Mystical Glacial Lagoon – Jökulsarlon

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Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon, located in South-East Iceland, formed by the melting of Breiðamerkurjökull, which is one of the glacier tongues of Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier. Jökulsárlón offers the perfect polar landscape of icebergs with black and blue reflections. It was one of my favorite spots in Iceland!

If you travel on Route 1, between Skaftafell and Höfn, you HAVE to stop there! Look at the map at the end of the post to know how to get there.

Once you get there, you can park on both sides of the bridge to admire the lagoon.

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Chunks of glaciers float toward the ocean

You can walk towards the Atlantic Ocean where you will see chunks of icebergs stranded on a black sand beach called Diamond Beach (because the ice chunks are polished by the waves and water). Apparently, the view and the colours are stunning at sunrise.

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There are so many shapes and size of icebergs; they look like sculptures and are truly spectacular!

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The boat you see below rolls to the lake and enters in its icy waters to offer its passengers a cruise between the icebergs to the glacier’s toe. The cruise lasts about 35 minutes (you pay the high price for this popular attraction: Amphibian boat tour 5,500  ISK in 2017; Zodiak boat tour 9,500 ISK in 2017 – click here for more information).

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Other sights and activities in the area:

  • Fjallsarlon Glacial Lagoon: This lagoon is similar to Jökulsárlón, but less visited. Some people say icebegrs are smaller over there, but apparently it depends on the time of year you go there. Zodiac boat tours are also available and cheaper than the ones offered at Jökulsárlón: 6,800 ISK in 2017 (Zodiac boats are smaller than the Amphibian boat, so you’ll be closer to the water and icebergs).
  • Ice cave exploring: I did not have the chance to explore ice caves during my trip, but I will definitely do it when I go back to Iceland. It looks like a magical and unique experience! Blue Iceland offers ice cave exploring tours, visit their website for more information.

If you plan to stay in Reykjavik during your trip in Iceland, or if it’s too expensive to rent a car (it might be the case if you’re a solo traveller), there are some tours you can book to get to Jökulsárlón and southern Iceland (departures from Reykjavik):

  • Jökulsárlón Glacial Boat Tour (SRE113): 26,200 ISK in 2017
  • Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon Tour (RE113) – does not include the 30-minute boat tour on the glacial lagoon: 18,900 ISK in 2017
    • For both tours:
      • Duration: 14 hours (day trip)
      • Departures: 7:30 am Daily (15 May – 30 Sept), Wednesday and Saturday (1 Oct – 5 Nov)
      • Major stops: Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Vík, Skaftafell,  Jökulsárlón
  • The South Coast & Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon Tour (EI41w): 54,900 ISK in 2017, during summer
    • Duration: 2 days
    • Major stops: Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón
    • Includes:  glacier hike in Skaftafell (1h), transportation in a mini-bus, English speaking guide, room with bathroom, breakfast.
  • 2 Day – South Coast, Ice Cave, Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon: 66,490 ISK in 2017
    • Duration: 2 days
    • Major stops: Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón
    • Options ($): hiking boots (1,425 ISK), single room (required for solo travelers: 5,225 ISK)

Look at the map below to see the location of major sights between Reykjavik and Jökulsárlón. Using the buttons on the bottom left of the map (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

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6 thoughts on “Mystical Glacial Lagoon – Jökulsarlon

  1. Pingback: My favorite stops along the Ring Road | CRAVINGS OF A WANDERHER

    • I know exactly what you mean, I felt the same way! At first, I thought I was only stunned because of the view, but that was much more than that! Did you have the chance to walk on a glacier? That’s amazing as well.While walking on the glacier, you really feel its power. And with streams running through it and rumblings of the moving ice, you could almost think it’s alive!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t do the glacier walk, but there was another spot where it came almost up to the road & we stepped upon it a bit… the walk experience must be pretty cool, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Lost in Iceland | CRAVINGS OF A WANDERHER

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