Diamond Beach Iceland is one of the most beautiful natural places we have ever been to. Check out everything you need to know here!

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Diamond beach Iceland is a gorgeous black sand beach on the southeast coast of Iceland. The blocks of ice wash up to the beach from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon after being broken into smaller pieces out to sea.

We recommend renting a car to get there if there is a group of you or jumping on this tour if it is more convenient. Our complete guide to renting a 4×4 in Iceland can be found here.

Here are our top accommodation recommendations if you want to make more than a day of it!

Avoid taking the bus or public transport if possible as this is not time effective.

Diamond Beach Iceland

When I say beautiful, I’m really not exaggerating. From the very beginning, staring out into the Norwegian Sea standing amongst blocks of perfectly formed glacier ice, to the very end, following the ancient glacier winding back into the mountains. Diamond Beach Iceland really is worth the trip.

Diamond Beach is the result of glacial ice breaking off of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacial tongue into the famous Jökulsárlón Lagoon. This ice that collects in the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon then slowly makes its way out into the sea.

The whole process breaks up these huge chunks of glacial ice into thousands of incredible blocks that wash up on the jet-black sand of Iceland’s east coast. The contrast between the glistening ice and sand makes for truly breathtaking sights.

Read More: Things You Need To Know About Visiting Iceland In November

In the right light and location, you can get some truly spectacular images

What To Do At Diamond Beach In Iceland

Diamond beach is definitely the most famous name to come from this area. However, it is only one small piece of the whole attraction.

The park is also home to the deepest lake in the whole of Iceland, a glacier that is actively breaking into the lagoon and a mountain range giving an entire backdrop to possible seal and orca sightings!

The whole visit will take you around 2 hours if you have a quite leisurely walk whilst also taking some time to try and spot the local wildlife.

Many blocks of glacier ice washed up on diamond beach iceland
The black sand on Diamond Beach really brings out the ice perfectly

Read More: Find Out About All The Other Incredible Beaches In Iceland HERE

Diamond Beach

Firstly and most importantly, get yourself down onto the beach and walk amongst the ice diamonds decorating the whole area.

You’ll be very surprised about how big some of the blocks can be and you’ll be able to have some serious fun trying to get those Instagram-worthy shots from all sorts of angles.

A lady peering through a ring of ice on diamond beach iceland
We found a pretty decent little ice ring to have some fun with.

The beach is really quite big but for some reason, the crowds of people tend to stick together in the middle like a bunch of penguins trying to keep warm.

Have a walk literally 1 minute in either direction of this group and get yourself some lovely pictures without the crowds.

Read More: Take A Look At How You Can See Diamond Beach Iceland From A Helicopter HERE

People gathering together on diamond beach iceland
If you walk just a short distance from the car park then you’ll have much better pictures.

Pro Tip

Don’t get sand in your camera! It’s very easy to forget you’re on sand because of the incredible blackness of it but you are! Everyone knows that sand is the devil to all electrical equipment.

Whilst you’re strolling about the ice diamonds like a happy Ice Queen (or king, although it doesn’t have the same ring to it) remember to glance over at the glacial river and into the sea as often as you can. The amazing Diamond Beach Iceland is home to many seals which you can quite easily see as long as you stay alert.

A seal in the water at diamond beach iceland
It looks like this fella is up to something.

However, Diamond beach is also home to one of the best places to see orca whales in Iceland. Now, I’m a huge wildlife person and I get excited just writing about it (and we didn’t even see one!), so if you’re like me then there are some good vantage points on the bridge just behind the diamond beach or some better lookouts on the north side. Good luck!

A large bridge over the glacial river at diamond beach iceland
This is not a bad place to stand to see a glimpse of an orca – binoculars are highly recommended from here.

Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Once you have finished with Diamond Beach Iceland then cross the road and walk up to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. When I say walk I don’t want you to think it’s a hike or something, you may have even parked next to it when you first arrived. Jökulsárlón Lagoon is literally 100m from the beach.

