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Frequently Asked Questions

About Jokulsarlon Tours

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is found along the South Coast of Iceland and is often regarded as 'the Crown Jewel' of the country. This dazzling lagoon sees large icebergs floating peacefully toward the ocean, having broken away from the adjacent glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull. Five minutes from the lagoon, one can find the Diamond Beach. Both attractions are popular stops on sightseeing routes along the South Coast.

1. When is the best time to visit Jokulsarlon?

Jökulsárlón is a prime attraction throughout the year, offering an entirely different experience with each passing season. 

2. What activities can I partake in around Jokulsarlon?

In winter, Jökulsárlón is the departure point of ice cave tours, and in summer, you can join a boat tour which takes you sailing on the glacier lagoon itself.

3. How long does it take to drive to Jokulsarlon from Reykjavik?

Approximately five hours. Driving to the lagoon from the capital and back will thus take approximately ten hours. 

4. What is the Diamond Beach?

The Diamond Beach is the stretch of coastline south of Jökulsárlón, nicknamed after the glistening diamond-like icebergs that perpetually wash on the shore. Its official name is Breiðamerkursandur, and can be walked to from the lagoon within five minutes.

5. What accommodation is available in Jokulsarlon?

There are many hotels, hostels and campsites surrounding Jökulsárlón.

6. Can I sail on the Jokulsarlon?

Amphibious boat tours run on the glacier lagoon from May to October, and zodiac boat tours run throughout October.

7. What should I wear for a visit to Jokulsarlon?

Since Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon, the area can be cold. We, therefore, recommend wearing warm clothes, a hat, a scarf and gloves. 

8. Is Jokulsarlon crowded?

Yes, especially during the summer months. There is, however, plenty of space in which to spread yourself out.

9. Can I reach Jokulsarlon in a normal car or do I need a 4WD?

Jökulsárlón is on Route 1, and can thus be reached in a normal car.

10. How was Jokulsarlon formed?

Jökulsárlón began forming in 1935 as the glacier Breiðamerkurjökull retreated and melt water filled the space it left behind. The lagoon is growing in size every year as the glacier continues to retreat.

11. Do any animals live in the lagoon?

Many playful seals live in Jökulsárlón and in the waters off the Diamond Beach. Arctic terns and skuas also nest in the area, and are known to be very protective of their eggs, often dive-bombing visitors who come too close. 

Customer reviews

Read reviews by travellers from across the world

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This tour is so wonderful! I was so lucky with our small group and made some amazing new friends! Our guide Sol was so nice! You could see that he enjoyed being a tourist with us in his beautiful country! I've been on other trips in Iceland but I would say this one is a must see. I was amazed by all the scenery and had a wow moment at every location!

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Jewels of the South Coast | Minibus Day Tour to Jökulsárlón

5 average rating | 16 reviews

Jewels of the South Coast | Minibus Day Tour to Jökulsárlón

I did this tour with Siggi who is a 100% Troll but lives amongst humans. The tour was wonderful and every 15 minutes there is something magnificent to see and Siggi told us stories of his TrollTribe and hidden people and kept us energized with music and humour all day. I felt safe and comfortable, was a little scared at somepoints, I am not use to walking in nature but Siggi took great care of me and made sure I did not miss a thing. Thank you Siggi Troll and Troll Expeditions for the best day of 2018 so far.

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Day Tour to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

4.6 average rating | 104 reviews

Day Tour to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

This tour was the best tour that I have done in Iceland. Altough you have to get up early it is worth it to get out of bed early. The pick up near the guesthouse has been on time and everthing was well organised. I am not sure if we had luck with the weather for said our prayers well, but the weather has been very good, the sun came out for the entire day and it was quite warm. Albert who was our tourguide has been friendly and charming all the way. He provided us with loads of information and there hasn't been a dull moment. The tour is very long, but there are several bus stops where you can use the facilities and buy a drink or a snack. A lunchbreak and a stop for dinner was planned as well. My personal hightlight was the glacier lagoon. I have never been so close to a glacier and icebergs. The additional booked boat trip was defenitly worth the money. My second hightlight was walking behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. I have enjoyed the shower :-) Time flew by and the 14 hours were over too soon. I could have stayed on that tour for several more hours. Iceland is such a beautfiful and fascinating country. Booking a tour is a very stressless and good way to get around. Thank you Albert for being such a great tour guide. I can highly recommend booking this tour. I am sure that I will come back to Iceland, maybe next time in winter. This tour operator will be my first choice for another tour.

