2 day Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon Tour with Glacier Hike| Small Group
Experience the full force of Icelandic nature on this excursion of Iceland's south coast. Visit Iceland's most iconic waterfalls and a raven black beach; travel through immense sand expanses and rugged lava fields before reaching the sky-blue Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where countless titanic icebergs tranquilly float towards the open sea.
This tour is tailored to adventure-seekers who want travel in small groups and immerse themselves in Iceland's beautiful vistas and thrilling landscapes, ultimately allowing you to stand on top of a glacier and enjoy the spectacular views for which Iceland is famous.
Your journey begins in Reykjavík, where you will board a mini-bus heading to the south coast. Travelling in a small group will give you an experience that the big buses simply can't match; you’ll travel with comfort and ease, accompanied by an English speaking guide who will share with you his vast knowledge of the land.
You'll journey through the desolate black desert sands of Sólheimasandur and past the Skaftafell Nature Preserve; you'll take in the dramatic panoramic views at Dyrhólaey lighthouse, where you'll see the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the north, the Reynisdrangar lava columns in the east and the coastline in the west; you’ll visit the iconic waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, and see blue-and-white icebergs floating peacefully on the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Iceland is known as ‘the land of fire and ice’, and you will get a chance to see why as you journey onto Sólheimajökull glacier, where jet-black ash from volcanic eruptions taints the white ice cap. An expert guide will take you through the icy plains and to the glacier's ashy peaks, where you'll have plenty of time to experience the mysterious silence of these vast, empty surroundings.
Lace up your boots and get ready for an amazing time traversing Iceland’s south coast. Visit iconic attractions and hike a mighty glacier on this thrilling two-day tour. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 2 days
- Activities: Glacier Hiking, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Ice Caving
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum age: 8 years.
- Languages: English, Icelandic
- Highlights: Jökulsárlón,
Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s most famous glacier lagoon. Conveniently located in the southeast by Route 1, about halfway between the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Höfn, it is a popular stop for those travelling along the South Coast or around the circular ring road of the country.
It stands out, however, due to the fact that it also fills with icebergs breaking from the glacier, some of which tower several stories high.
These icebergs, other than their scale, are notable for their colouration. Although they are, as expected, largely white, most are also dyed electric blue in part, with black streaks of ash from eruptions centuries past.
When the icebergs finally make it across the lagoon, they either drift out to sea or wash up on the nearby shore. Because of the way they glisten against the black sands of Breiðamerkursandur, this area has been nicknamed ‘the Diamond Beach’.
In spite of being a rather recent formation, Jökulsárlón is the deepest lake in the country, with depths reaching 248 metres. With a surface area of 18 square kilometres, it is also growing to be one of the largest.
Jökulsárlón has not been around since Iceland’s settlement; it only formed around 1935. This was due to rapidly rising temperatures in the country from the turn of the twentieth century; since 1920, Breiðamerkurjökull has been shrinking at a dramatic rate, and the lagoon has begun to fill its space.
Today, the expansion of Jökulsárlón is accelerating. As recently as 1975, it was just 8 square kilometres, and now that size has more than doubled.
In the relatively near future, it is expected that the lagoon will continue to grow until it becomes a large, deep fjord.
Though a dark omen for Iceland’s glaciers and ice caps in general, the retreat of Breiðamerkurjökull has resulted in an incredibly beautiful, if temporary, site. This has not been overlooked by Hollywood.
Jökulsárlón has been featured in the James Bond films A View to Kill in 1985 and Die Another Day in 2002, 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and 2005’s Batman Begins.
In 2017, Jökulsárlón was enveloped into the Vatnajökull National Park, thus it is now fully protected by Icelandic law.
Because of the wealth of herring and capelin that the tides bring into the lagoon, Jökulsárlón is somewhat of a hot-spot for Iceland’s wildlife.
In summer, it is a nesting site for Arctic Terns; stay well away from this area, as these birds are notorious for the fierceness with which they protect their eggs, dive-bombing the heads of any they see as a threat. Skuas also nest on the lake’s shores in this season.
