Glacier Lagoon
Glacier Lagoon
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Brian T
London, UK6,322 contributions
Jökulsárlón, or 'Glacier's-River-Lagoon’ is one of Iceland’s most beautiful attractions; it’s absolutely breathtakingly stunning, and if you are at all able to visit this spot, you should.

Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon filled with icebergs. It is a lake that is filled with meltwater from an outlet glacier. The free-flowing icebergs break off into the lagoon from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, a tongue of the larger Vatnajökull Glacier, one of Europe’s largest icecaps. The lagoon is filled with icebergs of all sizes and shapes, some the size of houses that are several stories high. The icebergs continue their journey through a short narrow waterway into the Atlantic Ocean.

These icebergs, other than their scale, are also notable for their colouration. Although they are, as expected, largely white, some appear electric blue in part, with black streaks of ash from eruptions centuries past.

It’s a long drive from Reykjavik, nearly 5 hours, but the drive is worth it for the beautiful vista that will unfold before you. We took an organised coach day excursion from Reykjavik. It was a long day, almost 15 hours in total (we went to other sites as well), but as soon as we set eyes on Jökulsárlón we knew we were going to be blessed with a beautiful experience and that the long trip would be worth it! The tour gave us two hours at the lagoon.

There’s decent facilities at the main site: ample parking, bathroom facilities, an information centre, cafe and gift shop. There’s also some trailers selling various food items.
You can also join an incredible amphibian boat trip on the lagoon. You’ll sail between magnificent towering icebergs that fill the lagoon as they move their way slowly out to the ocean. The boat trip lasts 30 minutes. You’ll be given lots of information about the lagoon and the icebergs by informative guides, and actually handle a huge chunk of iceberg. It’s safe; you’ll be wearing life jackets, and the amphibian craft is followed by a rescue craft. We did this as part of our day trip (included in the price) and I fully recommend it as an adjunct to your visit to the lagoon. It is the perfect opportunity for those wanting to get up close to these beautiful ice formations and take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

If you have time, there’s lots of walks you can do. At least walk up the nearby rocky rise which overlooks the lagoon. The views are extraordinary. Make sure you also walk in the opposite direction, under the road bridge to the nearby black beach which edges the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known as Diamond Beach for a very good reason. The icebergs which flow from the lagoon through the narrow opening into the ocean are often washed back onto the beach. You’ll see piles of small icebergs littering the beach. And when the sun is shining the ice chunks lying on the beach resemble diamonds glistening in the sun (with a stretch of the imagination of course), hence its name.

I highly recommend this beautiful spot!
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bskramer
The Villages, FL344 contributions
My daughter and I visited Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon as part of a tour on our way to the Vatnajökull National Park.  On the day we toured this area, it was very windy and cold.  Low isibility made it difficult to see the ocean and glacier.  It would have been nice to see both of these locations on a sunny day, but we were happy to have the opportunity to view icebergs regardless of the weather conditions.  The lagoon was filled with many different shapes and sizes of icebergs on the day we visited.  Opportunities for viewing were excellent and there were even a few seals swimming in the lake.  Prior to getting in the amphibious boat, we spent some time in the snack bar/souvenir shop to warm up.  When it was time for our tour, we piled in single file into the vehicle.  Everyone was required to wear a life vest and sit while the vehicle drove on land and entered the water.  It was very crowded sitting, but after we were in the water, we were allowed to stand to take photographs.  It was cold on the lake, but exhilarating to be sailing among icebergs.  Our tour guide did a great job of talking about the lagoon and the glacier.  Eventually, a small craft pulled alongside our boat and delivered some glacial ice from the lagoon.  This was passed around for photographs.  After about 30 minutes, we sailed back to land and then drove for disembarkation near the snack/souvenir shop.  The cold, wind, and wetness definitely made this experience challenging.  If you can go on a sunny day, I am sure you would have a better experience, but most likely you will be booked into a reserved time as we experienced.  I would definitely recommend this experience regardless of the weather.  It is a unique opportunity to experience glacial icebergs up close in a safe environment.  If you travel here, definitely visit Diamond Beach first before taking the amphibious boat ride.  These will greatly enhance your experience.  
Written May 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

marts03
Poughkeepsie, NY87 contributions
I've had the privilege of visiting Glacier Lagoon in November, March, and August. While each season brings different weather and lighting conditions, the Glacier Lagoon never fails to impress. And there is always ice floating in the lagoon and on the beach. Although many people use the lagoon more as a base to take tours (Zodiac boats, ice cave - both of which I also recommend), it's worth simply spending time to walk at the Lagoon from the main parking lot along the path to the beach. In addition to the floating ice, it's also possible to see seals and birds in the area.

