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Exploring the Icy Terrain of Langjokull Glacier

Updated: Apr 18

The Land of Fire and Ice is filled with interesting terrain that’s the result of two opposing and clashing forces. One of these opposing elements can be seen in the form of glaciers here in Iceland. Not only are the glaciers a testimony of the incredible power of nature, but one can actually do all sorts of exciting activities to explore these icy natural wonders. One of the local favorites is the Langjokull Glacier.


A trip to this glacier will leave you astounded and even get the heart pumping a bit depending on the type of exploration you want to do. In this article, we will tell you everything there is to know about this breathtaking natural wonder and what you can expect from a visit.


 langjokull glacier


Langjokull Glacier; An Overview


The Langjokull Glacier is officially the second-largest glacier in Iceland, which makes its name fairly on the mark as it translates to ‘Long Glacier’. It covers 935 square kilometers of land, can be as thick as 580 meters, and stands a staggering 1450 meters above sea level.


Langjokull Glacier doesn’t just offer visitors the chance to traverse an icy landscape, it has many other things that will completely blow your mind, such as all sorts of interesting ice formations, incredibly deep, and dark crevasses, as well as ice caves that will simply take your breath away with their other-worldly beauty.


It’s also mind-blowing to think that this glacier is directly responsible for many of the attractions along the popular Golden Circle route. So, without it, there probably wouldn’t have been a need for a Golden Circle road trip in the first place.


Where is Langjokull Glacier in Iceland?


Langjokull Glacier is located in the Highlands in West Iceland. You will be able to do a day trip from the capital city of Reykjavík, as it’s the nearest town, just 150 kilometers (about a 2.5-hour drive) away.



langjokull glacier iceland


How Do I Get to Langjökull Glacier?


You essentially have two options for getting to Langjokull Glacier:


You Can Take a Tour


We have many tour operators and guides here on the island. Most of them will be able to take you on a tour of Langjokull Glacier. Either via one of their existing tour packages, which can range from a day trip to a multi-day trip, or via a customized private tour that you’ve arranged with them.


We do urge those who are planning a summer trip to the island to book any tours well in advance since this is our peak season here on the island and things get booked up pretty quickly.


You Can Drive Yourself


This will always be our recommended method of travel here on the island. This allows you to truly immerse yourself in the Icelandic landscape and culture and keeps you firmly in control of your own time and itinerary. Whether you’re planning on visiting Langjokull Glacier as a day outing or as a stop along a Golden Circle road trip, getting from Reykjavík to Langjokull is very easy.


Get onto Route 1 and head north towards Borgarnes. Then take Route 50 and Route 518 thereafter, taking you to Husafell. The western access to the glacier is near Husafell and is open all year round. The more scenic route is only open during the summer months, though. Route 550 (it will be on your right if you turn off it from Route 518) will take you through the mountains. Follow the road till you reach Kaki Base Camp.

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Can You Visit Langjökull Glacier on Your Own?


If you would just like to stand at the edge and marvel at it, you are more than welcome to do so all by your lonesome. But, for any actual exploration of the icy surface, you will need a qualified and experienced guide. This is because there are many things on a glacier that pose a significant threat to a novice (such as those deep, dark crevasses we mentioned earlier).


When is the Best Time to Visit Langjokull Glacier?


It may seem counterintuitive, but the glaciers are open all year round, irrespective of season. So, when you’ll be coming to visit will depend solely on your personal preferences. As we already mentioned, a summer trip will allow you to take the scenic route to the glacier, but most of the ice caves will be closed till the winter season.


The winter season will bring with it pretty harsh weather elements at times, though. This will not only impact the fact that visiting Langjokull Glacier is an outdoor activity but also impacts the road conditions getting there. So, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the Icelandic weather forecast.   


Things to Do & See Near Langjokull Glacier


You will have your pick of exciting things to see and do in and around Langjokull Glacier. These are a few things you can think of including on your trip itinerary:



Is Langjökull glacier worth visiting?


Where to Stay Near Langjokull Glacier


With so much to see and do in the area, you can understand why we suggest staying over for a night or two. And there is no shortage of accommodation in the area. You can opt for a luxurious hotel stay at places such as Hotel Husafell or Hotel Geysir.


Or you can go for something a bit more affordable whilst still staying in the ultimate comfort with places such as Lucky Guesthouse and Brekkugerdi Guesthouse. Alternatively, you can truly immerse yourself in Icelandic nature whilst having the ultimate budget-friendly stay when booking a spot at a campground such as Husafell Campsite.


Is Langjökull Glacier Worth Visiting?


If you want to tick off one of the largest glaciers in the entire country, then Langjökull Glacier is a must. If you want to see one of the most beautiful frozen landscapes on the planet, Langjökull Glacier is a must. Or if you want to get the blood pumping with an adventurous icy excursion, then Langjökull Glacier is the place to be.


If you rent a campervan in Reykjavík upon arrival, you’ll be able to make Langjökull Glacier a stop along a Golden Circle road trip, whilst you can take advantage of added benefits such as the Camping Card to have the most affordable holiday whilst camping in comfort. We can assure you that you’ll get a warm welcome at icy Langjökull Glacier. 


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