Jökulsárlón – The Glacier Lake
Jökulsárlón! Some call it the glacier lake, some the glacier lagoon or the ice lake. Whatever you call it, guests from all over the world set their sights on this world famous ice lagoon. It lies on the south side of Europe’s biggest glacier Vatnajökull. The surrounding is simply stunning and when the glacier is calving (big slabs of ice falls off a glacier), one cannot do anything but be in awe.
The big lagoon is affected by the tides so high tide brings in food which seals and birds follow so there are not only ice floating around in the lagoon. Contrary what one might believe, the lagoon is very new for it didn’t start to form until 1934, maybe 1935.
With the receding of the glacier, Jökulsárlón has taken shape and become bigger and deeper for each year. It has always been said that Öskjuvatn has been the deepest lake in Iceland with its depth of 217 m (712 ft) but that has changed now. Jökulsárlón is now the deepest lake and it reaches a depth of 248 m (814 ft) according to the last measurement that took place in 2010.
The flow of water from the glacier and the melting ice is in average 250 to 300 cubic m/s (8828 -10594 cubic ft/s). The distance between the lagoon and the ocean gets shortened each year du the the lagoon is getting bigger while the ocean is eating away the beach.
Also, because the ocean water has access to the lagoon, the icebergs floating around there is melting faster because the ocean temperature is warmer than the water in the lagoon.
Jökulsárlón is also a famous movie site as can be read in our blog Camp like a boss!
To get to the lagoon is very easy indeed. All you have to do is to drive south on the Ring road. It’s about 377 km (234 miles) there and it takes 4,5 hours of straight driving to get there. Chances are it will take you much longer to get there for there are so many places you want to stop while driving there. Places like Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss and Vík, just to mention a few.
Camping by Jökulsárlón
There are no campsites right by the lagoon. The closest campsite close by would probably be the big one in Skaftafell which is about 57 km (35 miles), a 40 minute drive from the lagoon. You can also continue to drive east and camp in Höfn. It’s about 84 km (52 miles) there and takes you just under an hour to get there.
Many of our CamperStories competitors have gone there and shot some absolutely stunning photos and videos. We wanted to showcase their work by putting together this video you see below. Also, all the pictures in this blog are all from CamperStories entries and we bow and thank you all. We hope you will enjoy the video and continue to send us your entries. Who knows, maybe you will be the one winning a full refund of your camper van rental? 🙂
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