Skeiðarárjökull Glacier: Size, Ice Caves, Cap and Volcanoes

The Skeiðarárjökull Glacier is a large outlet glacier well-known for the Jökulhlaup, a massive glacier outburst floods that drains from the largest cap of Iceland, the Vatnajökull. It is also known as Skeiðarar Glacier. The area of Skeiðarárjökull Glacier is fairly between the Lómagnúpur mountain in the west and Skaftafell mountain in the east located in the southern region of Vatnajökull National Park. Skeiðarárjökull covers Iceland for about 14 percent. 

According to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the coordinates of Skeiðarárjökull are 64.0558 and 17.2081, with a distance of around 230 kilometers from Skeiðarárjökull to Reykjavik. The border of Skeiðarárjökull is 50 km near the Grímsvötn volcano. Skeiðarárjökull is located in East Iceland with the exact direction southwest of Langagilslón lake, and south of Færinestindar peak. 

The Skeiðarárjökull is surrounded by black sands, but over decades ago, it is recorded that a self-sprouted forest of birth trees has been growing leafy in the middle of the site. In addition, Skeiðará river exists and marks the opening of the ring road in Iceland in 1974 with a bridge called Skeiðarárbrú that crosses on Skeiðarársandur. However, due to volcanic eruptions in Grímsvötn near the Skeiðarárjökull and rampant flooding, forests around Skeiðarárjökull are nowhere to be found. 

Also, there are no cities around Skeiðarárjökull and the only cities near it are around Reykjavík. The original river has been moved to the west several kilometers away from the Skeiðarárjökull due to the fallback of the glacier and has been blended with the Gígjukvísl River. What has remained of the longest and original bridge are the two twisted strips beside the new road. It has been replaced by a new bridge above the river called Morsá.

The tours to Skeiðarárjökull are taken by an organized helicopter by the Atlantsflug airline and guided by Glacier and Volcano Expeditions. The tourist spots, especially the ice caves, are near to the landing area, which takes only a 10-minute drive. The organization and guides make sure to provide excellent quality to the tourists to make their experience memorable and safe. From Skeiðarárjökull, views such as Graenalon, Heinabergslon, Hoffelslon lagoons, Hvítárfoss, and Núpsárfoss waterfalls can be seen. Moreover, there are more surprising views and various activities that the tourists are provided with once they reach the tourist spot of Skeiðarárjökull.

What is the Size of Skeiðarárjökull Glacier?

The size of Skeiðarárjökull is around 30 kilometers in width and the length is approximately 389 meters. Skeiðarárjökull glacier has a short river that is located near the Grímsvötn, one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland. The ice from the glacier of Skeiðarárjökull causes massive flooding generated by the active volcano which is near the ice cap’s summit. Specifically, during the volcanic eruptions, a large amount of ice melts due to the geothermal heat that causes a subglacial lake in the crater of the Grímsvötn. The Skeiðarárjökull glacier is bigger than the Skaftafellsjökull and quite shorter than the Morsárjökull but still the scenery is breathtaking. The beauty of Iceland’s natural scenery is magnificently imposed by the unique formation of Skeiðarárjökull’s monuments. 

What is the prominence of Skeiðarárjökull Glacier in Icelandic Culture?

The cultural prominence of Skeiðarárjökull Glacier is its first ever longest bridge, Skeiðarárbrú. Meltwater from Skeiðarárjökull creates various streams including the Skeiðará, that pass the Skeiðarársandur. With that, the Skeiðarárjökull Glacier serves as a natural dam by blocking the Vatnajökull’s melting waters with its ice mass on the west coast of the island that creates the Grænalón lake. 

The beauty of Iceland’s natural scenery is magnificently imposed by the unique formation of Skeiðarárjökull’s monuments which serves as one of the best keepsakes of Iceland culture. There are no villages or residents nearby due to the volcano standing 50 kilometers from it which can erupt at any time and can cause floods. However, people can still visit Skeiðarárjökull in which they can camp, hike, and see the wonderful overviews from the edge of it.

What are the Tours to Skeiðarárjökull?

The tours to Skeiðarárjökull Glacier consist of amazing Glacier Tours, Ice Cave Tours, Lagoons Kayaking, and Overview Tours. Tourists are allowed to trek, walk, and camp. These views and activities are famous for the Skeiðarárjökull Glacier tour as it offers guests an amazing experience and to enjoy the beauty of all incredible scenery. Tourists are able to roam around real ice caves, view the wonders of glaciers as well as kayak to appreciate and experience the beauty of lagoons. 

Ice Cave Tours are great for tourists interested in ice formation or any crystal-like formation. They provide beautiful scenery of natural ice formations, color and shape of the cave that enables tourists to see their reflection.

Lagoon tours include kayaking, where guests have the opportunity to roam around lagoons by paddling kayaks to experience and admire the blue and greenish view of the water. Lagoons or lagoon kayaking can be seen and experienced at the same time. However, Skeiðarárjökull Glacier lagoons are hard to reach and can only be reached by hiking. It is located at the high area of the glacier wherein guests are awarded with stunning views after a tough trek. During a tough climb, tourists are provided with full security to reach the destination safely. 

Overview Tours are great for tourists who want to appreciate the beauty of views from Skeiðarárjökull without tiring themselves out. Even without a tough trek, guests are able to see the beauty of all natural scenery of the glacier. Overview Tours are best while camping.

What are the Similar Glaciers in Iceland to Skeiðarárjökull Glacier?

Similar glaciers in Iceland to Skeiðarárjökull Glacier are listed below:

  • Svínafellsjökull Glacier: Svínafellsjökull is an outlet glacier of the largest ice cap in Iceland, the Vatnajökull. The length of Svínafellsjökull is approximately 10 kilometers long and about 2 kilometers wide. Svínafellsjökull glacier is well-known for its fantastic formation and wonderful scenery that makes it one of the most famous glaciers in Iceland, visited by many tourists. From Reykjavík, travelers can easily reach Svínafellsjökull since it is located just down the Ring Road that surrounds the country.  
  • Múlajökull Glacier: Múlajökull is a piedmont glacier just like Skeiðarárjökull which falls into plains that are basically flat and then extends out into a bulb-shaped lobe. It is a surge-type Piedmont glacier in Hofsjökull’s ice cap that drains a portion of the volcano’s ice-filled crater. It lies on the largest central volcano in Iceland, in which the accumulation zone is about 7 kilometers wide. It also has a drumlin field known to be active which is fully covered with ice and is being shaped due to the current glacial surge. 
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Staff Writer