Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

One of the prime stops along Iceland’s Ring Road, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, is the place to get close to glacial ice. Ride the amphibious boats out into the lagoon for the best experience.

Iceland just does not disappoint! Even in mid-summer, we were expecting snow, ice, fog, and chilly weather. We had it, but we also walked around in just a long-sleeved t-shirt, enjoying the sun on our backs as we hiked up to the moraine of glaciers. However, the day that really felt like we were in Iceland was the day that we visited the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Icebergs leaving Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Turning off the road, immediately you see a river with icebergs floating down it and eventually out to sea. What’s better than that? It was also the first place we stopped that was overrun with tourists. The parking lot was packed full of overlanders, trucks, and cars. The tiny coffee shop with only a couple of toilets had us waiting in line no less than ten minutes each.

It was all work it, though. We walked down to the water’s edge and there were plenty of icebergs, glowing blue at the bottom and a thick milk white towards the top, maybe with a little soot on top of that. The sky was cloudy and a bit foreboding, so it added to the otherworldliness of the scene.

Icebergs in Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

We marveled at the shaped, the jags, crags, and indentations that a thousand years of erosion and water will do to an iceberg. We stopped to pick up smaller pieces and heard the crackle of the ice.

One of the famous yellow amphibious boats waiting to load passengers at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Iceberg Envy from our Amphibious Boats

Unlike the Blue Lagoon, this is not a place to get in the water, so we were drawn to these yellow bus-boats that discharged a group of tourists about every ten minutes. We had to do it. Look, there’s no water at all at the loading zone. We drove on dry river bed before we plopped right into the lagoon.

Riding aboard the amphibious boat on the way to the lagoon.

Doesn’t this look like fun? We had about 20 people on board, and our guide relaxing up front kept telling us to sit down, because we were all so excited!

Lone boater skims across the water in front of icebergs in the lagoon.

Finally we are floating in the relatively still water. There were no waves until one of the guides went whipping past us in his rubber skiff. Admittedly I was a little perturbed, because I liked the still water for my shots, but found out he was checking not only the safety of the route but also picking us up a large piece of thousand year ice to suck on.

Our guide has fished out a nice chunk of ice in Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Our French guide was a little put out on the size of the ice cube she was given, but dutifully chopped it into bite-sized pieces for us all to suck on. It was very refreshing.

View of the glacier that feeds into the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

We rode around the lagoon, and I was a little miffed that we didn’t get closer to the glacier. That was for the more expensive and faster boats, so they could get away if the ice starts to calve.

The amphibious boat heads down the gravel road to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

The short boat ride only lasted about 30 minutes, but we really loved it. If we go back, we’ll take the more expensive and longer ride, but this was a great intro. Plus, as we returned it was starting to rain, so we timed it perfectly.

Icebergs heading out to sea under the bridge at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Who can beat seeing all these icebergs floating in the river. It was pretty amazing!

Have you been to Iceland? The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon? What were your impressions?

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

46 thoughts on “Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon”

    1. Marta, Iceland can be very expensive, but I did write a post on how to save money traveling the country. We absolutely loved it and thought it was worth every penny!

  1. Phoebe @ Lou Messugo

    Corinne, following on from my comment on your “hot and steamy” Iceland, this was another place where the weather was so foul that for the only time I was actually fed up with it. It really didn’t do justice to the gorgeous colours I knew were out there in the ice and the horizontal rain made it very hard to photograph! I tried and got the camera so wet that it didn’t work for hours afterwards and I thought it was permanently broken. It was also the one place where my teenage son had a strop and refused to get out of the car for yet another soaking! He said he could see enough from the car which I didn’t agree with, but as teens go he’s not so bad and it was his only sulk in the whole time we were in Iceland! Because of the weather we didn’t take either tour and said we’d try to go back, but the rain only got worse so there was no point at all in returning. Luckily for me I’d seen the lake a few times before when I was a teenager but it was a big shame for the rest of my family.

    1. Phoebe, How disappointing! I don’t know that it would have been so great in the rain…we just barely missed it, and the clouds were great. (You gotta love a teenager!)

  2. Wow beautiful! Iceland scares me a lottle because I hate the cold weather, but I’ve been seeing many pictures of such a natural beauty, that I think it will be on my bucket list for 2015, especially now that the WOW flights make it much cheaper to get there ;)

  3. “Iceland just does not disappoint!”
    The more I see about this country, the more I want to visit. Bookmarking this post to check again when I get the chance to really go (:

    Great pictures, btw!

  4. I visited Iceland and Jökulsárlón in September this year and it is the second most impressive glacier I’ve seen (first one is Perito Moreno)…been to a few more in NZ, France and Patagonia :)

  5. Hi Corrine! I love these photos so much! I’ve never been to Iceland nor have I ever seen an iceberg! This is truly a fascinating experience, I feel like I’m there looking at the photos!

  6. I would love to get out in a boat with those big “ice cubes”. Halifax has a harbor that never freezes. However, we have been known to get what we call the “blue ice”. In my memory it has only happened once, but it was awesome to see the harbour filled with these large pieces of blue ice, although a bit disconcerting for the ferry, and other such boats. There was one place you could go to get really close to the “cubes”, which of course I did. That was awesome! Long before digital cameras, and if the photos still exist they are buried somewhere in the few boxes that I have in storage at my Dads. Next time I go home I must rescue whatever photos that remain!

    1. Nancie, I didn’t know that about Halifax. I would love to see it. I think it is such a beautiful little city, and to have icebergs floating by would be pretty magical. I hope you find some great photos.

  7. That’s it, I want a yellow bus-boat, Corinne! I’m sending an revised list to Santa Claus. I would initially be perturbed at the smooth as glass water being disrupted too but that’s cool that he was part of the tour. How fun on tasting the ice! A thousand years old….that would have been amazing :)

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