Mr Nordic

Your guide to Iceland’s unique black sand beaches

Iceland is a volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean. Black beaches have been created by the eruption of volcanoes and lava that has cooled in the sea. These beaches consist of millions of small black pebbles. Very different from the fine sand you find on the beach in other countries. A must see when in Iceland.

Reynisfjara in southern Iceland is famous for its rugged, expansive black sand beach and rocks carved out of basalt blocks.

Vík is the southernmost village in Iceland. From the capital Reykjavik you drive there in about 2.5 hours. The village itself is small and has only about 300 inhabitants. The beaches, on the other hand, are very impressive. Most tourists navigate to Reynisfjara Beach. There you will find a free parking space near the beach and a simple restaurant. You can walk on the beach here and have a good look at the special rock walls.

Reynisfjara is located east of Reykjavik in one of the southernmost areas on the island. From the capital it takes about 2.5 hours to get there by car. Some places in Iceland are difficult to find and difficult to reach, but fortunately that does not apply to Reynisfjara. Take Route 1, the well-known road that goes around the island, then Reynisfjara is well signposted on the roadside signs. Then take the exit onto Route 215 and in 10 minutes you will arrive at this amazing place.

The beaches at Vík are pitch black. The sand consists of volcanic rock.

The impressive rocks and beaches at Reynisfjara

The beach can get quite crowded during high season. Parking is free, so try to arrive as early as possible if you want a parking space. You will also find public toilets and the Black Beach Cafe Restaurant on the beach. Although the cafe only has a limited menu, it is an ideal place to warm up after a cold walk on the beach.,

Icelanders have a lot of myths, including Reynisdrangar, the two rocks found in the sea at Reynisfjara Beach. Legend has it that these were once two trolls who one night wanted to bring a stranded ship ashore. But then the sun came up and as all fairytale fans know, trolls petrify in the sun.

The rock formations of Reynisdrangar are home to thousands of nesting seabirds. In the summer months you will find many birds that fly out to sea to fish for their young.

The rock formations at Reynisfjara beach in southern Iceland are formed when part of a headland (land that is in the water) breaks off when the waves of the sea crash against the rocks. As a result, a piece of land is dragged into the sea. This can even create a small island. Please note: this beach is very dangerous because of the restless sea. So don’t walk too close to the coast and certainly don’t go swimming there!

The Dyrhólaey black beaches

Another popular place to see the black beaches is Dyrhólaey. That’s about a 20-minute drive from Reynisfjara Beach or the village of Vík, but definitely worth a visit.

Dyrhólaey is in fact a peninsula and slightly higher. This gives you a beautiful view over the elongated black beaches. In addition, puffins (also called puffins) are regularly found here. Although you have to be quite lucky to see these special birds.

Iceland is the place to be if you want to spot puffins. These penguins of the north live in various places on the Icelandic coast. The puffin is also jokingly called the clown of the sea. It is a colorful bird with a cheerful snout. He also resembles a penguin. The bill consists of bright yellow, red and blue-grey colors and the fur is black and white. Puffins mainly live on islands and along the coast. Preferably as high as possible. They are usually on slopes where the ground is level, such as a cliff that has a cove of a few meters or a flat rock in the sea. The often can be found along the famous black beaches too!

Last Updated on April 15, 2023

Mr Nordic

Mr Nordic

I'm a passionate travel blogger captivated by Scandinavia's stunning landscapes, diverse cultures, and Viking history. I explore offbeat destinations in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, providing authentic insights into Nordic life. When not adventuring, I share my experiences, photos, and love for Scandinavian cuisine. Join me as I uncover Scandinavia's hidden gems and magic!

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About Mr Nordic

Mr Nordic loves the Nordic. He travels all around Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden to find the greatest adventures, the most beautifull places and most exciting experiences. Here on you can read all about it. From food to living and from outdoor to culture, Mr Nordic covers it all.