Iceland beaches

Vestrahorn Beach, Reynisfjara Beach, Breiðavík Beach, Diamond Beach, Sólheimasandur Beach, Djúpalónssandur Beach, Dyrhólaey Beach and many more

Beaches in Iceland are the most bewitching spots circumventing the Iceland coastline. These beaches may not be the typical beaches that you may have envisioned with small shacks, tropical trees, sunny trees and white sand. But, these shores have a transcendental charm about them because most of them are black and make for stunning waterfronts. Located by the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the Diamond Beach is a magical one with chunks of opalescent and shimmering ice chunks strewn across the black sand, like giant diamonds.  Head out to view the Sólheimasandur Beach and the mesmeric sight of a plane wreck, lying on the rocky black sand shore, will greet your eyes.

The Iceland Beaches include the mystic Reynisfjara Beach famous for its Garðar basalt columns, sneak waves and flocks of gorgeous North Atlantic puffins, nesting on the cliffs. If you stop by the Álftanes Beach,  the sight of the lava rocks sitting on the white sand spit will stir you to the core.Thus, set off to explore the Icelandic beaches to collect seashells, examine the marine ecosystem or simply brave the icy-cold waters to indulge in a sesh of Arctic surfing and sea-swimming.

Here is a list of beaches in Iceland:

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Vestrahorn Beach

Located on the Stokksnes head’s, the Vestrahorn Beach is one of the most magnificent Beaches in Iceland that houses extraordinary gabbro rock mountains. Scouting this beach feels like a thrilling treasure hunt. On the shore, you will spot deep green grass-coated lava dunes while the drenched sand imparts a perfect mirroring effect with the Mt Vestrahorn reflecting on the surface.

The beach’s site has a historical significance as pre-Viking Irish settled here, many years back. The Vestrahorn Beach is a dream of every photographer because the natural forces continually shaping the landscape here yield several spectacular results.

Hofn Iceland

Hiking, ice-caving, and walking on the glacier


Reynisfjara Beach

Resting by the Vík í Mýdral village, this black pebble beach is one of the finest beaches in Iceland that draws hundreds and thousands of visitors for its stunning basalt pillars and columns. You can spot the lovely North Atlantic puffins here nesting on Mt. Reynisfjall’s cliffs beside the dramatic Reynisdrangar sea stacks resting just offshore.

The moody atmosphere, ethereal rock formations, smooth pebbles, and the black volcanic sands set the Reynisfjara apart from every other beach of Iceland. Along the beach, you will spot the enigmatic sea cave of Hálsanefshellir besides the Gardar cliff composed of dark columns of basalt. Though the beach is phenomenal it's recommended to exercise caution as it is quite infamous for the monster and rogue waves lapping up the shore.

Location: Route 215, Vik Iceland

Activities: Lava show, bird watching, and photography


Breiðavík Beach

The idyllic golden bay of Breiðavík is one of the prettiest beaches in Iceland framed by the bay’s turquoise waters and rocky cliffs. You can spot a dated farmhouse by the sea that presents the most scenic views. If you are looking for some quietude and peace then this beach feels like a perfect getaway with a tiny white church Breiðavíkurkirkja, overlooking the bay and a trout-rich river making for your fishing adventure.

The Breiðavík is usually deserted but numerous visitors come to the beach every year to catch sightings of the puffins that come to the open oceans for breeding in the nearby Látrabjarg Mountain.

Between Látravík and Kollavík bay, Iceland

Whale watching, puffin watching


Diamond Beach

The ever sparkling Diamond Beach is one of the black volcanic sand beaches in Iceland that belongs to the glacial plain of Breiðamerkursandur, located by the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón. This iconic spot derives its name from the glittering icebergs dispersed across the shore like a field filled with diamonds.

The beach is a great place to spot the age-old striking chunks of blue ice, and local wildlife such as orca whales and Icelandic seals. During the winter you can also witness the northern lights as the place has minimal light pollution.

