Most Impressive Iceland World's 18th Largest Island
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
Iceland is the world's 18th-largest island, and Europe's second-largest island after Great Britain. Iceland is the only part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands.
The most impressive caves in Iceland are the glacier caves. They form naturally when summer meltwater carves long tunnels and caves underneath the thick ice sheets. As these are natural caves that melt and break down each summer, they’re constantly changing and evolving. The traditional ice cave season in Iceland runs from November to March when the weather has been consistently cold enough for the ice caves to become stable enough to visit and explore properly.
Please note that glaciers, and glacier caves, are extremely dangerous. Never attempt to hike on a glacier or visit a glacier cave on your own. The glaciers are full of cracks that the untrained eye may not detect, and people can easily fall dozens or even hundreds of yards (meters) into a glacier crevasse.
Vatnajökull literally "Glacier of Lakes"; sometimes translated as Vatna Glacier in English is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland, and the second largest in area in Europe after the Severny Island ice cap of Novaya Zemlya. The long meandering crystal-blue corridors beneath the Vatnajökull glacier have earned the names of Anaconda Ice Cave and Crystal Ice Cave. With a glass-like ceiling, gleaming walls, and shimmers of bright sunbeams, you’re guaranteed an awe-inspiring spectacle. The top of the glacier, close to the entrance of the ice cave, is a perfect spot to catch Northern Lights in action. Once you’ve been there, that’s an experience you won’t be likely to forget for a long time!
As part of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, the Crystal Cave was one of the most visited ice caves in Iceland. The name ‘Crystal Cave’ originated based on its translucent features and interior colors of glimmering white and blue hues. Due to its grandeur and cavern-like looks, the ice cave used to attract crowds of up to 80 people at once.
Within Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, resides the 800-year-old Katla Ice Cave. Located roughly a two-hour drive away from Reykjavík, the naturally-formed attraction invites visitors to explore its frozen chambers all year long.
As the second-largest glacier in Iceland, Langjökull ice formation lies on hyaloclastite mountains. Due to its oblong shape, it’s called Langjökull, which means “the Long Glacier.”