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6 Day Summer Package with Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

4.9 average rating | 15 reviews

6 Day Summer Package with Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

We had an awesome time in Iceland thanks to the coordination of tours and accommodation provided by Guide to Iceland. The Troll Expedition Golden Circle tour guided by Hugi was phenomenal; as was the 2 day Southern Coast tour guided by Lisa. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula tour on April 25, 2018 was led by a guide who did not share much information nor stop at all of the places described in the itinerary. Of course the Blue Lagoon was amazing, and Reykjavík was a delightful city to explore. I would highly recommend this adventure to anyone!

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2 Day Tour to Jokulsarlon | Glacier Hike, Waterfalls & Black Beach

4.9 average rating | 27 reviews

2 Day Tour to Jokulsarlon | Glacier Hike, Waterfalls & Black Beach

We were so lucky to have Lu and Davide as our guides!! The best trip we have had in Iceland!! The guides are responsible, humorous, considerate, and willing to share so much interesting knowledge with us. The schedule is very good, not too tight and so we have enough time for every spots. Amazing lanscape and amazing tour <3

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We had a wonderful time in Iceland. This was our first time in Iceland and having your itinerary was extremely helpful. The itinerary was very detailed and informative, the co-ordinates/directions were perfect and we found all the sites without any difficulty. The car was great with a very quick and easy pick up and drop off. We loved the Blue Lagoon which was very relaxing and a great way to start the trip. We also explored the baths at Fontana spa which was very relaxing too and not as crowded as Blue Lagoon. We ended up sticking to the itinerary for most of the days and managed to see most of the beautiful sites with enough time to spare and relax too. The hotels were all lovely with included breakfast; we loved the Foss hotel glacier Lagoon and the Little Geysir Hotel. The tours we signed up for (Zodiac boat tour and Ice cave tour) were both fantastic. I hope to visit Iceland again!

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6 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Jokulsarlon, Ice Cave & Diamond Beach

4.8 average rating | 23 reviews

6 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Jokulsarlon, Ice Cave & Diamond Beach

Choosing a self-drive tour of Iceland may seem a bit too adventurous for some people - but really it's the best and only way to explore this amazing country. We had an unforgettable time driving around the south coast and seeing all the sights. The car (we went for a comfort 4x4) was fantastic, pickup and drop off from the rental company was smooth, the accommodation along the route was well placed and had everything we could have asked for. The Guide to Iceland team - especially Francisco - were quick to respond to any questions that we had and were very helpful during the booking process. The feeling of ongoing support was really nice to have once we arrived, and the itinerary was perfect for how many days we were in Iceland. It's great to have their local expertise, but obviously with a self drive tour you can go where you want, when you want to. It was the perfect balance. The only problem: We didn't book a long enough trip! There is so much to see and do, so we will have to return very soon and will definitely book with Guide to Iceland again.

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Overall, it was a fantastic 3 day tour . Although the weather is changeable, our tour guide Heimir rearrange the order of the stops flexibly to make sure we could join both glacier hiking , ice cave and other spots. To be honest, I felt a little disappointed about the glacier hiking due to the time we staying on the glacier. The time was quite short but I thought is was disrpted by the bad weather. The storm came right away when we arrived the parking lot. As for ice cave, we were really lucky to see a quite big and beautiful one . And we had enough time to take pictures in the cave and there were only our group. We finished these two activities on the second day because the weather was awful on the third day. Besides, we were unlucky that it wasn’t the right time to see the dimonds on the beach ,which I eager to see, however; our gide Heimir took us to another place th see the dimonds near the glacier . Dimonds there were really spectacular and was one of my favorite spots in Iceland . To conclude, I felt thankful for the all arrangement of our guide , or we might miss those activities and amazing sceneries if I we went by ourselves . I definitely satisfy this 3 day tour!

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Our tour was in early March 2018. We were lucky with the weather and it was beautiful every day. The tour was easy to setup up just note the communications might not be immediate depending on time zone (I am in US). It did not affect any of the travel. I recommend at your hotel to ask where the tour buses pick up passengers. Ours was not clear and our guide Sveinbjorn had to search us out. Sveinbjorn was a fantastic guide. Was a safe driver and could definitely relax and watch the scenery without worry. He takes pride in his country and enjoys talking about it with a passion. He made sure were on time and had it set where we arrived earlier at places then other tour groups which made it easy for us to get around. If the place was dangerous he made sure the group knew (multiple times). What I liked is I learned more about Iceland from him then any other resource. Now more about the trip. Each day we were on the road by 8 local time so the day starts early. All the hotels were nice and there were some brand new ones. A travel note is once you are at a hotel expect to be there and no other exploring since they are isolated. I personally was nervous about hiking the glacier but our guide (did not remember his name) kept me at ease and it was a great experience. The ice caves were fantastic and a lot of it was due to our guide Faye. She kept us entertained and played Icelandic rock music for us. All the places we stopped were interesting and we were glad we did the extended tours to the east side of the island (away from most of the tourists). I think my only frustrating thing was the end of the tour from Akureyri back to Reykjavík. We did not spend any time in Akureyri because our plane left about 11:00am local time. Might have been nice to seen more of Akureyri. And once we arrived back in Reykjavík we assumed there would be transportation since the tour asked where we were staying once we got back in Reykjavík but we had to find it ourselves. Plenty of taxis just be aware. I recommend a new visitor to the island to use a tour company and I think you will enjoy your stay

