Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon – known for calving icebergs

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Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of the most spectacularly beautiful sights in the world. It is the slow-moving glacier that adorns the scenery of the East Icelandic Landscape and is known for its calving icebergs. With its towering ice walls and giant glaciers, it is an experience that one won’t soon forget.

This majestic lagoon is a popular tourist attraction for those who come to explore this stunning corner of the world. With its remarkable views, Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon is the perfect place to experience the dramatic beauty of the Icelandic Glaciers. From its azure waters to the majestic snow-capped Öræfi volcano in the background, it is truly a magical experience any time of year.

Fjalsarlon glacier lagoon
Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon on a summer night.

Additionally, it is close to Jökulsárlón which is another popular destination for travelers looking to explore the wonders of Iceland. Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a must-see when visiting East Iceland. With its tranquil atmosphere, stunning landscape, and stunning calving icebergs, it truly is a sight to behold. Come explore this majestic lagoon and marvel at its splendor.

The glacier lagoon is quite young, having only been discovered in the early 1970s. The glacier has been slowly receding ever since then, carving a majestic lagoon of varying shades of blue that boasts striking blue icebergs. It is beloved by visitors and photographers alike, who come to marvel at its stunning beauty.

The natural beauty of Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon is stunning, but it has also been captured on film. Several movies have been filmed with the glacier lagoon as their backdrop, including James Bond’s Die Another Day, Tomb Raider, and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Some of the scenes north of the wall in Game of Thrones were filmed here.

It is easy to see why Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon is such a popular destination for travelers. Its unique blend of beauty and history make it a joy to visit, a gem within East Iceland that is sure to be remembered. Whether you take a boat tour, or just admire the gorgeous view, Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon is sure to be a highlight of any trip to this part of the world!

Öræfi Volcano

Above the Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon sits Iceland’s largest (Europe’s second largest) volcano Öræfi. The caldera can’t be seen because the top of the mountain is quite flat. This land mass includes Hvannadalshnjúkur, the highest peak in Iceland, which can be seen from the Skaftafell side. The glacier has to come down some steep slopes before it reaches the lagoon. There are a few rivers after the lagoon, that take the melt water to the North Atlantic ocean.


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Exploring the Surrounding Area of Fjallsárlón

Exploring the Surrounding Area of Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon

While visiting the lagoon, make sure to explore the surroundings to get the most out of your trip. The moraine terrain provides an ideal opportunity for hikers to take in the spectacular views. The vast glaciers and snow-capped peaks stretch as far as the eye can see. The winding paths leading up to the top of the moraines offer an unforgettable experience.

For those looking for a unique experience, why not try a glacier safari? Fjallsárlón is home to some of the most impressive glaciers in Europe and the perfect place for a thrilling adventure. Spend a few hours exploring the crevasses, caves and ridges of a glacier. With the help of a tour guide, you can traverse the glacier while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding area.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, take a kayak or boat ride around the lagoon. Here, you can spot a wide variety of wildlife, including seals, arctic terns and puffins. Admire the majestic icebergs drifting in the waters and take in the beauty of the lagoon. Kayaking around the lagoon is the best way to explore the area and find out more about this icy paradise.

No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, exploring the area around Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon is sure to provide a memorable adventure. From strenuous hikes up the mountain to tranquil kayaking trips, there’s something for everyone here. Make sure to take full advantage of all this incredible area has to offer.

Sunburst over Fjallsarlon lagoon.
Small lagoon close to the glacier shelf.

Why Icebergs Calve at Fjallsárlón

Why do Icebergs Calve at Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon?

The primary reason is due to the unique movement of the Vatnajökull glacier. The glacier moves southward due to the pressure of its own weight and the pressure of glacial melt water. The weight and pressure of the glacier is so substantial that it causes icebergs to break from the glacier. As the icebergs move through the water, they create a rocky path for other icebergs to follow, which is known as an ice stream.

The harsh conditions of East Iceland are also a contributing factor to why icebergs calve off the glacier. The fierce wind carries large amounts of snow, which accumulates on the glacier surface causing it to thicken. The thickened glacier then puts pressure on certain areas of the glacier forcing them to break off. The combination of the pressure and the extreme temperatures accelerates the breaking process.

Icebergs can also calve off of the glacier due to the size of the glaciers. As the glacier melts, the size of the glacier becomes reduced. This creates pockets of thin ice which are more vulnerable to breaking off. As the ice breaks off, it creates an iceberg which is pushed by the wind and suspended in the water for an amount of time.

The incredible process of iceberg calving is a major attraction at Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon in East Iceland. The combination of the pressure from the glacier, the extreme climate and the size of the glacier contribute to its unique landscape. Visitors can witness the majestic calving process and observe the beauty of the long-formed icebergs moving through the glacial lagoon.


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Hotels Near Fjallsárlón



Hotels Near Jökulsárlón

Use the sponsored links below to find and book hotels close to the Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoons My strong recommendation is Hotel Hali.

Hotel Map

Photo Location

Fjallsárlón works very well in both Winter and Summer.  It is easier to see the glacier when the mountains are free of snow, but a light dusting of snow can make a dynamic scene.   Fjallsárlón tends to have less icebergs in the Winter because the calving slows, but the icebergs can remain enormous for some time.   Access around the lagoon is easier in freezing conditions.  The rivers become small streams and the ground hardens.  Sometimes there are smaller icebergs on the banks of the Glacier Lagoon.

Recommended Lenses

There are good opportunities for all focal lengths.  If there are icebergs close to the shore, then a wide angle can be useful to capture the depth and textures of the ice.  There are many icebergs further from the shore that can be brought closer with a telephoto.  A long telephoto lens can pick out details on the glacier ice-shelf.  I often visit the lagoon with just a 50mm prime and combine shapes and texture of the icebergs with the glacier background.

The surrounding area is also quite scenic.  The land is a mixture of Terminal Moraine and Kettle Holes.  In the Autumn the green mossy landscape is rich with the red of the Blueberry leaves.  It is worth exploring the landscape away from the lagoon for a variety of unique foreground texture and colours.

Fjallsarlon Blueberries
Blueberries with Moss and lichen Rock. Fjallsárlón in the background.

Panorama Photos

Fjallsárlón is a great place for Panorama photography.  I recommend shooting from a high point and using 50mm in vertical orientation.  Just follow the glacier shelf and mountain range.

Fjallsárlón Panorama Photo
Panorama Photo taken at Fjallsárlón Glacer Lagoon

Glacier Auroras

The Glacier Lagoon works well for Northern Lights, if you can find it in the dark.  Sometimes, Fjallsárlón is a better alternative to Jökulsárlón.  If Jökulsárlón is windy, then is could be still at Fjallsárlón and vice-versa.   

Being so close to the ice shelf means that the Northern horizon is blocked, so it is not ideal for weak northern lights.  If you plan to photograph Auroras at Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, be sure to check it out during the day.  This way you can establish the safer footpaths down to the lagoon.

Fjallsárlón Northern Lights
Northern Lights at Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon.


This is a glacier landscape that is well worth checking out. Fjallsárlón has a few tracks leading into it from the #1 ring road. The main access track has a large sign post and in the Summer you will see the Zodiac Tours advertised as well.

This Location can be the windiest place in Iceland. The wind can turn a bus over.  If Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon is very calm, it has some of the best ice reflections.

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