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Exploring Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach in South Iceland

Exploring Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach in South Iceland

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a tremendous spectacle that you simply’ll need to expertise in your journey to Iceland. It’s a 5-hour drive (with out stops) from Reykjavik however well worth the journey and might be mixed with a couple of nights away from the capital as there are numerous different sights alongside Iceland’s south coast. You will discover it by driving alongside the nation’s foremost ring Route 1 ring street, between Höfn and Skaftafell – a stunning drive with gorgeous views of waterfalls and glaciers en route.

Situated on the sting of the Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is the place the Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, certainly one of thirty outlet glaciers from the Vatnajökull ice cap, makes its method in the direction of the ocean. There is ample free parking within the neighborhood of the lagoon, plus a parking lot near the seashore to the south of Route 1.

The glacier as soon as reached the Atlantic Ocean however has since receded by about 5 miles, leaving a lake between the glacier snout and the ocean. Since the Nineteen Seventies, the dimensions of the lake is claimed to have elevated four-fold in dimension and is now regarded as the deepest lake in Iceland.

My images right here don’t do it justice however it’s such an iconic, unimaginable view that the placement has been used for motion scenes in two James Bond motion pictures (A View to a Kill and Die Another Day), in addition to in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Batman Begins. Keen followers of the US TV collection Amazing Race can also recognise it.

It’s right here that Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier meets the water and calves. Calving is a means of glacial ablation (melting) which sees lots of ice break off from the glacier and enter the water. These icebergs might be of various dimension and float within the lagoon earlier than finally melting utterly inside the lake or making their method out in the direction of the Atlantic.

Had we extra time, we’d have taken one of many cruises on the lagoon however after our Katla ice cave tour and snowmobiling journey on Mýrdalsjökull, sadly there simply weren’t sufficient hours left within the day. You can take a cruise on a big amphibian boat or, for an expertise that means that you can get even nearer to the towering ice bergs, trip on smaller rib boats (zodiac excursions).  If, like us, you might be unable to suit this into your schedule, you possibly can nonetheless benefit from the scene from the water’s edge.

This breathtaking lagoon can also be a wealthy sea habitat for gray seals. Sometimes they are often seen on the resting on the floating icebergs however preserve your eyes additionally on the lake as there’s a great probability you’ll see some bobbing round towards a backdrop of superb Arctic surroundings.

Seals can apparently additionally typically be seen on Diamond Beach, altough none have been current on the time of our go to. Diamond Beach is only a quick 5-minute stroll from the lagoon alongside a path that runs underneath the Route 1 bridge. It’s the place the icebergs that float from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon are washed again onto the shore, after making their technique to the ocean.

Of course, having skilled extra melting, they are typically a lot smaller by the point they’re washed up onto the seashore.

Nevertheless, all this glacier ice scattered throughout the shorline, battered by the waves from the ocean, is in itself fairly a sight.

Ice with a excessive bubble content material tends to be fairly white in color and translucent…


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…while ice with a low air content material tends to be crystal clear – virtually glowing like jewels within the sand – therefore the identify Diamond Beach.

These clear chunks of ice, endlessly weathered by the ocean’s ebbing tide, are actually fairly a sight, significantly when the sunshine catches them.

Their glassy texture contrasts fantastically with the seashore’s black volcanic sand.

If you possibly can, ensure you embody Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach in your Iceland itinerary to see Mother Nature at her best. It’s a major drive to get there, nevertheless it’s a magical place that makes it greater than well worth the effort.

My suggestion can be to not try to do the journey as a day journey from Reykjavik however as an alternative to take a couple of days travelling alongside the south coast as there’s a lot to see on this a part of Iceland.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. You’ll see footage from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach between 4m 59s and 5m 12s:

Disclosure: Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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Exploring the castles of Munster Vales

Exploring the castles of Munster Vales

Munster Vales, the realm encompassing the Comeragh, Knockmealdown, Galtee, Ballyhoura and Nagles mountain ranges within the south of Ireland, is steeped in historical past. So a lot so, {that a} go to to Munster Vales is the right time to see and be taught concerning the historical past of the island and see some implausible historic websites, estates and castles throughout the area.

We’ve put collectively this information to stipulate a few of the nice locations that you need to go to to get a style of the historical past and heritage of the area. Whether you’re excited by studying concerning the Earls, Dukes and Viscounts that after lived in these unimaginable dwellings or discovering a few of the many legends linked to the area, then the place higher to start out your journey than with a go to to those fascinating places.

