You know there’s a whole other famous lagoon in Iceland other than the Blue Lagoon, though you may not want to take a dip in this one…
Jökulsárlón, or the Glacier Lagoon, is just shy of 400 km East of Reykjavík along Iceland’s South coast and is well worth the drive. It’s a gorgeous glassy lagoon full of icebergs that have fallen off Breiðamerkurjökull (say that five times fast!), which is a little conjoined buddy of the larger Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier.
The icy floats, the number of which will vary on a daily basis, glisten a brilliant shade of azure near the water’s surface, and can show signs of nearby volcanic activity, sporting black ashy tops. And looking just beyond the icebergs you’ll have a beautiful view of the glacial tongue reaching down into the water. That tongue used to reach all the way to the nearby sea, but has receded to its current position, creating the lagoon in the process.
Though you’re likely just a hop and a skip from your nearby summerhouse when visiting Jökulsárlón (you are spending a night or two in a lovely nearby cottage, aren’t you?) you can still pop into the on-site cafe and shop for a bite, a sip, and to answer the call of nature. If you’re angling for a more up-close and personal encounter with the lagoon you can even hop aboard the aquatic bus that will take you out for a spin around the icebergs. Just don’t try to hop aboard the glacier for a picnic… don’t laugh, it’s been done.
Pro tip: if you’re heading out Jökulsárlón way and have a car that can handle about 100 metres or so on an unkempt, often rutted dirt road, take the turn-off from route 1 marked “Fjallsárlón” and feast your eyes on this:
I kid you not; even in cloudy weather it’s still this gorgeous.
And the scenery along the South coast is an overwhelming eye-full around every corner, so plan on that 400 km drive from Reykjavík to Jökulsárlón taking a good 6 hours or more to complete once photo breaks are factored in.
Have you been to the glacier lagoon? Share your experiences in the comments!