Believe it or not, glaciers did not give Iceland its name. Nonetheless we have plenty of them. Indeed, 10% of the country is glacier-covered. Iceland boasts Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull (8,000 km2 or 3,120 sq. mi.) and even our second-largest, Langjökull, is an impressive 950 km2 (370 sq. mi). These are a vital part of Iceland’s ecology. Besides influencing our local climate, they add to the water table that is vital to all life, and they impact the distribution of plants and animals. They are also an important indicator of global conditions.
Not surprisingly Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur (elev. 6,858 ft., 2.110 m) is glacier-topped, but more astonishing is the fact that glaciers are also responsible for Iceland’s lowest point, the bottom of the glacial lagoon, Jökulsálón 300 ft. (100m) below sea level.
Several glaciers crown slumbering volcanoes, and Snæfellsjökull is a beautiful example.
Iceland’s high latitude means glaciers persist at low altitudes and several are readily accessible for enjoyment much of the year.
If you really want to ‘chill out, f-stop Tours can show you the spectacular meaning of this phrase!