Diamond Beach

Where Icebergs Wash Up on the Volcanic Black Sandy Beach

Diamond Beach is a unique beach in Iceland. It is best known for the many ice floes that wash up here on the black lava sand. Diamond Beach is easy to visit. It is located next to the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lake in the southern part of the island. Read about the best tips for visiting Diamond Beach in this article.

If you have not heard of Diamond Beach, you will drive right past it. Especially when the weather is bad. But when the weather is nice you often see people walking along Diamond Beach, which is located right next to Ring Road 1. The parking lot has become larger in recent years due to the interest of more people. This is mainly due to social media. When you visit Diamond Beach, you will understand why. The beach is very photogenic, especially if you plan your visit wisely. You also have a chance to see grey seals. These animals regularly swim into the bay towards the glacial lake.

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Origin of Diamond Beach

When you are here you can see how this wonderful beach was created. The black lava beach is a remnant of the volcanic activities in Iceland. You will see ice floes floating under the bridge as they come from the glacial lake Jökulsárlón. Or actually from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier at the end of the lake. After which they make a short journey, which can take them hours or days.

The beauty of Diamond Beach in Iceland. ©Corno van den Berg

You can see the entire life cycle of an iceberg in this part of Iceland. At Jökulsárlón I walked all the way to the glacier, where small chunks fell off. Then I walked slowly along the lake to the bridge. After which I crossed the road to watch the ice floes meet the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. They are thrown onto the beach by the force of the waves.

Once on the beach, you can hear squeaks and creaks. It is the sound of melting ice floes. When the sun shines, this happens extremely quickly. They melt away, while new ice shots are thrown onto the beach. This process continues continuously. I sat down on Diamond Beach for a while to get a good look.

An ice floe on the border of sea and lava sand. ©Corno van den Berg

Best Time to Visit

Due to its popularity and location, Diamond Beach can get very busy. Especially in late spring, summer and holiday periods. In the summer you can experience the midsummer night in Iceland when it is light 24 hours a day. At night there is a remarkably soft light. Which is perfect for photos and videos. Visit this magical place late in the evening or even at night. You can also visit Diamond Beach in the winter. Everything can be covered in snow. I was here in the spring with nice weather. It was remarkably quiet and unbelievably beautiful.

At Its Best with Sun

It sounds cliché, but Diamond Beach is at its best with sun. The light falls beautifully through the transparent ice. If you prepare your visit well, you can have a unique experience. It is also extra quiet at the beginning or end of the day. For example, bring breakfast and coffee and sit here at your leisure. It doesn't get much better.

Waves break on the ice floes at Diamond Beach. ©Corno van den Berg

How to Get to Diamond Beach

This beach is an hour's drive from the nearest town. That is Höfn, which is a little further east. It can also drive up from Vik, but then it is more than 2 hours by car. Logically, it is best to visit the glacial lake and the beach together.

The parking spaces are right next to the main road. Plural yes, because it depends on the wind. The ice shots can be on the left or right side of the river. You can see that for yourself. When you have parked the car you can walk straight onto the beach with the ice floes.

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