Updated: May 2, 2024


Planning an Icelandic adventure of a lifetime? Prepare to embark on a journey to one of the country's most magical treasures: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. 

Set amid the enchanting landscapes of South Iceland, this glacial wonderland is an absolute must-visit for travelers in search of an exceptional natural spectacle away from the usual tourist routes. To guarantee that your journey is truly remarkable, it's vital to equip yourself with essential information. This is precisely where our extensive guide comes into play.

On this page, we will delve into every aspect of visiting Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. From understanding what makes this place so special to navigating your way from Reykjavik, we've got you covered.

Furthermore, we will compare the best Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tours departing from Reykjavik, and uncover insider tips for making your visit truly unforgettable.

If you're dreaming of witnessing floating icebergs, serene waters, and an otherworldly atmosphere that feels like it's straight out of a dream, you're in for an extraordinary treat. Let's dive right in!

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Compare the Best Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tours from Reykjavik, Iceland

Below, you'll discover our carefully curated selection of the finest Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tours departing from Reykjavík. To streamline your search, we've included convenient booking links to each tour, accompanied by concise descriptions that emphasize their distinctive attributes and inclusions. 

Quick Booking Links to 4 Top-Rated Tours

Description of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tours

Highlights

This 14-hour glacier lagoon trip, favored by adventurers, includes roundtrip bus transportation from Reykjavik, an English-guided walking tour, and the option of a Jökulsárlón Lagoon boat tour during the summer. Hotel pickup and drop-off are available at an extra cost.

In the summer, you can prebook a boat cruise for a close encounter with this extraordinary attraction. After returning from the lagoon, explore more nearby marvels, including walking behind Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and admiring Diamond Beach's black sand. The day can end with an optional dinner in Vík, the southernmost village. Please note this expedition is not suitable for children under 6 years old.

Inclusions

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (if option selected)
  • Guided walking tour
  • English-speaking Guide
  • Transportation by bus
  • Wifi onboard
  • Jökulsárlón Lagoon boat tour (if option selected)

Tour Details

  • Hotel Pickup: Included if option selected
  • Departs from: Tour Bus Stop 12, Höfðatorg (on Þórunnartún), Reykjavik
  • Starting Time: 7:00 AM
  • Duration: approx. 14 hours
  • Participants: not stated

Highlights

Embark on a full-day South Coast expedition in Iceland, with comfortable air-conditioned coach transportation and an informative English-speaking guide. Opt for pickup, including hotel and cruise port transfers, for added convenience.

Explore the awe-inspiring Skogafoss waterfall, visit the iconic Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (boat tours are not included), and pause at the enchanting Fellsfjara black beach with its dazzling icebergs. The adventure concludes at the unique Seljalandfoss waterfall, making it a memorable Icelandic exploration. This tour is open to children and infants, offering a family-friendly experience.

Inclusions

  • Professional guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Pickup and drop-off from most hotels (if option selected)
  • WiFi on board

Tour Details

  • Hotel Pickup: Included if option selected
  • Departs from: Multiple meeting points available
  • Starting Time: 08:00 AM
  • Duration: approx. 14 hours
  • Participants: max. 50 travelers

Highlights

Enjoy a 2-day Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tour with comprehensive inclusions: accommodation, breakfast, expert English-speaking guide, and convenient round-trip transportation with pickup and drop-off at designated points. Explore Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Reynisfjara beach, Fellsfjara, and Fjadrargljufur Canyon on day one. 

Day two brings a Glacier Hike on Falljökull Glacier and a visit to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Stay at an authentic Icelandic farm near Vatnajökull National Park. Small groups, max. 12 travelers, ensure a personalized experience. Note the minimum age for this trip is 10 years.

Inclusions

  • Breakfast
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Glacier Hike & Equipment
  • Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Professional English-speaking guide

Tour Details

  • Hotel Pickup: Included from selected pick-up points in central Reykjavik
  • Departs from: Designated bus pick up points around Reykjavik
  • Starting Time: 08:30 AM
  • Duration: approx. 2 days
  • Participants: max. 12 travelers

Highlights

Experience exceptional value with this 14-hour Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tour. It includes a boat ride ticket, hotel pickup in Reykjavik, roundtrip transportation, and expert guidance. Explore Skaftafell National Park with your English-speaking guide.

The tour's highlight is a 30-minute amphibian boat ride amid the icebergs of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. You'll also witness Stjórnarfoss waterfall and experience the power of Seljalandsfoss by walking behind its cascades. Conclude your tour in Vík village, known for ebony sand beaches and intriguing sea stacks. Weather permitting, catch views of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Note, this tour is not suitable for children under 6 years old.

