The Secrets of Iceland's Breathtaking Diamond Beach

Its name will indeed catch your eye, "Diamond Beach" certainly sounds luxurious and quite uncommon. Well, this beach is anything but ordinary. Lying right by a beautiful glacier lagoon and thousand-year-old icebergs, this is a place you should definitely add to your bucket list.

diamond beach in Iceland with chunks of ice on the black sand

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Visiting Iceland's Diamond Beach is like a treasure trove hidden in plain sight. This natural wonder awaits to astonish you with its crystal-clear ice diamonds strewn along the black sand shore. In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about visiting this breathtaking destination.

    So grab your sense of wonder and get ready to be dazzled by nature's dazzling masterpiece! Let's dive into the mysteries that lie ahead.

    What Is the Diamond Beach in Iceland?

    Diamond Beach, also called 'Jökulsárlón ice beach,' is a mesmerizing natural wonder that captivates visitors worldwide. This breathtaking iceberg beach in Iceland earned its name for the countless icebergs that wash ashore, resembling dazzling diamonds scattered upon the black volcanic sand.

    These icebergs are calved from the nearby Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. The Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, along with the diamond-like ice chunks, also causes the water in this area to be a bright teal color.

    Diamond beach, Iceland

    Where Is the Diamond Beach in Iceland?

    The Diamond Beach is located on the southeastern coast of Iceland, adjacent to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This captivating beach is part of Vatnajökull National Park, offering visitors a unique opportunity to witness the mesmerizing sight of sparkling icebergs drifting ashore and adorning the contrasting black sand.

    How To Get to the Diamond Beach in Iceland

    The best way to visit Diamond Beach is to rent a car in Reykjavík and drive there. To reach Jökulsárlón's ice beach, travelers can take the Ring Road (Route 1) along the country's southeastern coast.

    Visitors will find clear signs along the way that lead to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Diamond Beach is located adjacent. Parking facilities are available near the beach area, providing visitors with the convenience of exploring the glistening icebergs on the black sand shoreline at their own pace.

    Getting to the Diamond Beach From Reykjavik

    To get from Reykjavik to Diamond Beach, follow these driving instructions:

    • Start by heading east on Route 1 (Ring Road) from Reykjavik.
    • Continue on Route 1 for approximately 379 kilometers (236 miles) as you pass through scenic landscapes and small towns.
    • Diamond Beach is right next to the glacier lagoon on the southeastern side.

    Iceland diamond beach location

    Getting to the Diamond Beach From Vik

    Here is how to get from Vik to Diamond Beach:

    • Start by heading east on Route 1 (Ring Road) from Vik.
    • Continue on Route 1 for approximately 191 kilometers (119 miles) as you drive through the picturesque landscapes of southern Iceland.
    • After 2 hours and 15 minutes of driving, you will arrive at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
    • You will see that Diamond Beach is located 1 minute away from the lagoon.

    If you struggle to find the beach, look at our updated Diamond Beach Iceland map. This map displays the exact location of Diamond Beach and is a great guide for your journey.


    When Is the Best Time To Visit the Diamond Beach?

    When you visit Diamond Beach in Iceland, you can enjoy breathtaking views at any time of the year. Depending on your preferred activities and weather conditions, you can pick the best time for your visit. Diamond Beach in Iceland in summer is a great time for outdoor activities, such as exploring the beach's unique attractions. 

    At the same time, winter offers a more quiet and contemplative experience. Let's look at the two most popular times of the year to visit Diamond Beach.

    Diamond Beach in Summer

    The summer months of June through August offer the best opportunity to witness the midnight sun. Travelers can also look forward to a stunning sunset at Diamond Beach in Iceland. This is also when you'll find more tourists in the area due to Iceland's peak season.

    Diamond Beach in Winter

    Visiting in winter (November to March) can also be a mesmerizing experience. During this season, you might even be lucky enough to witness the northern lights at Diamond Beach in Iceland. While winter offers fewer amenities, it also provides a more intimate experience of nature's beauty. If you're driving here in winter, check out our winter driving guide for Iceland.

    Diamond beach in winter

    Where To Stay Near Diamond Beach in Iceland?

    Staying near Diamond Beach in Iceland is easy and convenient. There are many options for different types of accommodation, including hotels and camping. You can also opt for a combination of both. Let's take a look at the available options.

