Iceland’s south coast boasts the constantly changing Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, where blue, white, turquoise and black streaked icebergs shift and creak about in an icy dance. The icebergs are 1.000-year-old chunks of the retreating Oraefajokull glacier that have broken off and are floating out to sea.
The lake has grown at varying rates because of glacial melting. It is now 1.5 kilometres away from the ocean’s edge and covers an area of about 18 km2. It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 248 metres (814 feet), as glacial retreat extended its boundaries. The Glacial Lagoon is part of Vatnajokull National Park.
The mystical lagoon is enormous and has provided the backdrop for many major feature films and programs including Batman Begins, two James Bond films and Game of Thrones.
The lagoon opens toward the sea and contains a mixture of salt and freshwater, giving it a unique blue-green color. During summer months, you can take amphibian or Zodiac boat rides on the lagoon. You can also hike around the lagoon’s perimeter year-round. Seals lounge atop the icebergs during winter. Additionally, the lagoon supports many species of fish, as well as some of the diverse bird life that makes Iceland so famous.
During the winter, the Lagoon is a popular spot for northern lights hunters since it offers a great setting for beautiful pictures.
The Diamond Beach
Nearby Jokulsarlon is a sand beach named Breidamerkursandur. Visitors often call it ‘The Diamond Beach‘ because the glaciers from Jokulsarlon lie on the sand and sparkle like diamonds.
Make sure you check out the Diamond Beach in addition to the lagoon itself. Being able to touch and even sit (or lie!) on the crystal-like glacier chunks is an unforgettable experience. Plus, it can make for some unique and fun photos.
How to get to Jokulsarlon lagoon?
Jokulsarlon is located 80 km west from Hofn village and 124 km east from Kirkjubaejarklaustur village on Road 1. You will surely see it from the car once you approach it; there is no way you will miss it.
Is there an entrance fee to Jokulsarlon?
As with most other places in Iceland, you do not have to pay to see Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. However, if you feel like getting more up close and personal, we recommend you book a boat ride on the lagoon itself.