#glaciertongue

 

From the massive ice cap Vatnajökull, there are many glacier tongues. On the south side, they form a fascinating landscape when you are driving the Ring Road in Iceland. Falling hundreds of meters in between cliffs and mountains at such a slow speed that it is impossible for the human eye to capture the movement. Giving the view a clean white top and, at least during summer, a beautiful green and yellow foreground.  In between, the increasing cliffs as the ice continue to melt and decrease. All of the tongues have names.  On the southern side, the most famous and most accessible are Skaftafellsjokull and Svínafellsjökull glacier tongues.

Svínafellsjökull is a great place to get close to a glacier tongue

There are many reasons why you want to see a glacier tongue up close. First is the ice breaking apart and forming hundreds of cracks and stacks of an endless formation. It is always a mild attack on your imagination as you just can't avoid strange thoughts when in proximity with this demolishing part of nature.  Secondly, the beauty of this amazing landscape, so bright and clean but yet so powerful. Thirdly is the weirdness when you can hear the movement and all the spooky sounds although you can't see the movement.  And then, the many motives you can find to photograph. We could probably go on and on. Svínafellsjökull glacier has also gained fame as an attraction after this fascinating site was selected as a location for Game of Thrones season seven to represent "north of the wall."

Glacier tongues and lagoons

At the end of many glacier tongues, you will find a lake or at least a small pound.  Some are larger glacier tongues, like the famous Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón, where the icebergs float on a relatively large lake, and some are small with icebergs that have broken from the tongues. The lagoon by Svínafellsjökull is small but enough to give the glacier a fascinating and compelling look. The glacier tongue is simply a fascinating phenomenon in nature, and there are not many places you can visit such a natural wonder with such proximity as you can by visiting Svínafellsjökull.

For those interested in seeing Svínafellsjökull you only need to drive a few kilometers east from Skaftafell on the Ring Road and turn left to drive the short distance to Svínafellsjökull.

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Below is the location of Svínafellsjökull on the map of Iceland

There are many reasons why you want to see a glacier tongue up close

A glacier tongue is a fascinating phenomenon in the Icelandic landscape. Glacier tongues can be seen in a number of places when you drive the Ring Road in the southern region.   A glacier tongue is really an enormous part of a glacier falling from the top or the ice cap down a long slope, sometimes hundreds of meters high.  Due to the mass of ice involved, the speed of the ice is very slow as it moves down the slope.

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue is a accessible place to view the magnificent ice

 

Sólheimajökull is a glacier tongue that is part of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull.  It is one of few places in Iceland where you can easily come near and take a walk on a glacier.   It is not recommended though that you take a walk on the glacier without professional guidance. At Sólheimajökull, there are companies that offer short hikes on the glacier with all the necessary equipment required to take such a walk.  It is an unusual and breathtaking experience. 

A glacier tongue from Mýrdalsjökull

The glacier tongue is a glacier falling from the Mýrdalsjökull glacier at a very slow pace. Step by small step icebergs fall from the glacier and break away from it into the small lake below and melt.  In the process, the glacier tongue forms all kinds of beautiful small natural wonders like cracks, holes, ice-ravines, and ice caves.  Although all this is quite astonishing great caution is recommended. 

Easily accessible from the Iceland Ring Road

Sólheimajökull is easily accessible from the Ring Road (1) in the South Region turning north to the road (221). The drive to the glacier tongue is about 4 kilometers from the main road.  It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the ice.  There are two paths; one in the slope by the lake, which gives a great view of the glacier tongue and the other path, is down by the lake and is great if there are icebergs in the water.  In winter, you would diffidently want to wear ice grips as both paths are often extremely slippery.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
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Below is the location of Sólheimajökull on the map of Iceland

It is not recommended though that you take a walk on the glacier without professional guidance.

 

Iceland is full of surprises. You are walking along a great stretch of sand, minding your own business in the arms of a glacier. Only three colors to take in, white, gray and black when suddenly you are faced with lush green mixed with a myriad of colors.  In the middle of the 10 km long Morsárdalur, you have come upon Bæjarstaðarskógur, a small forest of willows and birches close to a sublime geothermal pool.

Bæjarstaðarskógur is a small forest at the edge of a glacier

This 22-hectare forest is the most robust birch forest in Iceland, its birches reaching 12 meters high. They are also the island's straightest birches and the most precious. Bæjarstaðaskógur also has rowans and the most beautiful display of Icelandic wildflowers. Even the Icelanders wonder how a forest came to be in the remote and isolated area; The only means to get there is by foot – and it will take you approximately three hours from the Visitor's Centre in Skaftafell

Bæjarstaðarskógur hiking trail is an exciting day tour for hiking

A peaceful place out in nature

An old farm, an oasis in a landscape of change

The forest's name suggests there used to be a farmstead here during the Middle Ages. Indeed, its ruins were quite visible until the 18th century. Bæjarstaðaskógur is a beautiful oasis in the vast spread of sand. The hike from the Visitor's Centre is relatively easy and pleasant. You have a stunning view of Morsárdalur the whole time - and might even want to venture further than the forest.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Bæjarstaðarskógur on the map of Iceland

Bæjarstaðaskógur is a wonderful oasis in the vast spread of sand.