Lagarfljót : Lögurinn lake

Date 18 July 2021

Lagarfljót : Lögurinn lake

Lagarfljót : Lögurinn lake

Lake Lögurinn, also called Lagarfljót, is located near Egilsstaðir in the Austurland region of East Iceland.

Lagarfljót is named after the glacial river that flows through it, which is in fact a tributary of the Jökulsá í Fljótsdal. These glacier rivers are made of the meltwater of the huge Vatnajökull glacier as it makes its way to the lake. The milky white color of Lake Lögurinn is typical of glacial waters.

To be specific, the Lögurinn is located in the Fljótsdalur valley and is one of the largest lakes in Iceland, covering 53 km² for 25 kilometers in length and a depth of 112 meters in places.

How to get to Lake Lögurinn?

Le lac Lagarfljot

The town of Egilsstaðir is located on the eastern shore of Lake Lögurinn and is located along road number 1 that goes around Iceland. From here, Highway 931 goes around the lake and even though it is in very good condition, there is still a stretch of land several tens of kilometers on the west shore.

Even if part of it is in the ground, there is no problem going around the lake with a traditional vehicle.

Generally, the area around the lake is accessible in winter, including route 931.

What to do near Lagarfljót?

The shores of Lake Lagarfljót are a little paradise of peace and quiet, with countless spots where you can park and enjoy the incredible views.

There are also several points of interest are located nearby:

  • Egilsstaðir

Le lac Lögurinn

Lake Lögurinn - Oleksandr Korzhenko @Dreamstime

With more than 2,500 inhabitants, the city of Egilsstaðir is known as capital of the East. It has everything you could ask for: museums, cafés, restaurants, and lots of accommodation options, making this town an excellent choice for an overnight stay in the region.

  • Vök Baths

Vök Baths

Eastern Iceland until lately didn't have that many hot spring options, which is one of the reasons the Vök Baths opened here to immediate acclaim in summer 2019. Located on Lake Urriðavatn, northwest of Egilsstaðir, the Vök Baths feature the first floating pools in Iceland. Learn more about the Vök Baths.

  • Hengifoss


The Hengifoss waterfall is located on the Brekkuselslækur stream on the western shore of Lake Lögurinn. It is in fact the Hengifossá river that flows into Lake Lögurinn.

The waterfall is 120 m high, the 3rd highest waterfall in the country, and the hiking trail to get you there is one of the top trails in the country. Learn more about Hengifoss.

  • Strútsfoss


Strútsfoss - Karl Vilhjálmsson @dreamstime

Very similar to Hengifoss but much less well known, the 74-meter Strútsfoss waterfall is located about 20 km south of the lake. To get there from the car park, you'll need to put on your hiking boots for a superb 7.5 kilometer return trip. Additional information about Strútsfoss and its hiking trail.

  • The house of famous Icelandic writer Gunnar Gunnarsson

La maison du célèbre écrivain Islandais Gunnar Gunnarsson

Located in Fljotsdalur, this house is well worth a short photo break. The stone structure is beautiful and, unusual for a house of this size, features a grass roof typical of traditional Icelandic construction. Learn more about traditional Icelandic houses.

  • Hallormsstaður


Hallormsstaður Forest (known locally as Hallormsstaðarskógur) is the only forest in the country worthy of the name. This is a protected wildlife area and the first ever National Forest in Iceland.

Starting in the early 20th century, a number of reforestation programs have begun to bear fruit, such that the region now has more than 12 million trees of 54 different species.

The forest extends 18 km east of the lake and you have the choice of ten hiking trails ranging from 1 to 7 km in length. Learn more about Hallormsstaðarskógur.

The monster of Lagarfljót

Lake Lögurinn is also famous for another reason. Much like Nessie living in the Loch Ness in Scotland, Lake Lögurinn has its own legend. Apparently in the murky depths of the lake lives a sea monster shaped like a giant snake with the sweet name Lagarfljótsormurinn.

The legend dates back to 1345, when the first mention of the creature appeared in local literature. The story behind the monster was about a girl who decided rather sadistically to lock a small snake in a chest along with a golden ring. A few days later, she realized that the trunk was in fact splitting as the snake was growing to monstrous size. Our not-so-brave protagonist threw it into the lake in a fit of panic to get rid of it.

Since then, over the centuries, there have been many stories about the reappearance of this gigantic sea snake, aparantly big enough to capsize boats, as told in a story dated 1589. Apparently it can also move on land, as when it chased after rangers in the Hallormsstaður forest in 1967. 

More recently, in 1998, a teacher and her students spotted the creature from the window of their classroom in Hallormsstaðaskóli school.

Finally, in 2012, the monster made the news again with the video of a farmer in the Fljótsdalur Valley (see above).