    Hotels Near the Diamond Beach in Iceland

    For a comfortable and luxurious stay near Diamond Beach, you can choose from one of the many hotels near Diamond Beach in Iceland. While hotels can be more expensive, they often provide the most convenient and comfortable option for visitors. Here are some of the most popular hotels near Diamond Beach:

    • Hotel Smyrlabjörg: This hotel is a charming countryside retreat located just 46 km (29 mi) from Höfn and 34 km (21 mi) from Jökulsárlón. Situated right off Road 1, the hotel offers comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy the serene countryside views and enjoy unique experiences with the farm's horses and sheep.
    • Fosshotel (Glacier Lagoon): This is a four-star hotel, perfectly nestled amidst Iceland's captivating natural wonders - Skaftafell National Park and Jökulsárlón ice beach. It is just a short 21-minute drive away from Diamond Beach. It also offers lots of essential amenities like free parking and Wi-Fi. Guests can relish a delightful dining experience at their spacious restaurant and enjoy the convenience of on-site gym and spa facilities.
    • Hotel Skaftafell: The hotel is strategically located in the southeast of Iceland, with easy access to Vík í Mýrdal and Höfn in Hornafjörður. Its prime position makes it the perfect base for exploring Iceland's breathtaking natural wonders, such as Diamond Beach and staying a few days to enjoy unforgettable tours.

    Iceland iceberg beach

    Camping Near the Diamond Beach in Iceland

    Embracing the enchanting landscape and experiencing the diamond-like icebergs at the nearby beach make camping in this area a memorable adventure for nature enthusiasts. As the weather at Diamond Beach in Iceland can be unpredictable, campers should be well-prepared with appropriate gear and clothing. Some campgrounds we recommend include the following:

    • Skaftafell Campground: This campground, located within Vatnajökull National Park, is a picturesque spot for nature lovers. Situated 56 km (35 mi) south of Diamond Beach, it offers diverse walking paths to explore Skaftafell's beauty. Campers can enjoy access to electricity in designated areas and essential facilities like showers, restrooms, and a restaurant, making it a convenient base for an unforgettable camping experience.
    • Svínafell Campground: Svínafell is situated approximately 50 km (31 mi) south of Diamond Beach in Iceland. Nestled at the foot of Öræfajökull Glacier and just 9 km (61 mi) away from Skaftafell National Park, it offers essential amenities like cooking facilities, a dining room, showers, and restrooms for a comfortable camping experience.
    • Höfn Campground: This campground is conveniently located in Höfn, approximately 78 km (49 mi) northeast of Diamond Beach. The campground offers essential facilities like cooking areas, Wi-Fi, laundry services, restrooms, and a playground, ensuring a pleasant stay for visitors exploring the area.

    Accommodations near diamond beach

    Things To Do Near Diamond Beach Iceland

    The area around Diamond Beach in Iceland is teeming with countless outdoor activities and interesting attractions. Here are some of the most popular things to do nearby:

    • Explore Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon by boat: Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime Diamond Beach Iceland boat tour! Experience the awe-inspiring Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon with a captivating boat tour amidst gigantic icebergs. Witness the power and tranquility of this natural wonder as ancient ice silently drifts into the lake.
    • Hike in Vatnajökull National Park: Vatnajökull National Park offers numerous hiking trails of various difficulty levels and lengths. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery with its majestic glaciers, majestic mountains, and cascading waterfalls.
    • Visit Höfn: The small fishing village of Höfn is located 78 km (49 mi) from Diamond Beach in Iceland. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers, as well as lots of unique eateries and shops.
    • Explore Crystal Ice Caves: Between November and March, venture into the ethereal beauty of ice caves inside Vatnajökull glacier. Witness the mesmerizing blue hues of the ice formations, creating an otherworldly experience.

    Iceland iceberg sights on a beach

    Can You Swim in Diamond Beach Iceland?

    No, you can not swim at Diamond Beach in Iceland. The water is freezing cold, and currents can be very strong, making it very dangerous to take a dip in the ocean. If you fall into the water, hypothermia can set in very quickly. Hence, it's best to avoid swimming at Diamond Beach and stick to the shore instead.

    Safety at the Diamond Beach

    Diamond Beach is a stunning natural wonder, but visitors should take safety precautions when enjoying this destination. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

    • Stay on the beach: Tricky currents can cause visitors to drift away quickly, so stay well within sight of the shore.
    • Be aware of the weather: The weather at Diamond Beach in Iceland can change rapidly. Be prepared for sudden storms or icy cold winds, and plan accordingly with the proper clothing and gear.
    • Be careful around icebergs: Be aware of the movement of icebergs and never try to climb them, as they can be hazardous.

    Iceland safety

    Is Diamond Beach in Iceland Worth It?

    Absolutely! Diamond Beach is an incredible destination that offers a unique experience. Whether you're looking for outdoor activities, stunning views, or simply a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of life, Diamond Beach has something for everyone.

    It is an unforgettable destination that travelers must experience at least once in their lifetime. Not only will you relish the mesmerizing beauty of natural wonders, but you'll also get to enjoy unique experiences that are only available in Iceland. 

    So don't miss out on the opportunity to visit this stunning destination and create unforgettable memories. Visiting Diamond Beach is truly worth the effort!

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