A panorama image of Jökulsárlón Lagoon near diamond beach iceland
A panorama might be the only way to capture a fraction of the beauty of the lagoon

Jökulsárlón Lagoon is a huge glacial lake that rests at the foot of the Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. This is where all of the ice comes from that makes up the famous Diamond Beach in Iceland. As far as the eye can see, there are huge blocks of glacial ice towering over one another slowly breaking down until escaping to the sea.

The sun reflecting off of the water in the bay near diamond beach iceland
This was actually the highest the sun went all day.

If the sheer scale of this process does not capture you instantly then the cracking and rumbling sounds that echo around the lagoon will surely pull you into its beauty.

The giant blocks at the back of the lagoon are moving so slowly that during your time there they will seem to not have moved. However the closer you get to the short river at the front, you will start to see this destructive process in real-time.

A large iceberg floating in the lagoon near diamond beach iceland
The different lines of black are from volcanic eruptions throughout the millennia!

The smaller blocks now tumble and turn as they make their way to the sea, occasionally hitting one another causing a deep rumbling echo.

Jökulsárlón Lagoon is actually less than a century old and only started forming in 1935 due to rapidly increasing temperatures in Iceland. Already, the lagoon is nearly 250m deep which is the deepest in all of Iceland.

So, when you are looking at the brilliant blues, blacks and whites of the huge blocks at the back, remember, they may go down very deep into the crystal depths.

Many smaller blocks of ice floating in Jökulsárlón lagoon near diamond beach iceland
Jökulsárlón Lagoon really is beautiful. Just listening to the ice hitting each other is therapeutic.

How To Get To Diamond Beach Iceland

Diamond Beach is situated, quite conveniently, right next to Route 1 which is the main road that goes around the entirety of Iceland, so getting there is quite easy.

However, you’re going to have to plan your trip quite well because it really is nowhere near some of the biggest attractions in Iceland, for example, the Golden Circle.

It all completely depends on what your plan is in Iceland, what you want to see and where you will be staying. I’ve made a list below of some of the most common ways of getting there.

The map below also shows all of the amazing attractions you can visit on your way to Diamond Beach, including other black-sand beaches, lighthouses and incredible waterfalls. You can really make a complete day (or more) of the trip from Reykjavik to Diamond Beach Iceland.

Car Hire

The majority of people that come to Iceland hire a vehicle for the duration of their stay. This is because so many of the national parks and incredible sights in Iceland are free to visit.

Therefore, you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on day tours which pick you up from the hotel and give you very little more than you could do yourself.

If you are coming to Iceland for a short visit (less than two weeks) then I highly recommend hiring a decent 4×4 from one of the many rental companies and enjoying the freedom it provides.

If you have decided to do this then simply drive to Diamond Beach Iceland when you have the time.

Read More: Take An Awesome Road Trip In Iceland!

This was our 4×4 during the trip. Handled everything we threw at it.

Pro Tips

Along Route 1 there are many little places you can stop to have a look at huge waterfalls and glaciers that are right next to the road. A good way to break up your journey is to stop at one of these many attractions along the way.

Plan your trip to minimise how much driving you do in the dark. The often icy roads in Iceland are well-surfaced and well maintained but there is still no reason to increase the risk by driving at night.

A waterfall lit up by artificial light
This waterfall was just by the side of the road.

Van Hire

If you’re thinking about a long trip to Iceland then definitely consider renting a van. They can range quite significantly from around $70 a day, all the way up to $300 for a serious motorhome. It all depends on what sort of trip you want. Something to consider, however, is there are certain roads in Iceland that require you to have a certain type of vehicle.

I strongly recommend finding a camper that allows you to travel on F-roads as some of the coolest places to visit are hidden at the end of these roads.

You CAN NOT camp on the side of the street or in a car park, you must check into a campsite. Campsites usually have access to hot showers, toilets and all the usual facilities. You have to bear in mind this additional cost, which is around $15 a night per person.

Driving around Iceland from hotel to hotel may seem like the more economical or convenient option, however, being able to camp out in some of the more rural areas and the freedom a camper gives you can dramatically improve your Iceland experience.

Like hiring a car, simply make your way around to the ice beach when you have the time.

