The South-East coast of Iceland remains one of the most popular routes for visitors to the country. Offering sights such as the waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, the famous black beaches at Reynisfjara, the incredible basalt rock pillars at Dyrhólaey, Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, the vast vistas of Skaftafell National Park and of course Vatnajökull glacier.
A self-drive trip from Reykjavik to the Glacial Lagoon takes around five or six hours if you make stops on the way, which are of course, essential with the amount of sights on offer. At the beginning of 2016, the Fosshótel chain opened a brand new four-star hotel called Fosshótel Glacial Lagoon. It’s located just off the number one road some 29 kilometres from the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and 27 kilometres from the picturesque Svartifoss in Skaftafell National Park.
This contemporary building reflects the hues of the surrounding nature, in grey stone and clad in wood and is constructed in accordance with ecological policies. The interiors are beautifully chic with dark walls and cool sixties’ style lighting lending it a kind of James Bond flair.
The hotel offers 104 rooms with beautiful views. They are all done in a modern, minimalistic style with extra hip touches such as the much coveted tartan woolen blankets from the Geysir stores. The large windows offering views of the sea almost look like a framed painting of the landscape. The bathrooms are spacious and of course, internet is free.
The restaurant at Fosshótel Glacial Lagoon is particularly worth mentioning as they offer outstanding cuisine that’s not to be missed. The restaurant is warm and elegant with wood and metal touches and leather sofas. The menus consist of gorgeous Icelandic ingredients with a modern twist. I particularly reccommend their set menus which are a real culinary adventure.
Outside the restaurant there’s a gorgeous sundeck, or for that matter, the perfect deck for Northern Lights viewing and star-gazing in the midst of winter, as long as you bring a couple of blankets and a heart-warming drink.
The buffet breakfast was simply outstanding, offering both healthy and hearty dishes, perfect to start off a day before hiking at Skaftafell, for example. Skaftafell National Park offers a range of easy to difficult, long hikes.
Short and easy trails lead to waterfall Svartifoss and glacier Skaftafellsjökull, but for those who want to reach further out, the Morsárdalur valley and Kristínartindar mountain peaks are perfect in terms of distance and labour. Skaftfell is also the perfect base camp for those who seek to climb Iceland‘s highest mountain peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur.
The stylish deck is perfect both in winter and summer. In winter, it’s a great place for star-gazing. Photo/Fosshótel
Private travel companies operate in Skaftafell and offer guided hikes on the nearby glaciers and mountains. Also on offer are sightseeing flights over glacier Vatnajökull and other renowned attractions.
The Glacier lagoon in Iceland is close to highway number one, about 370 km (230 miles) east from Reykjavík and it is told to be one of the greatest wonders of nature in Iceland. This lagoon is a recent one, the result of a warming climate. The surface is at sea level and sea water flows into the lagoon at high tide.
Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, and large icebergs float on the lagoon. The lagoon is not very wide but it is up to 250 meters deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. Breiðamerkurjökull is an outlet of the Vatnajökull glacier. The company operating the lagoon offer tours on the lagoon itself on amphibious vehicles.
For bookings at the Fosshótel Glacial Lagoon see HERE.