When planning our honeymoon, narrowing down a list of things to do was challenging. However, based on the pictures I’d seen, I knew that Jökulsárlón, Iceland HAD to be there!

A lot of people overlook this attraction in exchange for other popular sights in Iceland such as the Golden Circle and all of the amazing waterfalls

Don’t get me wrong, those places are incredible and worth every moment! But do yourself a favor, and don’t stop your journey in Vík. 

Keep driving Eastward – there’s so much more to discover! 

Mark my words, you won’t regret it. 😄

If you’re unsure where to start, get comfy – I’ll guide you through everything about visiting this magnificent place, from when to visit, exciting things to do in the area, and where to stay and dine. 

Make sure your Iceland itinerary includes Jökulsárlón and remember: Iceland will never disappoint you for driving a little further. 😊

Let’s get into it!


What Makes Jökulsárlón So Special?

Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in Iceland | Iceland with a View

Jökulsárlón is truly a sight for sore eyes! 😍

There’s nothing quite like watching the sight of the icebergs that have broken off from the Vatnajökull glacier, Europe’s largest glacier, just floating on by in the lagoon. 

Each iceberg is like its own work of art!  Some gleam a brilliant blue in the sunlight, others are pure, snow white, and many are streaked with black volcanic ash from past eruptions, creating striking patterns across their surfaces. 

Watching the icebergs make their way through the lagoon is a mesmerizing, almost meditative experience. After drifting through the lagoon waters, the icebergs eventually journey out to the Atlantic Ocean, so you can admire them from the nearby Diamond Beach as well.

Trust me, the whole scene at Jökulsárlón with the still lagoon waters filled with icebergs and the massive glacier in the background is something you’ve gotta see to believe.

It’ll give you a whole new appreciation for just how powerful nature can be. So don’t even think about skipping it on your Iceland adventure – you’ll be missing out big time!

Where is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon can be found in South Iceland in Vatnajökull National Park and 29 miles (47 km) south of Vatnajökull glacier, which happens to be the largest in Europe.

Huge blocks of ice break off Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and the icebergs float in the lagoon.

Looking at the map, you’ll find it between the towns of Vík and Höfn.

It’s a must-see stop, especially if you’re already planning on touring the Ring Road.

➡️ READ: How To Travel The Ring Road In 7 Days

How Far is Jökulsárlón from Reykjavík? 

Picture of Jökulsárlón Iceland | Iceland with a View

The distance from the capital is 236 miles / 380 km. It can take around 5 hours to drive there, but I suggest allocating extra time because the drive is a scenic one, and you’ll want to stop along the way and soak up the views!

So, is it possible to do a Jökulsárlón day trip from Reykjavík? There are so many things to see, and you don’t want to be rushed to squeeze it all in a day. 

Unless you’re taking an organized tour, I suggest staying overnight so you’re not rushed to see everything you want in the area.

If you’re touring the South Coast, take your notebook out because here are the places you need to see👇

➡️ READ: South Coast Of Iceland Travel Guide: 8 Stops You Can’t Miss!

Jökulsárlón Weather

Summers in this region are usually windy, cold, and wet with average temperatures between 52°F (11°C) and 47°F (8°C).

In winter you can expect snow and extreme winds – of course, this is Iceland! 😉

Temperatures average around 41°F (5°C)  but can dip down to 30°F (-1°C) and 37°F (3°C) in the coldest month.

The moral of the story? Make sure to pack warm, and waterproof to keep you dry and protected from all kinds of weather.

💡Not sure how to pack for Iceland?

I’ve got a downloadable guide for you with seasonal packing lists including weather averages, a cheat sheet explaining how to layer up, and more! 

Download my FREE Ultimate Iceland Packing Guide here!👇 

Best Time of Year to Visit Jökulsárlón

While you can visit the area year-round, the best time to experience the full beauty of the glacier lagoon is from May to October. After that, fewer pieces break off the glacier, so there are fewer icebergs in the lagoon.

If you want to see the full beauty of the crystal beach in Iceland a.k.a. Diamond Beach, that would be from November to March. 

