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GLACIER LAGOONS TOURS IN ICELAND
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of those dream places that make Iceland a special country. Here you can see icebergs floating across the piercingly cold lagoon. These icebergs are fragments of the glacier, which have detached from one of the glacier tongues of Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. Come and discover Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and it's Diamond Beach, as well as other glacier lagoons in Iceland. You can join one of the glacier lagoon tours departing from Reykjavík or choose among the different boat tours we offer on location.
- What is a glacier lagoon and how is it formed?
- More than 10% of Iceland surface is covered with glaciers. As they are retreating, lakes are formed at the base of the glacier outlets. The space in the earth where glacier once was, erodes and is filled in with the water from the melting ice. Some glacier lagoons can be just "small puddles" but others like Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, become some of the most amazing places of Iceland and are among the favourite places of many visitors. In the lake you can see the icebergs floating about and you can even navigate through them joining the amphibian boat tour or the speedboat tour on the glacier lagoon. These icebergs have detached from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier tongue (one of the many glacier tongues of Vatnajökull glacier). Thanks to the easy access and the glacier lagoon tours, this is probably the best place to get up close to an iceberg but in Iceland you will find other beautiful glacier lagoons as well.
- What is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and where is it?
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is located in the south-east of Iceland, at the southern end of the Vatnajökull glacier, next to the national road No. 1 (the "Ring Road") and between the Skaftafell National Park and the city of Höfn. The distance from Reykjavík is around 350 Km, about 5 hours driving from the capital of Iceland.
It is one of the most iconic places in Iceland, a dream place where scenes from "Game of Thrones" series or movies such as "Batman Begins" and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" have been filmed. The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon was created between 1934-1935. The surface of the Lagoon is now about 18 km2 but it is in continuous growth. Here you can admire the icebergs floating at the drift from the Vatnajökull glacier. The ice from the glacier that is seen in the icebergs of the Glacier Lagoon is about 1000-1500 years old. At its deepest point, according to the latest measurements, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon reaches a depth of 248 meters. Very close to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, another extraordinary natural phenomenon appears. Right on the beach where the glacier river flows, very large icebergs often appear. Once they reach the ocean, the tide brings them back and pushes them onto the beach. That is why this place has incomparable beauty and it is known as "Diamond Beach", one of our favorite places in Iceland. From the shores of the Glacier Lagoon, it is also possible to see seals and sea birds (gulls, skuas, Arctic terns, and more).
- Are there any other glacier lagoons in Iceland and in which glaciers can I find them?
- Yes, the number of glacier lagoons in Iceland is increasing and there are really beautiful ones apart from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Moreover, the glacier lagoons are expanding quickly due to the global warming as the glaciers are retreating. Here is our list of other glacier lagoons and where to find them:
- Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon at Vatnajökull glacier: This lagoon is located near the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (10 kilometers away) and about 47 kilometers east of Skaftafell National Park. If you are travelling around Iceland from the South, you will see it before Jökulsárlón. Although it is not as famous as Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, it is worth the visit and you should spend some time at both. The Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon is located at the southern end of the great Vatnajökull glacier and occupies about 4 square kilometers. As it is closer to the glacier, Vatnajökull is much more visible. The atmosphere in the Fjallsárlón lagoon is calmer and, in addition, with good visibility, you can see the Öræfajökull volcano. We also offer zodiac boat tours around this glacier lagoon.
Breidarlon Glacier Lagoon at Vatnajökull glacier: This glacier lagoon is a hidden gem and it is located right between Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoons. It has an incredible view of the glacier tongue, Breiðarmerkurjökull, and there is also a nice hiking trail that runs from Fjallsárlón, passes through Breiðárlón and arrives at Jökulsárlón. Although it is smaller than Jökulsárlón, you can enjoy views of amazing landscape and feel the glacier closer.
Heinabergslón Glacier Lagoon at Vatnajökull glacier: This glacier lagoon is after the other three. It is about 10km off route 1 so it is more secluded than the other ones. The distance from Höfn is around 40km away from Höfn. The Heinabergslón Glacier Lagoon is often studded with large chunks of the glacier that break off from the Heinabergsjökull glacier. The area around the lagoon is really beautiful and it has nice hiking trails where you can find waterfalls, ravines and much more.
- Hvitarvatn Glacier Lagoon at Langjökull glacier: Hvitarvatn is a huge glacial lake in the area near the second largest glacier in Iceland, Langjökull, in western Iceland. Although you will not see floating icebergs here, you can enjoy on the clear days the beautiful view of the glacier feeding into the lake.
- Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon: While not the most spectacular of all the lagoons (but still a wonder to behold), it is the closest to Reykjavík. Located on the South Coast before Vík, this is the glacier tongue at Mýrdalsjökull where hiking glacier tours take place. If you are planning to do a hiking tour here, you will see this small lagoon with few occasional icebergs floating on it. If your South Coast day tour only gets to Vík, this is your chance to see a glacier lagoon.
- What can I do in a glacier lagoon in Iceland?
As you can see there is one main activity to do in a glacier lagoon, book a boat trip and do so in advance, as the tickets sell out quickly. In the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon you can take an amphibian boat tour or a zodiac boat tour. Both tours always include an English-speaking guide and all the necessary equipment. Who can say that during their holidays they have been navigating among icebergs? As we want you to explore more glacier lagoons, we are now also offering zodiac tours at Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you can enjoy the beauty of Iceland in a less crowded environment. In addition, they are other activities you can do in the area and combine with your boat tours at the glacier lagoons, like a snowmobile tour or a hiking tour on the glacier (we offer one hiking tour at Vatnajökull together with the boat tour at Fjallsárlón). If you are coming during the winter months, you can't take any boat tours as they don't operate for security reasons but you can enjoy the glacier lagoons from the shore and join one of the amazing ice cave tours at Vatnajökull. Check all the tours we are offering and contact us if you need any help!
Can I visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon staying in Reykjavík?
Yes, it is a long way from Reykjavík but we offer a one day tour that gets you to the amazing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. However, as it is really far this tour takes around 14 hours and you will miss some other incredible places in the South Coast. That's why to have the full experience, we recommend booking the 2 days tour to the South Coast. Not only you will spend one night at this beautiful area near Vatnajökull glacier but also you will have the chance to see an ice cave and visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
What is the Diamond Beach in Iceland?
The Diamond Beach is the name of the black sand beach next to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Why is it called like this? Simply because, if you are lucky, you will see the white icebergs arriving at the shore! As you can imagine, the landscape looks as if it was from another world and the icebergs look like diamonds glittering in the sand. Once the icebergs from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon reach the ocean, the tide brings them back and pushes them onto the beach. That is why this place has such incomparable beauty.
When can I visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon or the other glacier lagoons in Iceland?
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is very easily accessible as it is located direclty on the main road (highway 1, Ring Road) that goes all around Iceland. It is possible to get there throughout the whole year but if you want to be able to take a boat tour you have to come between April and October (but always dependant on local conditions).
Pictures from the Glacier tours in Iceland:
Important note: All activities in the Icelandic nature are carried out under the own responsibility of the clients. ISLANDICA s.r.o. is not responsible for any accidents that may occur during the activities or due to the actions of the participants.T he people who participate in these outings are accepting these conditions when booking a tour. ID 842