Inclusions

  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Guided tour
  • Ticket for the boat ride

Tour Details

  • Hotel Pickup: Included from your Reykjavik accommodation (also from Skarfabakki Cruise Port)
  • Departs from: Hotel Pickup from Reykjavik and Skarfabakki Cruise Port
  • Starting Time: 7:00 AM
  • Duration: approx. 14 hours
  • Participants: not stated

What is so Special about Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in Iceland?

Iceland’s Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, formed by the meltwater from Vatnajökull Glacier’s tongue, stands as a natural masterpiece. It emerged in 1935 due to rising temperatures and has been steadily expanding ever since. Covering around 18 square kilometers and reaching depths of over 248 meters, it claims the title of Iceland's largest and deepest glacial lagoon. 

What makes Jökulsárlón so special is its serene beauty: the captivating contrast of crystal-clear blue and turquoise waters against the backdrop of imposing glaciers and colossal ice, some dating back over a millennium. The lagoon's ever-changing character not only adds an element of unpredictability to each visit but also amplifies its air of mystique.

Within this spectacle lies another wonder: floating icebergs, which have broken free from the receding glacier, and adorned in captivating blue hues. This surreal landscape is a magnet for photographers and filmmakers, having graced productions like "Game of Thrones“, James Bond's "Die Another Day," and "Batman Begins“.

All in all, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a mystical blend of nature's beauty and tranquil majesty, making it a bucket-destination and essential stop in Iceland!

Where is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in Iceland?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is situated in South Iceland, nestled within the southern reaches of Vatnajökull National Park. This glacial lake is renowned for its captivating landscapes and lies between the towns of Vík í Mýrdal and Höfn.

The iconic off-the-beaten-path destination is a popular stop for travelers journeying along Iceland's famous Ring Road.

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How to get to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavik, Iceland?

Reaching Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavik is a straightforward journey, thanks to its proximity to Route 1. Here are two options:

  • By Car: Traveling to Jökulsárlón by car is both convenient and scenic. The drive from Reykjavík typically takes around 5-6 hours, covering a distance of 380 km (236 miles). Follow the southern ring road, Highway 1, heading east until you reach the lagoon. Keep the sea on your right to stay on the correct route.
  • By Guided Tour: For those with limited time or without their own vehicle, choosing a guided tour is an excellent alternative. With this option, you can take advantage of expert commentary, hassle-free transportation, and a thoughtfully planned itinerary that ensures you make the most of your visit. Many tours even provide the convenience of hotel pick-ups and drop-offs in Reykjavik, making your journey to Jökulsárlón even more enjoyable and stress-free.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Day Trip from Reykjavik 1

What to Expect from a Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tours from Reykjavik, Iceland?

Let's dive into the specifics of what an enchanting Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tour departing from Reykjavik, Iceland has in store for you:

  • Departure & Duration: This is a full-day expedition with an early departure window between 7 and 8:30 AM. The typical duration of these tours is around 14 - 15 hours. The convenience of hotel pick-up from designated points in Reykjavik is often included, simplifying your journey's start. You can count on round-trip transfers to be part of the package, ensuring a seamless travel experience.
  • Typical Itinerary: Your adventure typically comprises multiple stops that let you see the most spectacular facets of South Iceland within a single day. Your journey starts with a scenic drive through lava fields and mountains, where your expert guide shares cultural and historical insights. After 5-6 hours, you reach Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where a mesmerizing display of icebergs awaits. Some tour variations even grant you the chance to embark on a boat ride across the lagoon, making your experience even more immersive. 
  • Stops & Lunch: During the trip, you'll have opportunities to visit renowned locations such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the enchanting Diamond Beach, and the charming village of Vík. While the itinerary includes breaks for lunch and dinner, it's important to be aware that meals and drinks are usually not included but can be bought separately.
  • Tour Options: Your choices are diverse when selecting your perfect tour. From standard full-day trips covering the essentials to those with comprehensive itineraries, small-group settings and extras like a Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon boat ride. Should you desire a more personalized experience, private trips are at your disposal. For a more in-depth exploration, consider indulging in 2 or 3-day journeys that allow you to uncover more of South Iceland's iconic landmarks and natural wonders.
  • Suitability: While most travelers can join a Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tour, it's recommended to have a moderate level of physical fitness for a comfortable experience. However, it's important to be aware that wheelchair accessibility is generally limited on these tours. Additionally, age restrictions may apply, with some tours permitting children and infants while others have minimum age requirements, typically ranging from 6 to 10 years old.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Day Trip from Reykjavik 2

What to Do and See on a Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tour?

