Jökulsarlon Glacier lagoon

Jokulsarlon is a must on any trip to Iceland!

It is the main feature of the Jokulsarlon Tour and can also be toured over two days. Or a long tour.
The Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon is now Iceland’s deepest lake at a depth of 200m. The huge lake holds tonnes of ice that has broken off the Vatnjökull Glacier. It is the only place where ice actually makes it from the glacier to the open sea. The ice on this lake fell as snow in the days of the Sagas. Now the ice retreats at a rate of 100 meters per year.

Ice reflections

National Park

The world famous Glacier lagoon at Jökusarlon, South East Iceland has just been declared a National Park. This is an important decision because it means that the lagoon area will be protected from development. 

Spirits in the Night

Ice cave tours

Jökulsarlon is the best place to connect with glacier guides for ice cave tours.

Sightseeing tours

Here you will find a selection of day tours to Jokulsarlon from our Iceland Tour partners.

Glacier Geology

Jokulsarlon sits on Iceland’s longest fjord. Most of the fjord has been covered with glacier since the mini ice age over the last 8 hundred years. Global warming might just reveal the fjord for the first time in hundreds of years. In the days of the saga, the mighty Vatnjökull was described as 2 smaller glaciers. It was possible to hike between them.

The East side of the Jökulsarlon lagoon with the cafe and boat tours is now a National park. Camping is forbidden there, but nobody seems to bother the camper vans parked there late every evening. Except the aurora hunting photographers who come to Jökulsarlon for fantastic aurora displays.


Jokulsarlon Lagoon blue Ice

 

Create your own Saga on a 2 day or 3 day Jökulsarlon tour.

 

Diamond beach #Iceland

A place to reflect

In the summer the lagoon is the perfect place to spend time. The ice chills the air nicely as the Arctic terns buzz around above your head. Families of seals try to get away from the groups of tourists.
This attraction is the main destination on the Jokulsarlon photo tour.

The shelter of the ice means that perfect reflections are common on the lagoon. They can be easily disturbed by a passing seal of the crashing of one of the bergs as it turns over. The perfect reflection make the glacier lagoon a favourite place for photographers because, in the early morning or late evening, it is nearly impossible to take a bad picture.

The location has been used for many films including James Bond, Batman and Tomb Raider. If Jökulsarlon is good enough for James Bond, it is good enough for you. The only problem is that it is at least a 4.5 hours drive from Reykjavik.

Magic Lagoon

Photo tips:

 

Try to focus on foreground and find a nice piece of ice which will lead into the bigger scene. Experiment with a polariser. Try some long exposures if you can, but be aware that the ice moves. Take a long lens to photograph seals. Telephoto landscapes – try to fill the frame with as many different textures as you can find. Shooting seals needs around 400mm. Adjust your exposure compensation to expose the seals correctly. Adjust your exposure around 1 to 1.5 stops over to correctly expose the ice. Don’t forget to visit the beach! During night shoots, be courteous with your flashlight.

 

Velvet Dawn

Diamond Ice Beach

The beach of Breiðamerkursandur is often littered with Glacier ice that comes out of the the Glacier lagoon. Both Summer and Winter photographers can be rewarded with fabulous chunks of ice on the diamond beach. They are washed by the sea and are often crystal like in their appearance. Photography here can be dangerous and I have seen around 10 DSLRs drowned in the ocean. Mostly because a rogue wave appeared suddenly and they didn’t have an escape route. Many photographers end up with wet feet. It is fine to wear leg protectors to keep your feet dry, But wearing waders here is idiotic. Stories of photographers being airlifted to hospital with both legs crushed by a chunk of ice. Also, those wader wearing photographers get into everyone else’s shot. The idiot in the film “Chasing ice” was wading into the sea at the diamond beach with a piece of rope around his waist. This is stupid and irresponsible. The rope is not going to do anything when a chunk of ice smashes into your legs. I really hope people are able to make safe choices when they chase ice.

Northern Lights

Jökulsarlon is probably the best place to photograph northern lights. We are often rewarded with an Aurora display over Jökulsarlon on a Multi-day tour. The article Night of Ghosts was written about one of these experiences.

Photo tours

These photo tours visit Jökulsarlon

South Iceland Photo Tours

Our guided, multi-day photo tours of South Iceland will give you incredible photo opportunities. The South coast is rich with, glacier ice, towering waterfalls and black sand beaches.
Book online from $2,291 USD

Five day Beautiful South

This photo tour combines the Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsular , South coast & Jökulsarlon photo tours to give a complete South Iceland experience.

Seven day Full Circle

Iceland has a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes and this tour is designed to enhance that variety & capture Iceland’s full diversity in a week long tour around the country.
Prices from $8,847 USD

Three day Jökulsarlon, Vestrahorn & South Coast

Feel the powerful silence of Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon and explore the South Coast & Vesturhorn – one of our best Iceland Photo Tour for Auroras.

6 day Diamonds & Dragons

This multi-day tour will take you around the best of South & West Iceland in six days. Touring from North West to South East with many top photo locations.
Prices from $7,536USD

Winter photo workshops with Tony Prower

5 full photography days
  • South Coast & Vatnjökull region
  • Ice and Aurora photography
  • Regular dates from Oct – March
  • SiXPaXMaX
  • Prices from: $1850 USD
  • Single room supplement: $240 USD
  • Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon

    The Fjallsarlon lagoon is fairly small and so you are close to the glacier shelf. The jagged glacier edge is a place where you might witness ice calving in the Summer months.

    Vatnjökull Glacier

    Roughly translated, Vatnjökull is the “Lake Glacier” and it is not only the biggest glacier in Iceland, but it is Europe’s largest piece of ice that is more than 300 square miles.

    Jökulsárlón & Ice beach

    Jokulsarlon is a large iceberg lake that connects with the North Atlantic and black sand beaches. The Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon is now Iceland’s deepest lake with depths of 200m. The huge lake holds tonnes of ice that has broken off the Vatnjökull Glacier.

    Ice Caves

    The ice caves under the Vatnjökull glacier are the real deal. These are caves sculpted by melt water during the Summer months. The walls and ceiling are carved by glacier rivers.

    Northern lights & Diamond beach
    Northern lights Jokulsarlon ice beach