Jokulsárlón – Iceland - Atlas Obscura
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Iceland

Jokulsárlón

Iceland's largest lagoon is home to stunning multi-colored icebergs. 

Despite the splendor of Jökulsárlón’s light blue and milky-white icebergs, the beauty of the glacial pool in southeastern Iceland is bittersweet.

As the melting of nearby glaciers has accelerated, the landscape grows both more stunning and more fragile.

Since the 1970s, as the glaciers have continued to melt, the Jökulsárlón lagoon has grown four times larger, It now stands at 11.1 square kilometers. Formed entirely from glacial melt, Jökulsárlón is situated directly next to Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, which covers 8% of the country, and many chunks of the disintegrating glacier now bob in the light blue waters of the lagoon.

Scientists estimate that the continued rate of melting of Vatnajökull will cause a massive fjord to exist where the glacier once stood, again adding to the natural beauty of the landscape, but doing so at great environmental expense.

Jökulsárlón also holds a place in popular culture and has been a setting in “A View to a Kill,” “Die Another Day,” “Tomb Raider,” and “Batman Begins.”

This is a fantastic place to watch the Northern Lights. Photographers set-up their tripods before sunset to get a good spot. *Tip- leave the main parking lot, cross the bridge and park in one of the rocky pull-offs. Hike up and over the hills to get down to a private rocky beach and fantastic vantage point for the Northern Lights.

Know Before You Go

Between Skaftafell National Park and Höfn, in Iceland's south