Apart from the obvious and awe-inspiring activity of soaking in the incredible view before you, there are plenty of other captivating experiences to enjoy in and around Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. 

Let's explore both, the top activities within the lagoon itself and nearby attractions commonly visited during a Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tour:

1. Things to Do at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

  • Boat Excursion: The ultimate Jökulsárlón experience takes place on the glacial water itself.  Don't miss the boat tours, granting you an exclusive vantage point to appreciate the lagoon's splendor as you glide amid drifting iceberg. Choose between Zodiac rides and amphibious boat tours for a unique aquatic adventure.
  • Photographer's Paradise: With its surreal backdrop of serene blues and drifting icebergs, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a dream come true for photographers. Every frame becomes a masterpiece. Capture the vibrant blue icebergs against the backdrop of colossal glaciers, creating postcard-worthy pictures.
  • Wildlife Encounter: Jökulsárlón is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Throughout the year, spot seals lounging on icebergs or gracefully gliding through the lagoon's waters. The area is also home to various seabirds, including arctic terns and skuas, making it a paradise for birdwatching.
  • Ice Cave Expedition: While you're in close proximity to the Vatnajokull glacier, why not venture inside? Embark on an ice cave tour to delve deep into the heart of this frozen giant. Experience the magic of exploring the glacier's stunning blue ice caves, hidden treasures that offer an intimate encounter with the glacier's inner beauty. >> Find out more: Plan Your Ice Cave Tour in Jökulsárlón, Iceland: Compare Tours, Prices & Insider Tips 

2. Attractions near Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

  • Diamond Beach: Breiðamerkursandur, famously known as Diamond Beach, is a natural marvel that will leave you in awe. It showcases a mesmerizing contrast between its black sand and glistening icebergs, which have broken free from the nearby glacier and gracefully adorn the shoreline. These ice sculptures resemble a scattering of radiant diamonds on the sand, hence the name.
  • Skógafoss Waterfall: This awe-inspiring wonder, encountered along the way, serves as a majestic backdrop for photographs. Skógafoss plunges from a towering height of 60 meters, spanning an impressive width of 25 meters, captivating visitors with its ethereal mist and rainbows. Steeped in a legendary Viking treasure tale, this waterfall also offers an elevated viewing platform for truly breathtaking perspectives.
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: Among Iceland's most iconic waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss gracefully descends from a 60-meter cliff. Prepare to embrace the refreshing mist if you venture behind the falls during the summer, creating a unique and memorable experience. Situated along the Golden Circle route, it's a typical stop during a Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tour.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Day Trip from Reykjavik 3

When is the Best Time to Visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is open year-round for visitors. However, if you're interested in experiencing a boat tour along the lagoon, it's recommended to plan your visit between April and October, as boat trips are exclusively available during these months.

For those seeking the captivating northern lights, the winter season is the ideal choice. Nonetheless, it's crucial to note that the Route 1 leading to the lagoon can be affected by harsh weather conditions during this period. If you decide to drive there in winter by yourself, be sure to regularly check the weather and road conditions for a safe journey.

9 Essential Tips for Your Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Adventure

Now that you have a good grasp of the best tour options and what to do and see on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, let's delve into some essential tips to make your journey to this icy wonderland an unforgettable experience.

