The most popular tour in Iceland is the Golden Circle tour, but did you know that Iceland has got a Diamond beach!? I go there every year to check out the "latest" versions of the ice "diamonds" glistening on the black beach. Visiting this beautiful beach is one of my absolute favourite things to do here in Iceland!
Now, the first photo is Iurie's photo, he is of course a genius with the camera and directs photo tours in Iceland. You can see my amateur photos below ;) But the ice diamonds on the beach are so breathtaking that everybody can take a beautiful photo here.
The Diamond beach is by Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland, on which I have written another blog.
It is one of Iceland's greatest wonders of nature, the crown jewel of Iceland - and right by Iceland's Ring Road number 1.
It is a breathtaking experience visiting the lagoon - just like entering a magical world. Entering this area is a "wow" moment, and no matter how many times I visit this area it always has the "wow" effect on me :) Jökulsárlón lagoon and the Diamond beach never look the same as on my previous visit and I never know what nature has in store for me here!
The lagoon belongs to the Vatnajökull glacier national park. The glacier's name is Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and huge blocks of ice (more than 1,000 year's old) are constantly breaking from it and large chunks of iceberg float in the lagoon.
The lagoon only appeared around 1935, and has grown to ca 20 km2 due to the melting of Icelandic glaciers. It is the lowest point below sea-level in Iceland. And the deepest lake in Iceland, ca 248 meter's deep.
Let's be very careful here and never try to walk on the icebergs as they can capsize, leaving you stuck beneath them, which is fatal. Let's also warn other travellers about this this danger, as I have witnessed this inexplicably foolish behaviour more than once. Read Nanna's article on things that can kill you in Iceland.
The river from the glacial lagoon used to run 1,5 km to the ocean before 1950, but now it is much closer and seals swim from the ocean up to the lagoon and rest on the icebergs there.
The water in the lagoon is a mixture of fresh water and sea-water as the tides bring sea-water into the lagoon. Which is why there is some fish in the lagoon.
Many of the icebergs have an astounding bright blue colour and one can follow them from the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and down to the ocean.
Some of the ice-chunks are polished by the ocean and wash ashore again. The ice-chunks on the Diamond beach make for very good photo opportunities, like the photo above, which I call "chilling on an iceberg" ;) Then there are smaller ones to be found all over the black sands, which look like ice diamonds in all sizes and shapes.
The ice-chunks take on so many forms and colours, ranging from transparent, to white, to the most amazing blue colour - some of the ice is black, it is like visiting an art gallery. And it has always got "new" art, as it were - one never knows what to expect.
Sometimes the black beach is covered with smaller ice diamonds and sometimes big chunks of white and blue ice covers the beach - with glistening ice diamonds in between the bigger ice-chunks.
I have been here in June, July, August, September and November and always been blown away by the beauty of the Diamond beach. It is of course at its most beautiful when the sun is shining, but once during my visit it was raining cats and dogs and I was soaking wet, but still had so much fun playing amongst the chunks of ice.
When I posted my blog on the Guide to Iceland Facebook website a woman commented on my post and told me that she had got engaged on the diamond beach, so she actually got a real diamond ring on this beautiful beach! How romantic is that :)
My photos above and below here are taken in heavy rain in September, but it for sure doesn't spoil the experience. And I could see that the other travellers on the beach were equally thrilled by this experience.
The Diamond beach was covered in large blue and white ice-chunks taking on all forms. And the ice diamonds were glistening in between the ice chunks.
There is a parking lot on the south side of ring-road 1, just above the beach and only a couple of minute's walk down to the ocean. So it is very accessible. But let's remember that we are right by the ice cold Atlantic ocean and not on a playground (although I feel like a kid when I go there), so let's be cautious here.
I noticed a man peeing in the ocean, only to be taken by surprise by a wave, so he was kind of jumping up and down there all wet and cold.
The Diamond Beach is located in southeast Iceland ca 377 km away from Reykjavík. You can go there on a day trip in summer time only, but in winter time there is limited daylight, so it is best to find a place to stay close by, so you can enjoy this natural phenomena in daylight.
The south-coast of Iceland has got so many beautiful attractions that even if you visit in summer time when there is almost unlimited daylight, then you should consider staying over for one night. Then you will get to see the ice diamonds in different light.
If you want to visit the Diamond Beach by yourself then check out our 6 day winter self-drive tour - Diamond Beach and Ice Cave and our 6 day self-drive tour - Golden Circle and Diamond Beach. And read Nanna's article on the Ultimate guide to driving in Iceland before you rent a car for your Iceland visit.
I recently joined a guided tour to Jökulsárlón and the Diamond beach and have written another blog on my experience of that tour. And here is a list of our top Jökulsárlón lagoon and Diamond beach tours.
Here you will find the location of Jökulsárlón and the Diamond beach on the map.
I am sure that you will enjoy visiting the beautiful Diamond Beach as much as I do - have fun :)