Pro Tip

Remember that northern Iceland is one of the best places in the whole world to witness the Aurora Borealis (northern lights). Having a camper in the middle of nowhere will come in handy for sure.

Day Tour

This is a really good option if you are travelling alone due to the comparatively low cost and effort compared to hiring your own vehicle. Don’t get me wrong, if there is a group of you then it’s still a great option but hiring a vehicle may just be more cost-effective. It’s also a fantastic option if you can’t drive yourself.

A day tour is a lot better than getting public transport as it takes over 8 hours to get to Diamond beach from Reykjavik on the bus so you won’t be getting there and back in one day if you get the bus.

Have a look at this tour of the south coast of Iceland all the way up to Diamond Beach or check the availability right now.

Read More: All Of The Best Tours In Iceland For The Winter

Public Transport

There is a bus from Reykjavik to the town near Diamond Beach, Jökulsárlón, that takes 7 hours and 30 minutes. There you can get a short taxi ride of about 5 minutes to Diamond Beach. I don’t recommend this option unless you really do not have a choice because it is not an efficient use of your time. It also really grates on me that the 5-minute taxi ride at the end will cost you nearly $30!

Have a look at how to get a bus from Reykjavik to Diamond Beach here. Don’t forget that you can go directly from the airport to the capital if you need to.

Best Time To Go To Diamond Beach Iceland

Time Of Year

The beauty of Diamond Beach is that it is a 365-day-a-year phenomenon. The ice in the lagoon and the glacier is constantly breaking away into the sea, meaning that there are always new ice diamonds being washed up on the shore.

The size of the ice blocks changes throughout the year but this isn’t really dependent on the season. We visited Iceland in winter and the ice diamonds were small to medium-sized. None were taller than a person by quite some margin. If you take a look at some of the pictures others have got from Diamond Beach Iceland, the blocks can be huge. This is just pure chance.

If you are going in November Or April, have a look at our guides to visiting Iceland in November and April for more things to do. You can also visit in the peak season of June.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Iceland In Summer

Time Of Day

Depending on the time of year you go to diamond beach Iceland can change when you want to get there, for example, we travelled to Iceland in November. This meant that the highest the sun got all day was barely above the horizon. This means you can get beautiful low-sun shots all day.

I don’t recommend driving in Iceland in the dark in the colder months because the roads tend to be icy and this just increases the danger. However, getting there before sunrise does mean you can get some beautiful shots of Diamond Beach.

Diamond Beach Iceland is a beautiful place all day so unless you want a very specific type of picture then anytime is good.

Safety At Diamond Beach Iceland

This should go without saying but seriously do not climb on top of some of the bigger icebergs. They are literally blocks of ice with sharp jagged spikes and edges covering their entire surface. If you slip, which you probably will, you may get seriously hurt.

To make matters worse, people actually have been stuck on icebergs that then float out to sea. I know it sounds like a cartoon but this actually happens at Diamond Beach. 

If that wasn’t enough, if you do start floating on one of the icebergs then there is a chance that you’ll flip the iceberg and get trapped underneath, leading to drowning.

And lastly! If you do manage to get out of the water, wet, then you could suffer from severe hypothermia within minutes and die. 

Wildlife At Diamond Beach Iceland


There are a number of different species of seal on offer at Diamond Beach, however, you will be lucky to see any other than the common harbour seal. If you are a keen wildlife enthusiast then you may see a grey seal, or, if you’re extremely lucky, even the odd walrus!

An example of a harbour seal. I wasn’t lucky enough to get this good a shot.

Orcas – Killer Whales

If you are really lucky (we were not) then you may see a pod of orcas swim past as you walk amongst the ice diamonds. It is said to be one of the best places in the whole country to be able to see the orcas from the shore due to the large presence of seals. However, do not be disheartened if you don’t see any as it is a rare sight.

The best place to stand is definitely to the north of the glacier river as this area gives the best vantage point of the surrounding sea. Good luck!

Look out for the unmistakable large dorsal fin!

What To Take To Diamond Beach In Iceland

It’s always important to layer up Iceland, whatever time of year you’re visiting. Here are our top picks for clothing, tech and accessories to make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be!