  1. Secure Your Spot: Jökulsárlón is a very popular destination, particularly in summer's peak seasons. To guarantee your place and find the best tour for your preferences, it's wise to make advance reservations.
  2. Choose the Ideal Tour: Tailor your Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon adventure to your interests and requirements. If you seek a more immersive experience, consider tours with activities like boat rides. For family trips, look for options without age restrictions to ensure everyone can participate.
  3. Be Well-Prepared: Jökulsárlón tours often involve long drives, so ensure you're well-rested beforehand. Bring plenty of snacks and water to keep your energy levels up during the day.
  4. Dress for the Weather: Iceland's climate can be unpredictable year-round. Stay comfortable by dressing in layers and preparing for cold, wet conditions. Waterproof attire, including a jacket and trousers, is essential, given the swiftly changing weather. Opt for sturdy and comfortable walking shoes suitable for uneven terrain, avoiding denim, which can become uncomfortable when wet.
  5. Budget for Meals: Most Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day tours do not include meals, so keep cash on hand for purchasing food at stops along the way. This allows you to enjoy Icelandic cuisine and recharge during your adventure.
  6. Keep Devices Charged: To capture the stunning sights, ensure your camera batteries are fully charged ahead of time. Alternatively, bring a portable charger for your smartphone to prevent power shortages at inconvenient moments.
  7. Weather Awareness: As good weather is crucial, prepare for potential tour cancellations due to unfavorable conditions. Tour operators typically provide alternative dates or full refunds. If you intend to drive to the lagoon, keep a close eye on daily weather and road conditions during winter, and be ready to adapt your plans as needed.
  8. Prioritize Safety: It should go without saying, but for a safe and enjoyable visit, please refrain from swimming in the lake or attempting to climb on the icebergs. Such activities are prohibited and pose significant risks not only to visitors but also to the delicate environment of Jökulsárlón. 
  9. Embrace the Magic: Lastly, always remember that Jökulsárlón is a site of unmatched natural beauty. Ensure you have your camera or smartphone handy to capture the mesmerizing ice formations and the way light dances on the water. However, take a moment to put your camera away and fully experience the enchantment of this natural wonder.

Are there Hotels near Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

Numerous hotels are strategically positioned in the vicinity of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, offering convenient accommodation options for travelers looking to stay near this extraordinary natural wonder. 

While Höfn is the closest town with lodging facilities, adventurers can also find places to stay in the nearby small towns of Kirkjubaejarklaustur or Vik. You can choose from comfortable hotels, budget-friendly guesthouses, and even camping sites, providing visitors with the flexibility to select the type of accommodation that best suits their preferences and budget.

Here are 2 recommendations:

  • Hali Country Hotel: This 3-star hotel is situated on a family-run farm near Vatnajökull National Park, featuring purpose-built rooms with views of the Atlantic Ocean or even Vatnajökull Glacier and free Wi-Fi. It's located just 14 km from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
    Address: 781 Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland. >> Book online!
  • Lækjarhus Guesthouse Farm Holidays: A family-owned guesthouse on a charming farm with sea and mountain views and a peaceful surrounding. Each room includes a shared bathroom. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is approximately 28 kilometers away.
    Address: Borgarhöfn 6, Lækjarhús, 781 Höfn, Iceland. >> Book online!
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FAQ - Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tours from Reykjavik, Iceland

What is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, born in 1935 due to rising temperatures, is a massive glacial lake fed by melting glaciers and graced by magnificent icebergs. Stretching over 18 square kilometers, it claims the title of Iceland's largest and deepest glacial lagoon. This natural wonder is celebrated for its mesmerizing beauty and dynamic scenery, making it a must-see destination.

Is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon worth it?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is undeniably a worthwhile destination. It offers a captivating spectacle of icebergs, tranquil waters, and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you're a photography enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply in search of a unique and awe-inspiring experience, Jökulsárlón delivers. To ensure you make the most of your visit, consider taking a boat tour to fully immerse yourself in the lagoon's beauty. >> Here is our top recommendation: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tour from Reykjavik with Pickup, Roundtrip Transfer & Boat Tour. 

Where is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

Situated in South Iceland, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is nestled within the southern precincts of Vatnajökull National Park. It lies between the towns of Vík í Mýrdal and Höfn.

How far is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavik?

Embarking on a journey from Reykjavík to the enchanting Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon will encompass a scenic drive of approximately 5-6 hours, covering a distance of 380km (236 miles). To streamline your travel experience, we recommend opting for an organized full-day excursion. >> Discover the highest-rated Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon guided tours

How much time do you need at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon?

To thoroughly explore Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and its adjacent attractions like Diamond Beach, it's advisable to allocate about 4 hours. This timeframe allows you to fully savor the magnificent scenery and potentially partake in a boat tour for a more immersive experience.

How much cost Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tours from Reykjavik, Iceland?

The prices for Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tours from Reykjavik, Iceland can differ

  • A typical full-day tour with transportation and a guide costs approximately 160 euros per person. 
  • If you opt for a day trip with hotel pickup, transportation, and an additional recommended boat tour, you should budget around 220 euros. 
  • For a comprehensive 2-day tour inclusive of accommodation, breakfast, and multiple nearby site visits, expect to pay approximately 470 euros per person. 

Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the tour package and provider you choose.

What is the best time of day to visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

The prime time to visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is during the early morning, particularly at sunrise. This period offers a magical ambiance with stunning lighting and fewer crowds, enabling you to fully relish the natural splendor of the lagoon.

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