Even if you have lived in Iceland your whole life, the wonders of Vatnajökull never cease to amaze and enthrall. The largest glacier in Europe tumbles down the highest mountain ridge in Iceland, creating tremendous icefalls just above the southeast part of Route 1.
The ice giant covers 8% of Iceland and is up to 1000 meters (3280 feet) thick. That equals 30 meters of ice evenly spread over all of Iceland – but we are in fact quite happy to keep it where it is. The Icelandic climate can be challenging enough without adding dozens of meters of ice on top of us.
Ice, water, and tectonic plate movements have shaped Vatnajökull’s surrounding landscape over millennia. Today, the whole area forms Europe's largest natural reserve, the Vatnajökull National Park, which is featured in the UNESCO World Heritage List since July 2019.