Black Beach Overview

The black beaches in Iceland have an aura of mystery and are wildly romantic. With the enormous stacks of basalt, the stunning panoramas, and the roaring waves of the Atlantic, the Reynisfjara is one of the famous black sand beaches of Iceland. If you are wondering what makes the beaches black then you must know that black sand beaches rise from volcanic ashes.

Iceland being home to over 130 active volcanoes, these black volcanic beaches are certainly not a rarity here. The Breiðamerkursandur ice Diamond beach located by the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is a sparkling beach with glistening icebergs sitting on the black sand. The minute you enter the lagoon you feel like you are entering a mystical locale that is surrounded by twinkling diamonds.

Sólheimasandur is another black beach of Iceland that houses a mysterious attraction in the form of a plane wreck. The Sólheimasandur beach lies very close to the Skogafoss waterfall and this promises to transport you to a natural wonderland. Located on the Icelandic coast’s southeastern part, the Stokksnes beach is another black beach that promises you breathtaking views of the Vestrahorn Mountains and a perfect landscape for amazing photographs. Another other-worldly beach sitting on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula’s tip is the Djúpalónssandur beach, which is a black pebble beach with the most fascinating volcanic rock formations.

How To Reach

Reaching Reynisfjara black beach: After reaching the capital city of Reykjavik you can easily drive to the beach in two and half hours. All you have to do is feed the location in your GPS. The road that will lead you down to the Reynisfjara black beach lies off Highway 1. Pay heed to the signboard that says Reynisfjara and enter the island.

Reaching Sólheimasandur: When you are heading to the Vík village, you will reach the Sólheimasandur in just ten minutes because the beach even if not closer, can be spotted from the road.  However, try putting the location before the car starts so that you can easily find a parking lot to park the vehicle.

Reaching Diamond beach: You can hire a scooter/moped or car during your Nusa Penida trip. It will only take an hour to reach the beach from the Harbor of ToyaPakeh. However, a motorbike is not recommended for a drive here as the roads leading to the beach are narrow and there are fast-driving cars often overtaking each other.

Reaching Dyrhólaey Beach: The Dyrhólaey Beach is located one 174 kilometers from the capital city of Reykjavík. Therefore, when you are driving east of Reykjavík on the east ring road, Dyrhólaey will come before the Reynisdrangar cliffs and Reynisfjara. In about two-and-half fours you will reach the beach.

Reaching Stokksnes: Hire a car and take the Thorvegur (route 1 ) from Reykjavik and after traversing 451 kilometers you will see a turnoff for route 99 (Hafnavegur) that goes to Höfn. Stick to the road’s left hand site and keep following route 1 to reach the Stokksnes black beach after 6 hours.

Best Time To Visit

High season (Mid June – August): You can visit the Black beach Iceland during the summer. During this time the days are quite long and you can explore the beach better. If you are visiting Reynisfjara beach during this time, you can spot puffins besides several seabirds thronging in flocks. Your best chance to experience pleasant weather and midnight sun is during the summer months.

Shoulder season (Mid June, September- mid October): You can come to the Black beach Iceland during the late spring time. That is because the icebergs near the beaches melt during this time. Mid June, September – mid October also includes early autumn which means you can click stunning pictures in the golden right with the pitch-black sand as the backdrop.

Low season (mid-October- mid May): The low season characterizes harsh winters where there is just four-six hours of dark daylight, roads are plowed and you can hardly enjoy the beauty of the beach.

All in all, the best season to visit the Black beach Iceland is during the shoulder season that extends from Mid June, September- mid October. That is because you can not only enjoy the crisp and cool golden light against the black beach but also spot birds and engage in fishing. If you arrive later during the fall time, you may even have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis.

Other Essential Information

Strondin Pub Vik: If you are all set to grab a glass of excellent beer with some Icelandic staples on the side then you must visit this traditional and local pub of Strondin. The fish and the chips are a must have here.

Drangar: The fine-dining Drangar restaurant prepares an intriguing menu. If you come here you will be blown away by the taste and look of the dishes. That is because the dishes look like they are art works.

