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

Where to stay near Diamond Beach

If you're planning a visit to Diamond Beach, here are five highly-rated hotels in the area to consider. Keep in mind that Diamond Beach is a very remote location so each hotel will require a bit of driving to reach the beach. I've included the distance from each hotel to Diamond Beach so you can get a better idea of how much driving will be involved for getting from one to the other.

Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon

Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon is a contemporary hotel providing luxurious accommodations amidst Iceland's stunning natural beauty. Situated conveniently between Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, this hotel offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Guests can enjoy stylish and comfortable rooms equipped with modern amenities, an on-site restaurant serving local cuisine, and easy access to some of Iceland's most iconic attractions.

Diamond Beach to Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon: 30 km | 22 min

Address: Hnappavellir, 785 Öræfi, Iceland | Google Maps

Check for the best rate and reserve your stay at Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon here

Expedia | |

Hotel Skaftafell

Hotel Skaftafell offers an ideal retreat for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Nestled near the Skaftafell National Park, this charming hotel provides guests with panoramic views of Icelandic landscapes and glacier tongues. The comfortable and well-appointed rooms ensure a relaxing stay, while the on-site restaurant delights visitors with authentic Icelandic dishes. Conveniently located, Hotel Skaftafell allows easy access to several hiking trails, making it a perfect base for exploring the natural wonders of the region.

Diamond Beach to Hotel Skaftafell: 51 km | 37 min

Address: Skaftafelli 2 Freysnesi, 785 Öræfi, Iceland | Google Maps

Check for the best rate and reserve your stay at Hotel Skaftafell here

Expedia | |

Lilja Guesthouse

Lilja Guesthouse is a charming and cozy accommodation option nestled in the heart of Iceland's breathtaking countryside. Offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere, this guesthouse provides spacious and comfortable rooms with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast featuring locally-sourced ingredients, and the friendly staff are always on hand to offer tips and advice for exploring the area's many natural attractions. Lilja Guesthouse is an ideal choice for travelers seeking a tranquil retreat amidst Iceland's awe-inspiring scenery.

Diamond Beach to Hotel Lilja Guesthouse: 51 km | 35 min

Address: Hólabrekka, 781 í Hornafirði, Höfn, Iceland | Google Maps

Check for the best rate and reserve your stay at Lilja Guesthouse here

Expedia | |

Fosshótel Vatnajökull

Fosshótel Vatnajökull is situated near the stunning Vatnajökull glacier, offering guests unparalleled views of one of Iceland's most magnificent natural wonders. This hotel combines modern comforts with a touch of local charm, featuring well-appointed rooms designed to enhance the stunning surroundings. The on-site restaurant serves a variety of delicious Icelandic dishes, ensuring a memorable culinary experience. Ideal for nature lovers and explorers, Fosshótel Vatnajökull is a fantastic base for discovering the beauty of South-East Iceland.

Diamond Beach to Fosshótel Vatnajökull: 66 km | 47 min

Address: Lindarbakki, 781 Höfn, Iceland | Google Maps

Check for the best rate and reserve your stay at Fosshótel Vatnajökull here

Expedia | |

Hali Country Hotel

Hali Country Hotel provides a serene and authentic Icelandic experience, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the country's southeastern coast. This family-run establishment offers comfortable and homely accommodations alongside scenic views of the nearby mountains and ocean. Guests can indulge in delicious, locally sourced meals at the on-site restaurant and explore the Hali farm's museum, which celebrates the region's rich cultural heritage. With its warm hospitality and convenient location near Vatnajökull National Park, Hali Country Hotel is an excellent choice for travellers looking to immerse themselves in Iceland's natural beauty.

Diamond Beach to Hali Country Hotel: 13 km | 11 min

Address: 781 Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland | Google Maps

Check for the best rate and reserve your stay at Hali Country Hotel  here

Expedia | |

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.

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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Hi! We're Chris and Sara a husband and wife video making, storytelling, travel loving duo with a passion for sharing travel tips, tricks, and inspiration with others.
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