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Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside

Might the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside actually be probably the most lovely place in Iceland? With building-sized icebergs, shimmering black sand seashores, glittering shards of ice and sleepy seals dotted across the lagoon, I’d say it could be exhausting to say in any other case. We’ll allow you to resolve!

This weblog publish was designed to provide you all of the details concerning the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside but additionally to reply any burning questions you might need too, resembling:

1. What’s the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside?

2. The place is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside?

3. What are the most effective excursions to hitch?

4.  What’s there to do past getting unbelievable footage?

5. Is there a greatest time of day to go to?

6. Is there a greatest time of 12 months to go to?

7. Has local weather change impacted it?

These are simply a number of the questions we get requested when folks begin to get enthusiastic about this distinctive panorama. The phrase ‘footage don’t do it justice’ actually rings true on this lovely a part of Iceland. So learn on to study the whole lot there may be to know concerning the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside.

Let’s soar proper in…nicely not actually. We’ll go away that to Justin Bieber for now.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon & Öræfajökull in winter. Photo by Brendan Bannister. Feature

What’s the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside?

The quick model

This would possibly sound like a straightforward reply, proper?

Dozens of huge blue icebergs, floating round a large glacier lagoon with damaged shards of pristine ice washing up onto the black sand seashores, making a shimmer that resembles diamonds.

You may skip to the following query in case you’re proud of that. Nonetheless, the detailed model under is way extra fascinating in my view.

The detailed model

There are over 400 named glaciers in Iceland. Lots of them have their very own glacier lagoons. So why is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside so particular compared? And why does Hollywood find it irresistible a lot? It might’t simply be a coincidence that Batman Begins, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, A View to A Kill, Die one other Day and naturally, Sport of Thrones, selected this a part of the nation to movie.

Nicely firstly, it is without doubt one of the largest lagoons within the nation with a floor space of 18 sq. kilometres and a most depth of 284m. That’s the equal of three Statue of Liberties, base to torch, one on prime of the opposite. Loads of room for icebergs to bump round in.

In truth, it’s so massive that even on our aptly named 2 Day Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tour we solely handle to discover the south facet of the lagoon. And belief me, we spend loads of time there. Particularly throughout the summer time. Although to be truthful, that’s the place a lot of the icebergs congregate.

The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside has one distinctive trait that holds it above the remaining. 

Mainly, a glacier lagoon is shaped when a glacier has retreated (melted greater than it moved) and leaves behind a tarn (glacier footprint full of water). The remaining glacier (on this case, Breiðamerkurjökull) will nonetheless feed the lagoon with calving ice because it melts and strikes all year long. Relying on how usually the glacier calves will decide how ‘busy’ the lagoon can be with ice.

Within the case of Breiðamerkurjökull which feeds Jökulsárlón, we see calving virtually each single day. Up to now, so regular.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon | Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave Discovery 2 Day Tour | Hidden Iceland

Landlocked lagoon vs calving by the ocean

When a glacier lagoon is landlocked, like on the Sólheimajökull glacier the place we do our shorter glacier hikes (on personal excursions), the ice that calves off the entrance of the glacier will usually develop into static. It is because there may be little or no motion within the stagnant lagoon. This in flip permits grime, air pollution and a ‘solar crust’ to kind on prime of the icebergs. After a couple of months, in the event that they haven’t melted away utterly, they’ll barely appear like icebergs in any respect.

The walk to Solheimajökull Glacier | Hidden Iceland | Photo by Norris Niman

On the flip facet, when the sting of a glacier is calving into the ocean, like in Greenland or Antarctica, there may be a whole lot of motion and turbulence. The icebergs crash off of one another and flip over. It is a spectacular sight in case you’re fortunate sufficient to see it proper after it calves. Nonetheless, the icebergs inevitably float off into the ocean quickly after.

The very best of each worlds

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon & Diamond Seaside get the most effective of each worlds. It acts like a landlocked lagoon, permitting uncountable icebergs to construct up. However it’s also dictated by the tides of the ocean, that means the icebergs stream and crash and break and swirl, preserving them pristine and blue for for much longer.

