All about Diamond Beach Iceland
If you’ve heard of the Glacier Lagoon at Jökulsárlón, you might have heard about another stunning spectacle nearby.
The incredible icebergs that calve from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier tongue will float around the Glacier Lagoon for some time, even years, before the tides finally pull them out to the Atlantic Ocean.
Once captured by the sea, the subtle sculpturing of the icebergs in the Glacier Lagoon is quickly replaced by pounding waves and the fierce winds that cross this dramatic black sand beach.
Those gigantic chunks of ice are soon reduced into bizarre shapes and sizes, ending up as tiny glittering fragments scattered like precious jewels on a velvet cushion.
This is the Diamond Beach!
No trip to this part of Iceland is complete without a stroll along this astonishing coastline.
Here’s everything you need to know about Iceland´s Diamond Beach.
Where is the Diamond Beach in Iceland?
Iceland´s Diamond Beach is in southeast Iceland, about 375 kilometers from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík.
Driving there will take about six hours altogether.
It’s a few minutes walk from the Glacier Lagoon at Jökulsárlón.
What’s the Diamond Beach like?
The Diamond Beach is on the seaward side of the Ring Road, compared to the Glacier Lagoon at Jökulsárlón, which lies just inland.
The Breiðamerkurjökull glacier tongue used to reach as far as the sea, with its icebergs calving directly into the ocean.
Since the 1930s, the glacier tongue has retreated further inland, leaving the Glacier Lagoon carved out of the ground behind it.
That means the icebergs now calve from the glacier several kilometers away.
As a result, the bergs take much longer to reach the ocean, eventually heading down the river Jökulsá, which connects the lagoon to the Atlantic.
When that happens, the wind and the tides scatter the remaining fragments along a black volcanic sand beach, stretching as far as the eye can see.
You can walk amongst these fabulous fragments and see icebergs at all stages of melting until there’s nothing less than tiny pieces left!
The contrast between the stark black sands and the gleaming white and blue ice fragments creates images you’ll never forget.
Like the icebergs in the Glacier Lagoon, some of the “Diamonds” will be striped with black volcanic ash, reminders of the volcanoes that rock Iceland when they want to!
How did Iceland’s Diamond Beach get its name?
The “proper” Icelandic name for this stretch of coast is Breiðamerkursandur, which means Breiðamerkur beach.
Breiðamerkursandur is a glacial outwash plain, and it’s more than 18 kilometers wide.
The Diamond Beach is the popular name for this part of the coastline, but some locals might call it Fellsfjara.
Eystri-Fellsfjara is on the eastern side of the river, and Vestri-Fellsfjara is on the west.
Nobody knows who came up with the Diamond Beach instead, but everyone agrees that it’s a better name due to the diamond shaped ice!
What facilities does the Diamond Beach offer?
There are no facilities at all on the Diamond Beach, so if you’re hungry or want to use the restroom, take advantage of the services at the café in the Glacier Lagoon, just a few minutes away.
When is the best time to visit the Diamond Beach in Iceland?
Icebergs “calve” from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier tongue as soon as the spring thaw begins, so the best time to visit the Diamond Beach is from April onwards.
When winter arrives, the lagoon will freeze over, trapping the icebergs in place until the subsequent thaw. That means very few fragments will escape to the shoreline, so the Diamond Beach will be less of a spectacle.
So, our Glacier Lagoon tours follow that natural pattern, with trips available for booking when the views are at their best!
As with all trips in Iceland, the weather is the most critical factor; of course, it’s very unpredictable. So we’ll read the weather forecast to ensure you have the best experience possible.
What should I bring with me to the Diamond Beach?
Bring a camera. Or your smartphone. You’re going to take a LOT of pictures!
As always, dress in layers that are comfortable and easy to take off. It’s a long drive, and the temperatures will vary, so you need to be prepared.
Bring scarves, gloves, hats, windproof pants, and sturdy shoes.
