Loving Iceland – Jokulsarlon Lagoon experience


There are many things to love about Iceland and if icebergs and tumbling glaciers ‘float your boat’, then head for the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon in south-east Iceland and be prepared to be amazed.


Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Photograph: GRACIE

Located 379 kilometers east of Reykjavik you can do a long day trip or choose a more leisurely overnight stay in nearby Skaftafell.   The lagoon offers a wonderfully unstructured experience.


Map of Iceland highlighting Reykjavik and Jokulsarlon

Formed from the melted glacial water of Breioamerkurjokull, the outlet of the larger Vatnajokull glacier, the lagoon supports icebergs as they break away from the tongue of the glacier. A ready supply is always available.


Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon featuring Breioamerkurjokull, the outlet of the larger Vatnajokull glacier Photograph: GRACIE

The icebergs are carried by currents to the mouth of the lagoon, from where they eventually spill out to sea. Many become stranded on the black sandy beach.


Iceberg on black volcanic sand Photograph GRACIE

The effect of black sand alternating with pristine ice is stunning. They glisten in the sun like immense diamonds!


Iceberg on black volcanic sand Photograph GRACIE

It’s a good idea to book a boat tour in advance as it can get very busy. There’s a choice between amphibian or zodiac boats (recommended) that are operated by various companies such as www.jokulsarlon.is.


All aboard the amphibian craft to tour the lagoon Photograph: GRACIE

This is a ‘must do’ if you want to get up close and personal to the icebergs and even taste a 1000 shard of ice.


Tasting 1,000 year old ice – Photograph GRACIE

Most of the icebergs are milky white, while others are bright blue and translucent caused by the interaction of light and ice crystals. Some even invert while you’re watching them. This is such a unique experience and not to be missed.


Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon featuring Vatnajokull Glacier Photograph: GRACIE

You need to be prepared to travel a good distance from Reykjavik to visit this unique and ever changing jewel, but there are wonderful sights on route and the plentiful rewards on arrival making it more than worth the time and effort.


Vatnajokull Glacier – Iceland Photograph: GRACIE