Jokulsarlon is a must on any trip to Iceland! It is the main feature of the Jokulsarlon Tour and can also be toured over two days. Or a long tour. The Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon is now Iceland’s deepest lake at a depth of 200m. The huge lake holds tonnes of ice that has broken off the Vatnjökull Glacier. It is the only place where ice actually makes it from the glacier to the open sea. The ice on this lake fell as snow in the days of the Sagas. Now the ice retreats at a rate of 100 meters per year.

National Park

The world famous Glacier lagoon at Jökusarlon, South East Iceland has just been declared a National Park. This is an important decision because it means that the lagoon area will be protected from development. Despite global warming, the ice here will remain because of these laws of protection.


Jokulsarlon sits on Iceland’s longest fjord. Most of the fjord has been covered with glacier since the mini ice age over the last 8 hundred years. Global warming might just reveal the fjord for the first time in hundreds of years. In the days of the saga, the mighty Vatnjökull was described as 2 smaller glaciers. It was possible to hike between them.

The East side of the Jökulsarlon lagoon with the cafe and boat tours is now a National park. Camping is forbidden there, but nobody seems to bother the camper vans parked there late every evening. Except the aurora hunting photographers who come to Jökulsarlon for fantastic aurora displays.

Auroras on Jökulsarlon

Create your own Saga on a 2 day or 3 day Jökulsarlon tour.

Jokulsarlon Lagoon blue Ice
Diamond beach #Iceland

In the summer the lagoon is the perfect place to spend time. The ice chills the air nicely as the Arctic terns buzz around above your head. Families of seals try to get away from the groups of tourists.
This attraction is the main destination on the Jokulsarlon photo tour.


The shelter of the ice means that perfect reflections are common on the lagoon. They can be easily disturbed by a passing seal of the crashing of one of the bergs as it turns over. The perfect reflection make the glacier lagoon a favourite place for photographers because, in the early morning or late evening, it is nearly impossible to take a bad picture.

The location has been used for many films including James Bond, Batman and Tomb Raider. If Jökulsarlon is good enough for James Bond, it is good enough for you. The only problem is that it is at least a 4.5 hours drive from Reykjavik.

Jökulsarlon ice beach

Jökulsarlon ice beach

Diamond Beach

The beach of Breiðamerkursandur is often littered with Glacier ice that comes out of the the Glacier lagoon. Both Summer and Winter photographers can be rewarded with fabulous chunks of ice on the diamond beach. They are washed by the sea and are often crystal like in their appearance. Photography here can be dangerous and I have seen around 10 DSLRs drowned in the ocean. Mostly because a rogue wave appeared suddenly and they didn’t have an escape route. Many photographers end up with wet feet. It is fine to wear leg protectors to keep your feet dry, But wearing waders here is idiotic. Stories of photographers being airlifted to hospital with both legs crushed by a chunk of ice. Also, those wader wearing photographers get into everyone else’s shot. The idiot in the film “Chasing ice” was wading into the sea at the diamond beach with a piece of rope around his waist. This is stupid and irresponsible. The rope is not going to do anything when a chunk of ice smashes into your legs. I really hope people are able to make safe choices when they chase ice.

Photo tips:

Try to focus on foreground and find a nice piece of ice which will lead into the bigger scene. Experiment with a polariser. Try some long exposures if you can, but be aware that the ice moves. Take a long lens to photograph seals. Telephoto landscapes – try to fill the frame with as many different textures as you can find. Shooting seals needs around 400mm. Adjust your exposure compensation to expose the seals correctly. Adjust your exposure around 1 to 1.5 stops over to correctly expose the ice. Don’t forget to visit the beach! During night shoots, be courteous with your flashlight.

Iceland car hire

Quality car rental in Iceland

Iceland camper van rental

Iceland camper rental

Reasonably priced car hire Iceland

Reasonably priced car hire

Northern Lights

Jökulsarlon is probably the best place to photograph northern lights. We are often rewarded with an Aurora display over Jökulsarlon on a Multi-day tour. The article Night of Ghosts was written about one of these experiences.

Photo tours

These photo tours visit Jökulsarlon

Two day South Coast & Jökulsarlon

This 2 day Iceland Photo Tour includes Jökulsarlon and the South coast – with chance for Auroras on the glacier lagoon and sunrise on the ice beach.

Four day Geysirs & Glaciers

This four day Photo Tour of the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir, South coast, Jökulsárlón and Höfn offer a huge range of photo opportunities.

Five day Beautiful South

This photo tour combines the Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsular , South coast & Jökulsarlon photo tours to give a complete South Iceland experience.