This is when more of the icebergs will stay washed up on the beach.

Wonder what it’s like to visit the glacier lagoon without ANY tourists? Well, thanks to the world shutting down in 2020 we got to find out – check out the vlog here👇

Jökulsárlón Parking & Restrooms

It can get really busy here since this spectacular gem attracts crowds. Fortunately, there’s a spacious parking area available at the lagoon. 

Parking fees differ according to the size of your vehicle – and parking passes are valid for the entire day. 

  • Vehicles with up to five seats: Fees are 1000 ISK (approx 7.3 USD or 6.6 EUR)
  • Vehicles with up to nine seats: Will cost 1300 ISK (approx 9.5 USD or 8.6 EUR) 

Pro Tip: If you pay for parking at both Jökulsárlón and Skaftafell using the Parka app, and you buy parking for both on the same day, you can get a 50% discount.

You’ll also find toilets at Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón.

Restaurants Near Jökulsárlón

As this is such a popular place to visit, there are places where you can grab a bite to eat at the lagoon as well as the surrounding towns. 

Food trucks: You’ll find various food trucks at Jökulsárlón, serving everything from soup and seafood to meat and vegan options. 

Jökulsárlón cafe: The Glacier Lagoon Cafe serves coffee, soup, sandwiches, hot chocolate – all the yummy things you imagine having in an icy setting. They’re open year-round and they also offer boat tours

Jökulsárlón Accommodation

If you’re looking for places to stay in Jökulsárlón Iceland, you’ll find several accommodation options near the lagoon.

Hotels near Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is conveniently located between Jökulsárlón Glacier and Skaftafell. The rooms are modern and there’s a restaurant on site.

Hotel Smyrlabjorg is about 20 miles (33km) away from the glacier lagoon and offers countryside accommodation with a restaurant and bar. 

Camping near Jökulsárlón: One of the best ways to experience wild Iceland is by camping. The closest campsite is ​​Svinafell Campground and there are also great campsite options available at Skaftafell Camping and the town of Höfn.

Planning on camping in Iceland? Check out this post.👇

➡️ READ: Iceland Camping 101: How To Plan The Perfect Icelandic Adventure

Jökulsárlón: Things To Do 

This attraction is incredibly popular, so make sure to plan your itinerary carefully and allow enough time to truly appreciate all the sights.

Diamond Beach, Iceland

Picture of Diamond Beach in Jökulsárlón, Iceland | Iceland with a View

This black sand beach is across the street, so you can’t go to the glacier and not stop there!

Despite the separate parking lot, you can easily walk under the bridge to access the beach. 

As the icebergs break off the main glacier, they float around in the lagoon and eventually down the river and out to sea, but some pieces stay on the beach. 

There are certain times of the year when the ice chunks are bigger and you’ll find more of them on the beach, like in the spring.

There are also two shorelines for the ice to wash up on so sometimes you get lucky with a lot of ice.

Pro Tip: Please watch out for sneaker waves, the last thing you want is for your tripod and camera to be swept away or for you to get soaking wet! 

The contrast of the black sand with the ice pieces makes for amazing photos.

As the sun is blasting through the pieces of ice, the ice chunks are super bright – it’s stunning!

Iceland is renowned for its incredible photo opportunities. Check out this blog post to find out more about capturing unforgettable moments.👇

➡️ READ: Photography in Iceland: Gear & Tips on How to Capture Stunning Photos


Enjoy the abundant wildlife, birds, and seals at Fjallsárlón. This is a less crowded and smaller alternative to Jökulsárlón lagoon and is only a 15-minute drive away. Even though the icebergs are less impressive, you can get closer to and a better view of the glacier behind the lagoon. 

Jökulsárlón Hiking

This is a great area for hiking and you’ll find a 9-mile (15 km) trail between Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón that’ll take roughly 5 hours.

For a shorter hike, consider the easy circular route where you’ll see the glacier lagoon and Breiðamerkursandur from Helguhóll.


Picture of the Walk Behind Seljalandsfoss in Iceland | Iceland with a View

If you love waterfalls as much as I do, then the land of fire and ice is the perfect destination! 

