Iceland’s Black Sand Beach

Iceland’s Black Sand Beach
Vik, Iceland

Reynisfjara is a world-famous beach that features dark black sand, huge basalt stacks, and stunning North Atlantic views.

Located in the southern town of Vik, this beach is only about 2 1/2 hours outside Reykjavík and makes for a good day trip option when staying directly in the capital city.

Black Sand:

The most iconic thing about this beach has to be the jet black sand. A consistency more along the lines of gravel, rather than usual beach sand, this black sand is actually made of lava, which cooled and crumbled when reaching the ocean.

If possible, plan to spend a little time walking up and down this black sand beach if the weather is nice. We visited this beach in April when it was still pretty cold out and the winds were too high to enjoy a stroll.

We took this picture several times, as I could barely keep my hair out of eyes long enough to take the photo!


These large basalt columns are breath-taking to see in real life and really do look as though their man-made. Icelandic folklore has it that these columns were once trolls that tried to lure ships to crash on its shores. One day the trolls were out for too long though and the dawn sun turned them into the stones we see today. Legend or not, I highly recommend viewing these in person, as pictures hardly do it justice!

Beach Dangers:

Now while the beach is beautiful, it’s also very deadly! There are several signs when you first arrive that lists what to keep an eye out for.

Skip bringing your bathing suits for this beach, as the ocean here is not to be messed with! The beach features both strong rip currents and what are known as sneaker waves. These unique waves come at random and are much larger than the normal waves, thus allowing them to reach further onto the beach. Every year tourists die on this beach, whether it be they purposely get in or a wave pulls them out, but the waves strength and the ice-cold Northern Atlantic Sea are often too kick and strong.

Now that being said, the beach is still plenty safe to visit own your own or with your family, as long as you keep your sense about you. Make sure to keep plenty of space between yourself and the water and never turn your back on the ocean. The sneaker waves come quickly and quietly and often this can be how people get swept out. If you have any children with you, then make sure to keep them close, as to avoid any of the situations above.

Queen of the Iron Throne

Once you’re done with the beach area there are a couple places to eat right next to the beach parking. If it’s cold when you visit then make sure to hit the restaurant up for some hot chocolate before walking out to the beach. I waited until after and I was frozen to the bone by the time I got it.

Though it’s certainly not a traditional beach in any fashion, Iceland’s Reynisfjara beach is a must-see when visiting the country! Would you visit here? Leave your comments below!


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