Svínafellsjökull

South East Coast, Iceland
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The icefalls of Svínafellsjökull are truly magnificent, with towering walls of blue and white ice, laced with veins of black ash. The tongue of the glacier is steep and ends in a beautiful craterlike lagoon, nested between towering, whittled mountains on each side. The lagoon creates a serene and tranquil scene amid the awesome, powerful broken ice blocks from the glacier. Because of its easy access, this is the most popular glacier for films and TV productions in Iceland.

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    Each location on Massif includes detailed information about climate, lighting conditions, accessibility, nearby services, permits, visitors, risk factors and much more.
  • Climate

    Climate

    Get location climate information which includes temperature, wind speed, amount of rain, snowfall and ice coverage through the year.
  • Lighting conditions

    Lighting conditions

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  • Accessibility, services and permits

    Accessibility, services and permits

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  • Visitors and risk factors

    Visitors and risk factors

    Find out if location is frequently visited, if there is any danger in the location area and how to stay safe.

Accessibility

From route no 1, you drive 2 kilometres to the large parking lot. From there lies a rough gravel road, 4 km long, to another medium size parking lot suitable for tech base. There is a trail to the glacier itself, but it needs to be scouted beforehand to check its conditions.
Public transportation unavailable
There is no public transportation available in this area
Car recommended
Unchallenging terrain accessible by car
Bad phone coverage
Poor phone coverage with frequent interruptions
Not needed
Guide is not needed

Services nearby

There are many hotels and lodgings options within 50 kilometres from this location. Nearest hospital is in Höfn, 136 kilometres away.
Accommodation
< 30 km
Gas station
< 30 km
Hospital or emergency room
More than 50 km away
Parking
< 1 km
Restaurants
< 30 km
Shopping
More than 50 km away

Permits

Want to film hassle-free? Partner up with the local production studio through Massif and let them handle all the paperwork. Learn more
You need a two-way permit. Svínafellsjökull is a part of Vatnajökull National Park.
Shooting requires both the permission from the property owner and the local government permit

Basecamp and facilities

Skaftafell Service Centre is 5 kilometres away with all the facilities needed. Within 3 kilometres from the glacier is Hótel Freysnes that also has all the facilities, a gas station and a store. There is an enormous parking lot halfway to the glacier that has been used as basecamp before and a further 4 km up the gravel road is a medium size parking lot that could be used as tech base. There is a trail that leads all the way to the lagoon for specialised vehicles or 4-wheelers. Phone coverage is average at this location and may vary.

Risk factors

Icefall glaciers are constantly moving from the pressure above, they are also covered in crevasses, deep and narrow. Ice blocks can collapse without warning and the temperature is cooler than elsewhere with a risk of hypothermia. Climbing the glacier should not be attempted without climbing guides and a safety team. The lagoons tend to be deep, and the water is cold and not suitable for swimming.

Visitors

Svínafellsjökull is a popular area for tourists who often stop and hike to the lagoon for a short stop. There are some tourist companies that offer tours to the icefall, but the location is very easy to manage with a permit from landowners.

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