Depending on the season, you might need all of these!
Touch screen gloves (to access your phone’s camera) and mittens
Heavy-duty waterproof parka
Safety at Iceland’s Diamond Beach
Unlike Reynisfjara (Black Sand Beach), the Diamond Beach is not dangerous for visitors.
Just keep clear of the water’s edge and watch the waves.
And don’t even think about swimming – the water is freezing!
But it’s essential to remember one more thing.
Do not stand on the icebergs.
It may seem like a great idea, but the icebergs are unstable, toppling over if you try to climb on top.
Don’t risk injury from a fall or a soaking if you land in the freezing waters of the Atlantic.
No picture is worth risking your life!
We offer a range of Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach tours for you to choose from, with different schedules and formats.
Location and geological formation of Diamond Beach
Located on the southern coast of Iceland, Diamond Beach is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and geological wonders. Situated near the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, this beach is known for its black sands and shimmering ice diamonds.
The Diamond Beach formed as a result of the neighboring Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The lagoon is home to the greater Breiðamerkursandur glacial plain, Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. As the glacier melts, it produces huge chunks of floating ice that break off and float towards the shore. These ice chunks, often referred to as "icebergs," are then washed ashore by the waves, creating a stunning display of ice diamonds on the beach.
The black sands of Diamond Beach provide a striking contrast against the crystal-clear ice, making the scenery even more mesmerizing. This unique geological phenomenon attracts visitors from all over the world, eager to witness the beauty of nature in its purest form.
Unique features of Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach is renowned for its unique features that set it apart from any other beach in the world. The most prominent feature is, of course, the ice diamonds that adorn the shoreline. These ice chunks come in various sizes and shapes, ranging from small pieces to massive formations that can reach several meters in height.
The constantly changing landscape of Diamond Beach is another feature that makes it truly special. As the tides shift and the waves crash against the ice, the beach transforms, creating an ever-evolving scenery that is both captivating and unpredictable. No two visits to Diamond Beach are the same, ensuring a different experience for every traveler.
In addition to the ice diamonds, Diamond Beach is also home to an abundance of birdlife. The beach serves as a nesting ground for various bird species, including Arctic terns, puffins, and seagulls. These birds add an extra layer of beauty to the already stunning surroundings, creating a harmonious blend of nature's wonders.
Wildlife and marine life at Diamond Beach for Nature Lovers
Diamond Beach is not only a haven for birdlife but also a paradise for marine life. As the ice diamonds make their way to the shore, they become home to a myriad of marine creatures. Seals can often be seen lounging on the ice, soaking up the sun and enjoying the serenity of their icy habitat.
If you're lucky, you might even spot a whale or two in the distance. The waters surrounding Diamond Beach are known for their rich marine ecosystem, attracting various species of whales, including humpbacks and orcas. Witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is an experience that will stay with you forever.
The combination of diverse birdlife and marine life makes Diamond Beach a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Whether you're capturing the elegance of a soaring Arctic tern or the playfulness of a seal basking on the ice, the opportunities for wildlife photography are endless.
Photography tips for capturing the beauty of Diamond Beach
Photographing Diamond Beach can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. To capture the true essence of this natural wonder, here are some photography tips to keep in mind:
Golden hour: Make the most of the soft, warm light during the golden hour, which occurs during sunrise and sunset. The low angle of the sun enhances the textures and colors of the ice diamonds, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. In the summer months, the midnight sun will extend the hours of the golden hour.
Long exposure: Experiment with long exposure photography to capture the motion of the waves crashing against the ice. This technique can create a sense of movement and add a dynamic element to your photographs.
Composition: Pay attention to your composition and look for interesting angles and perspectives. The contrast between the black sands and the ice diamonds provides ample opportunities for creative compositions.
Capture the details: Don't forget to zoom in and capture the intricate details of the ice diamonds. The textures and patterns on the ice can be truly mesmerizing when captured up close.
