Iceland- Glacial Lagoon and Diamond Beach

The highlights of eastern Iceland are the Glacial Lagoons and the Diamond Beach.  First there are actually two glacial lagoons.  The larger and more famous is Jokulsarlon.  This is the one with the blue water, many icebergs, and is super crowded.  There is also the nearby and smaller Fjallsárlón.  Here the water is brownish and there are not as many icebergs, but you are closer to the glacier and it is less crowded.  Both offer boat trips out among the ice.

Now both locations will have many visitors but this is a neat location to see and experience.  I think it is worth seeing both since there is a difference.

This is another example of an amazing natural location with limited infrastructure.  There is a small cafe and office at the smaller lagoon but the big lagoon is basically temporary buildings with a small cafe (I probably would not eat in) and a restroom.  A lot of people visit here and one would think there would be more.

Right across the road from Jokulsarlon is the diamond beach.  Ice stacks up in the lagoon, eventually breaking into icebergs that get pulled out the short river and then wash back up onto the beach.

Note, sometimes there is little to no ice on the beach.  I found that out when I arrived at the Diamond Beach and found nothing bigger than a football.  I was a little disappointed.  I came back the next day and found ice as big as a car.  So you may want to plan to visit on different days.  My plan had been to stay and hope the sky cleared for a chance at the Milky Way or aurora but with no ice, I moved to camp at Skaftafell NP.  Note, there is no lodging in the area.  Closest camp is Skaftafell at about 45 miles away.  Note there are no facilities here at all.  Its a sand parking lot on the side of the road and the beach.

On the beach a pair of Wellies come in handy as they allow me to stay in the surf.  Most people run from the waves.  Also note that the ice does move in the surf.  Be cautious.  If an iceberg the size of a car rolls over on you........expect many broken bones.  But even ice the size of a football shooting past in the surf will hurt and could easily break a bone.  I was surprised how many people ran from waves only to trip over ice and get caught in the surf.  Be careful here.

I had overcast and rain on the times I visited, but that did not stop me from spending a couple of hours chasing images.  I found a wide lens best here.

I also spent some time walking along the lagoon looking for compositions.  I found the 70-200 ideal as the ice was out a ways in the lagoon.

Here are a few images from the times I stopped by there.


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