Journey to the Langjokull Glacier

On our way to take the Into the Glacier tour of Langjokull, we stopped by another famous waterfall and a couple of spots with beautiful scenery.

Hraunfossar Waterfall

This waterfall is made up of a series of springs coming out of the Hallmundarhaun, about 900 metres away.  

Hallmundarhaun  is  a  lava  field  resulting  from  an  eruption  of  one  of the  volcanoes  under  the Langjokull glacier. 

The waterfall falls into the Hvita river from ledges of less porous rock in the lava.

Not far from Hraunfossar is also another beautiful waterfall called the Barnafoss. Continuing our  journey  to  the  glacier,  we  stopped  twice  to  take  advantage  of the  beautiful  scenery surrounding the area.

Breath taking scenery of the Icelandic mountains facing the cold northern Atlantic Ocean:

A house by Skorradalur Lake

The Langjokull Glacier:

After Vatnajokull, Langjokull glacier is the second largest glacier in Iceland and is located about 153km northeast of Reykjavik. The journey to the glacier was beautiful, as we passed several mountains and lakes, and the north Atlantic Ocean. 

We  joined  the Into  the  Glacier  tour, which  I  highly recommend.  Since  it was winter  time,  they had to make sure that we were warmly dressed.  

The entire tour lasted about 3 hours (depending on the weather), where 2 hours was spent going and returning from the glacier.  

The scenery was magnificent. We spent about one hour touring inside the glacier.  

The volume of the Langjokull glacier is 195km3, and the ice is up to 580 metres thick. It is about 50 km long and 15-20 km wide, and the highest point of the ice cap is about 1,450 metres.  

The area of the glacier includes some mountains, including: Jarlhettur, Skroufell (above the Hvitarvatn river), Fjakkkirkja, Pursaborg, and Peturhorn.

The Into  the  Glacier  project  took  over  four  years  to  prepare,  and  fourteen  months  to  excavate 5,500m3  of  ice.  The  entire  glacier  measures  200  million  m3,  and  the  tunnel  only  makes  up  about 0.00275% of the entire glacier.

The  tunnel  is  about  500  meters  long,  and  where  we  were  standing  was  about  25  meters  below  the surface of the glacier, with 200 meters of solid ice beneath us. 

You encounter quite a few crevasses, which is a deep crack, or fracture, resulting from the movement and stress of the glacier.

The crevasse above is about 40 metres deep and a few hundred meters long. It is absolutely stunning! 

I  find  this  tour  very  interesting  and  worthwhile.  However,  I  was  quite  sad  to  learn  that  Langjokull  is shrinking  quite  fast,  and  researchers  believe  that if  climate  change continues  at  its  current  pace,  the glacier will disappear in 150 years.  

As  I  mentioned  in  the  beginning,  I  think  Iceland  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful  countries  in  the  world, with  many  of  its  untouched  natural  beauty.  I  do  recommend  that  you  visit  this  country  as  soon  as possible,  especially  those who  are  interested  in catching a glimpse  of  the  northern lights.  More  and more  tourists  are  flocking  into  this  beautiful  Nordic  country.  For  example:  the  number  of  tourists coming in has almost tripled in the past two years.

I highly recommend that you carefully plan your itinerary as the size of the country is quite large, and many  of  the  attractions  are  located  outside  Reykjavik.  And  finally:  choose  your  travel  guide  or  tour wisely.  We  did,  and  we  had  a  fantastic  time.  But  we  were  also  very  lucky  to be  able  to  see  the northern lights. Three evenings in a row!

A special thanks to my travelling companions: Shinta, Bonita, Nana, Anggia, Metta, and Feby, as well as to our guide Alli. 

IcelandAdam MitchellComment