Visit the magical Diamond Beach, a black volcanic sand beach next to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon on the South Coast of Iceland. Transport yourself to a new world as you walk between diamond-shaped ice drifted ashore from Breidamerkurjokull Glacier.
Next to the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, take a stroll at the Diamond Beach, where blue, black, transparent and white icebergs shine like diamonds as you weave your way between them. Prepare to be amazed at the most popular beach in Iceland!
The beach’s icebergs originate at Breidamerkurjokull Glacier, a glacial tongue of Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajokull. The beach is called Breidamerkursandur in Icelandic (sandur means sand), and most Icelanders aren’t familiar with the name the Diamond Beach as it’s only used in the English language.
One of the most unique things about the beach is that it never ever looks the same. Even if you visited the day before, the beach will have changed completely on the following day. The natural ice sculptures, the icebergs, will have re-formed, melted away and new ones appeared. Many of the icebergs are over 1,000 years old and have made their way through the grand lagoon first as enormous ice blocks. Now, smaller bergs enjoy their last moments until they make their way into the Atlantic Ocean. The icebergs glisten on the beach, giving it the name Diamond Beach. In recent years this has become a popular proposal spot, getting a diamond on Diamond Beach!
The Diamond Beach is a very important breeding ground for many of Iceland’s most well-known birds including the Arctic Tern and the Great Skua. It’s also a national conservation area.
In the summertime, the Diamond Beach can be visited in one day from Reykjavík, but due to very limited daylight in wintertime, a minimum 2-day tour is advised. We offer a wide range of tours taking you to the Diamond Beach as it’s truly one of the top 10 things you must see when visiting Iceland.
Where is the Diamond Beach located?
The Diamond beach is about 372 km and the drive from Reykjavik (without stopping) is about 5 hours. It is located in the municipality of Hornafjordur fjord and sits right outside the Vatnajokull National Park although not a part of it.
It is located only a few minutes away from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the parking lot and can’t be missed. Just be careful when crossing Road 1 when crossing from the lagoon as cars often drive fast.
How to get to the Diamond Beach?
Getting to the Diamond Beach is easy. You can join a tour, catch a local bus, or rent a car. The only trouble is that it’s located around 5 hours from Reykjavík and 6 hours from Keflavík International Airport. If you wish to visit the beach, we recommend to do it in at least two days. You can spend the night in the area or join a tour where a driver will worry about transport so you don’t have to.
The Diamond Beach is right off Road 1, so finding it is the least of your worries. Just get yourself onto Road 1 and keep on going. It’s hard to miss!
What not to do at the Diamond Beach?
Do not litter! This is a clean place and we shouldn’t make the ocean do our tidy work. Help us keep it clean!
Do not go into the waves! The ocean might seem harmless and the beach wide enough for you to be able to get away easily but, once the waves gain strength, even the best swimmer doesn’t stand a chance.
Do not sit on the icebergs that are closer to the sea! When they are ashore, the icebergs look very attempting but a sudden wave can drag them back into the water while you are posing on the ice chunk, and you can get carried away by the sea. A situation like this could be life-threatening.
There are plenty beautiful accommodation options near the Diamond Beach. Here are the ones with the highest rating.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Adventure Hotel Hof (Hof 1 Hotel)
Hali Country Hotel
Vagnstaðir HI Hostel
Guesthouses and B&B’s
Kálfafellsstadur Bed & Breakfast
Camping at the Diamond Beach
The Diamond Beach is located at a pretty deserted area, with glaciers and black sand surrounding you. You wouldn’t think that there’s any camping areas here, but there is one. In the oasis of Skaftafell, there is a beautiful little forest where camping facilities are found.
All year round
Adult 1900 ISK per night (additional night is 1600 ISK)
Children 13-17 years 800 ISK per night (additional night is 500 ISK)
Children under 12 years FREE
Shower: 500 ISK
Washing machine: 500 ISK
Tumble dryer: 500 ISK
Electricity: 1.000 ISK
The Diamond Beach in Winter
The Diamond is a truly idyllic place to visit in any season, but especially in winter. Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon gets jam-packed with enormous icebergs that descend to the beach at a larger scale, making the scene even more authentic and true to its name. During winter, the huge chunks of ice can even be bigger than the average person, sometimes even twice as much!
There aren’t any boat tours available at the glacier lagoon at this point but it really doesn’t make that much of a difference towards your experience as the icebergs as closer in every way and you see them much closer than in the summertime.
The beach is quite remote, away from any light pollution so it could be a great place to catch the Northern Lights. Just make sure to dress according to weather, layer up, and bring a flashlight/headlight.
Filming at the Diamond Beach
Music Videos: Gerua – Shah Rukh Khan (2015) Love is in the air once more as the eternal romantic couple Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol make a comeback with Dilwale, the most awaited film of 2015. The music video is filmed in a few locations in Iceland including the Diamond Beach which plays a big role in the video.
Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You (2015) at the end of the video Justin is seen walking around on the beach before going into the freezing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
Kate Hudson starred in a commercial for the cosmetic company La Mer. It was filmed at the Diamond Beach, where Kate is seen wandering around the glistening icebergs.