by the lava plateau of Hellisheidi. T...

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Laugavegur hiking trail

The Laugavegur is one of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland. The scenery is breathtaking in its beauty and extremely varied, displaying example...

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Þakgil

Photo from: Þakgil and Remundargil Canyons - Beautiful Hidden Gems in South-Iceland. Þakgil ('Roof Canyon') is a hidden cany...

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Stakkholtsgjá

  Stakkholtsgja is an up to 100 meters deep and  2 kilometers long canyon in South Iceland. The canyon is located near the entrance to Tho...

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Kvernufoss

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir. Kvernufoss is a waterfall with a drop of 30 metres (98 feet) in South Iceland. Considered a h...

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Skogar Museum - Skógarsafn

Photo from the Skógar Museum Skógar Museum is a cultural heritage museum in south Iceland. Located near one of the most popular waterf...

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Skógar

Skogar, in South Iceland, is a popular destination for travelers. It has a population of about 20 people, features a regional museum and and is close ...

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Stórasúla

Stórasúla is a distinctive, cone-shaped mountain found in the southern highlands of Iceland. The mountain has an elevation of 693 m (2...

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Skógafoss

Skógafoss is one of the country’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters (82 ft) and a drop o...

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Sólheimasandur

Solheimasandur is a vast area of sand and gravel along the south coast of Iceland, between the cliffs of the interior and the modern shoreline. It was...

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Gígjökull

Gigjokull is one of two glacier outlets from the glacier volcano Eyjafjallajokull, the other being Steinholtsjokull. The 2010 Eyjafjallajokull erupt...

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Tours near Mýrdalsjökull

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