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A Guide To Diamond Beach In Iceland

Diamond Beach is located in Iceland. Icebergs that have washed ashore from a neighboring glacier lagoon create a striking contrast with the volcanic black sand.

A close up shot of a giant ice diamond at diamond beach
A close up shot of a giant ice diamond at diamond beach

Diamond Beach is a stretch of black sand on Iceland's south coast, part of the Breiamerkursandur glacial plain.

Those on guided tours, like this 6-Day Summer Ring Road Tour, or self-drive trips, like this 7-Day Winter Road Trip, will get to see it. Rent-a-car customers can reach it through Ring Road.

The icebergs from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon wash up on Diamond Beach, contrasting with the volcanic black sand. Photographers and nature enthusiasts flock to this diamond beach black sand stunning site. Wildlife enthusiasts flock to the area because it is one of the best sites in the country to observe orcas from the shore.


Breiamerkursandur is a glacial outwash plain in Hornafjörur. The sand spans for around 18 km along Iceland's south coast, from Kvárjökull Glacier to Jökulsárlón. The Breiamerkurjökull Glacier borders this lagoon.

Two of Vatnajökull's 30 glaciers are in the Vatnajökull National Park. Many of them can be seen on the way to Diamond Beach on the South Coast.

Volcanic activity caused three of Vatnajökull's outlet glaciers, Breiamerkurjökull, Hrtárjökull, and Fjallsjökull, to flow forward. This pushed the glacial deposits forward, grounding the surface rocks.

Iceland's geography is dotted with sand plains due to its volcanic activity and abundance of ice caps.

The glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach are wonderful sights, but their rapid increase is due to climate change as the glaciers retreat. With the rate of melting, the ice caps may be gone in decades.


Jökulsárlón icebergs were on Diamond Beach after leaving the lagoon.

The Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon is a popular tourist destination in Iceland. Countless icebergs that have broken off the resident glacier float on the lagoon, creating a very beautiful picture.

Lagoon-to-Atlantic Ocean connection via Jökulsá river means these icebergs eventually drift out to sea to be polished by the waves before floating back to Breiamerkursandur. The name ‘Diamond Beach' stems from the white ice on the black sand reflecting the light like gemstones or diamonds.

Diamond Beach Security

Unlike Reynisfjara, another South Coast black-sand beach, sneaker waves and rip currents are not infamous for carrying hapless tourists out to sea. But there are still risks to consider.

The main one is the icebergs. Icebergs are dangerous due to their slippery surfaces and sharp edges.

If the iceberg is in the water, it could flip and entrap you, or be dragged out to sea by a current.

The risk of injury and disease from hypothermia is so high that there are exorbitant fines to prevent any ‘rebels' seeking a thrill. These were only put in place after serious occurrences, to safeguard not just tourists but also guides and employees who may feel forced to sacrifice their lives to save someone.

Why is some of the ice blue at Diamond Beach?

The spectacular slabs of ice on Diamond Beach take on many different shapes, colors, and even sizes. Here you can view larger-than-life blocks of ice in various tints of azure blue or little, black bits of ice.

Many factors determine the color the ice will take. Blue ice can signal age (older ice) and lack of air pockets. The black coloring can be volcanic dust or the sunshine reflecting the black sand from the beach.

Wandering around the icebergs on Diamond Beach is like visiting an art gallery - you never know what you’ll uncover and each journey brings something totally unexpected.

What to do at Diamond Beach?

Most visitors visit Diamond Beach to observe the stunning array of icebergs and take Instagram-worthy images. You could spend hours wandering around the beach with these blocks of ice attempting to obtain the ideal photo.

Once you’ve satisfied your inner photographer, make sure to spend some time looking for local animals. Diamond Beach is an excellent area to observe Icelandic seals and is one of the greatest places in Iceland to spot orca whales.

Nearby, they also urge you to head over the road to explore the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Can you see the Northern Lights at Diamond Beach?

Diamond Beach is an ideal site to hunt the northern lights in the winter as there’s no light pollution.

This advantage may also generate issues. It can be difficult to see in the dark, and you don't want to trip over any ice chunks while walking. As a result, make sure to bring a flashlight.

