The crater lake of Ljotipollur is in the Landmannalauger uplands in southern Iceland, and was created by the vast volcanic explosion in 1477. At its deepest point, Ljotipollur is around 14 m (46 ft) in depth and measures around 0.5 sq km (0.19 sq miles) in surface area. Despite its name translating in English as ‘Ugly Puddle’, when the light is right Ljotipollur is a lake of exceptional beauty; its tranquil waters are of deep turquoise, changing to inky black according to the weather, and it is flanked by steep cliffs made of basalt and lava and stained with shades of deep red, purple and blue minerals; these are interspersed with patches of bright-green moss and lichens in spots where the sun never reaches. Indeed Ljotipollur is best seen on one of Iceland’s endless summer nights when the sun slowly sets briefly, sending all the colors of the rainbow gleaming across the water.
Ljotipollur is 185 km (115.75miles) east of Reykjavik along an unmade road off Road 32, which is inaccessible to most vehicles except super jeeps and 4WDs.