Two women standing in front of an iceberg on Diamond Beach,Iceland

Diamond Beach, Iceland: Ultimate 2024 Guide (By A Travel Expert)

Diamond Beach is one of Iceland’s most beautiful and “coolest” beaches. On the south side of Iceland, next to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon lays this black volcanic sand beach.

When you arrive at the beach, you will witness icebergs that are the same size as an adult, a car, or bigger. Those are some big diamonds! 😉

Just kidding, they aren’t real diamonds. The lagoon icebergs wash up on the shore of this beach, leaving a stark contrast between the dark sand and transparent blue icebergs.

Two icebergs during the sunset on Iceland's Diamond Beach.

This ultimate travel guide will provide everything you need to know for the most memorable trip.


Ultimate Guide To Diamond Beach, Iceland

Diamond Beach, also known as Breiðamerkursandur was one of my favorite experiences while visiting Iceland. This beach gives one of those feelings that makes you feel like you’re on a different planet.

Large icebergs from the glacier lagoon break off and float towards the sea. Many end up ashore and show visitors a first-hand experience of the natural wonders of Iceland’s arctic glaciers.

Icebergs on Diamond Beach with the water in the background and more glaciers.

You’ve probably seen photos of Diamond Beach and wondered how to get there, whether it is worth it, and what the best tours are.

Let’s answer those questions!

Is Diamond Beach in Iceland worth it?

The southeast area of Iceland has many different attractions. There are endless waterfalls, hikes, and beaches, there is a bit of everything, for everyone.

Diamond Beach is worth the stop if you are in the area. Many visitors check out the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and then stop at the beach. This is a fun way to see what the icebergs looked like next to the big glaciers, and then what they look like after breaking off.

Woman standing in front of a glacier lagoon in Iceland.

Why is it Famous?

Icebergs that sparkle, are transparent, have a blueish tint, a shade of black, and look like a giant diamond. Like many areas in Iceland, this natural attraction is pretty spectacular.

Some of the ice on the beach is blue due to several factors. The ice that has a deeper blue signifies that it is older ice. Pretty cool right? Chunks of various shapes and colors break off of the massive glacier showing their age.

An iceberg on Diamond Beach during a sunny day.

Where Is Diamond Beach Located?

Diamond Beach is located on the southeast coast of Iceland, 235 miles from Reykjavik.

If you’re traveling along Route One, otherwise known as the Ring Road, this is a must-see attraction while traveling Route One.

How to get there

The two ways to get to Diamond Beach are typically by car or guided tour.

The drive from Reykjavik to Diamond Beach is about 5 hours. If you are driving the entire Ring Road, I recommend stopping along your drive.

If you are staying in Reykjavik and are not planning to rent a car, many different tours will drive you to and from the beach.

THE #1 SELLING TOUR OPTIONS FOR VISITING:

🧊 Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Guided Trip (from Reykjavik)

🧊 Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach Tours (from Reykjavik)

** Important Note: These highly rated tours get booked far in advance. Make sure to grab a spot and book now! **

Tours are one of the most common ways to access each of the top attractions in Iceland. There are a variety of transport tips that you can check out in advance.

Broken off icebergs from the lagoon that have washed ashore at Diamond Beach.

Parking near the beach

Don’t worry about the parking situation, there is a large lot with plenty of parking spots. The best part about the parking – it’s FREE.


Tips For Visiting

This beach is commonly visited to admire the glistening chunks of ice that look like they belong on a Giant’s engagement ring.

Many people love to walk the beach, take in the geographical significance, hone in on their inner photographer skills, or see some of Iceland’s wildlife.

TOP TIPS

✅ What to Wear:

Being prepared for Iceland’s rapidly changing weather is crucial. While visiting Iceland, I carried a day backpack for extra layers and my reusable water bottle.

Must Bring Items:

Think ahead and be prepared by double-checking your Iceland packing list.

✅ Nearby Accommodations

Want to spend more time in the area? There are plenty of cozy hotels nearby. Here are the top recommended hotels:

🏨 Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon Hotel (top-rated)

🏨 Gerdi Guesthouse (budget-friendly)

🏨 Fjallsarlon (luxurious Glacier Lagoon igloo)

🚨 Traveler’s Tip: These hotels fill up months in advance, grab a room now!

Two friends standing on Black Sand Beach in Iceland.

✅ Best Time to Visit:

The beach is accessible year-round. One reason that Iceland is one of my favorite countries is that any season you visit is a great season.

Note: The weather can be chilly year-round, so pack layers, layers, and more layers.


Popular Nearby Attractions

Diamond Beach is a convenient area to visit other highly sought-after attractions. The attractions in this area are some of the most photographed and precious destinations.

US Navy plane that is abandoned on a black sand beach in Iceland.

Safety At Diamond Beach

Please be cautious while visiting any of Iceland’s natural wonders.

While visiting Diamond Beach, stay safe by the following:

💡 Don’t climb on the icebergs

💡 Do not step on any floating icebergs

💡 Bring extra dry clothes & a towel in case you get wet

💡 Avoid the water

A person holding up a piece of ice that has a hole in it and viewing the glacier lagoon through the hole.

Diamond Beach FAQ:

1. Can you swim at the beach?

Swimming is not allowed. The water is extremely cold and the size of the waves coupled with the currents are not predictable and unsafe.

2. Is Diamond Beach accessible for people with disabilities?

The sandy beach is fairly uneven and many icebergs may be difficult to navigate around for those with mobility concerns.

The parking lot still has beautiful views of the icebergs and ocean making it possible for anyone to enjoy.

Photo taken from the inside of a car and looking out at a glacier lagoon in Iceland.

3. Are Black Sand Beach and Diamond Beach the same?

These two beaches are commonly confused. They are not the same beach!

Black Sand Beach is located west of a small town named Vik and takes about 3 hours to reach if you’re traveling from Reykjavik.

Mountains, water, and black sand at Black Sand Beach in Iceland.

4. Can you see the northern lights from the beach?

Yes! With the open skies and not a lot of light pollution, this is a perfect spot to see the northern lights.

Since this beach is visited often, there will probably be others viewing the northern lights around you.

Traveler’s Tip: If you visit in the summer you won’t see the northern lights, but you will experience the midnight sun.

If you are visiting Iceland and want to see the northern lights, the winter will be the best time for you.

Conclusion

Diamond Beach is more than just a spectacle for the eyes—it’s a sanctuary for wildlife and a testament to the resilience of nature in the face of adversity. Discover the rich biodiversity that calls this dynamic ecosystem home, from playful seals basking in the sun to seabirds soaring overhead.

No visit to Diamond Beach would be complete without experiencing its magic firsthand. Our guide is brimming with practical advice on how to make the most of your trip, including insider tips on when to visit, how to get there, and what to bring.

Whether you’re planning a solo adventure or a family getaway, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to navigate this remote paradise with ease.

Happy Trails,
Mindful PNW Travels