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Discover The Glaciers Of Iceland

“We come from the land of the ice and snow
From the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow” -Robert Plant

After visiting Iceland in 1970 to play a gig, Led Zeppelin wrote ‘Immigrant Song’. The song is inspired by this country of contrasts in the north, where fire meets ice. Story has it they wrote it on the airplane as the left Iceland. Wether that’s true or not, they performed it for the first time at Bath Festival only six days later.

On a clear day the glaciers are beautiful seen from high up above from an airplane. Approximately 11% of Iceland is covered by glaciers and with the rapid climate change this percentage unfortunately will only decrease. Glaciers are a remarkable phenomenon with their constantly transforming landscapes.

What is a glacier?

A glacier starts forming when snow accumulates year after year in the same spot and doesn’t melt completely away during summer. For a glacier to formulate takes a massive accumulation of snow. To put it into perspective, snow is water vapour frozen into crystals and consists of up to 90% air as falls to the ground. This is not compact enough to form a glacier but each time snow falls it compresses the existing layer, slowly reducing the air pockets. The cycle repeats itself every year, making the snow more compact until the snow becomes ice. Ever wondered why glaciers are blue but not the ice cubes in your G+T? A glacier is purely ice in its most compressed form but because of this density the glacier will seem blue when daylight bounces off it.

This compression also means the glaciers carry enormous weight which causes them to move, deform and sculpt the land underneath like a massive bulldozer. In the process the glacier cracks creating crevasses, moulins, ice caves and other glacier formations. Interestingly much of the terminology originates in french language. This is because French scientists were the first to study these different formations and to give them names. Merci beaucoup guys!

Today glaciers store the majority of all freshwater on earth and covers around 10% of all land. Unfortunately glaciers are reducing in size every year which can have devastating effects worldwide with rising sea level. Jokulsarlon, Iceland’s biggest and best known glacier lagoon is growing in size each year and is currently Iceland’s biggest lake at 250 m deep. Icebergs continuously break off from the outlet glacier Breidamerkurjokull creating the famous picturesque scenery. The next door neighbour and second biggest glacier lagoon Fjallsarlon, has become a tourist attraction in the recent years and popular for zodiac boat tours. Popular activities on and surrounding glaciers are ice cave tours, super jeep tours, hiking and ice climbing to name a few. The biggest man made glacier tunnel in the world has been realised in the icecap of Langjokull. This tunnel has given glaciologists the unique opportunity to research the glacier from inside the icecap as well as tourists who are interested in exploring glaciers.


The land of ice and snow

Iceland is situated on the mid Atlantic ridge and was created by the continuous friction of the two tectonic plates, which explains Iceland’s geothermal activity. Iceland truly is a land of ice and snow where the hot springs flow. But when these beautiful forces of nature; fire and ice meet, it can have catastrophic consequences. Sub-glacial outburst flood caused by geothermal heating under a glacier and sometimes sub-glacial eruption is not uncommon in Iceland. Eyjafjallajokull being the best known example after paralysing air traffic in Europe during the eruption. But when those two nature forces coexist relatively peacefully, it’s a phenomenal sight.

Why Choose Hello Iceland?

Hello Iceland is a young dynamic marketplace featuring our top selection of day tours, run by local tour operators in Iceland.

When booking through our site you can rest assured you’ll never pay a higher price or any hidden fees, and we have a cancellation policy of 24 hours should your plans change.

We do our best to feature small-group tour operators and favour the ones who support responsible tourism. Many of these smaller, family-run companies are hard to find online, and get crowded out by the larger companies; so we’ve done the hard work for you in finding them. If you need assistance booking or just some recommendations, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re looking forward to showing you amazing times in Iceland.

“We’ve had so much fun travelling in Iceland finding the best tours out there. I hope you like them too”

Sigrún, Founder at Hello Iceland


"We just got back from a 5 day drive around Iceland. Hello Iceland were amazing at recommending the best routes to do.. and also booked us onto an incredible glacier tour at Vatnajökull.. They were so lovely to chat to and we would definitely use them again when going back"

Louise Anderson, London
"It’s really helpful that HelloIceland offers amazing tours operated by smaller local tour operators which we always prefer when we travel. Some of the tours we might not have found if we had to do the research online ourselves."

Jane Tennett, Kidderminster
"I booked a glacier cave tour and whale watching and Hello Iceland was really helpful and quick to get back to me on all my questions."

Frank Anthony, Bristol
"HelloIceland made our tour bookings easy and effective by offering selective tours instead of to many of the same. It saved us a lot of time searching and comparing tours and prices."

Christine Bardy, London

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