It is because there’s a slim river on the base of the lagoon that’s deep sufficient to permit sea water out and in all through the day. This creates a tidal stream that sucks the icebergs in direction of the mouth of the glacier because the tide goes out, the place they’ll inevitably get caught, after which pushes them again into the lagoon because the tide rises. This fixed dance is one thing to behold.

That is the explanation why Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is so lovely in comparison with the others, the fixed motion.

However wait, what concerning the Diamond Seaside? 

Nicely, the Diamond Seaside, in easy phrases, is the impact that happens when an iceberg is sufficiently small to squeeze via the river and out to sea. Fortunately for us, the waves are normally there to clean these mini icebergs up onto the black sand seaside (Breiðamerkursandur). When sufficient ice washes onto the shore it makes the black sand shimmer like diamonds, therefore the identify. In winter, that is the primary locations we go because the solar is rising on our 2 day Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon & ice cave tour.

Diamond Beach (west) near to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon by Scott Drummond, Hidden Iceland.

The place is the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon & Diamond Seaside?

Okay, I believe I’ve satisfied you to go by now. So how do I get there?

Sadly, it’s truly fairly far-off from Reykjavik at round 5 hours drive every means. That’s throughout good street and climate situations thoughts you. I’d counsel including a couple of hours onto that in autumn and winter simply to be protected.

For those who observe the number one ring street alongside the south coast you’ll ultimately find yourself within the south east of Iceland the place there are only a few folks, tiny villages and unspoiled terrain. Fortunately, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is correct subsequent to this street. In truth, there’s bridge that was constructed within the Sixties that goes over a small a part of it.

It’s situated on the south facet of Iceland’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Web site, Vatnajökull Nationwide Park, which covers round 14% of the complete nation. This space is principally dominated by a metropolis sized ice cap (8,100 sq km) and sub-glacial volcanoes. It’s such a powerful terrain that UNESCO truly prompt it replicates situations of early Earth and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

Vatnajökull Glacier Svínafellsjökull | Hidden Iceland | Photo Norris Niman | Featured

What are the most effective excursions to hitch?

To begin with, probably the most frequent query we are likely to get is, “Can I’m going there from Reykjavik?” However usually what they actually imply is, “Can I get there from Reykjavik and again in someday?”

A fast google search will affirm that it’s certainly doable. It’s completely not advisable although. In good situations you’ll be there and again in 11 hours. It doesn’t actually offer you a lot time for the rest although. Contemplating there are ice caves, glaciers, waterfalls, black sand seashores and deep gorges I’d say it’s a reasonably good concept to provide your self no less than 2 days to get to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside.

Small group excursions

We’re slightly biased after all however I like to recommend our 2 Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tour with glacier hike between April and November or our 2 day Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon & ice cave tour from November to March, which mainly simply swaps out the glacier hike for a crystal clear blue ice cave.

Truthfully, I implore you. A someday journey model of that is going to be rushed at greatest. Disappointing at worst.

Personal excursions

Except you plan to go across the island like on our 6+ day Grand Circle tour (summer time solely) then Jökulsárlón is definitely fairly a pleasant finish level in your travels eastward. There are after all numerous wonderful sights past this however in actuality if you’re solely capable of be a part of us for 3, 4, 5 and even 6 days in Iceland then we wouldn’t advocate going a lot additional earlier than returning west and trying out different nice spots. There are lot of personal tour choices that embrace the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Seaside so I’m going to easily record them under and allow you to examine the opposite actions to choose your favorite.

  1. Important South Iceland – 3 Day Tour (summer time) – Features a glacier hike

  2. Important South Iceland – 3 Day Tour (winter) – Swaps in a blue ice cave expertise

  3. UNESCO World Heritage Web site – 4 Day Tour (summer time) – might be amended for winter

  4. Iceland Should See – 6 Day Tour (summer time) – Covers virtually all of our favorite spots

  5. Iceland Should See – 6 Day Tour (winter) – Northern Lights develop into the main target right here

Self-Drive Itinerary

In case you are intending on driving your self then merely fill out our contact kind and we’ll make sure that to incorporate it as a part of your itinerary.

What’s there to do past getting unbelievable footage?

This query has a a lot larger reply than I’ll maybe present right here. The very best factor to do is to learn up on our personal tour pages to see what actions we embrace.

