Last Updated on 25.08.2023 by Iliyan
Jökulsárlón is the most famous glacier lagoon in Iceland. It is one of the most popular and beautiful places to visit in the southeastern part of the country. Travelling on road № 1 (Ring Road) there is no way of missing it, because it is practically located on the main road between Skaftafell and Höfn. Here visitors can be amazed by the how boundless and uniquely beautiful this natural wonder is.
The Icelandic word Jökulsárlón actually means “glacial river lagoon”. The Jökulsárlón glacier lake formed due to the melting of the Exit Glacier Breiðamerkurjökull, which is part of the biggest glacier in Europe Vatnajökull. Up until a few centuries ago the ice glacier reached all the way to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and everything was covered in ice. Gradually, thanks to global warming, the lake formed due to the ice melting. Nowadays it covers 18 square kilometres and it is the deepest one in Iceland going 248 metres deep. Every year this lagoon gets bigger and bigger, as a number of icebergs break from the Vatnajökull Glacier and go into the sea during summer months.
The moment we arrived I was literally struck by this unreal authentic natural beauty. The view was mind blowing with crystal clear waters, with patches of floating icebergs. They all have different shapes, sized and colors. Some were white, others black, due to volcanic explosions during the years, others were crystal blue.
Some travel agencies offer sailing on the lake, but we took a pass. The cheaper option is with an amphibious boat, but you have the option of a rigid inflatable boat Zodiac, which is significantly more expansive, but will get you as close as possible to the glacier.
When icebergs cross the lagoon they head to the sea or to the nearest coast. Due to the way they glitter against the black sand this part is called Diamond Beach. This beach is almost as famous as the lagoon. It is located about 500 – 600 meters away from the ice lagoon.