Diamond Head Drive Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon, Jokulsarlon Iceland

Orca whale watching, northern lights (winters) and ocean-swimming


Sólheimasandur Beach

Lying on the south coast is the Sólheimasandur Beach that comprises glacial sand plains. The beach features a black sand desert sculpted during an enormous glacial flood outburst, caused by the infamous Katla Volcano’s eruptions. Sólheimasandur is one of the most unique beaches in Iceland as it is home to the epic fuselage of the US Navy DC-3 aircraft.

Everyone survived the crash back in 1973 but the plane was abandoned on the beach. This accidental monument has become more of a spectacle whose rising popularity is marked by its post-apocalyptic allure.

Southern Iceland Coast between Vik town and Skógafoss waterfall

Hiking, witnessing aurora activity


Djúpalónssandur Beach

One of the most striking beaches in Iceland has to be the Djúpalónssandur Beach that is a Snæfellsnes peninsula wonder. It features black pebbles all across the place and once used to be a bountiful fishing village. Four ancient stones for lifting that used to test the fishermen’s strength still lie here along with the shipwreck of a 1948 British keelboat.

As for the other features, the beach has multiple lava and rock formations said to be in the ownership of elves and trolls. The area around the beach looks like it is surrounded by scintillating black pearls that make for a significant part of its enchantment.

Grundarfjörður, Iceland

Fishing, hiking


Dyrhólaey Beach

One of the most popular beaches in Iceland, the Dyrhólaey Beach bears no semblance with the other Icelandic beaches. The massive ice rocks floating on the surface of the water as well as the colossal, blue-ice blocks reflecting the sun and sky’s hue, are a major draw of the beach. This beach is replete with breathtaking viewpoints so you can make the most of a stunning sunset or beautiful sunrise.

The carved natural arches into the rocks, stand tall in the sea and catch your attention. During the pleasant summer season, the sightings of the popular Arctic terns and puffins will also allure you.

Vik Iceland

Bird watching, horseback riding


Rauðisandur Beach

Rauðisandur translates to “red sand” and has such a name because this beach has a unique golden-red hue.  It is one of the tranquil beaches in Iceland that faces the Breiðafjörður bay and is popular for its awe-inspiring scenery. You can spot the Snæfellsjökull glacier from a distance on a less gloomy day.

The vast and sandy shoreline is a prime spot for viewing myriad fauna that include seabirds and seals.  On fair-weathered days, do not miss out on this gem that offers breathtaking views of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, stretching 10 kilometers from the steep sea cliff of Látrabjarg. This beach may be less accessible but the surplus of quiet, peace, and sightings of nesting puffins it provides, is beyond comparison.

Location: Látrabjarg area of the southern West Fjords, Iceland

Activities: Bird watching, sea swimming


Grotta Beach

Located on Reykjavik’s outskirts on the peninsula of Seltjarnarnes, Grótta is one of the romantic Iceland beaches. This place is the dream destination for every bird watcher. The beach used to be a black sandpit that was inhabited during the 1500s but now there are only the feathered beings residing here.

You can walk up to the resident lighthouse standing on the shore for more than a century now. Visit the spot to make the most of romantic sunset and sunrises and for birds during the summer. There is this tiny hot pool known as Kvika where you can dip your feet after a long exhausting day or come during the winters to watch the northern lights.

Seltjarnarnes, Reykjavik 170 Iceland

Bird watching, northern lights, fishing


Nauthólsvík Beach

Most Iceland beaches are underdeveloped and wild but Nauthólsvík is a man-made golden beach created by imported fair-colored, golden sand. On a non-gloomy day, the locals flock to the beach to have a feel of the tropics perhaps because that feeling is missing in the Arctic.

Geothermal heating is used to warm the Atlantic Ocean’s ice waters within this barricaded bay. You can sunbathe here or take a bath in the hot tubs here. There are dressing rooms, a sauna, and volleyball net besides an upscale restaurant to give the authentic vibe of a summer holiday.