MOERDENG Women's Mountain Waterproof/Windproof Jacket

If you are thinking of going into colder climates then you have to make sure you have a suitable jacket to go along for the ride. This ski jacket is waterproof and windproof which helps keep out the cold and a fleece lining which helps to keep in the warmth. The jacket is also extremely affordable compared to other brands meaning your comfort is no longer going to cost you an arm and a leg!

Buy Now
CAMEL CROWN Fleece Lined Waterproof/Windproof Pants

People often buy really good gloves, hats, boots, and jackets when they are going into colder climates but neglect the need for a good pair of waterproof/windproof trousers to go along with it. These brilliant fleece-lined trousers will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable for those long days in the freezing cold.

Buy Now
Columbia Hiking Boots

You can spend an insane amount of money on hiking boots if you want (trust me, I have) but, unless you're planning on travelling to the Arctic Circle, you simply don't have to break the bank. These amazingly diverse and adaptable boots by Columbia will handle everything you throw at them, whilst keeping your feet dry, warm, and pain-free!

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Fleece Lined Long Johns & Base Layer

If you really feel the cold but already have a decent jacket and insulated trousers, then you have to check out these fleece-lined thermal long johns and top base layer. These will fit under your outer clothes and give a massive increase to your warmth whilst paired with other quality winter wear. A must-have for someone who struggles with the cold.

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KINGSBOM -40F° Waterproof & Windproof Thermal Gloves

If you need a pair of no-nonsense, warm, waterproof, and windproof gloves that will work with your touch devices then we highly recommend checking out these gloves. I recommend getting slightly larger than you think as the sizing is on the small size.

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HOT FEET Winter Boot Socks

If you're going to be wearing boots, especially in colder climates, then you need to grab yourself a decent set of cold-weather socks. These thermal socks from HOT FEET don't break the bank and will keep your feet warm in some of the coldest weather. You also get 8 pairs!

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C.C Cable Knit Fleece Lined Beanie

This beautiful cable knit beanie comes in a huge variety of colours and will keep your head warm in some of the most difficult of conditions. If you will be wearing your hood up a lot then I recommend getting one without a pom.

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Classic Ear Warmers

Jade prefers wearing ear muffs because it gives her more options to style her hair whilst also keeping her little ears warm. If that sounds like something you might struggle with then check out these fantastic ear warmers that come in a variety of colours!

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100% Cotton Cable Sweater

Cotton is the way to go to keep you warm on cold nights staring up at the beautiful starry sky, surrounded by ice and snow. This is from Amazon Basics so you're not paying a premium for a famous brand but you're still getting that thick cotton quality.

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Read More: Take A Look At Our Recommended Products For Travellers


You will be able to purchase a nice lunch when you get there as there is food available, things like fish & chips etc. However, if you want to save some money (which you will as Iceland is very expensive) then grab some lunch from one of the local shops where you are staying.

Cost Of Diamond Beach In Iceland


I have worked out at current fuel prices in Iceland of $1.90, that an average 4×4 will cost around $50 in fuel each way, so $100 in total. However, I have to say that fuel prices do fluctuate and you may have a much more or less fuel-efficient vehicle. Use $100 as a rough estimate.

Diamond Beach

Visiting Diamond Beach Iceland does not cost a thing once you are there. The parking is free and there is no entry cost to the beach.

Diamond Beach Iceland Accommodation

If you are wanting to get to the beach very early for the sunrise, or even the sunset, then I don’t recommend driving a long distance in the dark.

Luckily there is some very nice accommodation very close to Diamond Beach. Here is my selection of the best for budget and best luxury Diamond Beach accommodation.

Click on the hotel deals below to find the best accommodation in near Diamond Beach!


Read More: 9 Of The Most Unique Hotels In Iceland

Best Budget Accommodation – Diamond Beach Iceland

Skyrhúsid Guest House

The undisputed best-value accommodation anywhere near Diamond Beach, Iceland. Skyrhúsid Guest House really is not what you would expect from the cheapest available guesthouse. You only have to take a look at a couple of the pictures to see that beautiful wooden cabin feeling that you’re going to get from this property. 

