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  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Hagavatn lake in the Highland south of Langjökull glacier

Hagavatn lake
Hagavatn lake

There are eight main glaciers in Iceland. There are also many more smaller glaciers, but these are rapidly disappearing. Some of these glaciers have large glacier tongues, but there are only a few places where you will find a large glacial lake or a lagoon by the glacier's edge. Among the better known glacial lagoons in Iceland are Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón on the south side of the Vatnajökull ice cap. Hagavatn is a lake that is fed by streams and meltwater 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 with the other being Hvítárvatn. The main characteristic of these lakes is their milky color, and occasionally icebergs will fall into them from the glacier tongue.

A very different landscape, kind of gray and lacking vegetation

Glacial water lake south of Langjökull
Glacial water lake south of Langjökull

The Highland of Iceland has its own kind of attraction and fascination, with its vast horizon, black sands, and gray color. You will find places in the Highland with vegetation, moss, flowers, and grass, but they are infrequent and usually in small areas around spring-fed rivers. The Highland is a very different animal when it comes to beauty, with the area around Hagavatn lake being quite typical in that regard. The view from an altitude of 440 meters is magnificent; the mountain ridge Jarlhettur north-east of the lake is stunning, as are the lava field and landscape surrounding the lake. Also, you have the glacier in the background. If you are in Iceland and you want to see or photograph something different, we encourage you to visit Hagavatn and the waterfall Nýifoss. The landscape in this area can best be described as raw and harsh.

Access is not easy and requires a large 4X4 vehicle

Hiking to the lake Hagavatn
Hiking to the lake Hagavatn

Hagavatn is not far away from Gullfoss waterfall. If you continue north on Kjalvegur no. 35 from Gullfoss, you will drive 10 kilometers and come to a left turn (west) to Hagavatnsvegur no. 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 stopping in the parking lot in front of the waterfall and walking the last few hundred meters as there is no point in driving up the steep and challenging part of the track up to the lake.


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