Near Skaftafell, Iceland - Vatnajökull (English: Lake glacier) is the largest glacier in Iceland. It is located in the south-east of the island, covering more than 8% of the country. With a size of 8,100 km², it is the largest glacier in Europe in volume and the second largest (after Austfonna on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard) in area.
The average thickness of the ice is 400 m, with a maximum thickness of 1000 m. Iceland's highest mountain, Öręfajökull (2,110 m), is located in the southern periphery of Vatnajökull, near Skaftafell National Park. It is classified as an ice cap glacier. Under the glacier, as under many of the glaciers of Iceland, there are several volcanoes. The volcanic lakes, Grķmsvötn for example, were the sources of a large glacier run in 1996. The volcano under these lakes also caused a considerable but short-time eruption in the beginning of November 2004. Vatnajökull has been shrinking for some years now, possibly because of climatic changes and recent volcanic activity.
According to Guinness World Records Vatnajökull is the object of the world's longest sight line, 550 km from Slęttaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroe Isles. GWR state that "owing to the light bending effects of atmospheric refraction, Vatnajökull (2119m), Iceland, can sometimes be seen from the Faroe Islands, 340 miles (550km) away".