Jökulsárlón is today one of Iceland’s best known and most popular natural wonders, and for a good reason. A magnificent view welcomes you as you arrive there and it’s almost like stepping into a fairy tale landscape. Jökulsárlón (literally “glacial river lagoon”) is a large glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland, on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of Breiðamerkurjökull, it evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Let’s know more about Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland.
The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the Icelandic glaciers. The lagoon now stands 1.5 kilometres away from the ocean’s edge and covers an area of about 18 km2. It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland at over 248 metres depth as glacial retreat extended its boundaries.
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland
The size of the lagoon has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland. The lagoon can be seen along Route 1 between Höfn and Skaftafell. It presents a picturesque parade termed as “A ghostly procession of luminous blue ice-bergs through the 17 km2 Jokulsarlon Lagoon”. Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies – A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins – A postage stamp depicting Jökulsárlón was issued in 1991 with a face value of 26 krónur.
The tongue of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier is a major attraction for tourists. Tour operators conduct snowmobiles and jeep tours to visit the glacier along the winding iceberg studded Jökulsárlón Lagoon. The base station for visits to the area is at Joklasel, which is approached from Höfn. It is termed as Tourist Conveyor belt.
The lagoon is filled with fishes that drift in from the sea along with the tides. Seals gather in large numbers at the mouth of the lagoon to catch fish during the winter, which is a sight to watch. Large numbers of sea birds, particularly arctic terns, which nest nearby also gather to catch herring, trout, salmon and other fishes and krill.
The white cap of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier dominates the lagoon and its icebergs. Jökulsárlón is separated from the sea by only a short distance, and the combined action of the glacier, the river that empties from the lake, and the ocean may eventually transform it into an inlet of the sea. There are plans to prevent this from happening, since the only road in the area passes over the narrow isthmus.
HOW TO GET THERE
Vatnsmyravegur 10 101 Reykjavik Tel.: 562-1011 [email protected]
Berglind Rós Iceland24 Mars 2014