Check Out The Reviews Of Skyrhúsid Here


I know cosy is sometimes used to describe something that is small and uncomfortable but that really isn’t the case here. The rooms are adequately sized and you won’t feel like you have gone budget at all.

Diamond Beach is a simple 10-minute drive away and this guesthouse is in a prime location for exploring all of southeast Iceland. 

Click here to book your room

Best Luxury Accommodation – Diamond Beach Iceland

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

This hotel isn’t just beautiful, it is also in quite a perfect location. Some rooms have incredible panoramic views of the area and you may even see the coveted northern lights!

Check Out The Reviews Of Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon Here


If you really are looking for that extra special thing to separate it from the rest, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon has access to an incredible on-site hotel and sauna/steam rooms. That must be the best way to heat up after a day in the ice.

Diamond beach is very close, 18.6 miles, and the hotel is in a very good location to explore all of the other wonderful sights the southeast has to offer.

Book your room here

Nearby Attractions To Diamond Beach In Iceland

The southeast of Iceland has some beautiful places to see. It is especially famous for its waterfalls. This is because the whole southeast coast is next to the Vatnajokull Glacier situated in the mountains. The melting of this glacier, running off of the mountains and into the sea, makes some of the most incredible waterfalls in Iceland. 

But it isn’t just the waterfalls to get you excited. There are also some brilliant ice lagoons, mountains and national parks for you to visit. Read on to find out what else there is to do near Diamond beach, Iceland.

Fjallsárlón, Iceberg Lagoon

Just down the road to Diamond Beach, there is Fjallsárlón. This lagoon is an amazing opportunity to get nice and close to the icebergs as there are very reasonably priced boat tours around the lagoon. If you want to add a little bit of adventure and awe to your day trip to Diamond Beach Iceland then stop in at Fjallsárlón and enjoy a kayaking trip.

Have a look at the availability of these tours HERE.

Svartifoss Waterfall

Svartifoss waterfall is one of the most popular waterfalls in all of Iceland due to the beauty surrounding the waterfall. It is a 30-minute walk from the visitor centre and it is recommended that you have decent walking boots to tackle the hike. It is well worth it however as the waterfall really is spectacular.

Breiðárlón Lagoon

Only 5 minutes away from Diamond Beach Iceland is Breiðárlón Lagoon. This lagoon is probably the second most popular lagoon in all of Iceland, however, due to its proximity to Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Lagoon, people tend to ignore it. This means that there is hardly ever many people there.

If you are wanting a much more tranquil experience plus some of the most beautiful landscape scenes on offer in Iceland then have a pop down to Breiðárlón Lagoon. It’s so close that you won’t regret it.

Þórbergssetur Culture & Heritage Center

If you want to relax a little and get out of the cold then you could pop and see the Þórbergssetur culture and heritage centre. This museum focuses on how people survived in the 1930s as well as the history of the nation.

If you are into museums and history then definitely go and take a look. If you’re not then there is quite a good restaurant there so if you’re driving past then stop and grab a bite to eat!

Frequently Asked Questions About Diamond Beach Iceland

How Much Does Diamond Beach Iceland Cost?

Entry and parking are free, the only cost is getting there. This varies on the vehicle you are using and its efficiency, however, roughly $100 in fuel from Reykjavik.

Where Is Diamond Beach Iceland?

It is in the southeast of Iceland right next to the Route 1 highway which circumnavigates the whole of Iceland.

When To Visit Diamond Beach Iceland?

There is no best time to visit Diamond Beach Iceland as the glacier is constantly releasing ice into the sea which is continuously gathering up on the black sand beach.

Is There Parking At Diamond Beach Iceland?

Yes, there is ample parking, it is free and it is right next to Diamond Beach.

How Long Does It Take To Get From Reykjavik To Diamond Beach Iceland?

It takes about 4h 20m by car to get to Diamond Beach from Reykjavik. This is Route 1 all the way.

Do you know of any other activities nearby Diamond Beach Iceland? Have you got any suggestions for would-be travellers on how to make this experience even better? Please let us know in the comments below!

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