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ICELAND Part 3: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

One of my favorite places in Iceland was Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, I love glaciers and icebergs and icy landscapes.  It is extremely unfortunate that this beautiful lagoon was formed quite recently by the melting and receding of a glacier that not long ago existed where the lake now resides.  Breiðamerkurjökull glacier used to run all the way down the mountainside to near the ring road, but due to rising temperatures the glacier has drastically receded in the last 35 years, forming the lagoon of melted glacial water 17 km² and 600m deep. As the tongue of the glacier sheds chunks of ice, it takes the icebergs 5 years to slowly float through the lagoon until they eventually make their way through the narrow passage to the sea.


Glacier chunks making their final approach to the open ocean.

On the third evening of our Ring Road trip we arrived to the two glacier lagoons first the smaller Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and then Jökulsárlón.  We took a few photos as sunset and I flew my drone over the lagoons before finding a spot to make dinner and set up our van to sleep for the night.  We camped just over the road from the Jökulsárlón parking area at an empty lot adjacent to the black sand beach.  I had seen photographs of the broken chunks of ice that the waves wash up on the beach after traveling out of the lagoon, and I eagerly set my alarm for sunrise- 4:00 am- to wake up and see the icy black beach as the sun rose. 


Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon.  This glacier water is so cold that I can feel it chilling my feet through my rubber boots and two layers of wool socks.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon at sunset (which was 10:30pm in May)

Sunset at Jökulsárlón captured by Furby the Drone.

At 4am the sky was already very bright as the sun rose at glacier beach. 

Beached ice.

The sun peeking over the horizon on the ice in the lagoon. 

After sunrise and a chilly flight with my drone to take more aerial photos of the lagoon at sunrise, I returned to bed in the van.  When I woke up in the late morning, Jason and I found an isolated spot on the beach of the lagoon to capture a dronie and to take a few more shots of the lagoon at high noon.  We had successfully managed to capture the ice cube lake at sunset, sunrise and midday.  


One of my favorite "drone selfies" to date on the black sand at the shore of the glacier lagoon.

Visited May 2016
Photos by Renee Lusano and Jason MacDonald