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The Black Diamond Beach

What's in a name?

December 11, 2019

The Black Diamond Beach

What's in a name?

December 11, 2019

You’ve probably seen some otherworldly-looking pictures of The Diamond Beach or Black Diamond Beach in Iceland. We’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s not called that in Icelandic. That strip of sand is just part of a longer stretch of glacial plains called Breiðamerkursandur. While Icelanders are no strangers to the magic of this site, they’ve only recently discovered its widespread attraction.

The Glacier Lagoon Nobody Can Pronounce

The glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón (rhymes with "magic"‡), has long been a major destination for tourists in Iceland and that includes Icelanders travelling along the south shore. Back in the day, it was a popular stop to unwind on a long road trip, gaze out at the icebergs in the lagoon and try to spot a seal or two. And if the kids were especially unruly or you needed to stretch your legs a bit more, you might have walked down to the beach to check out the stranded icebergs. The lagoon itself, as you probably know, is full of big chunks of ice that have broken off from the glacier tongue of Breiðamerkurjökull, part of the larger Vatnajökull glacier area. The lagoon then flows via a very short river into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on the black sandy beach along the way.

What's in a Name?

It’s only recently that this stretch of black sand with its glistening ice cubes has become a popular spot, marketed for tourists travelling around Iceland under the name “Diamond Beach”. While Icelanders never called it that, it’s undeniably a very appropriate name, because the ice really does look like diamonds, glistening on the black sand.

Is it Magic?

What’s more, the site really does feel magical. Black sandy beaches already feel weird to most tourists but when you add huge chunks of ice to the equation and maybe even sunlight on a warm day, it just defies what you think you know about the natural elements. That’s the thing about Iceland. It constantly challenges your senses and expectations and seemingly around every bend in the road, lies something truly unexpected. The area around Jökulsárlón and the Diamond Beach is perhaps the best example of this.

Vatnajökull National Park

While you’re driving along what seems like an endless desert of black sands, you’ll see the Atlantic Ocean on one side and massive glaciers crawling down to the plains on the other. In between glacier tongues and high icy caps that conceal various volcanoes, are green oases that shelter gorgeous waterfalls and lush woods of birch. There’s also the purple fields of lupine stretching out over vast areas and lastly, blue icebergs bobbing in peaceful lagoons.

What a Scene!

It’s no surprise that this area has been the venue for multiple action and adventure films. You don’t really need much imagination to add a dragon or a secret agent in a speedboat to this picturesque scene and you’ll be forgiven if you wonder how this is actually all real. Sometimes we do as well.

‡Just kidding. It’s pronounced ˈjœːkʏlsˌaurˌloun̥ if that helps?

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.

Five reasons for taking the Flybus

Although it may not seem like it, you have in fact landed in civilisation and airport transfer in Iceland is readily available.

Read Blog

The Black Diamond Beach

What's in a name?

December 11, 2019

The Black Diamond Beach

What's in a name?

December 11, 2019

You’ve probably seen some otherworldly-looking pictures of The Diamond Beach or Black Diamond Beach in Iceland. We’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s not called that in Icelandic. That strip of sand is just part of a longer stretch of glacial plains called Breiðamerkursandur. While Icelanders are no strangers to the magic of this site, they’ve only recently discovered its widespread attraction.

The Glacier Lagoon Nobody Can Pronounce

The glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón (rhymes with "magic"‡), has long been a major destination for tourists in Iceland and that includes Icelanders travelling along the south shore. Back in the day, it was a popular stop to unwind on a long road trip, gaze out at the icebergs in the lagoon and try to spot a seal or two. And if the kids were especially unruly or you needed to stretch your legs a bit more, you might have walked down to the beach to check out the stranded icebergs. The lagoon itself, as you probably know, is full of big chunks of ice that have broken off from the glacier tongue of Breiðamerkurjökull, part of the larger Vatnajökull glacier area. The lagoon then flows via a very short river into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on the black sandy beach along the way.

What's in a Name?

It’s only recently that this stretch of black sand with its glistening ice cubes has become a popular spot, marketed for tourists travelling around Iceland under the name “Diamond Beach”. While Icelanders never called it that, it’s undeniably a very appropriate name, because the ice really does look like diamonds, glistening on the black sand.

Is it Magic?

What’s more, the site really does feel magical. Black sandy beaches already feel weird to most tourists but when you add huge chunks of ice to the equation and maybe even sunlight on a warm day, it just defies what you think you know about the natural elements. That’s the thing about Iceland. It constantly challenges your senses and expectations and seemingly around every bend in the road, lies something truly unexpected. The area around Jökulsárlón and the Diamond Beach is perhaps the best example of this.

Vatnajökull National Park

While you’re driving along what seems like an endless desert of black sands, you’ll see the Atlantic Ocean on one side and massive glaciers crawling down to the plains on the other. In between glacier tongues and high icy caps that conceal various volcanoes, are green oases that shelter gorgeous waterfalls and lush woods of birch. There’s also the purple fields of lupine stretching out over vast areas and lastly, blue icebergs bobbing in peaceful lagoons.

What a Scene!

It’s no surprise that this area has been the venue for multiple action and adventure films. You don’t really need much imagination to add a dragon or a secret agent in a speedboat to this picturesque scene and you’ll be forgiven if you wonder how this is actually all real. Sometimes we do as well.

‡Just kidding. It’s pronounced ˈjœːkʏlsˌaurˌloun̥ if that helps?

JRJ05496_Ketchup_jökulsárlón
JRJ05622
re-roadtrip HHH09442 FULLRES90_Ketchup_blackdiamondbeach

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.

Five reasons for taking the Flybus

Although it may not seem like it, you have in fact landed in civilisation and airport transfer in Iceland is readily available.

Read Blog