However in brief:

  1. Exploring blue ice caves behind the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with our pals at Native Information of Vatnajökull. We be a part of them for all the excursions that embrace ice caves with Hidden Iceland.

  2. Glacier Hikes on the Falljökull glacier. We run our personal excursions right here and have compiled a useful Glacier Hike Information in case you fancy a learn.

  3. Attempting to find the Northern Lights. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is listed as our no 1 favorite place to seek for the Aurora in Iceland.

  4. Strolling to the Svartifoss Waterfall. It is a peaceable nature stroll with nice views, culminating in getting up shut and private to a waterfall that’s pouring between basalt columns. That is nice for these much less within the adventurous ice excursions, which might be added to non-public excursions.

  5. Boat excursions. When you’ve got the time you may add on an exhilarating velocity boat tour of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and even the neighbouring Fjallsárlón. We advocate the small boats as they will get nearer to the ice safely.

Is there a greatest time of day?

Nothing beats dawn on the Diamond Seaside. The low mild rises over the open ocean that pierces via the clear blocks of ice which have been newly marooned on the black sand is breath-taking. The orange glow and refracting mild is one thing you may’t actually describe with seeing it for your self.

Sunset over Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon | Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 day tour | Hidden Iceland | Photo by Jonny Livorti

As for the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, each dawn and sundown are magical. Because the solar falls behind the mountains, the entire place erupts in a pink hue that doesn’t fairly make sense. Add within the brilliant blues of the icebergs within the lagoon and also you’ll swear your eyes are taking part in methods on you.

Is there a greatest time of 12 months to come back?

To begin with, there’s no ‘dangerous’ time of 12 months to go to this excellent spectacle however there are a couple of advantages to every season.

  1. In summer time, with its elevated daylight means you might be normally capable of watch the sundown over the lagoon on day 1 then watch it rise once more on day 2. At different instances of the 12 months this can be a little trickier with restricted day mild.

  2. In autumn and winter, the Northern Lights might make an look whenever you cease within the night. How nice would that be to see the Northern Lights hovering over the blue icebergs one night?

  3. Spring time is kind of best for dawn pictures. The solar comes up on the best time of the day so that you can get the right image. In summer time this is perhaps at 4am. In winter it is perhaps 11am. Spring time is greatest at round 8 or 9.

    Northern Lights over Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon | Winter Lights photo tour with Tom Archer & Wahyu Mahendra | Hidden Iceland | Photo by Tom Archer

Has local weather change impacted it?

In a phrase, sure!

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon actually didn’t exist earlier than the Nineteen Thirties. On account of a naturally retreating glacier the lagoon grew for round 40 years. This was thought-about regular in Iceland. In spite of everything, some glaciers advance and a few retreat. It’s the conventional life cycle of the glaciers.

Nonetheless, within the Seventies the melting charge began to extend. And in reality, the glacier lagoon has quadrupled in measurement since then with much more melting occurring within the final 15 to twenty years than we ever imagined. In the intervening time the lagoon is rising (or the glacier is melting) by round 100m per 12 months.

Within the subsequent few many years the glacier is anticipated to retreat additional and additional again. As this occurs, it is going to proceed to calve off icebergs for us to splendour at. Nonetheless, as soon as the glacier retreats too far again, up into the mountains, that calving might nicely cease altogether.

Greatest to come back to Iceland sooner reasonably than later to catch this pure phenomenon in individual.

If we’ve suitably impressed you to come back to Iceland you may click on on any of the hyperlinks we included all through this publish. Or you may fill in our Personal Tour kind in case you’re nonetheless undecided and we can assist you propose the right journey if you end up prepared. Alternatively, simply drop us an e-mail at

See you quickly!

Ryan Connolly | Marketing Manager, Guide, Co - Owner | Hidden Iceland

Hello, I’m Ryan Connolly; Co-Founder and Advertising and marketing Supervisor of Hidden Iceland.

I’ve guided in a number of nations around the globe and stepped foot on all 7 continents. My ardour for the outside, science, nature, glaciers and volcanoes has led me to check and write about Iceland. I’ve been interviewed in ForbesConde Nast Traveller and Journey Pulse on numerous topics.



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