Jökulsárlón is a unique lagoon, in and around Vatnajökull in Austur- Skaftafellsýsla, part of Vatnajökull National Park in the southeast. Vatnajökull is not only the largest glacier in Iceland and a national park, but also one of the largest glaciers in the world. This year a record was set, despite being a six or even seven hour drive from the capital, over 140 thousand tourists visited the glacier lagoon every month during the summer months. After all, the area is very special, with the shortest glacial river in the country, Jökulsá á Breiðarmerkursandi, which flows from Jökulsárlón a few hundred meters into the sea. The river floats icebergs down from Breiðamerkurjökull, which crumble on the shore on both sides of the river, while seals, capelin and herring swim up into the lagoon. Jökulsárlón is the deepest lake in the country, 248 m / 818 ft. deep and 25 km2. The lagoon has doubled in size in the last five years. Jökulsárlón is relatively newly formed, it was formed when Breiðamerkurjökull began to recede in 1933, 90 years ago, but at that time the glacial spur reached all the way down to where the bridge on Ring Road 1 is now, almost all the way down into the sea.
Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson