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Top Travel Tips for Iceland’s Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Updated: May 10, 2023

Ready to take the trip of a lifetime to the most spectacular glacier lagoon in Iceland? You’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out all you need to know about visiting Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon, home to Europe’s largest glacier.

Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

Why Fjallsárlón ice lagoon?

  • Breathtaking views - See an incredible iceberg lagoon and the largest glacier in Europe! The magnificent and imposing Vatnajökull glacier can be seen towering over the Fjallsárlón ice lagoon, creating an amazing spectacle that is guaranteed to take your breath away.

  • Beat the crowds - The beauty of Fjallsárlón is lesser known than other iceberg lagoons in Iceland. You can enjoy a magical day at Fjallsárlón in the tranquility of nature, away from the crowds you’ll likely experience at other touristic attractions in the incredible ‘Land of Ice and Fire’.

  • Easily accessible - Located in southeast Iceland, Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon can be found just off the ring road (road 1), making it easy to find. It’s the perfect place for a day trip in your campervan rental.

What can you do at Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon?

Plan your perfect trip to Fjallsárlón with our list of the top activities you can enjoy at this astonishing ice lake. Whether you prefer an adrenaline-filled adventure or a quiet afternoon admiring the stunning views, there’s something for you at Fjallsárlón.

  • Glide along the lake on a boat! - Discover Fjallsárlón in style by taking to the water. A brilliant way of seeing the icebergs up close, enjoying a boat tour on Fjallsárlón will immerse you in the serenity of the landscape. You can choose a group or private boat tour, depending on your preference. Keep in mind that boat tours of Fjallsárlón ice lagoon only run during the summer months.

  • Go on a glacier hike - Fancy taking a walk on a glacier? Fjallsárlón is just the place for it, with guided glacier hikes you can join to experience the beauty of this ice lagoon for yourself.

  • Relax at the bistro - Enjoy a drink and snack at an iceberg lagoon! Absorb the beauty of Fjallsárlón ice lagoon with your choice of refreshment at the bistro. Could you imagine a better place for an afternoon tea and cake?

  • See an ice lagoon from above - Looking for something a little different? Take to the skies with a helicopter tour of Fjallsárlón, allowing you to see this magnificent, untouched landscape from above. What a view!

Glacier hike at Fjallsarlon

How to get to Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon

Fjallsárlón ice lagoon is around 370 kilometers from Reykjavik and is very close to the main Ring Road (road 1). You’ll find Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon 47 kilometers east of Skaftafell Nature Reserve, between the seaside village of Vik and the town of Höfn.

Parking at Fjallsárlón is completely free, as is entry to this brilliant ice lagoon. It’s important to note that you can’t see Fjallsárlón from the road, so follow the signs and head in the direction of the restaurant building to find your way to this lovely lagoon. From here, it’s a short five-minute walk to Fjallsárlón over a little hill. Perfect!

Fjallsárlón vs. Jokulsarlon

Fjallsárlón is Jokulsarlon’s smaller and less well-known sibling. Fed from the same Vatnajökull glacier, both Fjallsárlón and Jokulsarlon are glacier lagoons, yet significantly different in size and fame.

Although Jokulsarlon is undeniably beautiful and definitely a must-visit place in Iceland, Fjallsárlón is its equally beautiful and often-overlooked companion. Exploring Fjallsárlón might be more suited to you for the following reasons.

Jokulsarlon Lagoon in Iceland

At Fjallsárlón you can:

  • Get closer to the glacier - Experience the wonder of Vatnajökull glacier up close at Fjallsárlón ice lagoon. This ice lake is closer to the glacier than Jokulsarlon, so if you’re a glacier enthusiast (and who wouldn’t be?), we recommend a trip to Fjallsárlón.

  • Take some time to enjoy peace and quiet - Compared to famous Jokulsarlon, Fjallsárlón attracts far fewer tourists. Not included in traditional tourist trips to the area, which tend to focus on Jokulsarlon, Fjallsárlón is a relatively undiscovered spot in terms of Iceland’s tourist attractions. This makes it the perfect place for a tranquil trip between busy days discovering Iceland’s capital and surrounding towns.

  • Enjoy the icebergs - Unlike Fjallsárlón, Jokulsarlon is connected to the sea, so the icebergs float away with the current. At Fjallsárlón, icebergs stay in the glacier lagoon until they melt. Picture this: a quiet afternoon watching icebergs floating along the ice lake. Ah, bliss!

You can read more about Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon here in our comprehensive guide, covering everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful lake.

Whichever amazing glacier lagoon you choose to visit, we’re sure you’ll enjoy your time discovering these stunning natural spectacles.

Fjallsárlón iceberg boat tours

One of the best ways to explore the glacier lagoon is to take a zodiac boat tour at Fjallsárlón. These tours usually last 30 to 60 minutes from May to October.

The zodiac can go almost all the way up to the glacier and it is also meant for smaller groups, so the experience is more exclusive. If you prefer, you can also join a private tour and watch the broken-off pieces of ice float around in the cold waters of the lagoon with no crowds.

Fjallsarlon boat tour

Geology of Fjallsárlón

Now you know all about what you can do at Fjallsárlón and why it’s worth a visit. But you may be wondering just how did the beauty of Fjallsárlón ice lagoon come to be in the first place?

Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon is a lake formed by the melting Vatnajökull glacier. As the ice breaks off this massive glacier, it falls into Fjallsárlón lagoon and eventually melts, forming the stunning lake we can visit today.

Huge icebergs break away from the ice cap and fall into the waters of Fjallsárlón below, creating floating icebergs. On a boat tour of this ice lake, you may even get close enough to touch one of these icebergs!

Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon is one of the arms of the Vatnajökull glacier, with Jokulsarlon being another of these arms. The nearby Breida River also flows into the Fjallsárlón ice lagoon.

Fjallsárlón and Jokulsarlon are both parts of Vatnajökull National Park, which covers no less than 14% of Iceland and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Vatnajokull National Park

Five fun facts about Fjallsárlón ice lagoon

  1. Watch out for the dive-bombing skuas! These large seabirds nest at Fjallsárlón during the summer months and have been known to dive bomb visitors who have strayed too close to their eggs. Make sure to observe the skuas from a safe distance.

  2. As well as the stunning scenery, you might also be treated to a wonderful view of the resident seals enjoying Fjallsárlón’s waters. Watching wildlife in its natural habitat makes a trip to Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon even more special.

  3. In the summer months, the average temperature of Fjallsárlón is 10-13°C (50-55°F), but in winter this drops to 0°C (32°F). If it reaches below 0°C, the lagoon freezes. Brr – better wrap up warm!

  4. If you listen quietly, you’ll most likely hear the sound of ice cracking as huge chunks of ice break free from Vatnajökull glacier and fall into the serene waters of Fjallsárlón lagoon lake.

  5. In addition to Europe’s largest glacier, did you know that you can also spot a volcano from the Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon? The famous, ice-covered Öræfajökull volcano is visible in the distance.

Fjallsárlón Lagoon up close

A glacier lake is probably one of the cooler things you will see in Iceland. The views of the magnificent glacier and its remnants slowly floating around are a sight to behold. Fjallsarlon, in particular, is a hidden gem off the beaten track, so having an up close and personal experience is guaranteed.

Intrigued by the wonder of Fjallsárlón? Experience the untouched natural landscape of Fjallsárlón ice lagoon for yourself by renting a 4x4 campervan, giving you the freedom to explore the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ to your heart’s content. Fjallsárlón is waiting for you!

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