5 Days in Iceland – Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon and Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

On our second day in Iceland, we continued eastward along the Ring Road (Route 1) towards the glacial lagoon, Jökulsárlón. This lagoon is formed from melted glacial water running from the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe! It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland, and for good reason. The landscape is constantly changing as chunks of ice slowly enter the lagoon and drift out into the sea. So no two visits are ever the same!

Unfortunately we were not blessed with the clearest weather on this day. The winds were gusting and the rain was just not letting up, so I was not one of the lucky ones to obtain beautiful shots of the ice before I had to continue on our journey.

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

Due to the inclement weather, we were unable to visit Skaftafell/ Vatnajökull National Park. It is here where you find Svartifoss – a dramatic waterfall along a backdrop of hexagonal basalt columns. Although I was unable to view this beautiful waterfall, I would highly recommend you to see it yourself. This national park is also an amazing spot for glacial hikes and visiting the famous Crystal Ice Cave in the winter.

We headed back west towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur to wait out the weather and grab a bite to eat. Thankfully by late afternoon, we were able to venture out to our final destination of the day: Fjaðrárgljúfur.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Easily one of my favourite places from my entire trip, Fjaðrárgljúfur is a massive winding canyon that spans 2 km long and 100 metres deep! It is just a short detour from the Ring Road (Route 1) and getting here is not difficult. Simply turn onto the (gravel) Road F-206 to Lakagígjar and follow it until you reach a fork in the road. If you stick to the left, you will come across a parking lot just before the bridge located at the mouth of the canyon. Note, as you turn into Road F-206, you are immediately greeted with a sign indicating clear instructions for getting to the canyon.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
You can hike along the canyon floor or all the way up to the edges of the canyon peaks themselves (be careful as the peak edges are often muddy). From above, you can see the glacial river, Fjaðrá, carving its way through narrow canyon. You easily feel a sense of calm and awe as you view this natural wonder from every angle. Also be careful not to step on sheep poop while you’re hiking along the surrounding grassy areas.

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