Guide to Visiting Diamond Beach in Iceland

Girls walking on Diamond Beach, Iceland

Named for its pristine, ice-cap adorned shores that glisten like a field of diamonds under the Arctic sun, Diamond Beach is a unique location that offers a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and serene solitude that is hard to find elsewhere.

Why should you visit the Diamond Beach, you ask? This is a place where the tranquil lullaby of the gently rolling waves meets the soft crackle of glacial ice, creating a symphony of natural sounds that captivates and soothes the soul. With each piece of ice boasting a unique shape and size, the spectacle of their sparkling dance against the black volcanic sand is a sight to behold, making the Diamond Beach an unmissable stop on any Icelandic adventure.

Iceland Beach is a one of a kind place in the world and visitors to Iceland should be sure to add it to their itinerary. It's easily accessible and close by to many of Iceland's other most popular attractions. If you're hoping to visit this glittering diamond beach, we've got everything you need to know right here.

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What is Diamond Beach in Iceland?

Diamond Beach is an expansive black sand beach located on Iceland’s Diamond Circle, a scenic driving route around the country’s north-east. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland due to its unique landscape, created by blocks of ice from Breiðamerkurjökull glacier floating ashore and slowly eroding away. The startlingly beautiful sight of the crystal blue blocks sparkling against the jet-black sands gives off the impression of diamonds. Diamond Beach one of Iceland's must-see natural wonders.

Ice on Diamond Beach in Iceland

Where is Diamond Beach in Iceland?

Diamond Beach is located on the south-east side of Jökulsárlón, a stunning glacial lagoon. To get to Diamond Beach from Reykjavik, you can take a bus or rent a car and drive the Diamond Circle route which takes approximately 4 hours. Google Maps works well in Iceland, so we recommend using this link to help you navigate your way to the beach. Or you can enter the coordinates below into your GPS.

Driving yourself to Diamond Beach isn't difficult. Rental cars are readily available in Iceland for drivers who are old enough to drive. We found driving renting a car in Iceland to be the easiest option, but if you're too young to rent a car or are trying to keep costs down as much as possible, consider utilizing public transit options.

Getting to Diamond Beach using public transit is a feasible and eco-friendly option. Iceland boasts a reliable network of buses that can transport you to various points of interest across the country. From Reykjavik's central bus station, you can catch a direct bus to Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon adjacent to Diamond Beach. The journey typically takes around 5 hours. Once you arrive at Jökulsárlón, it's just a short walk across the road to reach the beach. Keep in mind that bus schedules may change based on the season, so always check the latest timetables prior to your trip.

Diamond Beach, Iceland | 64.045371, -16.177252

Can you see the northern lights from Diamond Beach in Iceland?

Diamond Beach is a great spot to see the northern lights due to its remote location and lack of light pollution. The best time to see them is during winter, when they are visible from late August until early April, but your best chance for viewing the norther lights is December-February.

What activities can you do at the beach?

Visitors to Diamond Beach can take long walks along its beautiful shoreline, explore the glacial lagoon, photograph the stunning landscape, or watch for wildlife like seals, arctic terns and sea birds. Visitors should also keep an eye out for whales in the waters around Diamond Beach as many species have been spotted there over the years. Finally, Diamond Beach is an ideal spot for camping and stargazing due to its remoteness and clear skies. While you can't camp directly on the beach, you can stargaze on the beach then drive to and camp at Skaftafell Campground, about 45 minutes away.

Girl standing on Diamond Beach in Iceland

Visiting during the summer months

During the summer months, Diamond Beach offers an unparalleled experience. The midnight sun in Iceland paints the sky with hues of orange, pink, and gold, providing a stunning backdrop for the glittering ice diamonds. The summer also brings with it increased wildlife activity, making it the perfect time for birdwatching. On a warm day, you may even witness seals bask on the floating ice blocks. However, despite the warmer weather, the Atlantic Ocean remains chilly, so visitors are advised not to swim. Also, remember that due to its popularity, the beach can get crowded in summer, so plan your visit early or late in the day to avoid the peak times.

Visiting during the winter months

During the winter months, Diamond Beach transforms into a magical winter wonderland. The landscape is often covered in a blanket of snow, and the ice formations sparkle even more brilliantly against the crisp white backdrop. The frigid temperatures mean fewer tourists, offering a more solitary and serene experience. This is also the best time to catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing Northern Lights dancing across the sky, adding an otherworldly aura to the already stunning scene. However, it’s important to dress warmly and take necessary precautions while driving, as the weather conditions can be unpredictable. Despite these challenges, the ethereal beauty of Diamond Beach in winter makes it well worth a visit.

