The Svínafellsjökull Glacier is one of the many ice tongues of the huge Vatnajokull Glacier in southern Iceland, which alone occupies 8% of the country.
An offshoot of the Öræfajökull glacier, Svínafellsjökull is 8 km long and 800 meters wide. It tucked alongside its neighbor the Skaftafellsjökull located in the famous Skaftafell Park.
The glacier has become something of a hotspot recently after its selection as the filming location for part of season 7 of the Game Of Throne series as well as the movie Interstellar.
The glacier is one of the best known in the country because, in addition to its staggering beauty, it is very easy to get to. Just off Road number 1 less than 1 kilometer east of Skaftafell Park, there is a sign indicating the direction of Svínafellsjökull.
This small, bumpy road is accessible to any type of vehicle, taking you north for 2 kilometers towards the glacier and ends in a car park.
The site is quite busy in summer and the car park may even be quite full at this time of the year, so it is recommended if possible to prefer visiting in the evening or early in the morning.
Being close to Road number 1, the glacier is mostly accessible during winter as well, but you won't have any trouble parking.
While often the best sites in Iceland are the hardest to get to, this does not apply. The glacier is renowned for its magnificent colors, whatever the weather is like. From the car park, you can take a short hike, less than 1 km allows you to get quite close to the glacier.
You'll see the nearby small, brown water lagoon, quite unlike the blues and grays of Jökulsarlon or Fjallsarlon, but many agree it is even more beautiful. The large blocks of blue ice floating sedately within stand out in striking contrast. This brown color of the water is due to ash deposits that testify to past eruptions.
The icebergs that float on the lagoon, breaking away from the glacier, are abstract ice sculptures of the most magnificent blue color with a shimmering coat of black volcanic dust. In winter, their bright blue is even more mesmerizing than in summer.
The small narrow path ends where the ice meets the bedrock it is possible, with caution, to climb a little to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the glacier and the lagoon.
In the background, the glacier is superb, its large peaks of ice so geometrically perfect that you would think they were tooled. These icy teeth in shades of blue, black and white really pop with the lagoon in the frame, which makes the site particularly photogenic.
The walk is short, but you really won't believe your eyes. Generally visitors stay less than an hour on site, but if you are in the region, you really shouldn't miss it.
It is strictly forbidden to venture alone on the glacier, the site is very dangerous, as exemplified by the stele near the car park that chronicles the tragic disappearance of two German tourists in 2007.
However, you can take a guided tour on the blue ice of Svínafellsjökull departing from the Skaftafell car park next door for a total return trip of about 3.5 hours.