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Best Time to Visit Diamond Beach for Photographers and how to photograph it

Diamond Beach Iceland - Fjallsarlon sammy-schuckert

If you’re a keen photographer, you’ll find plenty of irresistible locations throughout Iceland. One that has become a firm favourite with travellers is undoubtedly Breiðamerkursandur, better known to visitors as Diamond Beach. It’s easy to visit this place before or after Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon. For those in the planning stages of a visit, here’s our take on the best time to visit and how to photograph it.

Diamond Beach Iceland Fjallsarlon giacomo-bianchi

What time of year should you come?

There’s no bad time of year to come to Diamond Beach. Summer offers the best chance of good weather. Under blue skies, the ice literally glitters in the sunshine, leaving you absolutely clear about how the place got its nickname. You’ll need to work hard to make space away from other travellers, so you might prefer to time your visit for the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn to make it easier to achieve the perfect shot.

In winter you’ll have significantly less daylight to play with – as little as a few hours in December. However, the number of travellers is significantly fewer, and the beach will therefore be less crowded. Also, if the skies are clear and solar activity is high, the opportunity to visit at night to watch the Aurora Borealis dance overhead is highly tempting, so don’t rule out a trip after the sun goes down.

How to compose a great image

There are a few things you can do that will help you take a shot that does justice to this striking location. Firstly, get your horizon straight – nothing ruins a seascape faster than a wonky line. Next, make the rule of thirds work for you: place the horizon a third or two-thirds of the way down and never right through the middle.

Now use the icebergs to create foreground interest. Imagine your viewfinder or phone screen as a grid of nine squares and place the largest iceberg to one side. If the shape appears to extend in one direction, aim to leave space where it draws the eye. Less is more, so aim for a less cluttered part of the beach to allow your subject to really shine.

Diamond Beach Iceland - Fjallsarlon bibhash-polygon-cafe-banerjee
Diamond Beach Iceland -- Fjallsarlon valdemaras-d

Zoom in for detail

Most likely, you’ll want to take some close-up shots too. Many of the icebergs have been sculpted into unusual shapes by the action of the waves. Some have holes right through them which can double as frames for subjects behind – for instance a person or another iceberg.

Play around with your settings and zoom in to capture some of the detail – ripples in the surface of the ice or curves smoothed by water, for instance. Catching a wave as it breaks over the icebergs and puddles onto the black sand is also a satisfying process. If you’re working with a human subject too, you’ll need to be acutely aware of the strength of the waves and mindful of the danger of being swept off your feet.

Choose the time of day just as carefully – Check out Fjallsarlon

Light is a crucial factor in achieving standout photos. In the soft light of early morning or late in the day, the colours of the sky and the black volcanic sand become more intense, creating more of a contrast against the icebergs themselves. Sunrise and sunset are equally spectacular in this amazing location. It’s addictive, so be prepared to want to come back for more.

Given that travellers often drive significant distances to reach Diamond Beach, they often have to gamble on the weather. It can make – or break – a shot. Fortunately, Iceland’s weather is often changeable. So, if the skies cloud over and the rain starts to fall, don’t assume that you’ve had a wasted journey.

Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon riccardo-chiarini

Instead, hang around for a while and wait for conditions to improve. This enforced break is a excuse to take a boat trip at nearby Fjallsárlón, where you’ll get the chance to see more icebergs up close while on the water. At Fjallsárlón you can also book a private boat tour and sail around with a private guide photographing the icebergs and the towering Vatnajokull Glacier.

 

OUR TOURS

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5-6 hours

29.900 ISK

May - Nov

Your multi adventure starts with a calm boat ride on Fjallsarlon glacier lagoon. Following the boat ride, you’ll land at the foot of Fjallsjokull glacier, a place we have secluded access to. After the glacier hike, you will walk to a jeep for a fun 15-20 min. return drive.

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75-90 min

10.100 ISK

Apr - Nov

Sail with us in a Zodiac boat, amongst floating icebergs on the majestic Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon. This adventure tour will allow you to connect with the Icelandic nature in a way you have never experienced before. Come, have fun and cruise with us!

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4 hours

19.800 ISK

May - Nov

Embark on an extraordinary adventure on our glacier hike. This tour is perfect for adventurers who like to go off the beaten path as this journey takes you through untouched, alluring landscape to Fjallsjökull glacier.

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Overnight

155.000 ISK

May - Oct

Immerse yourself in the spectacular Icelandic wilderness and spend a memorable night on the lagoon. The magnificent view over the glacier lagoon towards Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe is sure to impress even the most experienced traveler!

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75-90 min

101.000 ISK

Apr - Nov

On this private tour you can decide along with your captain how your cruise evolves. Cruise among icebergs and sail beside the glacier wall in your own style! This tour is popular with couples, friends & families who want to share an adventure in a private and personal way.

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2 hours

255.000 ISK

Apr - Oct

Cruise to a secret island located close to the edge of the glacier in the lagoon. Set foot on land that only few have entered! Sip champagne and take in the magnificent view towards Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. Create memories that will last a lifetime.

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3,5-4,5 hours

24.500 ISK

Nov – Mar

Explore the Icelandic wilderness on our way to a blue ice cave located in Breidarmerkurjokull glacier outlet.
Ice caves are a natural wonder that every adventurer should behold.

BLUE ICE GLACIER HIKE

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3-4 hours

21.900 ISK

Encounter the extraordinary by joining our exclusive glacier hike! This trip is tailored for those who seek adventure, are physically fit, and have a deep desire to explore the untouched, rugged attraction of Fjallsjökull glacier.

Fjallsarlon Iceberg Boat Tour Iceland

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