Smidjan Brugghus: If delicious burgers and local Icelandic beers are on your mind then you can head to the relaxed gastropub of Smidjan Brugghus.

Sudur Vik: A bar-cum restaurant, Sudur Vik serves the most lip-smacking European cuisine and delicious pizzas. You can refuel yourself after an exhausting day while enjoying the Atlantic Ocean’s spectacular views.

Places to stay near Black beach Iceland

Dream Guesthouse Vik: This three-star picturesque guesthouse at Vik has the most thoughtful amenities and treats you to breathtaking views of the mountains.

Icelandair: This well-designed three-star accommodation is replete with expansive views of the coast and you get to stay in lovely, spacious rooms.

Einarsstadir Homestay: Located in the charming Vik village this thoughtful homestay even welcomes pets. You can indulge in a country-style breakfast here besides set out for horseback riding.

Guesthouse Reynir: This simple guest house enjoys a close location to the coast but it lies further back from the beach. You can spend your nights at the beautifully done one-bedroom cottages here.

Things/ Activities to do in Black beach Iceland

Stand-up paddleboarding at the Jökulsárlón lagoon: You can head to the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier at the Jökulsárlón lagoon to punch over the top of waves while paddling into the fjord on a stand-up paddleboard. The 360-degree view of the breathtaking scenery will bowl you over.

Paraglide along skuas and Arctic terns : View the volcanic landscapes of the black sand beaches in Iceland through a tandem paraglide, using a harness. Soar above the shores, glaciers while you join the Arctic skuas and terns in the sky.

Indulge in Arctic surfing: Hop on a surfboard and ride the barmy nordic waves as they roll into the Sandvick beach and keep gliding across the water surface, maintaining an upright position.

Drive or hike around Hjörleifshöfði Cave: You can drive, or undertake a light hike with your backpack, and head to Hjörleifshöfði’s southern part to discover a mountain cave in black beach Iceland, besides checking out “moonlike landscapes’.
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Black Beach FAQs

Where is the Best Black Sand Beach in Iceland?

The best Black Sand Beach in Iceland is the ever popular Reynisfjara beach. It lies on Iceland’s south coast beside the tiny Vík í Mýrdal fishing village.

How Are Black Sand Beaches formed?

The Black Sand Beaches have formed from the long-time erosion of hardened lava, ejected out of a volcano. The black sand is fine, fragmented dark-colored minerals, basalt rocks, and lava that are ubiquitous in Iceland. That is because Iceland is home to over 130 active volcanoes that eject hot magma now and then.

Why is the sand so unbelievably black?

The sand in the black beaches of Iceland is unbelievably black because years of erosion and weathering break the volcanic basalt rocks into minuscule pieces, hence imparting a black color and sandy texture . The color is dark-colored because it contains pitch dark rocks and minerals that have high iron content, namely quartz and feldspar.

Medical Facilities in Black beach Iceland?

The standard of health care and medical facilities is high in Iceland. If you suffer minor ailments while undertaking any sporting activity then pharmacists can be of great help. They will dispense over-the-counter medication and valuable advice. All you have to do is head to a heilsugæslustöð (primary healthcare center), or an apótek (pharmacy) to seek help. However, in case of major health risks like frostbite or hypothermia, medical-clinic staff and doctors will provide you emergency medical treatment at the earliest.

Timing to visit of Black beach Iceland?

The best time to visit Black beach Iceland is before 10am, early in the morning right after sunrise, and spend the entire afternoon. If you are traveling during winters then keep in mind that the sun does not rise until 10:45 am.

Mobile Connectivity in Black beach Iceland?

The mobile connectivity in Black beach Iceland is average. You may have a good connection on the coast but if you are hiking the hills nearby or the glacier, do not expect any cellular network.

Travellers' Tip before visiting Black beach Iceland?

1. Make advance bookings, and be prepared for the ever-changing weather here.

2. Pack in waterproof, sturdy winter boots that offer a good grip and dress in layers.

3. Make sure you are also carrying water and windproof jackets besides a buff, a hat, and gloves.

4. Carry serious gear after you have consulted a cold-weather hiking or packing list.

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