While it's possible to visit the Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavik and return in the same day, it's a very long day. Recommend to do at least 1 overnight on the South Coast so you can more fully enjoy all the Coast has to offer.
Written March 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elaine R
Cork, Ireland14 contributions
I visited Jokulsarlon in August 2019. It is a beautiful location and I would recommend visiting it. However, I would advise you to be wary of booking the amphibian tour. I booked for my friend and me on the actual day in their office with a credit card. Unfortunately, the tour was cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather. The tour employee assured everyone who paid by card that the refunds would be done automatically. I spent 3 months sending e-mails and calling the tour office to be told my €85.90 was refunded, although it hadn't been. I finally received my refund in November thanks to my own bank reversing the transaction. If you want to do the amphibian tour, I would recommend paying for it in cash on the day and also ensuring that you get your cash back on the day if the tour is cancelled. Iceland is such an expensive country that you're going to spend a fortune there anyway without having totally unnecessary stress in relation to refunds.
Written March 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia23,177 contributions
Jökulsárlón is an amazing place. Probably only the Perito Moreno glacier can be compared in the fight for the most amazing ice attraction in the world. But Perito Moreno is in Argentina, and far to the South. Flying there is long and expensive, and Iceland is relatively close. The parent of the lagoon is the Vatnayekudl glacier, which occupies 8% of the entire territory of Iceland. It was located on the territory of the lagoon, but since the 20s of the XX century, warming began and the glacier began to retreat giving way to the newly formed lagoon. Over the past 45 years, Jokulsarlon has grown more than 2 times-from 8 square kilometers to 18. There is every chance to turn into a fjord. Huge chunks of ice break off from the glacier and float around the lagoon until they melt. This is a fascinating action. The water surface of the lagoon reflects the sky with white clouds and icebergs with bizarre shapes. The line between sky and water becomes illusory. The best time here is the summer morning, when the buses with tourists have not yet arrived. But for this purpose it is necessary to spend the night somewhere nearby. A large tourist industry has grown up around Jökulsárlón, offering swimming in the lagoon on Motorboats and large amphibians. This pleasure costs 40-90 euros and is very popular. The amphibian and boat tour lasts half an hour, and the same amount is spent on changing clothes and instructing. The boat tour is more interesting because it comes closer to the ice floes. I didn't know how much time was planned for the lagoon on our tour, so I didn't book in advance. However, there were not as many ice floes as in the photos seen on the Internet, so they were clearly visible from the shore. An hour and a half passed unnoticed. Beauty makes you forget about everything.
Written May 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nitin G
New York37 contributions
Family
The experience was amazing. The views were unreal and the guide was very professional, funny, and knowledgeable. On the way back on the boat the weather became worse but the guide navigated it safely and quickly. Would recommend the zodiac tour!
Written August 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AndreaGambadoro
London, UK445 contributions
Solo
This place is just breath taking. Already when you park you feel the beauty. But once you start walking around the trail it retail all its splendour. It’s pretty spectacular to see how pieces of ices from the glacier float in this lagoon and also see some of them getting to the beach. It’s an unmissable spot in Iceland. I strongly suggest to go a few hours before sunset. If you walk around the trail, the position of the sun will help you getting amazing pictures with the sun setting in the background.
Written February 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BLT1991
Toano, VA722 contributions
Iceland's deepest lake, it fills with icebergs breaking from a tongue of Vatnajokull glacier, often as tall as multi-story buildings. It’s easy to admire from the shore. There are seals bobbing around as well. You can reserve a ride on amphibious boats or Zodiacs for a closer look. We took a Zodiac tour, and I strongly recommend it.
Written September 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Annabel U
West Kirby, UK9 contributions
I had seen photos but the real thing is so much better. The mini icebergs really do break off the larger blocks and sail right past you into the sea. They often turn over as they float showing you their turquoise undercarriage. The area was quite busy even though it’s Coronavirus time, so I’m glad we didn’t visit in ‘ normal’ times. Only one toilet open ( due to Covid) and a loooong queue! The diamond beach is great too, with quite a few pieces of ice sitting waiting to be photographed and slowly melting. Many are large enough to climb on! Small inflatable boat rides and larger ‘ duck’ rides available for a price. Visit in better weather if you can as the sun on the ice and water makes for lovely colours. Our day was bright though cloudy and the photos are still good.
Written August 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

laylalae
Slovakia252 contributions
This lake with its icebergs is definitely very nice but when something is right at Ring Road and there´s nothing more you need to do just step out of your car, that brings a lot of people to the nature attraction like this. Before traveling to Iceland I would´ve said that this was one of my must-sees but now I know there are more beautiful and less crowded spots in Iceland that are worth visiting.
I didn´t like the idea of mass tourist transportation on amphibian boat either. I found it as a pure commercial experience not taking the beautiful lagoon into account. I tried to find some info if these boats are using at least some sustainable energy but didn´t find any. So either they are spoiling their nature because of all those paying tourists or please mention the sustainable energy on the web as I think this should be necessary nowadays and people should care about it.
Written August 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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