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5 Things To Know About Beaches In Iceland

Beaches in Iceland are mesmerizing, powerful, beautiful, and should be on everyone’s bucket list. If you are planning a trip to the popular arctic country, Icelandic beaches should not be missed. These beaches are unique and unlike any other in the world so before visiting there are a few important things to know to make the most out of your experience.

5 Things To Know About Beaches In Iceland

#1: Icelandic beaches are very dangerous and should be approached with caution

The single most important thing to know about beaches in Iceland is that they are dangerous. Like, so dangerous that people have actually died. Now, the beach itself isn’t going to kill you if proper caution is exercised. It must be noted that tourists often disregard the large safety warnings and walk too close to the water. Beaches in Iceland such as Reynisfjara are home to deadly “sneaker waves.” This means that the waves may appear safe, but every so often a huge one comes by that is a lot larger than all the rest. We have seen people flirt with disaster time and time again at beaches in Iceland and even get knocked down and dragged out to sea by these sneaker waves. When visiting these beaches, it is best to exercise caution, heed the warnings, and stay far away from the water. Losing your life just isn’t worth it to get a selfie.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#2: They are easily accessible no matter where you are

One of the great things about Icelandic beaches is that many are easily accessible either by car or foot. If you are planning an Icelandic road trip, be sure to stop at as many as you can! You can drive up to or even on certain beaches and since Iceland is an island, there is plenty of coast to explore. Whether you are staying around Reykjavik or visiting the far-flung Westfjords, there are plenty of Iceland’s beaches to explore. If you are planning to hang around the capital, many beautiful beaches are easily within your reach. If you rent a car and have the time, just a short 1-2 hour drive will open up a world of possibilities.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#3: There is an Icelandic beach where you can walk among diamonds

Okay, you can’t literally walk among diamonds, but you can walk next to glistening pieces of ice that look just like the real thing. Jökulsárlón is a lagoon full of icebergs at the foot of a glacier on Iceland’s east coast. The lagoon empties into the sea and as a result, the beaches are studded with crystal clear pieces of ice. Whether you visit on a moody day or at sunset, the ice pieces look like perfect pieces of glass and this is one beach in Iceland that shouldn’t be missed.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#4: Many beaches in Iceland have black sand due to the volcanic nature of the island

The majority of Icelandic beaches are made up of jet black sand. This is a result of the volcanic nature of the island. The rocks and ash are ground down over time and eventually become the sand that makes up these vast stretches of shore. The contrast between the black sand beaches, the thunderous waves, and the atmosphere of Iceland is something visitors won’t soon forget. That being said, not all beaches in Iceland have black sand. Some have lighter toned sands but we prefer the phenomenal black sand beaches because of how unique they are.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#5: Icelandic beaches are totally worth visiting in winter

Have you ever considered going to one of Iceland’s beaches in the dead of winter? If you are visiting during the off-season there is a good chance you will be one of the lucky ones who will see the beaches in Iceland all covered in snow. There is nothing more majestic than the contrast between a black sand beach and the snow that covers the surrounding landscape. Beaches in Iceland are beautiful all year round, but they are particularly photo-worthy when the rest of the landscape is draped in winter glory.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

Have you ever visited a beach in Iceland? Which was your favorite and what would you pass up? 

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17 thoughts on “5 Things To Know About Beaches In Iceland

  1. Lois Alter Mark

    I love Iceland, and agree that the beaches are gorgeous. It’s important that you’re warning people about the dangers because it’s so easy to get tempted by the beauty of the water.

  2. The Invisible Tourist

    Your photos are stunning! It’s good to know about those “sneaker waves”, I’ll keep that in mind for sure. Jökulsárlón sounds like something that should not be missed, either. Thanks for sharing your tips, Iceland is on my bucket list!

  3. Christina

    Such beautiful photos! Iceland’s beaches look like they are out of a fantasy movie.I can’t say I’ve ever thought of Iceland as a beach destination but I would love to walk on diamonds and sit on the beach in winter.

  4. Paige W

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. to all of these! I really loved my time in Iceland and spent a good amount of time exploring some different beaches. Y’all’s Insta definitely helped me plan some of my trip. I totally giggled a bit at the term “sneaker wave” because it just sounded silly, but they’re the real deal!

  5. Stephanie Hedger

    Iceland is has so many surreal landscapes and clearly the beaches are no exception. Iceland is high on our list, and we wouldn’t mind going in off-season to avoid crowds and get a glimpse of the wintry black sand beaches!

  6. Holly

    Well I now know to stay away from the water or I could end up floating away. Gorgeous shots! I would love to see the beaches but I will stay away from the water lol.

  7. Sandy N Vyjay

    The beaches look amazing, visiting different type of beaches must be a great experience to deal with. The black sand beaches are really heavenly, no matter what. It looks awesome, being a beach lover, would love to visit these once. Normally we do not associate Iceland with beaches and hence this gives a different perspective of the place.

  8. Izzy

    Okay, I am not a beach person whatsoever but holy ish!?!?! How do places like this actually exist in the world?! It looks super photoshopped (not saying because of you!) but because it looks so unreal! Jökulsárlón sounds like a spectacle to behold for oneself. When I visited Iceland, I was visiting a friend so I didn’t get to explore the seascape as much as I had hoped. I think Iceland is begging for a return!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      It is so true!!!! Iceland does look photoshopped and it isn’t!! Such a crazy place!

  9. Christopher

    I’ve seen so many posts about Iceland its crazy! It’s already on my to go to list and hopefully I’ll get out there this year…. Thoses sneaker waves sound crazy scary…grabbing people off the beach and dragging them out to sea…wow. You’re pictures are fantastic. I love that eerie look and feel…The diamonds on the beach do look like diamonds lol

  10. Megan Jerrard

    Love your photos as per usual, our favorite beach was Jökulsárlón – walking along the black sand covered in ice was incredible and a memory which has stayed with me. I would love to get back in winter to visit these beaches though, it sounds like it would be a pretty extraordinary sight! I can’t even believe people would want to swim at Icelandic beaches! Lol despite being obviously dangerous, even in summer it’s not the warmest temperature!!!

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