Glacier hunting

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ICELAND

VATNAJÖKULL GLACIER,
JÖKULSÁRLÓN GLACIER LAGOON
& DIAMOND BEACH

July 2017 • Canon 60D camera


Svínafellsjökull

64° 0.1′ 12′ N, 16° 49′ 25′ W

S vínafellsjökull is a glacier tongue on the southern side of Vatnajökull Glacier. It's a great place to see a glacier up close. I got flashbacks of Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina that I visited, although this was not as impressive.

We did not get a chance to hike on the glacier (you need to book in advance) but instead you get a good view by walking to the side of a mountain cliff. It was an impressive scenery to see the ice glacier flowing down from between the mountains. The weather was nice and bright and you got to see the deep blue hues against the white of the ice.


Svínafellsjökull is also well known for staring in a lot of TV shows and movies. They include Christopher Nolan's Instestellar, and the TV show Game of Thrones.

At the end of every glacier tongue you will find a small pond or lagoon with floating ice from the glacier. There wasn't much to see here, but we were heading to a famous lagoon next which promised better views.


Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

64° 4′ 13′ N, 16° 12′ 42′ W

I was eager to see this lagoon as I had seen some gorgeous photos online. It is one of the most photographed places in Iceland. The weather had turned cold and grey when we arrived at the Jökulsárlón. The lagoon was unfortunately empty of many glaciers that I was expecting.

It was the season I was travelling in which is bad timing on my part. We boarded an amphibian boat that drove on land and then straight into the lagoon.


Did you know...

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is another location in Iceland where movies have been filmed. They included James Bond Die Another Day, Lara croft: Tomb Raider and Batman Begins.





The tour guide on the boat was very entertaining, explaining the history of the lagoon and cracking jokes. The few glaciers on the lagoon were pretty amazing to look at. They look so light and fragile floating around.

Wonderful luminous colours of blue and white. It was fascinating to see some of the forms the icebergs took, as they looked very otherworldly. We were on the boat for around 30 minutes before we drove back on land.


Diamond beach

From Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon we drove 5 minutes to a beach where the iceberg fragments from the glacier tongue would be washed up on the shore. Some were enormous that people would stand on to take photos, others were small pieces scatted around the beach.

It was a pretty fascinating sight to see these icebergs up close, how they are shaped and formed. They do look like precious stones hence the nickname of the beach being “Diamond”.


Final thoughts

Svínafellsjökull is well worth the visit, but probably even better if you plan in advance to go walking on the glacier. Next time I am here I will book a glacial hike. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon was bit of a let down to be honest due to the small amount of glaciers.

But in the right season I can see how wonderful this place would be. I guess for the sites above the best thing is to plan in advance, so you get to see and experience what you want.


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