Diamond Beach, Iceland

ON most beaches around the world, you will find golden sand, rocks, seaweed and plenty of water.

In Iceland, one such seaside hub, visitors will spot, quite easily as well, something slightly different – diamond-like objects.

For those thinking they will fork out for a flight to European island, pick up some jewels and then sell them off, you will be sorely disappointed.

In the south west of the country, 235 miles from the capital Reykjavik, sits Diamond Beach – also known in the local tongue as Breidamerkursandur – where the shoreline is littered with chunks of ice with many of them clear and transparent, making them look like the precious gem.

The crystal-like rocks that litter Diamond Beach are in fact chunks of ice
The crystal-like rocks that litter Diamond Beach are in fact chunks of ice

That part of Iceland is one of the coldest in the country, with the Jokulsarion Glacier Lagoon just metres from the beach and the small river which feeds its water source from the Atlantic Ocean passes the seaside hotspot in the west.

And due to its formation in the glaciers, the ice doesn’t melt during the warmer summer months so you can see it all year round.

However, Guide to Iceland warns: “Under no circumstances should you climb upon an iceberg, due to their slippery surfaces and sharp edges.

“This is especially the case if the iceberg is at all in the water, as it could flip and trap you underneath, or else be pulled out to sea by a current with you on it.”

Yet, it is not just the magical ‘diamond’ structures that visitors will notice is different compared to a typical beach, especially such as those in the hot climes of Oahu in Hawaii.

Due to the volcanic make up of Iceland, below the glacial chunks sits black sand with darker rocks commonplace in the Nordic nation.

Around 125 miles away from Diamond Beach is Reynisfjara – or better known as Black Sand Beach – with basalt rock columns rising from the earth to add to the magical scenery.

Although there are a lot of small pieces of glacial ice on the beach, it is advised to avoid climbing the bigger chunks especially when they are in the water
Although there are a lot of small pieces of glacial ice on the beach, it is advised to avoid climbing the bigger chunks especially when they are in the water

How to get to Diamond Beach

Although it is a hugely popular tourist attraction, it is very far from most civilisation with the majority of visitors to Iceland staying in its capital of Reykjavik over 200 miles away.

You can hire a car out to visit, but if you plan on travelling to Diamond Beach and back in one day, you will have to leave early as it is a ten-hour round trip.

Travelling in the winter is also very dangerous on the road for those unfamiliar with the country or in small hire cars with the freezing temperatures along with snow and ice an issue for tyres.

Yet, if you want to save the hassle of driving, there are plenty of tours available including Reykjavik Excursion’s 14-hour day trip that stops at two famous waterfalls plus other beautiful locations along the way.