Location: 101 Reykjavík Nauthólsvík, Reykjavik Iceland

Activities: Hiking, cycling, swimming, build sandcastles, sunbathing, volleyball


Skarðsvík Beach

Skarðsvík is one of the non-black-sanded Iceland beaches, located on the peninsula of Snæfellsnes. This all yellow beach features golden sand unlike other Icelandic realms just like Rauðasandur beach. The black lava rocks make for a perfect contrast against the yellowish sand. But, despite all of the stunning things, the most incredible thing about the beach is the ocean’s color here.

Besides the breathtaking landscape the contrasting turquoise, the aquamarine-blue ocean is a placid sight to feast your eyes on.

Hellissandur, Snaefellsbaer Iceland

Swimming in the lagoon, hiking


Dritvik Beach

Lying close to the Snaefellsjokull National Park, Dritvik is one of the most popular Iceland beaches, that requires you take a walk down to Djúpalónssandur beach. Once you reach, you have to take a hike up to the Dritvik cove. This beach used to be a significant center for fishing during 1650-1950 with women and fishermen working seasonally from all over Iceland.

Staking stones the fishermen erected their houses and covered them with fabric so as to easily remove the cover after the end of each season. Watching the abandoned huts on the hillside will make you feel nostalgic.

Location: Djúpalónssandur beach, Hellnar, Iceland

Activities: Hiking, fishing, swimming


Búðir Beach

One of the most photographed Iceland beaches has to be the second beach of Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The Búðir beach is world renowned for its archaic surroundings, windswept tall grasses, and the wooden black church of Búðakirkja.

This beach features fair-colored sand with jet-black lava rocks that make for a perfect contrast. You will find the Búðarhraun nature reserve and an ethereal lava field by this golden gem. The beach used to be a prominent and vibrant fishing village long back. This place has a mystical atmosphere and you can often spot the curious seals lounging in the shore’s shallows.

Location: Snæfellsness Peninsula, West Iceland

Activities: Hiking, horse riding


Black Sand Beach

One of the blackest Iceland beaches has to be the Black Sand Beach owing to the color it gets from the volcanic ash ejected from active volcanoes nearby. Whenever you come here, you will feel as if you have stepped into a different planet altogether.

The basal columns surround the entire shore and make for quite a sight. The weather here is quite unpredictable and you will never know when the waves and wind change their nature. However, the perfect contrast of the black sand with the blue sea makes a stunning sight.

Location: Reynisfjara, south coast of Iceland

Activities: Fishing


Stokksnes Beach

One of the Iceland beaches, easily identifiable with its massive grass clusters and blackish sand, has to be the Stokksnes Beach. This wonderful-looking peninsula lies in the vicinity of Höfn and is a landscape photographer’s paradise. Located in east Iceland, you will find the giant mountain meeting the sea on a black beach.

The views from standing atop the Stokksnes point and looking at the shore feels otherworldly. Do not miss visiting the beach in winter because the Vestrahorn Mountain is all snow-covered and makes for quite a phenomenal sight.

Stokksnes Vegur 9720, Iceland

Sea swimming, photography


Ytri-Tunga Beach

Located on Snaefellsnes Peninsula’s southern coast, the Ytri-Tunga Beach is a charming golden beach framed by soft low dunes and wild grasses.  The ocean waves rolling over skerries and low rocks make for an alluring sight. This unspoiled golden beach is popular worldwide because it is home to a massive colony of seals.

During the summer season when the tides are low, you can spot the grey and the common Harbour seals here. Just offshore, over some rocks that jut out from the water you can spot the hauling creatures and photograph them as much as your heart desires.

Location: Arnarstapi, Iceland

Activities: Seal spotting


Kirkjuból Beach

When visiting Iceland’s western part, especially to the Strandir county, do not miss out on this Caribbean style beach replete with warm waters and palm trees. This beach can be your ideal spot if you want to hang out on a large open safe area with your kids and family.

You will not be going into the water here but the space on the beach makes for an excellent area to play and explore. Not many people come down here hence you do not also have to compete for space with other trippers.

