My Favourite Place in Iceland : Reynisfjara Beach

Before we even left for Iceland, I was extremely excited about getting to visit Reynisfjara Beach on the South Coast Tour with Gateway To Iceland. I had seen photos and read about the place, and always wanted to go there. When I thought of Iceland, it was one of the first images to flash in my mind.

Would I love it as much as I did before the trip? Would it be able to meet my great expectations? With black sand beaches, natural column-pyramid rock formations, and puffins.. how could it not?

Sitting in a road-side café in the small village of Vik, Iceland, I see the large shadows of petrified sea-trolls in the distance.

The large, black rock formations that rise out of the ocean, just off the coast, are believed to be trolls that were caught by the sunlight and suffered petrification.

We finished our lunch and made our way over to the beach. In stepping off of the grass, my feet immediately sunk into the black, pebbly sand and made a loud crunching sound with every new step.

It felt quite strange, and almost made it feel like my boots had disappeared and I was walking directly on sand.

I trudged along the beach toward what I had been waiting to see, and climb. I tried to keep my view on the ground or horizon until I was directly in front of it, and then I looked up. There it was.

I had aligned myself at the perfect angle to turn it into a pyramid (it doesn’t look that way from the sides). In front of me sat an enormous natural pyramid made of basalt rock columns, slightly resembling Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. Giant’s Causeway doesn’t compare.

The columns arch upward into a triangular point, where your eye then meets the conical mountain behind it, producing a pyramidal appearance. Each column pops up in a seemingly chaotic staircase to the sky.

If Led Zeppelin had ever chosen a literal “Stairway to Heaven”, this would be it. Or maybe Hell, with this menacing sky.

Puffins swoop of their nests balancing on the steep cliff face, twirling and dancing in the blowing wind. I had been waiting to see puffins for so long that I actually screamed “PUFFINS!” as soon I spotted them.

They bunched together on the rocky outcrops, with their white bellies standing out against the soft, green grass.

Around the corner is a huge cave-like indent in the columns, creating a stalactite-version of the other side. Instead of the basalt columns jutting up toward the sky, they now point toward the ground in the same crazy pattern.

The raging sounds of the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean crashing against the shore echo off every surface and create a paranoia of getting washed out to sea, like those petrified trolls.

There’s just something about this place that I love.
My great expectations were met, and exceeded.

 Gateway To Iceland

Fly Air Canada to Iceland

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17 Responses to “My Favourite Place in Iceland : Reynisfjara Beach”

  1. Penelope
    September 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    These pictures are gorgeous! I am so glad that your expectations were exceeded- it’s always great when a place that seems a fairytale in your head actually turns out to be reality! Can’t wait for your next post!
    Penelope recently posted..Bringing Up Baby- Movie Review

    • Seattle
      September 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      Thanks 😀 You’re right!

  2. Aussie on the Road
    September 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    So, so, sooooo amazing. The photos paint such a vivid and serene picture. Sure, it’s not the kind of beach we Aussies are used to – but the beauty of the place is in a class all of its own.

    I think I’m in love with puffins too, just quietly >_>
    Aussie on the Road recently posted..The Great Portland Brewery Tour

  3. Alouise
    September 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    This is a beautiful photo. I love the contrast of the green against the grey. The colour looks almost unreal.
    Alouise recently posted..Road Trip Memories 14 – A Grand Canyon Photo

  4. Audrey
    September 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh my goodness, this place looks magical! Especially the first photo – that’s what I imagine parts of Scotland to look like! Beautiful landscapes and super cute puffins!!! 🙂
    Audrey recently posted..The Green Gables & My Green Lobster

  5. Seattle
    September 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Thanks everyone 😀

    Glad you all like it!

  6. SpilledInkGuy
    September 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    What a stunning place (and amazing photos – wow)!
    With my luck though, those puffins would witness my tumbling down that natural-column pyramid. Which is particularly unfortunate because I bruise easily.
    SpilledInkGuy recently posted..Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall

    • Seattle
      September 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

      haha–I was actually quite scared of falling myself, because it was very slippery from the rain!

      & thanks :]

  7. Jodi
    October 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    You got some amazing pictures!! Iceland is definitely on my list.

    • Seattle
      October 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

      Thanks! I hope that you can make it 😀

  8. Jacy
    August 1, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    Great photos! I’m headed there in a couple weeks! Can you just walk to this beach from the hostels in Vik? Or do you have to drive to a different beach? Thanks!!

  9. J-Crew
    September 6, 2015 at 1:40 am #

    Wow, a great piece on a cool hike. You really did a great job with pumping the reader with wonderful photos and worthwhile observations. Keep it up!

  10. Kimberly
    June 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    This is an incredible place! What time of year did you visit?

  11. Vishnu
    August 29, 2016 at 4:21 pm #


    If I may ask, what time of the year did you visit this beach? It seems to be a perfect combination of greenery and cold misty fog.


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