Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, south east Iceland

GPS POINTS N64° 3′ 26.260″ W16° 13′ 3.333″

Jokulsarlon Glacier lagoon, south east Iceland

Location: South east Iceland
Directions from Reykjavík to Jökulsárlón on Google maps.
Duration: Cirka 5 hours drive from Reykjavík to Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon

Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon often referred to as the south coast jewel, is located 380 KM east of Reykjavik, near Hofn. Jökulsárlón is a young lagoon, but it started to form after Breiðamerkurjökull (part of Vatnajokull) began to recede after 1933. Vatnajökull was at the shore line of the ocean and dropped icebergs into the ocean. However, it started drifting inland rapidly every year, leaving deep gorges en route, which got filled with melted water and large chunks of ice. This created the magnificent Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon.

The unique position of Jökulsárlón is due to its size and proximity to the sea. During a flood, salt flows and warms the ocean into the glacial lagoon, causing the part of the icebergs in the water to melt faster than the rising one, in contrast to what usually happens in other glacial lagoons. The icebergs gradually lose their balance and turn around in the lagoon to find stability again. It can happen suddenly and should always be kept in mind when sailing on the lagoon. When a Jaki has recently rolled over, the clear part of it, previously submerged, points upwards and is often dark or light blue due to how light refracts when it shines through the almost thick ice. After these objects have been in sunlight for several hours, the surface of the ice begins to expand and explode so that air can pass between them.

Breiðamerkurjökull glacier is now declining rapidly due to global warming. As a result, the lagoon is expanding, but forecasts assume that by the end of the 21st century, the glacier will have retreated so that the Jökulsárlón reservoir will reach the roots of the Esju mountains.

We advise all travelers heading for the south coast of Iceland to visit this magnificent place that is Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Jökulsárlón is easily accessible from Reykjavík, but driving (non-stop) will take you about 5 hours. With all the unique attractions along the way, you definitely will want to make several stops. If you are heading to Jökulsárlón from Reykjavík, follow route one east for 380 KM. You will pass through the towns of Selfoss, Hella, Hvolsvollur, Vik, and Kirkjubæjarklaustur before arriving. All those places have gas stations, shops, and other necessary services for your travels.