Jökulsárlón popularly known as Diamond Beach has been a setting for Hollywood movies: A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Batman Begins, as well as the reality TV series The Amazing Race. In 1991, Iceland issued a postage stamp, with a face value of 26 kronur, depicting Jökulsárlón.
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake in southern part of Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers. In 2009 there was a report to be the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 284 m (932 ft), as glacial retreat extended its boundaries. The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s.
The lake appears as “a ghostly procession of luminous blue icebergs”. The icebergs that calve from the glacier edge move towards the river mouth and get entrench at the bottom. The movement of the icebergs fluctuates with the tide currents, as well as being affect by wind. However, they start floating as icebergs when their size is small enough to drift to the sea. These icebergs are seen in two shades: milky white and bright blue, which depends on the air trap within the ice and is an interplay of light and ice crystals. Isolated large blocks of icebergs can be seen on the black sand beach, sometimes called “diamond beach” because of ice chunks scattered on the sand.
Diamond Beach is incredible all year long. Being there during sunrise or sunset is exceptional. Seeing the icebergs glitter in the low-set sun is a sight you will never forget. And you will understand why the beach got its name. And in winter the Northern Lights can show up. Reflecting in the ice and on the water, creating once in a lifetime views. The other delight is that it is always changing. Some days you will go there and find huge pieces, and the next there’s countless smaller pieces. Or the same one you saw the previous morning can have melted and become unrecognisable.