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Published on Jul 23, 2011
Jökulsárlón (lit. "Glacier Lagoon") is the largest glacier lagoon or lake in Iceland. Situated in south eastern Iceland, at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier branching from the Vatnajökull, between Skaftafell National Park and Höfn, it evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the Icelandic glaciers. The lagoon now stands 1.5 kilometers away from the ocean's edge and covers an area of about 18 km2. It is the second deepest lake in Iceland at over 200 meters depth. The size of the lagoon has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland. The lagoon can be seen along Route 1 between Hofn and Skaftafell. It presents a picturesque parade termed as "A ghostly procession of luminous blue ice-bergs through the 17 km2 as reported in other sources) Jokulsarlon Lagoon". A boat ride of about 40 minutes in a broad bottomed boat, winding through the floating small icebergs of the lagoon, provides an enchanting experience. Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies namely, 'A View to a Kill', 'Die Another Day', 'Tomb Raider' and 'Batman Begins'), in addition to the reality-TV series Amazing Race. A postage stamp depicting Jökulsárlón was issued in 1991 with a face value of 26 krónur. The tongue of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier is a major attraction for tourists. Tour operators conduct snowmobiles and jeep tours to visit the glacier along the winding iceberg studded Jökulsárlón Lagoon. The base station for visits to the area is at Joklasel, which is approached from Hofn. It is termed as Tourist Conveyor belt. While walking on the shore, the isolated big blocks of icebergs on the sand beaches could be seen.