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Iceland: Exploring the Glacier Lagoons

Hey guys! I’m back for my second Iceland recap. If you missed the first one, check that out too: Iceland Day 1.

One of the main things we wanted to make sure to see while in Iceland was the glaciers. We talked about doing a glacier hike, but Matt and I have done those before and our friends Melli and Moritz we were traveling with weren’t looking to do one, so instead we decided to do some hiking and exploring near the glaciers, particularly at Jökulsárlón, which is a cool glacier lagoon.

iceland glacier lagoon

A glacier lagoon is exactly what it sounds like – a body of water with ice chunks floating around it. Cool!

Jökulsárlón

There were a couple smaller glacier lagoon areas to explore around/on the way to Jökulsárlón, so we stopped at a bunch of them. When we got out of the car at the first one, it was FREEZING – at least 25 degrees colder than when we left our cabin, with wind and a bit of rain, too. Yikes! Time to add some serious layers! If you go to Iceland, every time you go out to explore bring a ton of layer options (and waterproof gear) with you because the weather changes very quickly – typical of an island!

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Here’s the whole gang, trying not to freeze (and also I missed the memo that we were being power rangers because of our colorful outfits, lol):

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We ended up eating lunch in the car before heading on – too cold and windy/rainy to picnic! Most days of the trip we packed hummus sandwiches and veggies on the side for lunch – easy and portable! We had gluten free bread with us for Matt. I highly recommend packing your own lunches using food from the grocery store (“Bonus” is their cheap big one) if you go to Iceland – it’s sooooo expensive to eat out. Plus, this way you can eat whenever/wherever! We also always had a TON of snacks with us, both in our packs and floating around the car – lots of trail mix, fruit, granola bars, etc. – Matt and I brought a huge bag of snacks with us from home.

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Back on the road, we stopped at a cool black sand beach with icebergs washed up on the beach. Apparently in the winter there are lots of seals here!

black sand beach with icebergs iceland

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Then it was on to Jökulsárlón! I loved how blue some of the glaciers looked – beautiful!

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Jökulsárlón

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We stopped at another glacier lagoon after this – I wish I could remember the name but basically there are a ton of places to stop off the main road so just keep your eyes open and enjoy the adventure! Also, a tip: download the “Maps.me” app – you can download maps to use offline/without wi-fi. This was so helpful for getting around!

glacier lagoon hike iceland

This lagoon was especially cool because we ended up doing a nice long hike there.

Above the beach, there was a trail that you could follow all the way around to get closer to the actual glacier. There was no one else out there hiking – we had the place all to ourselves! This was one of the really cool things about Iceland – while the touristy areas were definitely crowded, it was easy to lose the crowds and find random places to hike and enjoy nature without a ton of people around.

glacier lagoon hike iceland

glacier lagoon hike iceland

Hello, Glacier! Wish we could have gotten a little closer, but the water was in the way. :)

glacier lagoon hike iceland

glacier lagoon hike iceland

glacier lagoon hike iceland

We named this peak, which was the end point of our hike, “Matt’s Rock.” :)

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Matt’s pose was cooler than mine. ;)

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The hike was such a fun unplanned adventure! A good reminder that cool stuff is always out there – you just have to look for it and be willing to go off script a bit. :)

We made it back to our cabin around dinnertime and Chef Matt cooked us a feast again – gluten free spaghetti bolognese for us, and minus the meat with chickpeas instead for our vegetarian friends. Plus lots of sauteed veggies! We had to do everything in stages since we only had a hot plate and small pans/pots, but it worked!

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Have a fabulous weekend guys! I’ll be back on Monday with a weekend recap, and then more Iceland recaps to come! :)

What’s your favorite “that wasn’t planned but ended up being awesome” outdoor adventure story? My “That time in Italy when a 4 mile run turned into a 4 hour run” blog post/story comes to mind… ha!

Comments

  1. 1

    That glacier lagoon is so cool!

  2. 2

    My friends were in Iceland the exact days you were, and they were telling us about all the cool glacier lagoons and waterfalls, and all the other amazingness. It sounds like such an incredible place to visit! It’s super fun to read about your adventures!

  3. 4

    It’s gorgeous but you’re nuts!
    Just kidding, well sort of LOL…..too freakin cold for me!
    But I loved looking at it from my computer :-)

  4. 6
    Roadrunner says:

    Looks like a great adventure!

  5. 7

    Hi Anne, what an amazing looking place! Never been to Iceland before, I’ve heard it’s the place to go to if you want to see the Northern Lights and as a keen photographer, I’d love to see them.

    • 8

      Yes, it was too light out (and cloudy) all night while we were there for the northern lights, but I’d love to see them someday too!

  6. 9

    Looks like so much fun!! :D

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