The Diamond Beach: A Stretch of Icebergs and Black Sand

Basic Information

  • The Diamond beach is located in South-East Iceland, around 4 hours and 45 minutes drive from Reykjavik. 
  • The beach is one of the top attractions in Iceland. 
  • Located in a 1 minute walking distance from Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon
  • The “diamonds” on the Diamond Beach can be different in size and shape. Since the icebergs are formed by nature, you can never really know what to expect when visiting the beach. 
  • You can often find seals on the Diamond Beach. 

A soothing and gentle breeze that whispers in your ears and rustles through the hair, calmness amidst the roaring see waves that crash against the shore, the smell of wet and untouched sand. Nothing can beat the vibe and feel that you get when you visit the Diamond Beach in South Iceland. The view is indeed mesmerizing and reminds you of how beautiful nature is. The Diamond Beach is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The spellbinding and magical ice-speckled beach is sure to captivate you the moment you visit there. It is a once in a lifetime experience and a must visit when traveling along the south coast of Iceland. The beach should be on every travelers bucket list. 

Diamond Beach Iceland Tour

Guided tours to the Diamond Beach

How is the Diamond Beach formed?

The Diamond Beach, which is a strip of dense black sand belongs to the greater Breiðamerkursandur glacial plain, on the South Coast of Iceland. This is a beautiful black volcanic sand beach, which is located next to the infamous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The icebergs that we call “Diamonds” on this beach come from the glacier lagoon. Jokulsarlon is a glacier lagoon located next to Breiðamerkurjokull Glacier. Because of climate change, ice falls off the glacier and into the lagoon every day. The icebergs that have fallen off the glacier, float around the lagoon until they float out to sea. From there they wash up on land to the Diamond Beach. The size and shape of the icebergs can be different depending on how long they have been in the lagoon or out on sea. 

On the diamond beach you can explore the icebergs up close. A whole new experience awaits you as you walk between the diamond-shaped ice drifted on land from Breidamerkurjokull Glacier.

sunset at Diamond Beach in south Iceland

Sculpted by the Sea. Shining Under the Sun

This beach lends its name from the giant icebergs that stands tall on the black sand beach and absorbing the natural light to reflect resembling diamonds. The original name is Breiðamerkursandur, which is a glacial outwash plain. Breiðamerkursandur, here sandur means the sandy beach, and Breiðamerkurjökull is the neighboring glacier tongue. The icebergs that fill up the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon crashes up on the shore and that results in creating a stunning contrast with volcanic black sand. The icebergs land on the shore from the nearby lagoon and wash up on black sand that creates a visually attractive sight to witness. The big boulders are naturally polished and sculpted by the wind and water that makes it shine bright in contrast with the black sand. The natural contrast created by the crystal ice against black sand is simply jaw-dropping.

girl standing in front of an ice berg at the Diamond beach in South Iceland

Seals, Photography & other wildlife

The Diamond Beach is the perfect  place for nature-lovers and it attracts celebrated photographers from around the world each year. The Diamond beach is indeed a sight to behold, and is home to seals and many other wild-life animals. If you look out you can definitely see seals up on the beach or swimming in the glacier lagoon. You might also be able to see orcas from the seashore and you might witness chirping seabirds that you haven’t seen before! The captivating sight with huge chunks of ice can keep travelers occupied for hours. This is a fantastic destination to visit at any time of the year. The icebergs can be seen floating and washing up to the seashore and break year-round. So, huge chunks of icebergs that are glinting against the sunlight are expected to be there every time.

How to visit the Diamond Beach

Since the Diamond Beach is located around 4 hours and 45 minutes drive from Reykjavik, it might be a long tour for one day. You can choose between day tours, multi day tours and self driving tours all year when visiting the Diamond Beach.  

  • Day Tours: There are tours that will take you to the Diamond Beach in one day. Those tours are great if you have already booked your accommodation in Reykjavik. The tour will be long since you will have to drive to the Diamond Beach & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and back in one day. You will still have time to explore some of the highlights on the way like the popular waterfalls on the south coast. 
  • Private Tours:  If you have only one day but want to make the itinerary fit to you and your group, a private tour to the Diamond Beach is what you are looking for. 
  • Multi Day Tours: I always recommend going on a multi day tour when visiting the Diamond Beach and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. You can choose a multi day tour that has a duration between 2 days and 8 days, and everything in between.  The 2 day tour will take you to the top attractions on the south coast and you will be staying one night in a charming countryside hotel. The 8 day tour will take you around the whole country and visit all the top places Iceland has to offer. 
  • Self Drive: If you have rented a car, the Diamond Beach is a must on your itinerary. I recommend that you take a few days to drive up to the Diamond Beach and explore all the wonders that will be on your way. You can always be in contact with us if you need any help with your itinerary – info@icelandtravelguide.is 

Enjoy and experience a different unusual phenomenon at the Diamond Beach all year. During summer time you can witness the Midnight Sun and the endless brightness and beautiful sunsets.  This gets more intense around June 21, which is the longest day of the year with almost no darkness. This could be the best time to visit and experience something phenomenal.

During the winter time, you can watch the Northern Lights dance above the diamonds at the Diamond Beach. It is a magical moment and the perfect winter night in Iceland. 

man walking on the Diamond Beach in south Iceland

How to Get There?

From Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, it will only take you 1 minutes drive to reach The Diamond Beach. You can also park your car next to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and walk under the bridge to the Diamond Beach. The Diamond Beach is located 370 km away from Reykjavik, which will take you around 5 hours by car and nearly 192 km away from Vik that takes around 2 hours by car.

When driving from Reykjavik, take the Route 1, the Ring Road, and continue straight. The beach is hard to miss, you can see the clear signs when you reach near the beach.

icebergs and sea on the Diamond Beach in south Iceland

The Diamond Beach on a map

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