Location: Vestfjarðavegur, 425 Ísafjörður, Iceland

Activities: Beach volleyball, football


Álftanes Beach

Near to the busy capital of Iceland, lies the serene Álftanes Beach that features a mix of lava rocks and fine sand. Locals and tourists come here for a relaxing getaway especially because you can spend the most laid-back day here. This pretty beach is a stretch on Álftanes peninsula enjoys a unique location with its freshwater ponds and shoreline that make it a bird paradise.

You can spot some beautiful species of ducks and whooper swan here as the beach is a winter habitat for resident birds and stopovers for migratory birds. Thus come to Álftanes Beach to experience tranquility, collect seashells, simply fly a kite or take a replenishing dip in the swimming pool’s warm waters here.

northeastern point of the Reykjanes


People Also Ask About Iceland

  1. Which are the best Beaches in Iceland?

    1. Álftanes: Located on the Álftanes peninsula the Álftanes beach is one of the white-sand Iceland Beaches that feels like an innate oasis. Come here to enjoy the views of the volcanic plateaus, and the Atlantic Ocean’s lapping waves.

    2. Nauthólsvík: Nauthólsvík is one of the most interesting Iceland Beaches as it is a geothermal beach and houses an artificial hot spring. Visit the beach for its big steaming hot tub and warm lagoon.

    3. Kirkjuból: If you are visiting the Strandir county and Iceland’s western parts, visit the Kirkjubol Beach that is one of the Caribbean-style Beaches in Iceland with warm waters and palm trees, well suited for family trippers and outdoorsmen.

    4. Djúpalónssandur: The beachy area near the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is the Icelandic beach of Djúpalónssandur. Bring your camera to shoot the stunning rock sculptures in one of the most serene Beaches in Iceland

    5. Reynisfjara: Approximately 180 kilometers away from the Reykjavik, the village of Vík í Mýrdal houses the beautiful beach of Reynisfjara that looks other-worldly with its unique basalt formations and caves.
  2. What are the best water sports to do on Iceland beaches?

    1. Arctic surfing: Head to Sandvík or the Porlákshöfn, wiggle into a hooded and thick wetsuit, hop on a surfboard and ride the crazy Arctic waves, under the Arctic sky.

    2. Glacial lake kayaking: If the rapids are not comforting to you then head to a glacial lake across a serene fjord and floating icebergs, to try glacial lake kayaking. This activity provides you with an unparalleled vantage point to appreciate the Icelandic landscapes while witnessing iconic birdlife.

    3. Scuba Diving: Head to the north Atlantic sea coast, at the Reykjanes peninsula’s end, Garður is a bountiful seascape. You will witness the stunning world of marine algae, undersea forests and deserts during your scuba dive sesh.

    4. Jet-skiing: Skim across the ocean on high-speed and fun rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). As you move faster you make the most of a close-up whale-viewing experience.

    5. Snorkeling: Wiggle into the dry suits and hop into the water for an ultimate snorkeling experience in the Icelandic beaches. The crystal clear waters unfold the beauty of seaweed, neon green algae, boulders, before you and mesmerize you to the core.
  3. What is the best time to visit Iceland?

    The best time to visit Iceland is during the summer (Mid May – August). That is because the weather is extremely pleasant during this time. You will experience midnight sun and maximum sunlight during this time. However for those who prefer a quieter holiday can come during July-September as the crowds are less and you can easily get bookings in hotels.
  4. How to reach Iceland from India?

    Since there is no direct flight that will take you to Iceland from India, you will have to book flights that have a Europe Stopover. You can prefer to stop at Amsterdam and then fly to Reykjavik from there. The entire journey from Amsterdam to Iceland will take 3 hours. The tentative travel time from India’s Capital New Delhi to Reykjavik (Iceland’s capital) is about 12 hours 10 minutes.
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The overall service provided by Thrillophilia was Excellent!!! Coordination of the overall trip in Iceland was superb and their choice of hotel was met with our expectation... The team were totally helpful and kept us informed at each step of the planning phase and keep in touch with us all the time... Local driver arranged for us was on time and courteous... The place is truly beautiful as all the places we covered were truly lovely and gave us stunning pictures with great background... We thoroughly love this trip... 14 days explored the place was more than enough for us
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