Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Encounter one of Iceland’s natural wonders first-hand at this spectacular glacier lagoon.

East Iceland
Boat tour on Jökulárslón glacier lagoon
An interesting view of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon at sunrise with a pink sky
Boat tour on Jökulárslón glacier lagoon
An interesting view of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Best time to visit
All year
Every day
Charging station

Turquoise waters and pure white ice floes await at Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon

When it comes to seeing some of the most breathtaking sights Iceland has to offer, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon has got to be up there!

This glacial lagoon is a result of meltwater from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, part of Iceland’s largest glacier – Vatnajökull. But what really makes it special is the striking blue color of the water, not to mention the icebergs bobbing on the surface. 

During your visit, you could lose yourself in the lagoon’s natural beauty by taking an amphibian boat tour. Or simply soak up the scenery from the shoreline. From here, you can look out for seabirds, or maybe even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights if it’s dark enough. 

Make sure you include a visit to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in your Iceland itinerary. You won’t regret taking the time to see this natural wonder with your own eyes!

Other attractions near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

The edge of the Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull Glacier & National Park

Witness glaciers and wild landscapes up close with a visit to Iceland’s largest national park.

0 km (0 mi)

Mountains in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve on a cloudy day

Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Icelandic nature.

60 km (37 mi)

Vik Church with Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the distance

Vík í Mýrdal

Discover Iceland’s wild south coast from this charming village.

193 km (120 mi)

The harbor at Höfn í Hornafirði

Höfn í Hornafirði

Discover the charm of this fishing village in Vatnajökull National Park.

80 km (50 mi)


FAQs about Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

You may have visited other lakes and lagoons in Iceland, and while they are crystal-clear, not many are the dazzling blue color of Jökulsárlón. This is one of the main reasons that visitors are drawn to the glacier lagoon.

The blue color is a result of seawater from the Atlantic Ocean mixing with meltwater from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier. This creates a unique shade that you won’t be able to stop snapping photos of, it’s simply that beautiful!

Icelandic can be a tricky language, but the best thing you can do is break it down into syllables. Here’s how you can break down Jökulsárlón:

  • Jö - J is more like a ‘Y’ sound in Icelandic, and an O with the umlaut symbol indicates an extended O sound that has a little bit of an E sound too. The closest thing in English is the name ‘Joe’ but with a Y sound and a longer O.
  • Kul - You should use a hard K sound. The ‘oo’ U sound in vacuum or if you say ‘cool’ with a hard K is a good example of the sound.
  • Sár - This is almost as it is written - the word ‘far’ is a close match.
  • Lón - Again, almost as it looks! Make your L sound a little longer for a more authentic accent.

If you put this all together, it should sound something like: yoe-kool-sar-lon.

As well as being a natural wonder that draws visitors from all over the world, Jökulsárlón is famous for starring in Hollywood films.

For instance, the thrilling car chase scene in the James Bond movie Die Another Day was shot here in winter. And Angelina Jolie visited the lagoon while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Even without these silver screen appearances, Jökulsárlón lagoon and the nearby Vatnajökull National Park are celebrated in their own right as being places of outstanding beauty. Plus, there are only a few places in the world where you can safely take a boat tour between icebergs on a glacier lagoon.

While you might be inspired by the movies to visit, nothing compares to seeing Jökulsárlón with your own eyes. So make sure to include time for touring the south coast in your trip to Iceland.

Make the most of your visit to the glacial lagoon by exploring the surrounding area as well. There’s lots for you to try and plenty of amazing scenery to enjoy.

One of the best things to do here is to take a licensed boat tour of the lagoon.

Glide through the blue waters of Jökulsárlón and get up close to the sparkling icebergs safely. Local guides will point out the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and show you where the chunks of ice drift out to sea. You might even spot a seal resting on one of the ice floes!

Diamond Beach is also close by and is definitely worth a visit. This black sand beach is where the ice from the lagoon is deposited on its way out to sea. Here you can marvel at the striking contrast between the chunks of glittering ice against the dark volcanic sand. It won’t be hard to see how the beach got its name.

If you’re looking for more “cool” places to visit, you could also take a tour of Katla glacier’s ice caves. Explore Iceland’s south coast and venture into a glacier on an ice cave tour.

Swimming in the lagoon is not allowed. Not only is the water extremely cold, but the icebergs can flip and move unexpectedly.

If you do want to get on the water, then a guided kayak or RIB boat tour are the best, and safest ways, of doing this. At Iceland Tours, we always work with licensed local tour operators who can provide or advise on what gear you’ll need, such as a dry suit for kayaking.

You can spend as much or as little time as you want at the lagoon. But if you’d like to explore the surrounding area or take a boat tour then around a half to a full day is a good length of time.

You could also spend the night nearby, so you can really make the most of your time here.

You’ll find Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon within Vatnajökull National Park, on Iceland’s south coast. It’s approximately 380 kilometers (236 miles) from Reykjavík. The driving time from the capital is about 5 hours, depending on the road conditions.

Whether you go for a self-drive tour or join a guided group trip, getting to Jökulsárlón from Reykjavík is straightforward.

All you need to do is head east from the capital along the south coast on the Ring Road (Route 1). Route 1 is Iceland’s main road and is well-maintained all year. This makes it possible for you to follow this route on a summer vacation or winter getaway.