Vatnajökull National Park Is Now UNESCO World Heritage Site - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Vatnajökull National Park Is Now UNESCO World Heritage Site

Published July 9, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons

Vatnajökull National Park, the scene of nearly every fun thing to do in Iceland, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, according to an announcement from the organisation.

“This iconic volcanic region covers an area of over 1,400,000 ha, nearly 14% of Iceland’s territory,” the announcement reads in part. “It numbers ten central volcanoes, eight of which are subglacial. Two of these are among the most active in Iceland. The interaction between volcanoes and the rifts that underlie the Vatnajökull ice cap takes many forms, the most spectacular of which is the jökulhlaup – a sudden flood caused by the breach of the margin of a glacier during an eruption. This recurrent phenomenon has led to the emergence of unique sandur plains, river systems and rapidly evolving canyons. Volcanic areas are home to endemic groundwater fauna that has survived the Ice Age.”

Established as a national park in 2008, Vatnajökull National Park is the largest of its kind in Europe.

Vatnajökull National Park has also been the site of numerous trips that we at the Grapevine have taken, all with glowing reviews. Be sure to take advantage of everything the park has to offer, if you can—you won’t regret it.

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