6 day Diamonds & Dragons

This multi-day tour will take you around the best of South & West Iceland in six days. Touring from North West to South East with many top photo locations.

Seven day Full Circle

Iceland has a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes and this tour is designed to enhance that variety & capture Iceland’s full diversity.

Jökulsárlón – the glacial lagoon

Our Jökulsarlon photo tour takes you along the entire south coast of Iceland. Fantastic waterfalls, huge glaciers and an amazing glacial lagoon await the photographer.

Ice cave tours

Jökulsarlon is the best place to connect with glacier guides for professional ice cave tours.

Book your ice cave tour directly from Local suppliers.

Ice cave tours

Sightseeing tours

Below, you will find a selection of Jökulsarlon sightseeing tours from our partners. They will take you to the glacier lagoon and back in a single day.

Jökulsarlon private day tours

These tours are with a private vehicle with pick-up from Reykjavik. They will take you to Jökulsarlon and the diamond beach with your own schedule.

Jökulsarlon diamond beach This is a taxi tour, stopping at Reykjavik – Seljalandsfoss & Skogarfoss waterfalls – Reynisfjara(black beach) – Vik – Kirkjubaejarklaustur – Jokulsarlon – Reykjavik

You can select a small vehicle for 1 – 3 passengers or a larger vehicle for 4 – 8 passengers

  • Tour duration: 12-14 hours
  • Can be booked until last minute

  • Jökulsarlon bus tours

    These tours are bus tours with pick-up from Reykjavik. They will take you to Jökulsarlon and the diamond beach in a single day with a few quick stops enroute.

    Jökulsarlon Diamond Beach #Iceland

    Jökulsarlon Glacier lagoon

    Our sightseeing trip includes Glaciers, waterfalls and icebergs on the diamond beach at the top nature location in Iceland. This day tour explores the South Coast to Vik and then heads East to the largest glacier in Iceland. We spend quality time at Jökulsarlon & the Diamond Beach. Then take a guided boat tour around the floating icebergs.

    Food is available at the Jökulsarlon center (not included). On the return trip we make visit the waterfalls, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

    Jokulsarlon diamond beach

    Diamond Beach

    This guided sightseeing bus tour visits the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The villages of Kirkjubæjarklaustur & Vik. We explore the glacier tongue at Svínafellsjökull straight out of the Game of Thrones. Eventually we arrive at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the “Diamond” beach. After a couple of hours at the glacier lagoon, we head back to Reykjavik.  The canyon at Fjadrargljufur depends on conditions but could be possible.


    • Tour duration: 14 hours

    Because of reduced daylight from November to February, a lot of the driving to and from the Glacier lagoon will be in darkness, but the highlight of this tour – Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon will be visited during daylight.

    Sightseeing tour includes
    Pick-up & drop-off in Reykjavik

    You need to bring
    Warm outdoor clothes, waterproofs and sturdy shoes. You can bring your own refreshments or buy them during the trip.

    Please note
    This tour requires a minimum number 4 persons. Gateway to Iceland reserves the right to change or cancel any tour due to weather or the safety of our passengers.

    Jökulsarlon Diamond Beach #Iceland

    Jökulsarlon Glacier lagoon

    This tour includes waterfalls, icebergs and the famous diamond beach at Iceland’s most number one nature location. This sightseeing trip takes us along the South Coast and East to Iceland’s largest glacier. We spend some time at the Glacier lagoon & visit the Diamond Beach.

    Food is available at the Jökulsarlon center (not included). On the return drive we make stops at the amazing Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

    Jökulsarlon Lagoon #Iceland

    Jökulsarlon Glacier lagoon

    You can’t miss this natural wonder of Iceland with huge, ancient icebergs floating in the lagoon.Jökulsarlon gives you a feeling of amazing peace as the thousand year old glacier melts into the lagoon and slowly makes its voyage to the ocean.

    The lagoon is the deepest lake in Iceland and it is less than 100 years old. We stay for one and a half hours at the lagoon, you could add a 30-minute boat tour.

    Tour duration: 07:30 – 22:00

    Activities in the Jökulsarlon area


    Ice cave tours from Jökulsarlon


    Jökulsarlon Ice & aurora - the cheapest way to get there - #Iceland

    Jökulsarlon Ice lagoon by bus

    Jökulsarlon glacier beach - the cheapest way to get there - #Iceland

    Diamond beach - Jökulsarlon by Bus #Iceland

    Take the bus - Ice on the beach - #Iceland

    Diamond ice beach - #Iceland

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