Include wildlife: Incorporate the birdlife and marine life into your photographs to add a sense of scale and to showcase the diverse ecosystem of Diamond Beach.
Remember, the key to capturing the beauty of Diamond Beach is to be patient, observant, and open to the unexpected. Nature has a way of surprising us with its wonders, so be ready to seize the moment and capture it through your lens.
Nearby attractions and activities
While Diamond Beach is undoubtedly the main attraction, there are several other nearby attractions and activities that you shouldn't miss during your visit to Iceland:
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: Located just a stone's throw away from Diamond Beach, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a sight to behold. Marvel at the majestic icebergs as they float in the turquoise waters, and take a boat tour to get up close and personal with these icy giants.
Skaftafell National Park: Explore the stunning landscapes of Skaftafell National Park, home to glaciers, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Embark on a glacier hike or take a leisurely stroll to witness the beauty of this untouched wilderness.
Vatnajökull National Park: Discover the largest national park in Europe, Vatnajökull National Park. This vast expanse of ice and wilderness is home to various glaciers, volcanoes, and hot springs, offering endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.
Ice cave tours: Experience the magical world of ice caves with a guided tour. These natural formations are a photographer's dream, with their translucent walls and vibrant blue hues.
Northern Lights: If you're visiting during the winter months, don't miss the chance to witness the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights. Head away from the light pollution from the city lights and find a spot with clear skies for the best viewing experience of the Aurora Borealis.
Safety precautions and guidelines at Diamond Beach
While Diamond Beach is a captivating destination, it's important to prioritize safety during your visit. Here are some safety precautions and guidelines to keep in mind:
Stay away from the water: The Atlantic Ocean can be unpredictable, and the waves can be powerful. Keep a safe distance from the water, especially when the waves are rough.
Beware of slippery surfaces: The black sands can be slippery, especially when wet. Take caution when walking on the beach and wear appropriate footwear to avoid accidents.
Respect wildlife: While observing the wildlife, maintain a respectful distance and avoid disturbing their natural behavior. Do not attempt to touch or feed any animals you encounter.
Dress appropriately: The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and wear waterproof clothing to stay comfortable and protected from the elements.
Follow signage and guidelines: Pay attention to any signs or guidelines provided at the beach, and follow them to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
By adhering to these safety precautions, you can fully enjoy the beauty of Diamond Beach while keeping yourself and the environment safe.
Accommodation options near Diamond Beach
To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Diamond Beach, consider staying at one of the nearby accommodations. Here are some options to choose from:
Hotel Höfn: Located in the town of Höfn, Hotel Höfn offers comfortable rooms with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The hotel also features a restaurant serving delicious Icelandic cuisine.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon: Situated near the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon offers modern and stylish rooms with panoramic views of the surrounding glaciers. The hotel also has a restaurant and a bar for guests to enjoy.
Guesthouses and cottages: There are several guesthouses and cottages available for rent in the area surrounding Diamond Beach. These options provide a cozy and intimate setting, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings.
With these accommodation options, you can rest and rejuvenate after a day of exploration, ensuring a memorable and comfortable stay near Diamond Beach.
Unforgettable experiences at Iceland Diamond Beach
Iceland Diamond Beach is a destination that truly lives up to its name. From the shimmering ice diamonds to the unique wildlife and stunning landscapes, this beach offers an unparalleled experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Whether you're a professional photographer capturing the ethereal beauty or a traveler looking for a unique experience, Iceland Diamond Beach will captivate you with its otherworldly allure. This destination embodies the raw beauty and breathtaking landscapes that Iceland is renowned for, leaving visitors forever enchanted.
So, pack your camera, bundle up, and get ready to witness nature's own diamond exhibition at Iceland Diamond Beach. It's an experience that will leave you breathless and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Glaciers and ice caves in the region
The South Coast of Iceland is also home to breathtaking glaciers and mesmerizing ice caves. Sólheimajökull glacier, located near the village of Skógar, is a must-visit destination. Join a guided tour and witness the stunning ice formations up close. As you explore the glacier, you'll be in awe of the shimmering blue ice and the intricate patterns carved by nature.
