Vík to Jökulsárlón
The day after we arrived in Vík, we drove 193 km (120 miles) from Vík to
Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon in Austurland, the Eastern Region of
The trip was entirely on the Ring Road, and it took us through the most
varied and stunning scenery we saw in Iceland.
Cliffs that seem to have sprouted abruptly from flat grassy plains:
And the remains of a bridge destroyed during a glacial flood:
The occasional farming community and gas station – which, if you’re
lucky, might also house a convenience store or a café – are the only
signs of civilization in this part of the country.
Single-lane bridges are common on this stretch of the Ring Road.
Most of them are short enough that you can make sure the bridge is clear
before proceeding. The longer ones, like the one seen in the video
below, have small places to pull over in case you meet another car
head-on (which did happen to us once, on a different bridge). To give
you an idea of exactly now narrow this bridge was, we were driving a
Toyota Yaris, and it felt like a tight squeeze crossing the bridge.
This house was a popular spot for people to stop and take photographs
(click the image to see it full-size), which is probably why the sign
was at the entrance to the driveway.
We saw a few people walking around the gate (the driveway was gated, but
there was no fence) to get a closer look. We just stayed next to the
road and took some pictures of the land and the surrounding cliffs.
Jökulsárlón and the Atlantic Ocean
Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon and the deepest lake in Iceland. It’s
full of icebergs that break off from Breiðamerkurjökull, one of the
glacial tongues of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Iceland. (The
lake can be seen in the beginning of A View to a Kill, where it stood
in for Siberia.)
There’s a channel from the lake to the Atlantic Ocean (I think it was
created by the glacier’s retreat), and the icebergs eventually end up on
the nearby beach or floating in the ocean.
The beach is black volcanic sand, which provides a striking contrast to
the white and blue-green icebergs.