Do I need to book a tour for Diamond Beach in Iceland?

No, Diamond Beach does not require visitors to book a tour. You can easily visit Diamond Beach independently by renting a car or taking a bus from Reykjavik and driving the Diamond Circle route. If you prefer to join an organized tour, many tour providers offer day trips and multi-day tours to Diamond Beach that include other attractions along the Diamond Circle route.

Whatever your preference, visiting Diamond Beach in Iceland is sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Ice against black sand at Diamond Beach

Other things to do and see near Iceland's Diamond Beach:

  • Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier (the largest glacier in Europe!) is right next to Diamond Beach. We recommend booking a tour to hike on the glacier or tour inside of it via ice caves.
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is also right next to the Diamond Beach. While you can see the glaciers well from the land for free, we recommend taking a boat tour of the lagoon to see them up close and person to understand the sheet massiveness of both the icebergs and the glacier they're coming off of.
  • Skaftafell National Park is about 45 minutes west of Diamond Beach. If you're heading to the beach from Reykjavik, you'll pass it on the way. This national park offers the opportunity to walk up to Skaftafellsjökull Glacier and hike to Svartifoss, a waterfall featuring the iconic hexagonal basalt columns.

Where to stay near Diamond Beach in Iceland

Situated on the southeastern coast of Iceland, Diamond Beach is a breathtaking natural spectacle, where gleaming ice crystals washed ashore by the Atlantic Ocean resemble diamonds glittering in the sun. This remote part of the country, nestled between the vast glacial landscapes and the roaring ocean, offers a diverse range of accommodation options designed to cater to different budgets and preferences. Whether you choose a cozy guesthouse, a luxury hotel, or a rustic campground, each provides a unique way to experience the captivating beauty and tranquility that characterize this gem of Icelandic nature.


Hotels offer the convenience of all-inclusive services such as housekeeping, often on-site dining options, and some offer room service, which require less planning and effort from the traveler's side compared to Airbnb or camping. Additionally, hotels usually have a professional staff available 24/7 to assist with any needs or emergencies, providing a level of security and reliability that might not be available with other accommodation options.

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

This 4-star hotel boasts a modern aesthetic, comfortable rooms, and a restaurant offering local cuisine. It's conveniently located near both Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon: Hnappavellir, 785 Öræfi, Iceland | Google Maps


Hotel Skaftafell

Hotel Skaftafell is a family-run establishment, offering comfortable accommodations with spectacular views of the surrounding glaciers and mountains. Its convenient location, close to Skaftafell National Park and a short drive from Diamond Beach, makes it an ideal choice for travelers looking to explore the natural wonders of Southeast Iceland.

Hotel Skaftafell: Skaftafelli 2 Freysnesi, 785 Öræfi, Iceland | Google Maps

Hali Country Hotel

Situated 15km away from Diamond Beach, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.

Hali Country Hotel: 781 Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland | Google Maps



Airbnbs offer a unique and personalized experience for travelers, allowing them to immerse themselves in the local culture. Unlike hotels, they provide a home-like comfort, often equipped with kitchens and common areas, ideal for families or groups traveling together. Furthermore, they are usually located in residential neighborhoods, giving visitors a chance to explore less touristy parts of the area and providing a more authentic Icelandic experience.

REY Stays. Queen Studio with Mountain View

Clean and cozy one bedroom, one bathroom micro studio with lots of natural light. Can sleep up to two people.


Entire Bungalow in Höfn, Iceland

A modern two bedroom, one bathroom home nestled in the Icelandic countryside. Can sleep up to four people.


Camping Options

Camping in Iceland presents an exhilarating opportunity to experience the country's raw, untouched beauty up close. It allows for a unique immersion in Iceland's diverse landscapes - from rugged coastlines to verdant valleys, majestic mountains, and mesmerizing glaciers. Plus, there's no better way to witness the spectacular northern lights or the enchanting midnight sun than from a campsite nestled in the heart of nature. It's a fun, cost-effective option that adds an adventurous twist to your Icelandic journey.

Skaftafell Campground

Just 45 minutes away from Diamond Beach, this campground is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. It offers facilities like toilets, showers, and a cooking area, making it an ideal option for those who prefer to be close to nature.

Skaftafell Campground: 785 Skaftafell, Iceland | Google Maps

Like this post? Checkout our other Iceland articles to help you plan your trip!

Guide to Visiting Diamond Beach in Iceland

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