Iceland – Long Way to Ice Lagoon

4.5 hours from our cottage to Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon but we made a few stops along the way. First stop was Vik where we filled gas, had a light lunch, and shop at the Icewear Factory to get the cute and warm hats. They make good souvenirs too made in Iceland!

The black sand beach in Vik:


The cute little church on top of the hill!

We made a stop at the stack of rocks place, can never remember that name! It looked totally different covering by snow than in te summer time.

Picnic with hubby?

Our Kia Sportage:


The weather changed dramatically from southern Iceland where no snow covering on the road to the east side where it was snowing:

We were fortunate that the week we spent in Iceland, it was mild and calm winds except for one night. Otherwise, I could understand why people discourage driving in Iceland during the winter….the slippery road + extremely windy = dangerous!

When seeing the glaciers, I know we are getting close!

Then, we saw this weird looking structure and stopped for photos. Zach’s first attempt to get up there but failed!

Then, this lady joined and she succeed on her 2nd try. Sensing a competition going on.

Then, she was showing him rocking this thing lol. We found out that she is a local tour guide so she must have done this hundreds of times LOL!

Continued on to the ice lagoon….the weather was getting worst…Zach had plenty of experiences driving in the snow so he got us safely there 🙂

Jökulsárlón looked very different than in the summer! The thin layer of snow covered the icebergs but the lagoon was so calm due to no tour boats on the lagoon that you can see a perfect reflection. It was snowing with low visibility so you can’t see the glacier and mountain in the background.




We were planning to head over to Diamond Beach but the road was completely covered with snow so can’t see where to get down to the beach. Instead of risking it, we drove to the hotel, the newly built Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (17 miles away from the glacier lagoon), to check in. We booked two rooms one facing the mountain and another facing the road/ocean. The room was chic and comfortable but the mini fridge was a very bad quality one that it never got cool…it was warm! The room did not have a microwave 🙁

The hotel lobby with beautiful lamps hanging down:

Our room:

With no kitchen nor microwave, we dined in the hotel’s restaurant….which was full yikes that we had to wait until 8 pm to get a table. The menu was a price shock (main course ranged from $45 to a steak that cost $67) and limited choices!

The service was extremely slow, the waiter explained that the interns in the kitchen having some difficulties….interns? And they charged us this much? We waited over 45 minutes for our food grrrr our precious Northern Lights hunting time! I was super hungry by then that I almost forgot to take a photo of the petite dish, opps! I ordered the pork belly, it was good but not filling for that price, over $50 🙁

Jason and Zach both ordered the salmon, those were good but not filling.

Our $150+ dinner and not even full made us the need to drive one hour+ to the nearest supermarket to figure out our meal for the next 2 nights LOL. We quickly ran back to our room changed into our warm clothes and headed out to hunt for the Northern Lights. The Aurora forecast tonight’s solar activity to be a “5” a minor solar storm!!! However, the clouds! Based on the forecast, the clouds should be clearing out but…..

On our 17 minutes drive to the glacier lagoon, we were super excited, we could see the Northern Lights from the openings among the clouds!!!

When we got there, there were already people; it was the most people we seen at night. Some of them have flash on, I was thinking really? Seriously? Why would you ever need to flash on the Northern Lights for? I just don’t get it…….

We set up our gears and clearly see that the lights are covering by the clouds! It would’ve been awesome without the clouds!

We waited and waited but no sign of clearing up. There was a couple searching for their car key!!! OMG how can you lose your car key in the middle of nowhere? They searched over an hour; it was impossible to find it since the ground was all black rocks and covered by snow. They were lucky that the glacier lagoon is a popular spot for Northern Lights so there were people offering them a ride back to their hotel. Yikes, how much it’ll cost them to have another key deliver to them (5 hours+ drive from the capital) just hope that they didn’t have a flight to catch tomorrow! We waited till midnight and still no sign of clearing up so we gave up and left 🙁 We’ll try again the next day!

8 thoughts on “Iceland – Long Way to Ice Lagoon

  1. Nice pictures.You should look at Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate Argentina.Which is Easily combined with Iguacu falls,Tores Del Paine (chile) and Pia Glacier Chile(viewed from a ship).

  2. With the ice lagoon photos, are you just “hand holding” your camera here or do you always use a tripod? I’m a photographer (of kids) so when I go on holiday I just can’t bring myself to lug around a ton of gear, however it may almost be worth it if I can’t get crisp images without a tripod at least. And is it possible to know what your go to lens is for travel?

    1. For those photos, I was hand holding my camera. What time of the year are you going? If you are going during September-April with the goal of photographing the Northern Lights then the tripod is a must. However, if you are going during the summer time then it’s not necessary. Another fact is that Iceland is known for its high winds so unless you have an expensive, very sturdy tripod, I wouldn’t recommend leaving your camera on the tripod to take the group photos. You’ll need to be close to the tripod in case it falls. The rental company warned us to hold on to our doors when opening as the winds can blow it away; they weren’t kidding about it! My go-to travel lens is the 24-70 mm f/2.8 🙂

  3. Hi Lisa, my friends and me are planning to go to Iceland on early October 2018. Do you have suggestions for the outfits? What kind of clothes are girls have to pack for a 10-days trip in Iceland?

    1. Pack in layers so you can easily take off if it gets warmer. You’ll need a warm windbreaker as Iceland can get very windy. Are you staying mainly on the south or you’ll do the ring road circle the whole island? The north would be much colder.

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