Öræfajökull Mountain in Iceland: Peak, Height, History, Geography

Öræfajökull Mountain in Iceland

Öræfajökull Mountain in Iceland (Wasteland Glacier) is the largest ice-covered active volcano and also the highest peak in the country. Early settlers called the mountain Knappafellsjǫkull (Knob Mountains Glacier), but the name was changed into Öræfajökull after the destructive eruption in 1362. The Öræfajökull Mountain is part of Vatnajokull National Park and is partially covered by the same-named glacier. 

What is the Location of Öræfajökull Mountain?

Öræfajökull Mountain in iceland is located in the southeast of the country. The geographic coordinates of the mountain are 63.9822° N, 16.6536° W. Öræfajökull can be seen from the Ring Road between Höfn and Vík. 

What is the height of the Öræfajökull Mountain?

Öræfajökull Mountain stands 2.110 meters (6.920’) tall and is the highest peak in the country. The name of the peak itself is Hvannadalshnúkur.  

What Type of Volcano is Öræfajökull?

Geologically speaking, the Öræfajökull Mountain is a volcanic mountain classified as a broad glacier-clad central volcano. Öræfajökull is dominantly rhyolitic and basaltic, and its summit is truncated by a subglacial caldera. 

When did Öræfajökull Last Erupt?

Öræfajökull last erupted in 1728. In fact, Öræfajökull has two recorded eruptions, the first one in 1362 and the second one in 1728. Recently, in 2017 and 2017, it showed an increase in seismic and geothermal activity, but they did not result in actual eruptions. 

Is there an access to Öræfajökull Mountain?

Yes, there is access to Öræfajökull. As with most popular sites in Iceland, to get to the Öræfajökull Mountain, travelers need to take the Ring Road or Road 1. In simpler terms, after leaving Reykjavik, they should head southeast and just follow the route. 

Is It Possible to Climb Öræfajökull Mountain?

Yes, it is possible to climb Öræfajökull. Climbing the Öræfajökull Mountain and the country’s highest peak Hvannadalshnúkur is described as a once-in-a-lifetime must. The hike is unforgettable, with many panoramic views. However, it does require adequate hiking equipment and physical condition.

What are the similar mountains to Öræfajökull Mountain in Iceland?

Mountains in Iceland similar to the Öræfajökull Mountain are: 

  • Eyjafjallajökull Mountain (4.882′)
  • Snæfellsjökull Mountain (6.921′)
  • Hofsjökull Mountain (5.046′). 

Are there any National Park in Öræfajökull Mountain?

Öræfajökull is settled into one of the three national parks in Iceland, Öræfajökull is part of the largest national park called Vatnajokull. Vatnajokull covers 13% of the total area of Iceland and is one of the largest wilderness areas in Europe.  

Are there Volcanoes around Öræfajökull Mountain in Iceland?

Volcanoes in Iceland are a prominent landform. Öræfajökull is actually the largest active volcano in the country. Despite its size, Öræfajökull is not particularly active. Namely, in historic times, the volcano marks only two eruptions, in 1362 and in 1728. 

Are there Glaciers around Öræfajökull Mountain in Iceland?

Yes, glaciers in Iceland cover mountains, and Öræfajökull is not an exception. In fact, Öræfajökull is partially covered by the Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest and most voluminous ice cap glacier in Iceland. Interestingly, Vatnajokull has over 30 outlet glaciers. 

Which city is closest to Öræfajökull Mountain in Iceland?

Cities in Iceland close to the Öræfajökull Mountain are Höfn and Vík. Öræfajökull is easily accessible from these localities. However, considering the popularity of the mountain, tours for Öræfajökull are available from most towns in Iceland.