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 blocks of ice that have drifted ashore from Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier.
Next to the famous Jökulsárlón 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 from Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, a glacial tongue of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. The beach is called Breiðamerkursandur 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 by the following day. The natural ice sculptures will have re-formed, some having melted away and new ones washed ashore. Many of the icebergs are over 1,000 years old, first making their way through the grand lagoon 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 “the Diamond Beach”. In recent years it has become a popular proposal spot, with many lucky visitors getting a diamond ring 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, we recommend allowing a couple of days to visit the beach. We offer a wide range of guided and self-drive tours taking you to Diamond Beach as it’s truly one of the top 10 most breathtaking things you must see when visiting Iceland.
The Diamond Beach is about 372 km (231 miles) and the drive from Reykjavík (without stopping) is about 5 hours. It is located in the municipality of Hornafjordur Fjord and sits right outside the Vatnajökull National Park, although not a part of it.
The Diamond Beach is located only a few minutes away from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the parking lot can’t be missed. Take extra care when crossing Road 1 from the lagoon as cars often drive fast through the area.
Getting to the Diamond Beach is easy, with the Ring Road doing most of the hard work for you. 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 that you spend at least 2 days on your trip so that you can appreciate the location without rushing the experience. 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.
If you’re planning on a self-drive tour of Iceland from Reykjavík, reaching Diamond Beach is simple. The beach is located right off Route 1, so finding it is the least of your worries. Just get yourself onto Route 1 and keep on going - for 360 km (223 miles) to be precise. If traffic and weather conditions allow, it’s possible to set off from the capital early in the morning and fit in not just the Diamond Beach, but several incredible waterfalls nearby too!
While public transport is not the best option for long-distance trips around Iceland, it is possible to get to the Diamond Beach from the capital by bus. If time is not of great importance, bus 51 will take you from Mjódd, Reykjavík all the way to the Jökulsárlón Lagoon. The journey will cost you around 11.000 ISK per person and take an estimated 6 hours.
If you don’t want to worry about how to get to the stunning beach, it’s a great idea to book an organized tour of Diamond Beach. We offer a range of day and multi-day tours that include the stunning ice-covered black-sand beach. These also ensure you tick off a number of attractions in the same area and along the way from your starting city!
There are plenty of beautiful accommodation options near the Diamond Beach. Here are those with the highest ratings.
The Diamond Beach is located in a pretty deserted area, with glaciers and black sand surrounding you. You wouldn’t think that there are any camping areas here, but there is one. In the oasis of Skaftafell, camping facilities can be found surrounding a beautiful little forest.
Open: All year round