In addition, you should park your automobile in one of the approved parking areas for your safety.

Vedur is for the latest northern lights forecast before you head out. Also, keep in mind that the aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon, which means that weather conditions may have an impact on visibility.

During the summer months, instead of seeing the northern lights, you can witness the phenomena known as the midnight sun.

A picture of of diamond crystal in midnight sun at diamond beach
A picture of of diamond crystal in midnight sun at diamond beach

In Iceland, is it possible to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean?

Swimming in Iceland's Atlantic Ocean is largely for the brave of heart, as it is a dangerous sport. Although it is technically possible to swim in the ocean, the water temperatures are extremely chilly.

Temperatures in Iceland's south and west coasts can reach above 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer, but they can drop to 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) during the winter months. Put another way, this is comparable to temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s (77-86°F) in either Miami Beach or the Mediterranean Sea.

What causes the black sand on Icelandic beaches?

Diamond Beach is one of the many black sand beaches that can be found in Iceland. Iceland's volcanic landscape has resulted in the formation of black sand. The sand is derived from the basalt lava that may be found in the area.

Volcanoes such as Katla in the Vatnajökull National Park are still active, resulting in the continued addition of black sand to several Icelandic coastlines.

Is it true that all of Iceland's beaches are black?

No. When you visit Iceland, you'll quickly notice that the country's beaches are a rainbow of colors to choose from. The beaches on the Snfellsnes Peninsula, for example, contain sand that is white, yellow, and gold in color.

Is it possible to bring black sand from Iceland?

Although it is not illegal to collect black sand from Icelandic beaches, it is generally recommended that visitors leave Iceland's natural environment alone. The old adage "take only photographs, leave just footprints" certainly holds true in this case.

At the moment, Iceland's stalactites and rocks, including sand, found within natural reserves are legally protected under the country's constitution. As a result, it is preferable to leave things alone.

The best time to visit Diamond Beach is between the months of June and August.

Diamond Beach, like the rest of Iceland, is breathtakingly gorgeous at any time of the year, and this is no exception. Make careful you dress appropriately for the unpredictable Icelandic weather, regardless of the season.

People are just enthralled by its beauty:

"I’ve never been to Iceland but every picture or video I see of this country looks like something straight out of a fantasy novel. I want to live there."

-ilovecraftbeer05 (Reddit)

"I went and we had to miss seeing this beach. But yes: you are 110% correct. You drive around with your mouth hanging open because it seems to be from another dimension."

-MsTomHardy (Reddit)

What should you pack for your trip to Diamond Beach?

Make sure you're well-prepared and bring the following items:

  • Because the ground is uneven, you should wear sturdy shoes.
  • A camera and a tripod for photographing the coastal scenery.
  • Warm clothing, such as a jacket, sweater, gloves, and a cap, should be worn.
  • In case of rain, don't forget to dress in layers that are waterproof (jacket and trousers).

Is there parking available at Diamond Beach?

Yes, there is a free parking lot a short walk from Diamond Beach that is open 24 hours a day.

Diamond Beach is a dangerous place to be.

While Diamond Beach is not inherently more dangerous than any other tourist destination, it is advisable to exercise caution and be aware of some of the potential dangers. Make the following precautions to ensure your safety at Diamond Beach:

It is best to stay away from the water because the tide might come in suddenly and the waves can catch you off guard.

Keep an eye out for half-hidden icebergs and keep your balance under control to avoid tripping.

It is not recommended to climb on top of the icebergs because they may have jagged edges and be slippery.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to land on a floating iceberg. This is quite risky since you could be swept away into the sea.

Bring plenty of dry clothes as well as a warm towel in case you end up getting wet by accident.

A close up shot of a giant ice diamond on black sand on diamond beach
A close up shot of a giant ice diamond on black sand on diamond beach

Is Diamond Beach Iceland Worth Visiting?

Diamond Beach is a fantastic area to observe Icelandic seals, and it is also one of the greatest places in Iceland to see orca whales, according to the Icelandic Wildlife Association. We also propose that you take a short drive across the road to see the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, which is also nearby.


This comprehensive travel guide to Diamond Beach Iceland will help you learn more about what to bring on your trip.

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