Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is one of the most famous sights in Iceland. The almost surreal landscape where the head of the glacier Breiðamerkurjökull (a tongue of Vatnajökull) terminates and creates a lagoon just before connecting to the sea is a great place to spend a couple of hours, to say the least. There’s much to admire with the floating icebergs sailing randomly and wildlife such as seals and birds on their perfect natural habitat.
Good news for the fellow traveler, it’s really easy to get to! If you’re already traveling along the south coast of Iceland it’s right next to the ring road (1), between Vík and Höfn, but closer to the latest. Can’t be missed. From Reykjavík, it’s around 400 km. Pretty far, but totally worth it.
We visited Jökulsárlón when traveling towards southeastern Iceland, stopping there at sunset and until it was completely dark. Lots of people gathered around to see the “show”. One can even hear the sound of the icebergs cracking.
Actually, our first stop was at a smaller nearby glacier lagoon – Fjallsárlón. This one is a few kilometers west the main one. Equally spectacular but with slightly harder access road. Worth visiting if on your own car.
Another stop, this time on the right lagoon but not yet on the main stopping point for Jökulsárlón. Slightly west are at least 3 small car parks along the ring road and we decided to make a stop. Initially just to see what was going on, we ended up sitting there on top of a tiny hill looking at the landscape and a family of ducks exploring the area.
Back on the road. After the bridge and an easy left is the main parking area. If you’re going for a boat tour this is also where to park. So, we get out the car and start walking towards the shoreline of the lagoon. Looking forward we immediately saw this crazy Asian dude going into the FREEZING water, swimming in it and jumping onto a small block of ice. Probably just another ordinary day surfing ice blocks. Needless to say he was the big star and everyone was staring, filming and taking pictures. Here’s one, for the sake of craziness. Obviously, he also fell.
Time for some birds now. Different kinds, that we can’t even name to start with.
Seals were a crowd favorite. They spent most time swimming from one place to another, disappearing into the water. Very active seals. Here’s one roaming around, and a small video of a diving seal.
There’s really not much else to add, except to admire the nature in action. Here are a bunch of pictures from our time there admiring the scenery.
Darkness came and we left. It’s one of those places that you wish to go back.
Have you been to this part of Iceland? Let us know what you think.
It’s really easy to get to. Just mind the distance and time it takes to travel there. We drove while going in that direction which made it easier for us – recommend. There are also tour operators from the capital Reykjvík with one-day trips. Probably a better option than driving 800 km or 10 h. This, or day trips from closer towns, like Vík.
The plan is to park, enjoy and eventually do some side activities like the boat tour. We didn’t take the tour, but it should be interesting. We’ve done similar tours in other glacier lagoons in the past and it’s amazing.
More information about the region is available at the Vatnajökull National Park official page.
Read more posts about Iceland here.