More than 2,600 square kilometres of Norway’s land area is covered by glaciers. 60 per cent of Svalbard is covered by glaciers.
Guided glacier walking
Glacier walking is an incredible experience, but it also demands alertness, knowledge and equipment.
The ice mass is in constant movement and can present unexpected dangers from deep crevasses (often covered in snow), avalanches or from large blocks of ice breaking off (calving). There is always danger of ice collapsing even in front of the glacier.
Guarantee your safety by using authorised guides, and never venture out onto or near a glacier on your own. During the summer period there are guided tours on most glaciers. Remember to bring warm clothing, headwear, suitable footwear, gloves and sunglasses.
Why not try a Blue ice trip on the Folgefonna Glacier or go hiking on the Nigardsbreen Glacier?
Glaciers are not only scenic attractions; they are also important nature laboratories, especially for climate change, geology and vegetation. These slow moving rivers of ice are sensitive to any changes in the climate, and global warming can seriously influence their extent.
The glaciers grow and shrink, change direction and change shape and colour. Even several hundred metres thick ice is in constant motion and the arms of the glacier can grow several hundred meters in only a few years. Melt water from the glaciers accumulates and turns into rivers and waterfalls.
And so the story continues - the movements of the glaciers still influence the landscape as they have done for thousands of years, as they did when forming the famous Norwegian fjords.
Norway’s largest glaciers
Located on Svalbard, Austfonna is the world's third-largest icecap after Antarctic and Greenland with a glacier front of 200 kilometres. This makes it the largest glacier in Europe.
This is the largest glacier on mainland Europe, covering an area of 487 square kilometres. It has more than 50 glacier branches, for example the famous Briksdalsbreen and Nigardsbreen Glaciers. The glacier is a part of the Jostedalsbreen National Park in Sogn og Fjordane. Fjærland hosts the Norwegian Glacier Museum where you can find information about the glaciers and how they form the landscape, the climate and how it effects us.
In reality Svartisen consists of two glaciers – Vestre Svartisen and Østre Svartisen. The glacier is part of Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park in Nordland.
Home to the Folgefonna Summer Ski Centre and part of the Folgefonna National Park which lies in the county of Hordaland.