Jökulsárlon, Iceland

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lake
Boat tour
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lake
Floating icebergs
A seal sunbathing

Jökulsárlon at a Glance

Jökulsárlon is a large glacial lake situated in the southeast of Iceland, west of Höfn and on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. It is a haven for nature lovers and photographers and a real feast for the eyes. At the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, large blocks of ice regularly break off, leaving the lake full of blue icebergs that float luminously and peacefully on the surface of the water. Little wonder, therefore, that the literal translation of the lake’s name is “glacial river lagoon.”  

Visitors to Jökulsárlon are sure to enjoy the picturesque scenery here and there is a good reason why so many make the journey. Those seeking adventure can take a boat ride and become completely immersed into this awesome and unforgettable Arctic environment. There are many guided boat tours available where tourists can learn about the lagoon’s history and how it came to be formed while they glide through the surreal surroundings and navigate between the icebergs. A trip by boat or amphibian vehicle will take you as close as is safe to the edge of the glacier and as close to the icebergs as the conditions of the day permit. Watch out for the seals that have made this lake their home and you may even get to taste some thousand year old ice as you explore the mystery and secrets of the ice lagoon. And, undoubtedly, if you take a trip here you will hear local stories about how the area featured in no less than four Hollywood movies, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and scenes from Batman and James Bond film were also shot here. 

Jökulsárlón developed into a lake when the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier began receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The melting of the glacier has caused it to grow at varying rates over time. At more than 248 meters (814 feet), Jökulsárlón recently became Iceland’s deepest lake.