Ultimate Guide to Diamond Beach in Iceland

Woman walking on Diamond Beach

Next to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a strip of black sand stretches across the south coast of Iceland. Ice chunks washed ashore from the lagoon glitter like diamonds on volcanic ash, much to the fascination of locals and visitors alike. If you’re curious to know more about this Icelandic attraction, here’s everything you need to know!

What is Diamond Beach?

If you’ve done any preparation for your road trip across Iceland, you’ll have encountered a myriad of information, photos, and videos about Diamond Beach. This stretch of black sand beach is littered with chunks of ice washing up from the nearby Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, called Breiðamerkursandur by Icelanders. 

Diamond Beach is an absolute sight to behold. On a clear day, the sun illuminates the thousands of chunks of ice and makes for some outstanding photo opportunities. If you’re uploading to Instagram, make sure to use the hashtag #DiamondBeach so your snapshot is featured among the thousands captured in the area.  

In addition to the stunning scenery of crystal ice being washed ashore, Diamond Beach is a fantastic spot to see Icelandic wildlife. Orcas swimming in the surf make for a fantastic sight, and so do the seals playing in the water.   


Chunks of ice on Diamond Beach, Iceland

Where is Diamond Beach?

Diamond Beach is located along the southeast coast of Iceland, just off Route 1, or the Ring Road. It’s opposite Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, which is worth a visit in its own right. Diamond Beach is also located about 40 minutes away from the nearby town of Hof.

How Far is Diamond Beach From Reykjavík?

Diamond Beach is about a 5-hour drive from Reykjavík with the journey totalling 235 miles. It’s too big of a trip to tackle in a single day, but driving from Reykjavík to Diamond Beach can easily be incorporated into a wider road trip or as part of a tour.

Best Time to Visit Diamond Beach

One of the best things about Iceland’s Diamond Beach is that you can visit it all year round, making it easy to fit into your itinerary. During summer, you can enjoy long days out in the sun (but prepare for crowds as the beach gets quite busy). In winter, you might even have the chance to spot Northern Lights.


If you’re a photography enthusiast, time your visit during sunset or sunrise as the light is soft. You’ll also find the beach quieter during this time, offering a more peaceful experience. 


What Makes Diamond Beach So Unique?

The most striking feature of Diamond Beach is undoubtedly its black sands. The black sands are caused by volcanic lava, which cools when it flows into the ocean. It then becomes sediment which washes onto the beach as sand. It might be tempting to take a souvenir, but you must resist the urge to collect sand or stones from Iceland's beaches as removing anything from these areas is against the law.



Black sands at Diamond Beach, Iceland

Where to Stay near Diamond Beach

You’ll have lots of good options to choose from when looking for accommodation near Diamond Beach. Many visitors choose to stay in or around Hof thanks to its amenities and proximity to Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Our Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is even closer, located only 20 minutes away from Diamond Beach and has all the amenities to ensure you have a comfortable stay after a beautiful day at the beach. We offer a selection of rooms that will suit your party, whether you’re travelling solo, as a couple, with friends, or with children. The onsite restaurant offers unmissable culinary experiences, the gym and sauna are perfect for recharging, and the parking is free. 

Iceland’s Diamond Beach is one of the most stunning attractions in the country. Its black sands - a distinguishing feature of the volcanic landscape of Iceland - are made more remarkable by the ice shining as crystals. Be sure to include this site of breathtaking beauty on your next Icelandic itinerary.