The Best Beaches in Iceland

Where to find great Icelandic beaches & what to keep in mind

There's more to beaches in Iceland than expecting cold weather in Iceland or visiting the Blue Lagoon. Some Icelandic beaches have black sand, many are naturally rocky, and if it's not warm enough for bathing, these beautiful beach locations still offer great photo opportunities.

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    Nautholsvik Beach in Reykjavik (Greater Reykjavik Area)

    ••• Matthew Micah Wright/Getty Images

    Nautholsvik is a popular sandy beach in Reykjavik. The nice thing: it's a thermal beach heated by hot water flowing into the bay, so you can actually enjoy bathing here. There are two freshwater pools and public facilities. This beach is well suited for families. Surfing is not allowed here.

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    Kirkjubol Beach (West Iceland)

    If you're visiting the western parts of Iceland, especially the county of Strandir, visit the beach at Kirkjubol which is well suited for outdoorsmen and for family travelers. The drive from Reykjavik is rather long, but there are bus and airplane services to Strandir county available (map of Iceland here).

  • 03 of 06

    Álftanes Beach (Greater Reykjavik Area)

    WWII watchtower on Alftanes Peninsula
    ••• Gurry Gudfinns/Panoramio

    A sandy beach in Iceland on the peninsula of Álftanes, and one of the few white sand beaches in Iceland. Part of the Greater Reykjavik Area, visitors can find this Icelandic beach just east of the Reykjavik city center, on the Alftanes peninsula (map of Iceland here).

  • 04 of 06

    Djúpárlónssandur Beach (East Iceland)

    Snaefellsnes Beach in Iceland
    ••• Snaefellsnes Beach in Iceland. TerriM.

    This beachy area can also be found near Snaefellsnes and is called Djúpárlónssandur. This Icelandic beach consists of lots of pebbles and rocks created and formed gently by nature. Bring your camera for the unique rock sculptures found at this beach in Iceland (map of Iceland here).

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Reynisfjara Beach near Vik (South Iceland)

    Approximately 110 miles (180 km) from Reykjavik you'll find the Icelandic town of Vik with a beautiful beach area: Reynisfjara Beach is a natural black sand and pebble beach with some larger boulders. Don't forget to look into the interesting basalt caves by the beach while you're there (map of Iceland).

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    Budir Beach (West Iceland)

    The location is the peninsula Snæfellsnes, the name is Budir Beach. To to the beach, drive to Snaefellsnes peninsula and then go along the south coast of the peninsula to Búðir to be surprised by one of the very rare light colored beaches in Iceland, strongly contrasted by black basalt lava (map of Iceland here).

Are there nude beaches in Iceland?

Learn more about nudism in Iceland to find out where clothes may (or may not) be optional at Icelandic beaches. And if Iceland is not your only destination, there are more great beaches in Scandinavia.