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Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: Day Trips and Tours from Reykjavík

Iceland really lives up to its name when it comes to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This vast glacial lake is the place to go for your iceberg fix – getting up close to the action has never been so easy.

Day trips to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavík are a real adventure, with plenty of waterfalls, valleys, and volcanoes to admire along the way.

How to get to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavík?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is located in Iceland’s biggest national park, just south of Vatnajökull, which is the largest glacier in Europe. It takes around 5-6 hours to drive to Jökulsárlón from Reykjavík so you will need an early start.

If you reach Jökulsárlón by car, check out the tours to the Ice Cave starting in Jökulsárlón.

From Reykjavík to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon by car

The route to Jökulsárlón is simple and scenic. Just hop on the southern ring road and head east on Highway 1 until you reach the lagoon. You cannot go wrong if you keep the sea on your right!

You will want to make several stops at all the natural sights along the way so do allow enough time for this.

Guided tour to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavík

For a relaxing and hassle-free day trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a guided tour is the way to go. Pick-ups and drop-offs at Reykjavík hotels are usually included.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavík?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day tours from Reykjavík start early, but the lost sleep will be worth it. You will be collected from your hotel to begin your south coast journey.

Enjoy views of the rich natural landscape as you drive through villages and past snow-capped volcanoes. Scenic stops offer opportunities for photos and a leg stretch.

After 5-6 hours you will arrive at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon for iceberg viewing. Some tours also include a boat ride on the lagoon.

Lunch and dinner stops will be made en route, and you will be dropped back at your hotel in the evening for a well-earned rest.

What kind of tours are available to go to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

There are a few different types of day trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. They usually include hotel pick-ups to make your experience super smooth.

Guided tours to Jökulsárlón Lagoon from Reykjavík

Guided Jökulsárlón tours are the most popular way to visit this remote iceberg lagoon. After being collected early from your hotel, you will journey along the southern coast, stopping at photogenic landmarks on the way.

This is an easy and relaxing trip in a small group setting, with breaks for lunch and dinner in local villages.

Private tours to Jökulsárlón Lagoon from Reykjavík

Private Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day trips are for those looking for a more exclusive experience. Excursions are by luxury vehicle with a dedicated guide and a more flexible schedule.

2-day tours to Jökulsárlón Lagoon from Reykjavík

Extend your Jökulsárlón adventure by staying overnight in a traditional hotel, giving you longer at some of the sights so there is no need to rush. This 2-day guided tour also includes a hike on the Vatnajökull glacier.

3-day tours to Jökulsárlón Lagoon plus Golden Circle from Reykjavík

Visit some of Iceland's top sights on a 3-day tour plus Golden Circle, and enjoy seeing icebergs in the famous lagoon. Take in natural wonders by day and sleep in comfortable local hotels by night on this fun-packed small-group trip.

Private photo tour at Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Capture some incredible memories on your Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon excursion with a half-hour photography session courtesy of an expert local photographer. Perfect for families, honeymooners, and solo travelers, this option can be added onto your Jökulsárlón jaunt.

How much does a tour to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavík cost?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day trips vary in price according to tour length and group size. Some excursions offer overnight options and include visits to other attractions, making this a cost-effective way to explore Iceland’s southern highlights.

All tours include round-trip transfers and national park entrance fees. You will need to buy your own lunch and dinner.

  • 14-hour group day tours to Jökulsárlón from Reykjavík start at $83 per person. If you want to include a boat trip on the lagoon, expect to pay $173.
  • Private Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day trips cost $182 and include a personal guide and exclusive 4x4 Jeep transport.
  • Extend your private day tour by two hours to include a visit to the Dakota plane wreck. This trip costs $327 per person for a group of four.
  • A 2-day trip to the lagoon with hotel accommodation and a glacier hike is $423 for a group tour, or $475 for a private excursion.
  • 3-day Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon excursions that include a Golden Circle tour and ice cave exploration are $746. Hotel accommodation and breakfast are provided.
  • A private photo session with a local photographer at Jökulsárlón is priced at $267 for 30 minutes. This is valid for up to four guests.

What will you see and do at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

The icy landscapes of Jökulsárlón are a thrilling contrast to other hotspots you may have visited like Landmannalaugar or the Silfra Rift. This desolate coastal lagoon offers the chance to see real-life icebergs like never before.

Icebergs

The floating icebergs in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon are a spectacular sight, making you feel like you are fully immersed in the wilderness without any effort. Your cameras will be working overtime here at Iceland’s deepest lake.

The striking blue water of the lagoon laps gently against the bobbing white icebergs, which have tumbled down from the nearby Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. You can follow the small river as it flows from the lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean, depositing large chunks of ice on the beach.

Boat rides

Some Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day trips include a boat ride to see the 1000-year-old icebergs up close. You can choose between an amphibian boat tour and a Zodiac ride. Keep an eye out for seals and birdlife.

Diamond Beach

Have you ever seen icebergs on a beach before? The black sand Diamond Beach takes its name from the glinting blocks of ice that are frequently found dotted about the shoreline.

It is a unique sight to behold, particularly at sunset when the low shafts of yellow light bring the ice to life.

What other sights will you see during the journey along the south coast?

Day trips to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavík are long, so you will stop at several other natural landmarks to break up the journey.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

This is one of Iceland’s best-known waterfalls, plunging dramatically across the mouth of a roadside cave. During summer you can walk behind the cascade and come out the other side!

Skógafoss Waterfall

Majestic Skógafoss is exceptionally wide, making this a great photo stop on your Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day tour. You can see the waterfall from the road, and there is often a rainbow present when the sun is shining.

Intrepid explorers can climb the steep trail to the top for a bird’s-eye view from the observational platform.

Dakota Plane Wreck

Sitting starkly on the beautiful Solheimasandur Beach, this much-photographed plane crashed here in 1973. It takes around an hour to walk to the wreck, so this side-trip is only included on the longer tours.

When is the best time to visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

You can take a day trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon at any time of year, with each season bringing something different to the table.

Summer is the most popular time for Jökulsárlón day tours, but the place never feels crowded. Boat trips operate between April and October so visit during these months to include this on your itinerary.

The winter weather is unpredictable, yet seeing the white landscapes and frozen waterfalls is a magical experience. The Northern Lights are an added bonus when conditions are right.

Travel tips

  • Take warm clothes plus a waterproof jacket and trousers at all times of year as the weather can change in an instant.
  • Sturdy hiking shoes are advised for exploring on the uneven terrain.
  • Book tickets for your Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon day trip from Reykjavík online so you can compare prices for your preferred dates.
  • Remember to take some money to buy lunch and dinner at stops along the way.
  • Charge your camera batteries the night before so you do not run out of juice at the wrong moment.