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Vatnajökull National Park

Photo credit: anieto2k / Source / CC BY-SA
Vatnajökull National Park
  • (no stars)
  • 10+ km
  • Moderate
  • Free
  • 2-3 days

Iceland's largest national park with amazing nature divesity

Not without a reason people like to refer to Iceland as the “land of fire of ice” and seems that Vatnajökull National Park is the best place to go to if you want to gain full proof and see the true meaning of this expression. Covering around 13,600 sq. km of area (which is 13% of the territory of Iceland) Vatnajökull National Park  is the largest national park in Western Europe. Besides that Vatnajökull National Park breaks some other records as well for instance the Vatnajökull Glacier happens to be the largest glacier in the world outside the Arctic.


The glacier is incredibly huge, plus there are many subsidiary glacier tongues stretching from the main glacier. One could even say that at Vatnajökull National Park the neverending struggle of fire and ice is represented in its best by hot streams that erupt from icy banks, dazzling-white glacier that descends to black sands and so on. The park can be generally divided into four parts and each of them has something particular to offer for instance: The North territory or Jökulsárgljúfur is well-known because of Ásbyrg Canyon, while the East territory has become famous for its untouched landscapes, well-preserved historical traditions and reindeer. There is plenty to do in whole area depending on whether you would like to do some really adventurous activities (how about riding a snowmobile on a glacier?) or if you would like to have it more slow.


Bare in mind that Vatnajökull National Park does not contain only glaciers, but also the extensive areas surrounding it, so timely prepare an itinerary – how many days you would like to spend there, which parts you would like to see, by what means you would prefer to travel there and so on. The weather and river flows in the area can change really fast so be ready for your hiking/walking/cycling/driving conditions to be seriously impacted by this. Carry some GPS device with you and make sure your phone is always charged. There are several visitor centers open in the area of Vatnajökull National Park, the most visited of them perhaps is the one in Skaftafell which is open all year round and is open from 8:00 to 21:00 in the peak season (June-August)