There are eight main glaciers in Iceland.  There are a few more, but very small, rapidly disappearing.  Although all of them are in decline and some have large glacier tongues, there are only a few places where you will find a lake or a lagoon by the edge of the glacier.  Among the better known in Iceland are both Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón. Hagavatn lake is one such lake that is fed by streams from the glacier and from under the glacier. Located on the south side of Langjökull glacier it is one of two such lakes connected with Langjökull. The other one is Hvítárvatn.  The main characteristic for these lakes is the milky color and, as sometimes is the case, icebergs falling into the lake from the glacier tongue.

A very different landscape, kind of gray and lacking vegetation

The highland of Iceland has its own kind of attraction and fascination, vast horizon, black sands and gray color.  You will find places in the Highland that have vegetation, moss, flowers and grass, but they are rare and usually in a small area around spring-fed rivers.  The Highland is a very different animal when it comes to beauty. The Hagavatn lake area is quite typical for the Highland. The view from the 440 meters altitude is magnificent, the mountains Jarlhettur north-east of the lake are stunning as well as the lava and landscape surrounding the lake.  Also, you have the glacier in the background. If you are in Iceland and you want to see something very different we encourage you to visit Hagavatna and the waterfall Nýifoss.

Access is not easy and requires a large 4WD vehicle

Hagavant is not far away from Gullfoss.  If you continue north on Kjalvegur Nr. 35 from Gullfoss you drive 10 kilometers and you will come to a left turn (west) to Hagavatnsvegur Nr. F35. The same road leading to Nýifoss.  This road like many F roads in Iceland, mountain roads, require a well equipped 4X4 vehicle. It is a highland road and requires caution and preparation.  We recommend that you stop in the parking lot in front of the waterfall and walk the last few hundred meters.  There is no point in driving up the steep and difficult part of the track up to the lake.

Hagavatn lake south of Langjökull glacier in Iceland

Charles Schiele sent us this beautiful video from his road trip in Iceland.  There are some spectacular shots in the video from places mentioned in our Ring Road article. The angle is often fascinating and unusual, and Charles has managed to capture some of the most exciting natural wonders in an admirable way.  It is a good start to understanding Iceland and all the magnificent places in nature that you can experience. 


Charles Schiele sent us this beautiful video from his road trip in Iceland.

Photographing a waterfall in winter can be a difficult task.  When you are at the location by the waterfall during winter, you must remember that everything is slippery. The drizzle from the waterfall drops to the ground as rain and forms layer of slippery ice.  You can never be too cautious in a situation like this.  A good idea is to have a slip-on-traction with ice spikes on your shoes. 

Photograping a waterfall in winter in Iceland

Lómagnúpur is one of those landmarks on the Ring road that people love to photograph. It is not far from the glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón. Like so many other interesting things in the Icelandic landscape, Lómagnúpur changes when the weather changes. When we were traveling by the mountain the other day, everything was perfect for a photo shoot, except the cloud. Although we waited for two hours for a clear view, the mountain was not prepared to clear the fog and the cloud that hung over it. So in the end this was the best we could do.

Lómagnúpur, a landmark on the Ring Road

Hiking is an incredible activity for many reasons. The experience of walking through the beautiful landscape at a slow speed is an experience that one cannot describe. It is something you have to do. Even though the hike with all its physical effort is marvelous, it is also the feeling that hits you after the hike is over that is so great. It is a combination of many factors that blend in with the memory of the landscape that follows you around for a long time as a natural mixture of relaxation. And often there are surprising moments like the one in the photo.

The little house in heaven

After a few dry weeks in the summer, the moss in the Highland turns gray. From a distance, the larger picture and the wide view looks like a black and white photo. Even our magnificent Lakagígar or Laki looks kind of dull from the mountain Blængur under those circumstances. The moss is an interesting phenomenon that often covers a broad area of lava and changes color in a matter of hours when it rains and when it dries up. Not to mention the magnitude of green and yellow colors that appear when the sun starts to shine after the rain.

How weather affects the colors in Icelandic landscape

In Iceland, autumn is kicking in. In a country exposed to many natural forces all year round, the Autumn can bring a dramatic change in weather and temperature. As cold hits Iceland with lower numbers the color of the landscape changes. And the mountains begin to accumulate snow, first on the top. It is a highly fascinating time for photographers and September, and October are probably the best months for photographers to travel to Iceland.

In Iceland autumn is kicking in

There are vast areas in the Highland in Iceland covered with black sand. But those areas are not necessarily completely without some vegetation, as some plants are robust enough to sustain the altitude and the cold in the Icelandic Highland during summer. In the winter, everything is packed with snow. Then some places seem like exceptions, oasis-like spots in the middle of nowhere; Herðubreiðalindir being one of the most interesting examples.

Oasis-like spots in the middle of nowhere

Icelanders are highly concerned about off-road driving in the Highland, which is prohibited. The main reason is the sensitivity of the whole area. This regulation applies to the area and places outside marked mountain roads. Fortunately, many marked mountain roads can take you to unusual and exotic places. Places of colorful vegetation, waterfalls, lakes and mountains of many colors. Many of the roads require specially equipped 4X4 vehicles that can easily cross rivers and drive through rough terrain.

Off-road driving in the Highland

One could assume that waterfalls are the most popular sights people like to see and photograph when traveling. That is quite fortunate for Iceland since it has a countless number of waterfalls. There is water everywhere traveling from the mountains to the shore, starting in small creeks and ending its journey in large rivers. In recent years, we have seen traffic increase between years at our most popular waterfalls. The stunning Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Goðafoss and Skógarfoss among the most popular.

One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country