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The Langjökull glacier is one of Iceland’s finest, an enormous expanse of ice close to Reykjavík. Traverse the glacier with a local guide or head below the ice to witness the secrets of the Langjökull Ice Cave. Explore our tours below to find the Langjökull glacier experience for you.
Aerial view of Langjökull glacier in Iceland

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What to know about visiting Langjökull

Where is the Langjökull glacier?

Langjökull is Iceland’s second-largest glacier—after the mighty Vatnajökull—and it’s the closest glacier to the city of Reykjavík. That makes it the ideal destination for visitors to Iceland if you’re basing yourself in the capital.

You’ll find the glacier northeast of the city. At its closest point, it’s about 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Reykjavík and it takes about two hours to get there by road. You have a couple of options of routes, which take you to the southeast or the northwest of the glacier respectively. Both are exceptionally scenic—so the drive is an experience in itself!

You may already know that the name Langjökull means “long glacier” in Icelandic. And that’s thanks to its remarkable length. The glacier is 64 kilometres (40 miles) long and 24 kilometres (15 miles) wide, covering a total area of roughly 1,025 square kilometres (395 square miles). At its highest point, it’s over 1,400 metres above sea level.

As with many glaciers in Iceland, if you were to venture beneath the ice, you’d find volcanoes (this country is known as the Land of Ice and Fire for good reason!). Even in this area of the country which isn’t particularly volcanically active, there are two volcanoes to be found beneath Langjökull.

To the east of Langjökull is Hveravellir, a geothermal field with a hot spring that’s very famous among Icelanders. The other is Arnarvatnsheiði, to the northwest of the glacier.

If you want to visit Langjökull, head to one of the base camps at the foot of the glacier. The one known as Klaki base camp is the easiest to reach from Reykjavík.

How to visit Langjökull?

One of the most common questions visitors to Iceland have is whether they can visit a glacier by themselves.

The simple answer is yes, but only if you are an experienced mountaineer with training in glacial navigation. If you’re not, you should only venture onto the ice with a guide. Glaciers are extreme environments that require specialist gear and skills to navigate safely. A guide can ensure that you stay safe and that you’re well prepared.

That said, there are plenty of wonderful ways to explore Langjökull. Whether you want to brave the elements on foot or discover this icy world on the back of a monster truck, there’s something here for everyone.

One of the most popular options is a glacier hike. You’ll be provided with crampons, a harness, and an icepick and you’ll venture onto the ice cap with a local expert. It’s a fascinating way to experience this environment up close—plus it’s a real education. You’ll learn the skills to use the gear and to navigate these rugged landscapes.

Alternatively, explore the ice on a specialist winter vehicle. One option is to ride on a monster truck, a powerful machine that will take you across this glacial world. Or drive yourself on a snowmobile. While you’ll need your own driving licence, it’s an awesome and thrilling way to visit the glacier.

Want a different perspective on the Langjökull ice cap? Head into the Langjökull Ice Cave, one of the most astonishing places you’ll see in Iceland. It’s an enormous tunnel—Iceland’s largest—that’s been carved out of the deep ice. In any season, you can explore this cold blue world.

However you like to travel, Langjökull offers something special. Explore our tours to discover more adventures.

Other sights around the Langjökull glacier

The Langjökull glacier is located in what is no doubt one of the most scenic areas in the world. It’s located between the Icelandic highlands, the south coast, and the Western Region, three of the most rewarding regions to visit in Iceland. Explore it all while you’re visiting Langjökull.

For example, close to Langjökull is the Golden Circle, a travel itinerary world-famous for its mix of astonishing landscapes and captivating history. You can visit Langjökull while exploring the area’s three main sights: Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir.

The Snæfellsnes peninsula—home of the Snæfellsjökull National Park—is only a short distance away too. Here, you can explore stunning coastlines, visit iconic mountains, and witness vast lava fields. It’s often called “Iceland in miniature” for its sheer variety of different sights.

Of course, the south coast of Iceland is just a stone’s throw from Langjökull too. This is a world of breathtaking waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and hiking opportunities.

With Icelandia, you can visit Langjökull alongside other sights that interest you most. Simply explore our tours to see what’s on offer.

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