Watnayokudl National Park

Vatnajökull is the largest national park in Iceland, as well as throughout Europe. Its area is 12,000 km2 - almost 12% of the territory of Iceland. The park was founded on June 7, 2008 and included the former national parks of Skaftafell, founded in 1967, and Jökulsargljuvur, founded in 1973. In terms of area, it is the largest national park in Europe. In the park there is a huge Vatnajökull glacier, occupying an eighth of the area of Iceland. Not all the infrastructure has been built yet, but the park already attracts quite a lot of tourists every year.

Watnayokudl National Park

Jökulsárglúvur National Park

Jökulsárglúvür is located in the north of Iceland near the Jökulsau au Fjödlum river, not far from the famous Dettifoss waterfall. More than 8 thousand years ago, a volcano formed under the river and after a powerful eruption the area changed greatly and an area was formed that is now called Jökulsárglúvur. In the center is Echo Rock. The most beautiful mountain is Red Mountain, so named because of its high iron content, which gives the mountain a red tint. Among the attractions, it is worth highlighting the Ausbyrgi Canyon, the northern part of which looks like a horse’s horseshoe.

Skaftafell National Park

In the territory of Skaftafell there is the Morsardalur valley, Mount Kristinartindar, the Skaftafellsjokull glacier, and the Laki volcano. During the eruption of the Laki volcano in 1783, more than 50% of Iceland's livestock and almost all birds died from toxic fumes. The length of the lava flow was more than 130 km, covering an area of 560 km2 with lava. Melted snow led to monstrous floods, and the outbreak of famine destroyed 20% of the country's inhabitants. This eruption is considered one of the most destructive in the history of the Earth; the rising ash blocked the sun's rays, which led to a drop in temperature and crop failure the following year in Europe.

Watnayokudl National Park

The topography of Vatnajökull Park is similar to the Alpine, formed over thousands of years by the Eraivajökull volcano, Skaftafellsjökull and Skeidarajökull glaciers. And eruptions under the ice cover were caused by glacial flows, which raised the water level in the Skeidar River. The climate in this area is milder than in the rest of Iceland, and there are even more sunny days here, which is unusual for southern Iceland. Vatnajökull National Park is home to the Svartifoss (Black Falls) waterfall, which is 12 meters high. The waterfall consists of hexagonal columns made of black lava, which is how its name came about. The columns appeared in a lava flow that slowly cooled and crystallized. Something similar can be seen in Ireland, in a place called the Giant's Causeway and also on the Scottish island of Staffa. These basalt columns inspired many Icelandic architects to create wonderful masterpieces of classical architecture, the most notable of which are Hallgrimur Church in Reykjavik and the National Theater.

In the Middle Ages, there were several large agricultural farms in Vatnajökull Park, but due to volcanoes and floods, farmers had to leave these places. But now you can see here 2 parks whose income comes mainly from tourists.

The Vatnajökull glacier, with an area of 8100 km2, is the largest glacier in Europe. The thickness of the ice reaches 1 km, and on average 400-500 meters. Under the ice of the glacier there are 7 active volcanoes and ice caves. The crater caldera of the Eraivajökull volcano is 20 km2, Grímsvötn - 100 km2, Bárdarbunga - 60 km2. Lakes are also hidden under the ice, which are formed as a result of the action of volcanoes; lakes sometimes lead to major floods

The glacier has been studied by scientists for a long time, which led to the fact that in 2008 the area was declared a national park. In the ice of Vatnajökull the river Jekulsau au Fjedlum is born, forming the largest waterfall in Europe - Dettifoss. The region is quite popular, with snowmobiling and skiing, as well as hiking.

Watnayokudl National Park Watnayokudl National Park Watnayokudl National Park Watnayokudl National Park Watnayokudl National Park Watnayokudl National Park
Watnayokudl National Park - geographical coordinates
Latitude: 64.5
Longitude: -17


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