Information about Mýrdalsjökull

The strange ice formations on Mýrdalsjökull

Mýrdalsjökull is a glacier in the south of the Icelandic highlands. It is the country's fourth largest ice cap, covering nearly 600 kilometres squared, and its highest peak is almost 1500 meters tall. It is most well-known for sitting atop the notorious and explosive volcano, Katla.

Mýrdalsjökull is visible from Route 1 on the South Coast, sitting to the north of the village of Vík.

Photo above from the Katla Ice Cave Tour

Eruptions beneath Mýrdalsjökull

Since 2010, the world has known of the volcano beneath Eyjafjallajökull; few, however, are aware of the much larger volcano right beside it. Mýdalsjökull conceals Katla, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, having erupted, on average, once every fifty years since 930 AD. Because of the glacier above it, these eruptions tend to cause enormous ash clouds.

The last major eruption beneath Katla was in 1918, in which such huge lahar floods occurred that the southern coastline was extended five kilometres outwards. This area is also very susceptible to glacial floods, or jökulhlaups, during eruptions, even those which do not break through the surface of the ice, such as those that occurred in 1955, 1999 and 2011.

Historically, the area was little settled for this reason.

Katla is connected to the same volcanic system as Eyjafallajökull and usually erupts violently a few years after. As the ex-president, Ólafur Grímsson, said in 2010:

‘The time for Katla to erupt is coming close… it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption’

Katla is monitored heavily, and roads around it closed when seismic activity increases. All road closures around Iceland can be found on the roads website.

Tours on Mýrdalsjökull

While there are no eruptions immediately imminent, tours continue to run on Mýrdalsjökull, allowing visitors to enjoy the glacier. It is, for example, possible to snowmobile across its surface throughout the year and take ice caving tours beneath it from October to April, with departures from both Reykjavík and Vík.

Considering the ice caves under Vatnajökull glacier are usually only accessible from November to March, this provides a wider window of opportunity for travellers to Iceland outside of the depths of winter. It should be noted that these caves do not have the same blue ice, however.

Tours around Mýrdalsjökull

Mýrdalsjökull can be seen on all South Coast tours that reach Vík and beyond in clear weather. It can also be seen from above on helicopter tours that depart from Reykjavík.

The best perspectives of the glacier, however, can be found on the popular Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail, which goes between Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. Part of this hike can be done in a day, or you can take the complete route from Þórsmörk to Skógar on a three-day trek.


Services near Mýrdalsjökull

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Mýrdalsjökull

Katla volcano

Katla (meaning “Kettle”) is one of Iceland's largest and most active volcanos. Situated in south Iceland, Katla is partially buried un...



Katla is an active volcano situated under the glacier Myrdalsjokull in South Iceland. It is one of Iceland's most well known volcanoes. Katla&...



  Fimmvorduhals is one of Iceland's most popular hiking trails. It made the world news when the Eyjafjallajokull eruption started there in 2...



  Modi is one of the two youngest craters in Iceland, along with Magni. These two craters are situated between glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjaf...



  Magni is one of the two youngest craters in Iceland, along with Modi. The craters are situated between glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjalla...


South Iceland

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Solheimajokull is a beautiful outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap. Solheimajokull is a rugged glacial tounge riddled with crevasses and specta...



  The Blue Mountains are a beautiful mountain range of the tuff type, located around 20 km from Reykjavik, by the lava plateau of Hellisheidi. T...


Laugavegur hiking trail

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  Stakkholtsgja is an up to 100 meters deep and  2 kilometers long canyon in South Iceland. The canyon is located near the entrance to Tho...



Nestled between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull is Þórsmörk (Thor's V...



Skogar, in South Iceland, is a popular destination for travelers. It has a population of about 20 people, features a regional museum and and is close ...



Skriduklaustur is a culture and learning institute in the valley of Fljotsdalur in East Iceland. It is a historical site and home to the Gunnar instit...



Solheimasandur is a vast area of sand and gravel along the south coast of Iceland, between the cliffs of the interior and the modern shoreline. It was...



  Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the island with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters...



Gigjokull is one of two glacier outlets from the glacier volcano Eyjafjallajokull, the other being Steinholtsjokull. The 2010 Eyjafjallajokull erupt...



  The glacier volcano of Eyjafjallajokull (1651 m) is located at the borders of the South Icelandic highlands. It featured prominently in world ...


South Shore

From Reykjanesta and the next 100 km onwards, the south shore is characterized by lava formations constantly battered by the wild ocean waves (‘...



Located in south Iceland, Tindfjallajökull ('The glacier of peak mountains') is a stratovolcano that is covered by a small glacier of 19 ...


Vík i Mýrdal

Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located 186 km from the capital Reykjavik. Vik is important as a ...


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