Reynisfjara black beach - access, parking, sightseeing, interesting facts

Several amazing natural attractions await you at Reynisfjara Beach

Lots of attractions

The commonly used name "Reynisfjara black beach" should be seen rather as a mental abbreviation. There is much more behind it.
The beach itself, although very spectacular, reclines to the background in the face of the attractions located next to it. Of course, along with the attractions adjacent to it, it creates a stunning scenery, but it is these additional circumstances that make Reynisfjara often land in TOP 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. Were it not for the fact that it is impossible to sunbathe on it (you know - Icelandic weather), it would probably be unrivaled.

Location of Reynisfjara beach on the Iceland map

Beautiful and dangerous

Reynisfjara is a bloody formidable mixture of beauty and danger. And there is no exaggeration here. You will miss several warnings on your way from the nearby parking lot towards the beach. Don't take them as ordinary warnings that are everywhere. Careless behavior on the Reynisfjara beach can end tragically.

View from Reynisfjara Beach towards the Dyrhólaey Peninsula. The peninsula can be reached by car
Sneaky waves

I bet every amount of money that while visiting the beach you will witness that someone will be flooded by water. From time to time, literally out of nowhere, a very high wave appears here, reaching far, even several meters deeper into the land. The fact that it will flood you to your knees is the smallest problem. The beach and the coastal seabed here are made of small pebbles. Even when walking on them normally, the feet are slightly sagging. In combination with water, they act and pull in like quicksand.
The unexpected wave is so energetic that it can knock over and take a person with it, while dragging the top layer of beach stones with it.
Dangerous situations happen very often here. The warning signs do not stand here by chance. Only in recent years there have been a few drownings and several dozen (!!!) cases of people being dragged into the water.

I know the charm of this place will catch your attention, but for your own safety, keep an eye on the sea.
The unpredictability of the sea at this point is well presented in the fragment of the description of one of the tragic cases posted on the website

"The man was taking photos on a free-standing basalt column, a few meters from the shore, when a wave knocked him off the column and dragged him into the sea." … ”As the portal found out, the weather during the accident was very good, the sun was shining, the ocean was rather calm. There were bigger waves from time to time. "

One of the warnings when entering the beach

The picturesque shore stretches several hundred meters along the cliff. There is a narrow line of beach available to strollers, which disappears practically completely at high tide. Check the tide table before taking a long walk along the cliff face. If you see that there is not much beach left, and the tide is not over yet, take it easy. You won't make it back. Again, it's not about getting wet. One of the next larger waves will simply pull you into the sea.

A walk along the cliff face ... is beautiful!
Rock chippings

From time to time, rock fragments fall from the cliff face. The last, very dangerous situation took place here on one of the days of August 2019, when rock fragments rained down from the cliff and several people were injured. It was just a preview of what was about to happen. The next day a large section of the slope collapsed. Part of the beach located further to the east has been closed.
Unfortunately, security is often damaged by water, and tourists treat the landslide as another tourist attraction, consciously (or not) risking their lives.
So if you see any warnings or restrictions while walking, do not exceed them.

The rock formations are unique. A safe distance from the wall is recommended, but on the other hand you have to keep an eye on the sea waves.

Time for the best

If I've already scared you enough, it's time to move on to the pleasant things, which is why you come to Reynisfjara.

Basalt columns

You can see them from afar. Huge, polygonal, regular pillars cover almost the entire slope of the hill. It's hard to believe that nature can be so precise, consistent and regular. Such huge and beautiful pole blows are rarely seen. Why?

Basalt columns can be seen from afar. They are huge. Brilliant view!

Of course, they are the result of phenomena of volcanic origin, and more specifically the specific cooling of the lava. When it cools down, cracks form, which form a mesh, dividing the rock mass into regular columns. However, the regularity of cracks depends on the distance from the eruption source (i.e. heat source) and the cooling surface. The closer to the source of the eruption and, at the same time, from the cooling surface, the more regular the cracks are.
In a word, the cracks close to the surface are irregular (the columns are indistinguishable), and deeper they gain regularity.
Here lies the answer to our question, why are such beautiful poles seen so rarely? They are just hidden deep under a layer of a much more chaotic cracked mass. The pillars that we see on the Reynisfjara beach must once have arisen deep in the stream of cooling lava. With time, the top layer, due to various phenomena, was removed, revealing what was inside.

Basalt columns close up. You can climb them.
Halsanefshellir Cave

As you walk along the beach along the cliff edge, you will pass several smaller or larger caves. The most impressive of them is the Halsanefshellir cave. It is hard not to tell when you see her WOW! The black scale, solidified in regular shapes, creates insane, geometric shapes. The entire vault of the cave looks like an intricate work and the life's work of a genius artist-architect. As the lava cooled down, it burst into regular shapes, which with time were exposed by natural erosive processes. Here we see the pole blows from below. Arranged at an angle, they seem to rise above our heads and disappear into the depths of the rock.

The Halsanefshellir cave is truly insane.
Halsanefshellir Cave, Iceland
The coastal rocks of Reynisdrangar

The whole fabulous scenery is complemented by single rocks protruding over 60 meters from the water, called Reynisdrangar. There are various legends about their origins. However, they will not be quoted as they are not particularly interesting.
The rocks are most likely outliers, the remainder of the larger massif that used to be one with the coastal cliff (Mount Reynisfjall).

Beach, cave, and in the last plan the coastal rocks of Reynisdrangar

Parking and access

The beach is 6 km from the road number 1. It leads to it road No. 215which is covered with asphalt along its entire length, so there will be no problem getting there.
There is a restaurant and toilets next to the parking lot.

Parking at Reynisfjara Beach, GPS coordinates:
63°24’15.7″N 19°02’43.4″W
63.404355, -19.045392 - click and route

Location of the car park and main attractions:
1 - Reynisfjara beach
2 - basalt rocks and Halsanefshellir cave
3 - Reynisdrangar rocks

Hotels near Reynisfjara Beach

Reynisfjara is located near a small town Vik. Thanks to this, you will find some nice accommodation nearby. You can start your search with the link below, which filters the results to show the closest hotels to the beach first: accommodation near the Reynisfjara beach - [click]
Below, I also present a few selected proposals.

Guesthouse Carina - [click]

Farmhouse Lodge - [click]

Skammidalur Guesthouse - [click]

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