In the Land of Fire and Ice, it’s not surprising that one can get up close to a few gigantic glaciers. Myrdalsjökull Glacier is one of these glaciers and has nabbed fourth place in the largest glacier category here on the island.
But it’s not just its size that makes Myrdalsjökull Glacier so popular amongst visitors. In this article, we tell you everything there is to know about this glacier and why it deserves a spot on your trip itinerary.
Where is Myrdalsjökull Glacier in Iceland?
Myrdalsjökull Glacier is located in the south of Iceland, just to the north of the village of Vik. It is roughly 148 kilometers from the capital city of Reykjavík, making a day outing during the summer with plenty of daylight hours a possibility.
But as the glacier is located conveniently close to one of our main roads and a popular road trip route called the Ring Road, it’s always a good idea to simply add the glacier as a stop along your road-tripping journey.
How to Get to Myrdalsjökull Glacier
Most choose one of the following ways to get to Myrdalsjökull:
Go On a Tour
We have many guides and tour operators here on the island that offer visitors the opportunity to visit Myrdalsjökull via a guided tour.
Usually, one can choose between a variety of tours, such as a dedicated day tour, a combo day tour that combines a couple of local attractions for a day outing, or even a multi-day tour that includes a large variety of Iceland’s attractions.
But whichever type of tour takes your fancy, we highly recommend that you book well in advance if you’re planning on visiting the island during the busy summer months.
Go On a Self-drive
This will always be our preferred method of exploring the island. This way, you don’t need to rely on any third parties and you will always be in control of your time and itinerary. Getting to Myrdalsjökull Glacier by using your own transport is incredibly easy.
Simply hit the Ring Road and drive south till you reach Skogar. Continue on with Skogar on your left-hand side. After about 6 kilometers, turn left onto Route 221. Continue on till you eventually reach the Myrdalsjökull Glacier parking lot.
What Makes Myrdalsjökull Glacier So Special?
Myrdalsjökull Glacier is a staggering 1493 meters high and covers an area of about 595 square kilometers. It’s also crazy to think that this glacier consists of 750 meters of ice! Myrdalsjökull Glacier has a sibling glacier and between the two of them (as is the case with most siblings), Myrdalsjökull is an angel compared to its troublemaker sibling.
The sibling, Eyjafjallajökull is a good example of why Iceland is called the Land of Fire and Ice in the first place. Even though Eyjafjallajökull is a glacier, it also covers Eyjafjallajökull Volcano. This volcano caused absolute havoc during a 2010 eruption. The eruption required the urgent evacuation of many Icelanders, and the smoke and ash were so thick that it left many flights grounded all over Europe!
Meanwhile, you have Myrdalsjökull just quietly and patiently waiting for its next bout of visitors to come glacier hiking, ice cave exploring, and ice climbing. But this doesn’t mean that Myrdalsjökull has always been as innocent as it is today. Underneath the ice of Myrdalsjökull Glacier lies Katla Volcano.
Even though the last eruption was in 1918, Katla is still considered to be one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, boasting 20 eruptions. The last eruption in 1918 actually lasted 24 days and caused major glacial floods. We think that gives Eyjafjallajökull’s “performance” of 2010 a good go.
What to Do Near Myrdalsjökull Glacier
Except for all the various attractions and activities on the glacier itself, you can also look forward to plenty of other things to do and see in the nearby surroundings. Here are a few things you can consider adding to your trip itinerary:
Fimmvörduhals Hiking Trail
This is one of the most popular hiking trails amongst avid hikers here on the island. This hike takes you from Skogar to Thorsmork and promises to leave you in jaw-dropping awe of the beautiful landscape and breathtaking views.
This 25-kilometer trail starts at the Skogafoss Waterfall and includes 1000 meters of climbing, so it’s not an easy trail that one can take on with small kids or the elderly in your party.
Katla Ice Cave
The Katla Ice Cave is the one ice cave in Iceland that’s actually open all year round (most close for the warmer months). Visiting the ice cave is a once-in-lifetime experience.
It’s hard to describe to someone what it feels like to walk between its bright blue, glossy walls with streaks of thousand-year-old volcanic ash still captured in the ice. Exploring the Katla Ice Cave can only be done via guided tour, though, due to safety concerns.
Ice Climbing Solheimajokull
Solheimajokull is one of Myrdalsjökull’s outlet glaciers, which boasts deep crevasses and gigantic ice formations that you are allowed to go climbing. Just keep in mind that this is also an activity that can only be done on a guided tour with an experienced guide at the helm due to safety concerns. Any/all gear will be provided.
Where to Stay Near Myrdalsjökull Glacier
With so much to do and see in the area, it’s a good idea to sleep over and spend at least a few days exploring everything it has to offer. If you are looking for accommodation, you’ll have plenty of options that will suit your specific preferences and budget. You can look into a bit of a luxury hotel stay with places such as Hotel Skogafoss and Hotel Skogar.
You can also opt for a more affordable option whilst still enjoying your creature comforts, such as Skogar Guesthouse. Or you can go the most budget-friendly route and book a camping spot at Skogar Campsite (although the latter might not be such a good idea during the colder months of the year).
Myrdalsjökull Glacier; An Icy Landscape With Plenty to Do & See
Myrdalsjökull Glacier and its surroundings offer visitors a wide range of once-in-a-lifetime activities such as glacier hiking, snowmobiling, and ice climbing. And you can see all sorts of natural wonders such as Ice formations and ice caves.
With so many things to take on, we really recommend that you don’t just limit yourself to a day outing to Myrdalsjökull, but rather rent a car in Iceland and make Myrdalsjökull a stop along your Ring Road road trip. We look forward to having you experience the magic of the Myrdalsjökull Glacier!