Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice for good reasons. Although it is a volcanic island, it is also home to many glaciers that offer fantastic views and recreation for both locals and visitors.

Below, we’ll explore the glaciers in Iceland and what makes them a sight to behold.


Vatnajökull, translating to “Glacier of Lakes,” is perhaps the most well-known of the Icelandic glaciers due to its size and its association with the national park of the same name. This glacier in Iceland is the second-largest ice cap in Europe and covers 7,900 square kilometers. It contains the country’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur, along with several volcanoes, including Grímsvötn, a volcano that erupts frequently. 

Vatnajökull is also known for numerous ice caves that attract tourists with their crystal blue appearance. Glacier hiking is another popular activity that takes place here. Vatnajökull features numerous outlet glaciers, several of which are visible from the Ring Road.

Skatafall glacier in Vatnajokull Glacier


Langjökull, meaning “Long Glacier,” is located in the highlands and covers 953 square kilometers, making it Iceland’s second-largest glacier. This glacier in Iceland is positioned over a series of hyaloclastite mountains, some of which can be seen emerging from the top of the glacier. 

There are two active volcano systems under the glacier, with lava fields all around. Visitors can view this glacier from the Kaldidalur and Kjölur tracks. These routes are only open in the summer and require a 4×4 vehicle. Into the Glacier, is a man-made ice cave found on Langjökull and is one of the few ice caves open year-round.

Langjokull Glacier


Visitors to the Westfjords may wish to visit Drangajökull, roughly translating to “rock pillar glacier,” the only Icelandic glacier in this region. It is found in the southwest of Hornstrandir, an area only accessible by boat or air. 

This glacier in Iceland covers 160-200 square kilometers and is the country’s only glacier below 1,000 meters high. Its remote location makes it a true gem for those who make their way to this stunning area. It’s well worth the journey to take in Iceland’s second-smallest glacier surrounded by raw, untouched beauty.


Hofsjökull, or “Temple Glacier” in English, is recognized as the third-largest glacier in Iceland, covering 925 square kilometers. It sits atop the largest active volcano in the country and can be found north of the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range and between Vatnajökull and Langjökull. 

This Icelandic glacier is the source of several large rivers, including Þjórsá, the country’s longest river. Visitors can access this glacier via the Kjölur highland road in the summer months with a 4×4 vehicle. Tours may also be available, depending on the season.

Hofsjokull Glacier


Mýrdalsjökull is most famous for capping the Katla volcano, a volatile caldera that is about 10 kilometers in diameter and erupts every 40 to 80 years. The “Mire Valley Glacier” covers 595 square kilometers and edges the Fimmvörðuháls trail, a popular long-distance hike commonly used in the summer. 

Visitors can also choose to book a tour of the Katla ice cave, another option for those traveling during the summer when Vatnajökull’s caves are unavailable. This glacier in Iceland is easily seen from the Ring Road, just east of Vik í Myrdal.


Eyjafjallajökull is a name many people recognize from the 2010 volcanic eruption that disrupted air traffic in Europe. Meaning “Glacier of the Mountains of the Islands,” this glacier in Iceland covers 80 square kilometers and caps the Eyjafjallajökull volcano system. It is one of only a few stratovolcanoes in the country with a large cone capable of producing tephra, pumice, and hardened lava, along with significant ash during an eruption. 

The Fimmvörðuháls trail also passes this Iceland glacier to the west, giving visitors a close-up look. Tours are available to take visitors onto the glacier with super Jeeps or snowmobiles.


Found at the end of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Snæfellsjökull, meaning “Snowy Mountain Glacier,” sits atop a mountain and is clearly visible from Reykjavík on a clear day. It can also be seen by those driving around the perimeter of the peninsula. The smallest glacier in Iceland, it covers approximately 10 to 11 square kilometers. 

This area of Iceland is known for being the location of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Visitors can access this Icelandic glacier by 4×4 car in the summer when road 570 is open. Tours are also available, including snowmobile tours. 

An Icy Adventure

The glaciers in Iceland are truly a sight to behold. Located throughout the country, these glaciers offer breathtaking views and the opportunity to participate in various activities, allowing locals and visitors to enjoy the pure essence of the Land of Fire and Ice. Which glacier do you most want to explore?

If you’re ready to explore the glaciers in Iceland, check out our guide to the best campervan rentals in Iceland and start your adventure today!