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It was a pleasure experience. My tour was the last day of the available season. The original ice cave that we were planning to go got flooded; however, new location got setup right away. Lucky that we checked our email. Tour guide was funny, friendly and professional. He told us a lot of information about the ice cave, environment and also some movie filming stories such as GOT and interstella. And we got some times to take photos.

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 17 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

We joined the 8-day tour with our guide Svein in March, hunting for amazing Aurora and beautiful landscapes. In the end, I left my camera on the minibus. Svein was so kind to send it back to me. I was really appreciate it.

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I really want to take the time to write a proper review for this awesome tour. I just got back home to the USA last night, and am off again tomorrow on a business trip to TX, so this has to be brief right now! It's not difficult to give this tour 5 stars ! Our guide, Olafur Valtyr Rognvaldsson (better and more easily known as OLI) was awesome! He kept us entertained throughout the tour, and was a font of all knowledge relating to Iceland and its heritage. He was also our driver (we did not have both a driver and a guide, Oli did double duty) and we felt very safe with him driving through the snow and rain. I was glad I was not driving in that! Our minibus seated 20, and there were 18 of us on the tour, so it was a little snug in the bus, but not too bad. (The worst part was the couple who kept eating dried fish - the smell of very fishy dried fish in a warm bus was a little nauseating to say the least!) Oli was pretty good at keeping us on schedule, and was very flexible in moving things around so that we were able to see all the major sites in reasonably good weather. We did the Ice Cave Walk on the second day rather than the third day to take advantage of the fact that it was the end of the season and it would be closing on our last day. We also went to a different glacier from the original one on our schedule because the snow was coming down thick and fast on the one we were supposed to climb and it would not have been a pleasant trek. We had an awesome guide for the glacier walk - he made sure we were all safe, and gave us lots of information about the glacier. We also had the opportunity to sample nature's 'champagne' - 700yr old crystal clear ice! Big G (our guide) climbed up a ways to hack out some clean and clear ice for us to try. We were glad of it at that point, as the climb up the glacier left us all hot and sweaty, despite the cool weather! All of the areas we visited were outstanding. The waterfalls, the beaches, the national parks were spectacular and we had plenty of time at each to enjoy the sites. The Geyser was interesting ... I expected something like Old Faithful, but it was a much tamer version! Still fun, though! One of the most fun parts of the trip was when Oli took us to a 'secret' waterfall - we waded through a stream and climbed over rocks to get through an opening and when we entered through the gap in the rocks, there was a fantastic waterfall hidden from the road. Really cool way to end our tour! Oli also took us to see the Icelandic horses, which wasn't technically a part of the tour, but was a testament to his flexibility and him wanting us to have a great experience. He also pointed out a great place to see the Aurora, but unfortunately, we had cloud both nights and so we were not able to view that natural phenomenon. Although we were there at the beginning of April, it was still pretty chilly in the mornings and evenings, and when the wind blew it was bitingly cold! I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the two hotels we stayed in. Both were very clean, and while the rooms were small, modern and minimalist, they were very comfortable. Be warned, though, that the food in the hotels is VERY expensive! We were a captive audience at the first hotel and dinner was $US44 a person - a small bbq chicken breast, three boiled potatoes and a scoop of boiled vegetables!! Tasty, but extortionately priced for what really could only be described as Diner food. The second hotel, in Hofn, was expensive too, but the food was stellar and much better value than the first hotel. Regardless, both hotels were very nice and food in Iceland is very expensive everywhere. The breakfasts in both hotels were very nice and you could certainly eat a substantial amount to keep you going throughout the day. I would, without a shadow of doubt, recommend this tour if you want to experience Iceland at its best. Our guide, Oli, was excellent and from what I am reading from other reviews, so are all the other guides used by Aurora Hunters. But, of course, we think we got the best one!!! Thanks to Oli (Olafur Valtyr Rognvaldsson - I sure hope I spelled that correctly!) we had a fantastic trip.