Seals can be reliably spotted here throughout the year, swimming amongst or else hauling out on the icebergs. Jökulsárlón provides them with a safe haven to rest and socialise, especially considering the waters of southeast Iceland are renowned for their population of orcas.Skógafoss,
Skógafoss is one of the country’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters (82 ft) and a drop of 60 meters (197 ft). Due to the amount of spray the cascade produces, a rainbow is present any time the sun emerges from behind the clouds.
Located on the Skógá river, this mighty cascade is clearly visible from Route 1 and is an excellent place to stop and stretch the legs while travelling Iceland’s South Coast. The river below Skógafoss holds a large char and salmon population and is thus a favourite spot for fishermen in the summer.
The land underneath the waterfall is very flat, allowing visitors to walk right up to the wall of water. Keep in mind, however, that this will get you drenched. Skógafoss can also be viewed from the top as a steep staircase leads to an observational platform above the cascade.
Skógafoss is located near the small village of Skógar, south of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano. There you’ll find the Skógasafn folk museum, an open-air museum with both old wooden houses and turf houses, as well as a regional museum with various artefacts from this area.
A part of the Skógasafn Regional Museum is the Museum of Transportation, which showcases the history and evolution of transportation, communication and technologies in Iceland. There, you can see how this nation evolved from the age of the working horse to the digital communications of the 21st century.
The Skógasafn museum also includes a café and a museum shop, and in the village of Skógar, you will find both a hotel and a restaurant.
At the eastern side of Skógafoss, you will find one of Iceland’s most famed hiking routes; the Fimmvörðuháls pass. The 22 km (14 mi) trail takes you along Skógá river, between two glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull, before ending in the beautiful Þórsmörk valley.
A gold ring is on display at the Skógasafn museum. According to legend, the ring is from a chest that was owned by Þrasi Þórólfsson, one of the first Viking settlers in the area. Folklore states that before his death in 900 AD, Þrasi buried a chest filled with gold in a cave behind Skógafoss waterfall.
Many attempts were made to retrieve the chest after Þrasi’s death, and years later, locals managed to grasp a ring on the side of the chest. As they pulled, the ring broke off, and the treasure was lost forever. The ring was then given to the local church before it made its way to the museum.Seljalandsfoss,
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.Dyrhólaey,
The 120 meter high promontory Dyrholaey is the southernmost part of the mainland, only a short drive south of the Ring Road. It offers a breathtaking view and features spectacular outcrops and rock formations.
A notable attraction is the massive arch that the sea has eroded from the heartland, giving the island its name (‘dyr’=door’). One daredevil pilot even flew through it!
Dyrholaey has an abundance of birdlife, the most common being puffins and eider ducks. You can also enjoy the black beach, where the waves can provide an impressive sight. As these can be very wild, we do however advise uttermost caution.Sólheimajökull,
Solheimajokull is a beautiful outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap.
Solheimajokull is a rugged glacial tounge riddled with crevasses and spectacular ever-changing ice formations, jagged ridges and sinkholes and is popular for hiking and ice climbing.
The glacier river Jokulsa a Solheimasandur has its source at the glacier, flowing over the sand plain of Solheimasandur towards the sea.Skaftafell,
Skaftafell is a nature preserve in Oraefasveit. It used to be a national park of its own but joined the larger Vatnajokull National Park in 2008.
Skaftafell is notable for its rich flora, growing between sands and glaciers, and overall for its amazing and contrasting scenery. You can take short and easy trails to the waterfalls Svartifoss and Hundafoss, as well as Skaftafell glacier, with the mountain Kristinartindar and Morsardalur valley further off.
Skaftafell is also the perfect base camp for those seeking to climb Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur.Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach,
Reynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal.
With its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches. In 1991, National Geographic voted Reynisfjara as one of the Top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet.
Reynisfjara is found around 180 km from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, and is a popular stop-off for those taking a sightseeing tour along South Coast. Driving to the beach is particularly easy, taking an approximate two and a half hours from the capital.
Upon visiting the beach, travellers will immediately observe rocky sea stacks sitting off the shoreline, known as Reynisdrangar. According to local Icelandic folklore, these large basalt columns were once trolls engaged in trying to pull ships from the ocean. However, as bad luck would have it, the dawn quickly arose, turning the trolls into solid stone.
Another legend tells of a husband whose wife was kidnapped and killed by two trolls. The man followed the trolls down to Reynisfjara where he froze them, ensuring that they would never kill again.
