Right next to the famous Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon you will find a black volcanic sand beach where icebergs from the lagoon drift ashore and create the most magical setting. The blue, black, transparent and white icebergs sit on the beach and slowly melt and you can walk amongst them, see through many of them and play around them. Prepare to be amazed.
The icebergs originate at the glacier, Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet from Europe’s largest ice cap Vatnajokull and therefore is the beach called Breidamerkursandur in Icelandic (sandur means sand). Actually, most Icelanders aren’t familiar with the name the Diamond Beach as it is very recent and solely used in English. The word Demantaströnd as it would translate to in Icelandic is unheard off.
One of the most unique things about the beach is that it never ever looks the same. Even if you just visited the day before the beach will have changed completely and the natural ice sculptures, the icebergs, will have reformed, 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 and now smaller bergs enjoying their last moments until their join with the Atlantic ocean. The icebergs glisten on the beach giving it the name Diamond beach and in recent years this has become a popular proposal spot, getting a diamond on the 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 and is a National conservation area.
In the summertime, the Diamond beach can be visited in one day out from Reykjavík but due to very limited daylight in wintertime, a minimum 2-day tour is adviced. We offer a wide range of tours taking you to the Diamond beach and this is 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 a stop) 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 parking lot and simply can’t be missed whilst visiting. Just be careful when crossing road 1 to get over from the lagoon, cars often drive pretty fast there.
How to get to the Diamond Beach?
Getting to the Diamond Beach is an easy thing. You can join a tour, catch a local bus, or rent a car the only trouble is time as it is located about 5 hours away from Reykjavík and 6 hours away from Keflavík international airport. If you wish to visit the place we recommend to do it in at least two days, spending the night over there or joining a tour where a driver will take care of the long ride.
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! The Black sand shows all littering very well, this is a clean place and we shouldn’t make the ocean do our tidy work. Help us keep it clean!
Do not walk into the waves! The ocean might seem harmless and the beach wide enough for you to be able to get away easily but once they 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.
Do not skip the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. It’s only across the street. You have to do both, it’s a two-in-one!
Accommodation and Hotels near the Diamond Beach
There are plenty of beautiful accommodations to stay at near the Diamond Beach. Here are the ones with the highest rating.
- Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
- Adventure Hotel Hof (Hof 1 Hotel)
- Hotel Skaftafell
- Hali Country Hotel
- Vagnstaðir HI Hostel
Guesthouses and B&B’s
- Guesthouse Gerdi
- Skyrhúsið Guesthouse
- Kálfafellsstadur Bed & Breakfast
Camping at the Diamond Beach
The Diamond Beach is located at a pretty deserted area, with glaciers and black sand all around you wouldn’t think that there were any new camping areas to be found but actually, there is one. In the oasis of Skaftafell, there is a beautiful fertile small little forest and within the trees a spacious field where camping facilities can be 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 at this time descend to the beach at a lot larger scale making the scene even more authentic and true to its name. The huge chunks of ice can in Winter be bigger than the average person, sometimes even twice so!
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, layers on layers, and bring a flashlight/headlight.
Filming at the Diamond Beach, Hollywood Films, Music Videos, and Commercials
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 filmed the Diamond beach where Kate is seen wandering around the glistening icebergs.
Interesting Places Near The Diamond Beach
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
- The Crystal Ice Cave
- Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier
- Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon
- Hvannadalshnúkur Highest Summit in Iceland
- Öræfajökull Glacier
- Vatnajökull, biggest glacier in Europe
- Hofskirkja Church
- Ingólfshöfði Puffin Tour
- Skaftafell National Park
- Svartifoss Waterfall
- Mt. Lómagnúpur
- Foss á Síðu Waterfall
- Fjalljökull Glacier
- Heinabergslón Glacier Lagoon
- Svínafellsjökull Glacier
- Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
- Stjórnarfoss waterfall