The Glaciers are accessible in Iceland, making the island one of the best places for exploring them in a variety of adventurous ways with guided tours.
In Iceland, glaciers make up 11% of the land surface of the entire island. The glaciers are accessible, too, making Iceland one of the best places for exploring them in a variety of adventurous ways with guided tours. As climate change begins to make a visual impact in the landscape, the world’s glaciers are becoming a token image of this delicate balance between humans and the environment.
First thing first: You can see them inside!
If you want to explore the glaciers from a more secure place or are squeezed for time on your trip to Iceland, check out the Glaciers and Ice Cave Exhibition at the Perlan Museum in Reykjavik. The museum is actually the city’s first and only replica of an ice cave where you can walk amongst tunnels of frozen blue walls. Also on display are interactive and informative components that teach about Iceland´s geological history and the effects of climate change.
Join a glacier walk in South Iceland
It is also possible to experience the incredible beauty of Iceland´s glaciers by traversing their surface. This can be done by guided tour through trekking or snowmobiling. It is not recommended to trek on the glaciers without a guide as there can be many hazards. Tours are taken on many glaciers in South and West Iceland such as Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Langjökull. Some can even be done in a daytrip beginning and ending in Reykjavik. Guests are equipped with all the right gear, including crampons and an ice axe.
The journey into the Vatnajökull ice caves
It is also possible to visit naturally made ice caves, the most popular of which is at Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. Here, the caves are scoped out each season by a team of experts to find the most accessible and sturdy caves. These tours are much more dependent on weather conditions as the glacier itself is almost like a living creature shifting with fluctuating temperatures.
Sail next to icebergs at Jökulsárlón
Another way to experience Iceland´s glaciers is by boat at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in the Southeast. Located just off the Ring Road, this token tourist spot can be expanded by taking a guided boating tour amongst the floating icebergs freshly calved from Vatnajökull. The icebergs come in all shapes and sizes and exhibit an incredible palette of electric blue to powder grey hues. The icebergs move very slowly down the lagoon as they make their way to the Atlantic Ocean, just across the Ring Road. In fact, the icebergs are often eddied onto the black sand beach where they melt and are weathered into incredible shapes by the waves and the wind.
It is recommended to only explore them with guided tours who can guide you safely on this sometimes treacherous terrain as well as insure that as little human impact as possible is made.
November is a wonderful time to visit Iceland. From the northern lights to ice caves, there’s plenty of activities to keep you busy. Rug yourself up and start planning, as we’ve rounded up the 15 best things to do in Iceland during November.