The sea stacks themselves are home to thousands of nesting seabirds. Species that can be found here include Puffins, Fulmars and Guillemots, making it a must-see location for all birdwatchers out there.
Visitors to Reynisfjara must be made well aware of the potential dangers present at the beach. First of all, the rolling, roaring waves of Reynisfjara are particularly violent, often pushing far further up the beach than many would expect.
Visitors are advised to never turn their back on the waves, don't go chasing after them and keep a safe distance of 20-30 metres.
Aside from these sudden and dramatic shifts in tide (known as “sneaker waves”), the currents off the shore are infamous for their strength and ability to drag helpless people out into the freezing cold open ocean. A number of fatal accidents have occurred at Reynisfjara, the last of which occurred in January 2017.Vík í Mýrdal,
Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located 186 km from the capital Reykjavik.
Vik is important as a service centre for the inhabitants and visitors of the marvellous Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches on earth (see for example Islands Magazine). This black pebble beach boasts an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns called Gardar, which resembles a rocky step pyramid and out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
Gljúfrabúi ("Canyon Dweller“) is a beautiful waterfall located at Hamragarðar in South Iceland, close to its better known counterpart, Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
The 40 metre high Gljúfrabúi can be considered somewhat of a hidden gem. It is indeed partially hidden behind a huge cliff that lends much atmosphere to the scenery.
To enjoy a view of the fall you need to wade the Gljúfurá river into a narrow opening in the cliff or follow a steep path up the cliff. Both endeavours are demanding so utmost caution is advised.
As mentioned, this waterfall is less known than its neighbour but as a result may provide for all the greater serenity, in addition to excellent scenery.Fjaðrárgljúfur,
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a beautiful, dramatic canyon in South Iceland, close to the historic town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Though the valley was only formed at the end of the last ice age approximately 10,000 years ago, the bedrock here is much older, dating back two million years. The ravine was created by the runoff from a glacial lake, which wore away the soft stone and left only the more resistant rocks behind.
Geography of Fjaðrárglúgur
Fjaðrárglúgur is about 100 metres deep and two kilometres long, with sheer walls dotted with many waterfalls.
It is possible to walk along the ridges above, or in the valley itself. The site is popular amongst hikers and photographers for the contrasts between the dark rocks, foaming waters and verdant moss. If taking the former route, look up as well as down, as, in clear weather, you will attain great views of the South Coast, Highlands, and surrounding glaciers.
If taking the latter route, know that the river Fjaðrá runs through the canyon, and though its waters are often shallow, those exploring may have to wade through it. This tributary runs into the greater Skaftá river.
The closest settlement to Fjaðrárglúgur is Kirkjubæjarklaustur, often nicknamed Klaustur by locals. This is a place with a long religious history, behind home to the country’s first convent. Many local sites are named after the nuns who once lived in the area, such as Systrastapi (Sister’s Rock) and Systrafoss (Sister’s Falls).
Fjaðrárglúgur is a great place to stop for those travelling the South Coast as they make their way from Reykjavík or Vík towards Skaftafell and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The South Coast itself is lined with other features to visit during your travel, such as the waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, the beach Reynisfjara, and the Dyrhólaey cliffs and arch.South Coast
The South Coast of Iceland is the country's most visited sightseeing route, along with the Golden Circle.
The famed South Coast shoreline stretches from the greater Reykjavík area and is dotted with natural wonders such as cascading waterfalls, volcanoes both active and dormant, black sand beaches and glacier lagoons.
Geography, Nature & Wildlife
Iceland is divided into eight geographical regions. Out of these, the Southern Region is the largest, as it spans over 24.000 square kilometres with its administrative centre in the municipality of Selfoss.
What is known as the South Coast embodies the shoreline of this particular region. The area consists of a lowland that is mostly composed of marshlands, bays and cultivated pastures that are met by a series of black beaches where the estuaries to the east and west of the district close off the coastal body.
Underneath the soil rests a vast lava field, known as Þjórsárhraun. Its edges reach several hundred metres offshore where the ocean waves crash upon them, thereby protecting the lowland from the invasion of the sea. This results in the South Coast being unusually lacking in the deep fjords that so distinctly characterise the rest of Iceland's shore line.
