Information about Svínafellsjökull

The amazing views over Skaftafell from Svínafellsjökull in summer.

Svínafellsjökull in an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Europe. It is one of the country’s most popular places for glacier hiking due to its incredible formations and excellent views.

Getting to Svínafellsjökull

Svínafellsjökull is part of the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, a place of popularity amongst hikers, photographers, and those with a passion for raw natural beauty.

This reserve was even a National Park in its own right, before the creation of the enormous Vatnajökull National Park which absorbed it.

The reserve is easy to reach throughout the year if travelling from the capital of Iceland, Reykjavík, as it is located just off the Ring Road which encircles the country. Travelling on this route east for four hours, you will come to a left turn onto Route 998, which will take you to the car park and visitors’ centre.

Most tours onto Svínafellsjökull start here, although some go from Reykjavík and the village of Vík. Reaching the glacier requires a short hike.

If travelling yourself, the villages of  Vík and Kirkjubæjarklaustur are good for stopping off for fuel, rest and refreshment. There are also many significant attractions en route to admire, such as the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara.

Svínafellsjökull on a cloudy day, still gleaming blue.

Features of Svínafellsjökull

Svínafellsjökull competes with Sólheimajökull for the country’s most popular glacier for hiking. While Sólheimajökull is closer to Reykjavík, and has better walls for ice-climbing, Svínafellsjökull has distinct appeals of its own.

Firstly is in its surface. While Sólheimajökull, as mentioned, has walls,  Svínafellsjökull is made up of many sharp ridges that, while not possible to climb on, are much more beautiful to behold.

Secondly, it boasts even more beautiful views from its heights. From Sólheimajökull, you can achieve magnificent panoramas over the wastelands of Sólheimasandur and the black sand beaches of the south coast, but from Svínafellsjökull, you are able to see across Vatnajökull National Park with its many other glacier outlets and mountains, the forested beauty of Skaftafell, and the ocean.

Both glaciers, however, are matched when it comes to surrounding attractions, meaning a visit to them can incorporate many other sites. Svínafellsjökull, for example, is near to Jökulsárlón, a magnificent glacier lagoon filled with giant icebergs, while Sólheimajökull is close to the aforementioned waterfalls.

Both also have beautiful colouration, with deep blue ice, gleaming white snow, and veins of black ash, memories of eruptions centuries past.

If glacier hiking in summer, the colouration is less vivid but the journey easier and the views usually clearer. If hiking in winter, the intensity of the blue ice is mesmerising, and there is a greater chance of finding an ice cave on the glacier that is safe to enter.

Svínafellsjökull’s beauty has not just been appreciated by Icelanders and visitors; it, like many other destinations in the country, was noticed by the producers of Game of Thrones.

Many of the scenes filmed ‘North of the Wall’ in Season 7, during the dramatic battle of the penultimate episode, were shot on Svínafellsjökull. The greater Vatnajökull was used throughout the series as the base to which the Wall itself is built with CGI.

 

Services near Svínafellsjökull

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Attractions nearby Svínafellsjökull

Fláajökull

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit:  Jerzy Strzelecki. Fláajökull ("Sloping Glacier") is a small glacier tongue foun...

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Heinabergslón

Credit: PhotoVicky.  Heinabergslón is a little-known glacial lagoon in the south of Iceland. It can be found within Vatnajökull Nat...

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Hornafjörður

Hornafjörður (“Fjord of Horns”) is a fjord, municipality and growing community found in southeast Iceland. The fjord takes its ...

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Höfn

Höfn is an Icelandic fishing town of just over two thousand people in southeast Iceland. It is the most significant settlement on Route 1 betwe...

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Eyjabakkajökull

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by NASA. Eyjabakkajökull is a northeastern glacial tongue of the great Vatnajökull glacier,...

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Almannaskarðsgöng

Almannaskarðsgöng is a 1312m (roughly 1.3km) tunnel along Route 1, located near Höfn (Hornafjörður) in the eastern region of Ic...

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Stokksnes

Vestrahorn, on the Stokksnes peninsula in Southeast Iceland, is one of the country’s most breathtaking mountains. With peaks reaching up to 45...

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Eyjabakkar

Eyjabakkar is an oasis in the East Highlands of Iceland.  This is Iceland's second-largest wetland, the largest being Thjorsarver, itself a ...

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Snæfell

Snæfell is the name of the largest freestanding mountain in Iceland, located in the east of the country. Other Mountains named Snæfell ...

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Bruarjokull

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. NASA.  Brúarjökull is a 1600 sq km (617 sq mi) glacier tongue extending from Iceland's largest ice-...

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Þórbergssetur

Thorbergssetur, located in the remote region of Sudursveit in South-East Iceland, is a culture center and heritage museum dedicated to the history of ...

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East Iceland

East Iceland is a vast area of incredible natural beauty, striking contrasts and fascinating history and culture. It is home to the remote and beaut...

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Laugarfell

Laugarfell is a small mountain in the eastern part of the Icelandic Highlands, with a peak of 827 m (2,713 ft) above sea level. Environment and ...

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Brúardalir

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Axel Kristinson. Brúardalir is a series of valleys in Brúaröræfi in East&...

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Breiðamerkurjökull

Breiðamerkurjökull is the glacial tongue that extends from southern Vatnajökull and into the glacier lagoon Jökulsárl&oacu...

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Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s most famous glacier lagoon. Conveniently located in the southeast by Route 1, about halfway betwee...

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Diamond Beach

The Diamond Beach is a strip of black sand belonging to the greater Breiðamerkursandur glacial plain, located by Jökulsárl...

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Kárahnjúkavirkjun

Karahnjukavirkjun is a Hydropower plant in Eastern Iceland, designed to 4600 GWh annually to serve Alcoa's aluminium smelter east of Reydarfjordur...

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Karahnjúkar

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Christoph Hess Karahnjúkur describes two mountains and a power plant, found beside each other in...

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Hafrahvammar

Photo from: Canyon Hiking Tour Hafrahvammar is a vast canyon, north of Dimmugljúfur Canyon in East Iceland.  Hafrahvammar is also known ...

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Tours near Svínafellsjökull

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