Seeing a Glacial Lagoon and Hiking through a National Park

On our fifth day along the southeastern part of Iceland, we headed out for a boat ride along Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon. This large, bright blue lagoon is situated between the ocean and an outlet glacier called Breiŏamerkurjökull. Chunks of floating icebergs that have broken off from Breiŏamerkurjökull float along the water and the whole setting is peaceful.

photo-74photo-76DSCN0913Before heading on the boat, climb up the gravel hill that overlooks the lagoon for great views and greater photo opportunities. The boat ride lasts a good enough time for picture taking as well. Our guide offered a good lesson about the lagoon’s formation as well as the weather conditions. You also get to touch a piece of ice, as your guide lifts up a section from the water. And if you can, you can hold a bigger and heavier part.

DSCN0928DSCN0942Many buses head out here for a look at Jökulsárlón but double check to make sure there you have time for the boat ride and for getting back. Another neat thing about stopping here is that the eatery/gift shop sells a beer called “Vatnajökull Frozen in Time.” Made by the Icelandic brewery, Ölvisholt Brugghús, this amber beer is brewed with glacial water. A bottle costs about $10 USD, but it is worth buying. Its taste is nice and clean.

And when you head past the bridge near Jökulsárlón, you will come across a black sand beach that has blocks of ice as well.

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Next up, Skaftafell National Park, Iceland’s second largest national park, has quite a network of trails leading across this rugged landscape with valleys, mountain peaks and glaciers. There are large camping grounds here and the facilities are pretty equipped with a restaurant, small shop, bathrooms and washing machines.

photo-85We took a short but steep hike up toward the peaks and this path was quite a climb. Yet the view is worth the work as the views are almost like being in the Alps. Just watch yourself too, as the trails can be rocky and slippery.

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