The region boasts vibrant bird life during all seasons. It is not only rich with both marshland birds and seabirds but also migrating birds such as the North Atlantic puffin. Some species stay throughout the harsh Icelandic winter, including the northern diver, the loom and various species of gulls and ducks.
Highlights of the South Coast
The South Coast offers an unprecedented array of natural wonders that draw thousands of visitors each day. When driving the route from Reykjavík City, the highlights in their correct order are:
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Vestmannaeyjar; The Westman Islands
- Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Volcano
- Skógafoss Waterfall
- Sólheimajökull Glacier
- Dyrhólaey Peninsula
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
- Coastal Village Vík í Mýrdal
- Skeiðarársandur Glacial Sand Plain
- Vatnajökull National Park
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
These attractions count for but a fraction of what the South Coast has to offer. The vast sand plains of Sólheimasandur are home to a crashed DC-3 Plane Wreck, and close to Seljavellir by the Skógar Village there's Seljavallalaug, one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland.
- Explore the many wonders of the area on these South Coast Tours
Pickup time : 08:00
Professional and fun English speaking guide
Glacier Hike & Ice Cave
One night of accommodation in a Hotel (breakfast included)
Boat ride on Jökulsárlón
Lunch & Dinner
What to bring:
Good to know:
*You will have plenty of chances for bathroom breaks and to buy snacks.
*You can also bring some favorite snacks and beverages.
*No large luggage pieces (<24") allowed, we are operating in a mini-bus
*During the summer from 1.april to 1.november Ice Caves are not accessible.
Day 1 - South Coast and Glacier Lagoon
After being picked up in Reykjavík, you’ll be on your way south to visit some of Iceland's most famous attractions. You'll be driven through the raven black sands of Sólheimasandur on your way to your first stop: the lighthouse at Dyrhólaey peninsula—a stretch of rugged land that is home to one of Iceland's largest puffin colonies—where the view is mesmerising. You will see both mountains and glaciers, but the most stunning sight is an enormous lava arch that reaches far out into the sea.
From Dyrhólaey you’ll head on up to Reynisfjara beach, famous for iconic cliff formations and treacherous waves. With its high cliffs formed of basalt columns and volcanic rocks, smoothed by erosion, this beach is one of the most iconic places in Iceland. You will hear the thundering noise of waves crashing into the rocks as you look out to the spectacular Reynisdrangar rock formations, rising from the waters.
Afterwards, you will stop for a bite at the nearby village of Vík before you are off again to the next main attraction of the day, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. On your way, you’ll notice the contrasting Icelandic landscapes as you drive through both green valleys and lava fields. You’ll pass the luscious birch tree area in Skaftafell national reserve before arriving at the glacier lagoon.
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Floating on the lagoon are enormous icebergs, moving with the waves towards the river mouth. The white and blue icebergs give off a calming crackling sound as they float around in the lagoon.
You will have plenty of time to take in the views from shore, or to catch an optional boat ride onto the lagoon for an up close encounter with the icebergs and the seals that swim around them. This is the last stop before you head to your hotel.
Day 2 - Glacier Expedition and waterfalls
You’ll start the second day by putting on warm clothes and boots and heading towards Sólheimajökull glacier. This rugged glacier is riddled with ever-changing ice formations, jagged ridges and blue crevices. Accompanied by an experienced guide, you’ll hike up the glacier tongue where you’ll spend around 90 minutes in the uncanny silence and isolation and take in the views.
After the glacier hike, you’ll be paying a visit to some of Iceland’s legendary waterfalls. Skógafoss waterfall is one of the biggest cascades in the country and according to legend, the first Viking settler in the south buried a great treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. If you are not afraid of heights, you can take the staircases which lead to the top of a hill where you can look down at this mighty waterfall.
Seljalandsfoss is a 60-metre tall waterfall and is accessible from all sides as there is a small cave behind the falling water where you can stop for a whole new viewpoint of the scenery. But bring a raincoat because you will get wet from the drizzle.
Gljúfrabúi waterfall is a hidden gem, not quite as famous as its brothers Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. It is partially hidden by a large cliff, and due to its secret location, not many people visit it. Before you head back to Reykjavík, you will visit another hidden gem, a secluded cave not known by many. You will get back to Reykjavík in the evening after these two exciting days of adventure.