Jul 15, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer
Today is ice day! In the land of ice and fire, this is the day we approach the extreme glacier ice landscapes. Currently, there are 269 glaciers in Iceland that cover eleven percent of the land surface, but many are rapidly melting. Nonetheless, we saw excellent examples of glacial landforms throughout the day.
Djúpivogur, or deep harbour, is our departure port for a scenic ride along Iceland’s southeast coast. The dramatic scenery and cloudy vistas made our imaginations overflow with the stories of the hidden people and trolls that our local Icelandic guide shared with us.
As we approached Vatnajökull, the sky cleared up and perfect weather came together for our ice exploration. Vatnajökull is not only the largest glacier by volume in Europe, it is also the largest glacier in Iceland, occupying eight percent of the country. We hiked a trail Skaftafell National Park until we reached the glacier and walked on ice!
Using the duck boats, in Jokulsárlón we sailed around beautiful icebergs. This lagoon is the deepest in Iceland at about 200 m. The icebergs that calve from the glacier are slowly pulled away, melting until they find their way to the ocean. At the end of their path is the famous Diamond Beach, where the contrast of the ice and black-sand beach make for spectacular photographs.
The Iceland coast is full of absolutely beautiful scenery—glaciers, green tundra, harsh mountains and in the backgound, the ocean.
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