For a truly unique experience, venture into an ice cave. These natural wonders are formed during the winter months when water freezes, creating a magical world of ice and light. Walk through corridors of translucent blue ice and marvel at the intricate details that nature has created over thousands of years.
Black sand beaches and rock formations
The South Coast of Iceland is famous for its striking volcanic black sand beaches and impressive rock formations. Dyrhólaey, a promontory located near Vik, is a must-visit destination. From the top, you'll have a panoramic view of the black sand beach and the surrounding cliffs. Keep an eye out for puffins nesting on the cliffs during the summer months.
Another stunning rock formation worth visiting is the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. Legend has it that these towering basalt columns were once trolls who turned to stone when caught by the rising sun. As you stand at Reynisfjara beach, you'll be in awe of the dramatic beauty and the sense of mystery that surrounds these ancient formations.
Charming coastal villages and cultural experiences
The South Coast of Iceland is dotted with charming coastal villages off the Ring Road that offer a glimpse into the local way of life. Vik, the southernmost village in Iceland, is a popular base for exploring the region. Wander through its colorful streets, visit the local church, and sample traditional Icelandic cuisine at one of the local restaurants.
If you're interested in learning about Icelandic folklore and heritage, make a stop at the Skógar Museum. This open-air museum showcases traditional turf houses, historical artifacts, and exhibitions that provide insight into the country's rich cultural heritage.
Outdoor activities and adventures in the South Coast
For adventure seekers, the South Coast of Iceland has plenty to offer. From hiking to glacier walks, there are activities for every level of outdoor enthusiast. Strap on your hiking boots and explore the trails that wind through the region's stunning landscapes. Whether you choose to hike to the top of a volcano or trek along a glacier, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment.
For a truly unique experience, consider taking a snowmobile tour on one of the region's glaciers. Feel the adrenaline rush as you speed across the pristine white ice, surrounded by towering peaks and endless beauty.
FAQs - Your Questions Answered
To help you plan your visit to Diamond Beach, we have prepared a list of frequently asked questions:
Q: Can I visit Diamond Beach as part of a guided tour?
A: Absolutely! Grayline Iceland offers a range of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach tours that provide a seamless and immersive experience. Our expert guides will take you on a journey through the stunning landscapes of Iceland's South Coast, ensuring you make the most of your visit to Diamond Beach.
Q: Are there any facilities available at Diamond Beach?
A: Diamond Beach does not have any facilities on-site. However, you can find a cafe and restroom facilities at the nearby Glacier Lagoon, just a few minutes away. Make sure to take advantage of these amenities before exploring Diamond Beach.
Q: Can I purchase any products related to Diamond Beach at Grayline.is?
A: Yes, Grayline Iceland offers a variety of products, including tours, that are designed to enhance your experience at Diamond Beach. You can explore our website, grayline.is, to discover the available options and select the one that suits your preferences.
Q: Is swimming allowed at Black Diamond Beach?
A: No, swimming is strictly prohibited at Diamond Beach due to the freezing temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean. It is crucial to prioritize your safety and avoid entering the water near the Diamond beach.
Unlock the Beauty of Diamond Beach in South Iceland
Prepare to be captivated by the enchanting allure of the place called Diamond Beach in Iceland. With its gleaming ice fragments, dramatic black sand beach, and breathtaking surroundings, this natural wonder is a must-visit for any traveler seeking extraordinary experiences. Remember to come prepared with warm clothing and a camera to capture the magical moments you'll encounter. Follow the safety guidelines and enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Diamond Beach, a destination that will leave an indelible mark on your heart.
Book your Grayline Iceland tour today and embark on an unforgettable adventure to Diamond Beach and beyond while visiting Iceland and all the wonders it holds!