Reynisfjara – Black Sand Beach, south Iceland

GPS POINTS N63° 24′ 10.512″ W19° 2′ 36.422″

Reynisfjara – Black Sand Beach, south Iceland

Location: South Iceland
Directions from Reykjavík to Reynisfjara Beach on Google maps.
Duration: Cirka 2 hours and 20 minutes drive from Reykjavík to Reynisfjara – Black Sand Beach.

The black sand beach of Reynisfjara on Iceland’s South Coast is one of the most unique beaches in the world. It’s not a tanning kind of beach. More look than touch, it was created by lava flowing into the ocean which cooled almost instantly as it touched the water. The black sand isn’t the only lava creation on Reynisfjara. Opposite of the sea is an enormous natural pyramid made of basalt columns that looks like a staircase to the sky. This basalt cliff is called Gardar. The symmetrical columns were shaped when, once upon a time, lava flowed out, cooled and contracted. The slow speed at which the lava cooled made it crack and create these hexagonal forms.

You can go to Reynisfjara Beach either by car or by booking a tour with a local tour operator.

By car from Reykjavik: Take Highway 1 to Selfoss. You will cross through the town of Hveragerdi until you arrive at Selfoss. From there, continue on Highway 1 east. You will drive through the town of Hella and Hvolsvollur. From Hvolsvollur, drive until you see a right turn to road 215. Follow that until you arrive at Reynisfjara Beach parking lot (you will see signs along the way).

Once you have arrived at Reynisfjara Beach, you will have passed several great attractions that we recommend you visit. First of all, there is Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. Few kilometers down the road from Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is Skogafoss Waterfall, one of Iceland’s biggest waterfalls with a width of 25 meters and an astounding drop of 60 meters.

If you head a little bit further east of Reynisfjara, actually just on the other side of Reynisfjall, you will stumble upon Vik, a charming town famous for its cliffs and black sandy beach. Another nearby attraction is Dyrholaey, only few kilometers west of Reynisfjara, famous for it’s great view and cliffs.