8 Most Beautiful Beaches In Iceland
The stunning landscape of Iceland is filled with plenty of opportunities for exploration, including its picturesque beaches. Whether you’re looking to take a dip in the crystal-clear waters or stroll along the sandy shores, these amazing beaches in Iceland will make your Icelandic holiday memorable.
From towering cliffs, dramatic blowholes, and captivating seascapes, each beach has unique characteristics worth exploring! Read on to find out which stunning coastline is right for you.
Reynisfjara black sand beach
Reynisfjara black sand beach is a unique and stunning location on the south coast of Iceland. It’s easily accessible from the Ring Road, allowing you to make a quick stop for photos or linger for hours to take in its beauty.
The beach is made of smooth, black volcanic sand framed by dramatic basalt columns that jut out from the ocean into the sky. It’s also home to several spectacular rock formations of Reynisdrangar, which rises from the sea like an enormous pillar.
The area is known for its powerful waves and strong winds, making it a destination for photographers who can capture some of its extraordinary natural beauty.
Located near the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, it’s a perfect place to take in the surreal beauty of the Icelandic landscape.
Millions of diamond-like crystals are scattered across the black sand beach, having been swept down by glaciers from faraway mountains and frozen into ice sculptures by the cold Arctic air. The contrast between these glittering jewels and dark sands is a sight to behold.
You can enjoy this magical spot while participating in exciting activities such as helicopter tours, kayak trips, glacier hikes, boat rides, and more.
When visiting Diamond Beach, you can marvel at its majestic beauty and experience the unique contrast between these glittering chunks of glacial ice and the deep blue waters of Jökulsárlón Lagoon.
As you take in this magnificent landscape, you may also be lucky enough to spot some local wildlife, such as seals or dolphins.
Sólheimasandur beach is a unique natural wonder renowned for its pristine black sand and spectacular views. Located on the island’s south coast, Sólheimasandur beach is famous for the abandoned US Navy DC-3 plane that crashed in 1973.
The wreckage remains today as an eerie reminder of the past. For those looking for something extraordinary, Sólheimasandur beach offers breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and memorable experiences that will last a lifetime.
Located on the southern coast of Iceland, Stokksnes beach is a stunning destination for you to seek an unforgettable experience. The area is home to incredible wildlife, including many species of birds and seals that can be seen from the nearby cliffs.
The beach itself is made up of black volcanic sand, contrasting dramatically with its surroundings and creating a unique atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
You can also join various activities such as hiking, kayaking, or horseback riding along the rugged coastline. With breathtaking views in the background, Stokksnes beach is sure to leave lasting memories that will stay with you forever. Rent a car and explore the area independently or join a tour and have it all taken care of for you.
Djúpalónssandur beach is a stunning expanse of black sand and a fantastic setting for photographs. It is located along the southern coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula, near Arnarstapi and Hellnar villages.
The black pebble beach stretches for several kilometers along the shoreline, and the area features dramatic cliffs, rolling hills, and stunning views of snow-capped mountains.
Apart from sightseeing, you can also enjoy hiking and bird-watching on the surrounding nature trails. For those wanting to stay longer at the beach and take advantage of its unique views and atmosphere, camping facilities are available nearby, providing a great way to experience the area.
Rauðisandur Red sand Beach
Rauðisandur Red Sand Beach is a popular tourist destination in the West Fjords of Iceland.
The beach, which measures an astounding 10 km long, is made up entirely of deep red-hued sand. Its sand is unlike any other beach, consisting of tiny pieces of red quartz that contrast with the crystal blue waters.
The beach has two parts: a long stretch along the coast and a smaller, narrower area just off-shore. Both provide incredible photography and exploration opportunities and plenty of space for sunbathing.
You can enjoy walking along the shoreline or exploring the surrounding area on foot or by boat.
Ytri Tunga Beach
Ytri Tunga Beach is a stunning stretch of coastline located in the Westfjords region of Iceland.
With its crystal-clear water, white sands, and rugged cliffs, it offers a breathtaking view. Ytri Tunga Beach is a picturesque place to observe harbor seals, particularly during the summer.
Seal-watching tours are offered from June through August, so you can get up close and personal with some of the most magnificent animals in Iceland like puffins.
Also, I recommend other well-known Icelandic sites not far from Ytri Tunga Beach, such as Bjarnarfoss Waterfall, Búðir, and Budahraun Lava Fields. Two-tiered waterfall Bjarnarfoss creates a beautiful display of natural beauty as it tumbles down over breathtaking basalt columns. To observe the Northern Lights, you can travel about 21 kilometers to the village of Búðir on the Budahraun Lava Fields.
Breiðavík Golden Sand Beach
Breiðavík Golden Sand Beach is one of Iceland’s most beautiful beaches, located on the south coast of Reykjanes Peninsula. The golden sands set Breiðavík apart from the rest of Iceland’s beaches, which usually have black or grey sand.
On sunny days Breidavik looks almost like a tropical paradise with its glittering sun-kissed beach and rows of palm trees lining up behind the church that stands by the shore.
Breiðavík is an ideal location for any birdwatcher looking to catch a glimpse of some of Iceland’s most beautiful avian creatures. From May to August, Breidavik is home to millions of puffins and other species, providing a perfect opportunity to observe these majestic birds in their natural habitat.
Breiðavík also offers plenty of other activities, from walking along its picturesque coastline to enjoying a peaceful afternoon spent fishing or kayaking in its tranquil waters.
Frequently asked questions about Iceland beaches
How to visit beaches in Iceland?
If you’re looking for an affordable option, renting a car and driving around the coast to explore various beaches will allow you to travel at your own pace and see whatever catches your eye. If time or convenience is more important than cost, taking a guided tour may be the best choice.
Are all Icelandic beaches black?
No, not all Icelandic beaches are black. The country is home to some of the most stunning and iconic black sand beaches in the world, which you can find mainly along Iceland’s southern and western coastline. Other sections of the coastline, such as in Reykjavik or on the eastern shore, feature many colors and textures, with beaches covered in white and gray sand.
When is the best time to visit beaches in Iceland?
The ideal time to visit beaches in Iceland is summer. The long days of June and July are perfect for beach-goers looking to bask in the sun, while August brings warmer water temperatures ideal for swimming or snorkeling.
Can you swim on Iceland beaches?
It is possible to swim on Iceland beaches with caution. Due to the strong ocean currents and unpredictable weather conditions in Iceland, swimming should be done under supervision and only when the water is calm. The best time of year to swim is between May and August when temperatures are warmer, and visibility is higher.
Which beaches are near Reykjavik?
Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach is located in the southeastern part of Reykjavik. This beach offers a natural hot spring and a beautiful view of Mount Esja and the ocean beyond it. You can also visit Grótta Beach in Seltjarnarnes, just seven kilometers from downtown Reykjavik.
Final thought about Iceland beaches
Although there are many beautiful beaches in Iceland, these most stunning ones should be on your travel itinerary the next time you visit this beautiful country. From the black sand beach of Reynisfjara to the serene Stokksnes beach, each of these beaches offers something unique that is sure to create lasting memories. So pack your bags, grab your passport and get ready for an unforgettable vacation!