Cahir Castle, Tipperary

Dating again to the 13th century, Cahir Castle is understood to be one among Ireland’s largest and finest preserved castles. Overlooking the River Suir, the fortress was constructed for the Butler Family.

The fortress has change into fairly well-known on account of it getting used as a location for tv exhibits and movies, similar to Excalibur and The Tudors.

Visitors are capable of be taught all concerning the fortress’s wealthy historical past on the implausible audiovisual show making this an important place to go to whether or not you’re a solo traveller or for household visits.

Lismore Castle and Gardens, Waterford

The gardens of Lismore Castle are seven acres and provides implausible views of the encompassing countryside and of Lismore Castle itself. The decrease backyard was truly created within the 19th century for the 6th Duke of Devonshire, Sir Joseph Paxton’s patron. The walled backyard was created in 1605 by Richard Boyle, the 1st Earl of Cork. The partitions and terraces largely stay the identical as they did again then, though the sorts of crops have modified. Today, the backyard has a mixture of flowers, fruits, greens and herbs.

Lismore Castle stays a non-public residence that means that there isn’t a public entry, nonetheless your backyard ticket will provide you with entry to Lismore Castle Arts – a recent artwork gallery.

While you’re there, be sure to go to the implausible Lismore Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre has a implausible Lismore Castle digital actuality expertise, narrated by the world well-known scientist Robert Boyle, which provides you a digital tour of the fortress as a way to see contained in the rooms and halls whereas studying all concerning the fortress’s historical past. You may see in the event you can resolve the puzzles to attempt to get away of the Robert Boyle Escape Room inside an hour. You positively gained’t neglect your go to to Lismore Castle!

Curraghmore House, Waterford

Also positioned in Waterford is the historic Curraghmore House – as soon as residence of the ninth Marquis of Waterford. Stretching throughout 2500 acres of formal gardens, woodlands and fields makes this the most important non-public demesne in Ireland. Twelve miles of famine aid boundary partitions and wrought iron gates encompass this unimaginable property.

The home opens seasonally to the general public and you too can e book a bunch tour 12 months spherical. Visitors can see the primary reception rooms that are thought of as being a few of the most interesting neo-classical rooms in Ireland.

Although you’d assume it will be tough to overlook, hold a watch out for a Sitka Sprue, which was planted within the 1830s and is without doubt one of the tallest timber in Ireland. The tree is positioned simply beside King John’s Bridge – which was in-built 1205 and occurs to be the oldest bridge in Ireland!

Black Castle at Lough Gur in Limerick

If its historical past blended with legend that you simply’re excited by then it is advisable go to Lough Gur in Limerick. Legend has it that Gearoid Iarla, 3rd Earl of Desmond (who was banished to the underside of the lake by the Goddess Aine) resurfaces each seven years and tries to interrupt the curse that was placed on him!

A Norman Castle, often called Black Castle, which is related to the Earl of Desmond and that dates again to the 1500s is positioned on the far aspect of the lake.

Visitors to Lough Gur can be taught all about its historical past on the Lough Gur customer centre. Its interactive multimedia exhibition brings to life the 6000 years of historical past of the location. Interestingly, it’s the solely place in Ireland the place you may see proof of all ages since Neolithic instances.


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Doneraile Court, Cork

Located on one among Ireland’s most lovely estates, Donerail Court dates again to the 1720s, when it was constructed for the primary Viscount Doneraile Arthur St. Leger.

Interestingly, one of the vital well-known works of literature within the English language, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, was written whereas Spenser lived in Kilcoman, and the “gentle Mulla” river he writes about within the poem flows by Doneraile Estate (now often called the river Awbeg).

Doneraile Court is at present present process restoration work however is because of re-open in 2023, nonetheless within the meantime you may nonetheless wander across the parklands and seize a chew to eat within the tearooms which open each day.

There is over 400 acres of parklands consisting of tracks, trails and fishponds to see in your go to. Also, hold a watch out for the deer, squirrels, otters, and heron that reside on the grounds.

Hopefully, this information will show you how to when planning your go to to Munster Vales and we sit up for seeing you quickly!

Tríona O’Mahony is the Destination & Marketing Manager of Munster Vales. Munster Vales’ primary goal is to advertise the geographical space as a novel model, linking the counties of Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Limerick and every little thing in between.

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