Travel March 13, 2020
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland How To Visit This Natural Wonder.
There are a few sights around the world that we all want to see one day and as a testament to just how amazing Iceland is, several of them for me all call this island nation home. I had visited most of the sites in Iceland, but until my most recent trip one in particular eluded me –the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. I honestly didn’t know a lot about it before my visit
Visiting the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon was actually a major reason why I decided to drive the south coast of Iceland, and I’m so glad I did. Not only was the lagoon well worth the trek, but the entire coastline is otherworldly, so I thought I’d share some advice and tips on how to best visit the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and what you can actually see and do once you’re in the area.
Where and what is the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
It may be hard to believe, but the lagoon is a relatively new phenomenon. Glaciers fluctuate in size due to prevailing global weather patterns and by the late 19th century, the massive Vatnajökull glacier was one of the largest in the world. As temperatures gradually increased, the glacier retreated and one of the many by-products of this movement was the creation of a large lagoon during the 1930s. I can only imagine what it was like to watch the incredible geological powers at work, but in Iceland that’s really just par for the course. Over the following decades, the lake expanded into the star attraction it is today.
Amphibious boat ride
I have no facts on which to base this claim, but I have to believe taking an amphibious boat tour of the lagoon is by far the most popular way to get out on the water and closer to the icebergs themselves. I say this based on the lower cost of the experience and the frequency of the tours. If you’re not familiar with this unique mode of transportation, they are boats that can also drive on land, picking up guests along the shore and then plunging into the lagoon. The overall excursion stays fairly close to the shoreline and lasts about 40-minutes, taking guests alongside those icebergs closest to land. While I would personally book this tour in advance, many folks have told me that it’s not necessary.
Rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) are lightweight and high-performance boats, the most well known manufacturer of which is Zodiac. They’re found all over the world from Antarctica to the Arctic and are great to use when you need to get around fast and through a variety of different water environments. They’re also just a lot of fun, and as soon as I saw the Zodiac option at Jokulsarlon, I knew which tour I wanted to join. I nearly missed my opportunity though because, unlike the duck-boat tours, the Zodiac tours aren’t run as frequently and they can’t accommodate nearly as many guests, which means advanced booking is essential. The first tour company I looked at was already sold out, but then I found a second company that still had some availability – Ice Lagoon Adventure Tours.