Visiting Diamond Beach in Iceland: Complete Guide

Note to my fellow wanderers: This guide was written from my first-hand experiences. I try my best not to over-glamorize any location I travel to because I want HappyWander’s content to be as authentic as possible. My goal is to provide you real information so that you can have the best possible adventures wandering the world. Enjoy!

Are you looking for a truly unique spot in Iceland? Where black beaches and ice converge? Look no further than Diamond Beach. Diamond Beach is a spectacular place that will surely make your jaw drop when you first see it. It’s not very often that you get to see naturally occurring ice, but especially rare when it is creatively positioned on top of a black beach. The light shines through the ice magnificently, creating a truly unique experience.

Essentials For Visiting Diamond Beach in Iceland

In this section I highlight everything you need to know about visiting Diamond Beach.

Why Is Diamond Beach Popular?

Why visit Diamond Beach? It’s called Diamond Beach because the sand here is scattered with shards and orbs of ice that sparkle as clear as diamond. The ice made its way down from the nearby Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, and for a mile or more along the beach, is scattered in both small and large structures of ice.

Where Is It Located?

Diamond Beach is located in Southeast Iceland about 1 hour drive from Höfn. I stayed in Höfn and drove from Reykjavik so visiting Diamond Beach was a no-brainer.

Parking

There are really two main areas to park to visit Diamond Beach, and I saw people parking at both locations.

1. Jökulsárlón Main Parking Lot

The Jökulsárlón Main Parking Lot is located across the street (opposite the beach). This lot is pretty large and costs 1000 ISK, or around $7 USD.

2. Diamond Beach Parking Lot

Closer to the beach is Diamond Beach Parking Lot. Parking here costs 1000 ISK, or around $7 USD. I parked here as it was more convenient to walk to the beach. However, I briefly parked at the other lot on my way heading East towards Höfn to view the ice in the river.

Cost to Visit

The cost to visit is 1000 ISK, or around $7 USD per car.

How Long Do I Need Here?

The answer to this question is quite subjective, but I spent around 1 hour at Diamond Beach around 11 AM on my way to a glacier hike. I think 1 hour is plenty of time to walk around the beach and take photos and videos.

What Are The Best Views At Diamond Beach?

Are you looking for the best views at Diamond Beach? Here are my top 3:

1. On the Sand Bar

The beach sand bar is very close to the beach, maybe 30-50 feet out. You’ll most likely have to walk down the beach a bit until you find a more shallow path to the sandbar. I loved the sandbar because the black sand was smoother, there were less people, and there were chunks of ice on both sides of you. One thing you need to be careful is of a rising tide, which can cause waves to cover the sandbar and get your feet wet. When I went, only a couple waves came through the sandbar.

Compare the difference between the sand on the sand bar and the beach at Diamond Beach from the video below.

2. On the Beach

The beach is where most people go and take pictures on. You can certainly get good pictures here, but in my opinion, not as good as if you ventured out a little onto the nearby beach sand bar.

3. On Jökulsárlón Lagoon

For a different perspective, head over to the other side of the street to see the glacier and larger chunks of ice floating in the river.

My Experience at Diamond Beach

In this section, I will review my experience visiting Diamond Beach.

Parking

Parking is a cinch at Diamond Beach. While there were a lot of visitors, there are tons of spots between the two lots. Sure it’s a bit pricey to pay 1000 ISK for a short time, but Diamond Beach is worth it if you’re visiting Iceland.

Walking on the Beach

Naturally, the first place I went to was the beach at Diamond Beach. After a short walk from the parking lot, you’ll be quite excited to see all the ice scattered along the beach for seemingly miles.

Diamond Beach in Iceland

Walking on the Sand Bar

To take Diamond Beach to the next level, find a crossing point to the sand bar on Diamond Beach. The day I went in May, there was maybe 20-30 feet of water between the beach and the sand bar. This was my favorite spot by far to walk around and take photos.

Sand Bar at Diamond Beach in Iceland

Jökulsárlón Lagoon

If you walk across the street, you’ll find a 2nd parking lot that is positioned next to Jökulsárlón Lagoon. This lagoon is a body of water that is directly connected to Europe’s largest glacier. It’s cool to see large chunks of glacier floating in the lagoon on its way to the ocean at Diamond Beach.

Jökulsárlón Lagoon Near Diamond Beach in Iceland

Is Diamond Beach Worth Visiting?

Personally, I loved Diamond Beach. It is conveniently located right off of Route 1, and has plenty of parking on both sides of the road.

Some of the major selling points of Diamond Beach for me were:

  • The Ice Chunks on the Beach: By far the coolest and most unique thing about Diamond Beach is the ice chunks washed up on the beach. It’s truly spectacular.
  • The Views: Mostly due to the ice parked on the beach, the views are unique and you’ll be sure to turn some heads of friends back home when they see your pictures.
  • Parking is Easy: Parking was painless and right next to the beach. For me, parking is always a factor to where I go.

So is visiting Diamond Beach worth it? Absolutely! It’s beyond worth spending a few bucks and a few hours of your time. How many times will you see ice on a beach?

Final Thoughts on Visiting Diamond Beach in Iceland

Thank you for reading about my adventure visiting Diamond Beach! If you’re on the fence about adding Diamond Beach to your Iceland itinerary, I highly recommend you consider doing it. Its location is so convenient as drive East or West on Route 1, and its a quick activity to get out and see for yourself. Diamond Beach is certainly one of the more unique places in Iceland that I think you will highly enjoy.

Happy wandering!

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Hello! Welcome to HappyWanders! My name is Anthony, I'm on a mission to live a life full of adventure and to help you to do the same. As an ex-corporate worker and current entrepreneur, I've been working to design a life with more time for adventure and less time for the 9-5 grind. If you're ready for an adventure, you're my type of person!

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