Be sure to check out Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls when you’re on your way to the lagoon. If you’re driving from Vík you’ll also see Systrafoss and Foss á Síðu along the way.

Check out this blog post on the top 10 waterfalls in Iceland. Psst… a couple of the ones I just mentioned are on the list!👇

➡️ READ: Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland: Discover The Top 10 Breathtaking Waterfalls In Iceland

Charming Towns

Iceland is famous for its beautiful little towns and villages. If you’re traveling this route, here are two to consider visiting.

Höfn: Only about an hour away from Jökulsárlón, Höfn is not only picturesque but there are a lot of things to do. From soaking in the geothermal pools, museums, proximity to major sights in the area, and restaurants renowned for their incredible seafood, all in all, a great place to visit.

Vík: I’m a sucker for small towns, and one of my favorites in all of Iceland is Vík. It looks like something right out of a storybook. If you are staying a few nights touring the area, Vík is only 2 and a half hours away from Jökulsárlón.

Picture of the Famous Church of Vík in Iceland | Iceland with a View

Find out more about this magical little place right here.👇

➡️ READ: Vík, Iceland: Your Ultimate Guide to Iceland’s Most Charming Town

Jökulsárlón Tours

Are you keen on exploring the area with a tour? You’ll find everything from kayaking to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tours. Let’s take a look!

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Boat Tours

Exploring the glacier lagoon by boat is a wonderful way to soak in the beauty of the ice formations up close.

Let’s take a look at some of the  Jökulsárlón excursions available.

Amphibian boat tours on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon fit more people and are slightly less expensive. 

You even get to eat a piece of the glacier – that’s a 1,000-year-old piece of ice – now that’s pretty cool!

Tour: Amphibian Boat Tour

The Jökulsárlón Zodiac boat tour is with a smaller boat that can get closer to the icebergs and even goes right up to the glacier – definitely worth the upgrade! 

The tour was very informative, and I would recommend it if you’ve never taken a guided tour about glaciers.

Tours operate from April to October and depart at scheduled times throughout the day. However, it’s important to book a tour in advance if you are traveling in peak tourist season between June-September. 

Tour: Zodiac Tour

South Coast attractions and Jökulsárlón: An excursion that’ll cover a lot of what the area has to offer, including boat tours, waterfalls, visits to small towns, and major sights along the way. You can opt for the tour below.👇 

Tour: Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon & Boat Tour

Jökulsárlón Ice Cave Tour

Picture of the Crystal Blue Ice Cave in Jökulsárlón Iceland | Iceland with a View

If you’ve never seen it, the crystal blue Ice cave near Jökulsárlón is one of the rarest natural phenomena in the world. 

With the minimum age being 6 years old, this is a great tour to do with the family!

Tour: Crystal Blue Ice Cave | Super Jeep from Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón Kayak Tour

If you’ve never kayaked before, fear not! This tour is a great option if this is your first time. Plus, you’ll get unmatched views of the glacier and surrounding wildlife!

Tour: Glacier Lagoon Kayaking

Guidebooks and Maps

If planning your trip to Iceland has left you feeling confused with information overload or unsure of how much you can fit in a day – I totally get it.

I’ve made it my mission to make planning your trip as stress-free as possible because I’ve been where you are, and I wish I had this resource back then.👇

My Iceland Guidebooks + Maps is the shortcut you need in your planning. It’s got everything you need to know for your trip – no fluff!

In it, you’ll get a digital map with over 500 pinned locations where you’ll discover hidden gems, must-see attractions that you CAN’T miss while in Iceland. 

But wait, there’s more! This map makes finding important places like grocery stores, clinics, restrooms, and playgrounds a breeze.

Get access to my VIP Facebook community and worksheets to help you plan out your itinerary. 

You’ll also receive exclusive discounts!

Avoid travel mistakes that will cost you time and money and get the guide today.

And while you’re at it…

Please add Jökulsárlón to your trip because it’s all kinds of magical – and watch it edge its way to the top of the places you’ve visited in Iceland! 

Happy Planning,

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