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7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

4.8 average rating | 92 reviews

7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

Just came back from the tour and everything was great. The whole trip was well organised and we were also very lucky with the weather .... I'm sorry to say it is of great importance. We started early and I strongly recommend to do that to beat the biggest crowds. Do double check the roads while you have Wifi as the GPS took us on a closed road and we ended up doing a little 100 km detour... We had the comfort package and all hotels were great except the last one. First five nights were all at nice clean hotels but the last one in Reykjavik was at the Fosshotel Baron, great location but not very updated or clean. Definitely not a comfort hotel but more of a budget. As many others noted food is expensive, even if you eat hamburgers and pizza. I would absolutely recommend to book with Guid to Iceland as this tour really gets yo to see the major attractions. We drove 1600 km in 5 days so get ready to drive :-)

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

4.9 average rating | 18 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

We completed this tour in March 2018 and our tour guide was Hildigunnur(Hildi). The whole tour was an amazing experience from start to finish. Our wonderful guide Hildi was a great ambassador for her country and ensured that we not only enjoyed the trip but also received a great insight into the history, culture and geography of Iceland. Nothing was too much trouble for her as she would help us with scheduled or unscheduled stops for photos, trying local produce and understand in local folklore. The trip was well planned with convenient stops and lovely accommodation. The atmosphere which Hildi created was one of comfort and relaxation while enjoying some unbelievable scenery. We enjoyed not having to rush which we would have done if we did day tours from Reykjavik. All in all a great tour with an excellent, caring and fun tour guide.

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It was an amazing experience during the iceland tour, we also saw the spectacular northernlight. The itinerary was well organized, very clear and accordance with what we expected, especially for us that lived in tropical country. Thanks to *guide to iceland*

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Visiting Jokulsarlon

Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon is a stunning attraction that is always a favourite of visitors and locals. The lagoon is made up of a mixture of fresh water and sea water and iconic for the giant icebergs that dominate the landscape. Standing at up to 30-metres tall, the icebergs are cast in contrasting milky whites and fantastic electric icy blues.

Breiðamerkurjökull glacier crawls forward with intimidating force and weight, collecting in its margins glacial deposits of black sand and gravel which make striking patterns on the ice and subsequent icebergs. As the glacier retreats, it continuously creates icebergs of over 1000-years old ice that are often patterned by ash from historical eruptions. No two iceberg are the same, and you could spend hours finding fascinating shapes with no end to photographic opportunities. However silly this sounds, please do not try to stand on the icebergs as it is extremely dangerous.

The lake started taking form around 1935 when the glacier began to recede due to warming temperatures and is now the deepest in Iceland at 248 m (814 ft). Over the last 15-years, the lake is said to have doubled in size, and it is predicted that as the glacier continues to recede, it will leave a dramatic fjord behind. Sadly, warming global temperatures and the shrinking of glaciers are especially visible and Iceland, providing only further impetus to catch these icy wonders while we can.

Jökulsárlón is conveniently located on the Highway 1 road between Skaftafell nature reserve and the picturesque town of Höfn. If you are driving the ring-road around Iceland, this is a stop you do not want to miss and a destination you will want to include if you are planning a visit to the South Coast. Many tour operators offer guided trips to the lagoon if you are not driving yourself, most often combined with other exciting attractions such as the waterfalls of South Iceland. If departing from Reykjavík in the winter, do consider how much you time you have, because although a fantastic destination for the northern lights, you may not want to drive all the way back to the capital in icy conditions in the dark.

You can enjoy this wonder of Iceland from the shore or if you would like to get up close and personal with these ancient icy giants you can take a zodiac boat or amphibious boat tour guided by an expert. Around the corner is the legendary Diamond Beach where the icebergs sometimes wash up, glistening in the light in stark contrast to the black sandy beach they upon which they rest.

The golden hours of sunset and sunrise are exceptional times to witness this ethereal lake, especially if you are passionate about photography. Whatever time you visit, you can spend hours mesmerised by the luminous ice, and you could return several times and always be guaranteed a unique scene.

Jökulsárlón is appropriate for any age and budget and is a guaranteed unforgettable experience leaving you in no doubt of why it is called the Crown Jewel of Iceland.

Jökulsárlón has been used as a Hollywood location for such movies as James Bond films A View to Kill and Die Another Day as well as Lara Croft Tomb Raider and has featured in popular US television show, The Amazing Race. It is easy to understand why as the serene procession of ice is hypnotising and the plentiful wildlife of seals and birds only adds to the wonder.

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