The Black Sand Beach in Vik
You might have heard a thing or two about the black sand beach in Vik and most likely you have seen lovely photos of the basalt rock formation that stick out of the sea and are called Reynisdrangar. But did you know that Vik is also a black beach and is the wettest place in Iceland? The black beach in Vik also allures people by its hidden caves and folklore stories.
Along the south coast of Iceland, with only about 300 residents, Vik í Myrdal still holds the title to be the biggest village in the southernmost part of Iceland. Just about 180 km away from Reykjavik, you will get to feel the black sand and the warm welcome of the locals.
A fair warning to all tourists is that walking for the next 70 km will not take you anywhere but close to endless shores. Hvolsvollur is about 80 km going north from Vik so the only service center you can most likely find are the ones in Vik.
Where is Reynishverfi beach located?
The black sand beach in Vik is called by its local Reynishverfi and since it is famous because of it’s black sand and basalt sea stack, tour guides are more willing to take you 10 km just before you reach Vík. That is where the black sand beach with 68 m high boulders can be found.
You can also locate Reynisdragar on the western side of the 340m high Reynisfjall. Vik proper is located on its eastern side.
Here is a map to where you can locate the black beach in Vik (“A” – Þjóðvegur, “B”- Reynishverfisvegur, “C” – Vik)
The steepest road you could ever encounter in Iceland is on a loran station, the highest part of the mountain ruins. This was built during the World War II serving as their watchtower or something. The cliffs are the solace of the ever adorable Puffins. Being in top of the mountain will obviously view the whole of Vik as well as Myrdalsjokull, the Dyrholaey and the amazing Reynisdrangar. It would definitely be an spectacular view from up there.
The black beach in Vik with its basalt sea stacks
The rock formations are formed at the bottom of the cliff, from the mountain standing proudly in front of Reynisdrangar. The black beach is a long beach with stones and rocks everywhere after the shore.
The folklore is made upon these columnar creations. The legend says that these are the remains of two night trolls who were petrified as they were trying to pull three-masted ship out of the sea. The dawn caught them and had them turned into stone. Well ofcourse, we all know now that these are created by lava flows that cooled down. It created hexagonal forms due to the contraction of the lava as it slowly flows and cools down. In overall view they have formed more like of a staircase. Climbing on these rock formations is easier than it looks as long as you watch your step on each of the blocks. When you reach the top, which is where you can view on different directions the places that are also rewarding to continue your expedition with.
If you don’t really dig like climbing up the staircase-like formations and a bit afraid of heights, then you can go south western of the Reynis Mountain foot. But ofcourse visit the caves only during low tides as the waves could be quite nasty on high tides. They would be as big as you will expect them to be and it would be dangerous to continue to the caves. And yet another Folklore is known to have surfaced in this cave. It was said that there was once a monster that used to reside in one of those caves but due to unfortunate circumstances for that certain monster, landslides that occurred about 100 years ago killed it and was never ever known to have seen again. The wonders in this place always inherits several folklore, whether they are true or not, respect still would be your best key of survival in such places. So help the locals preserve the natural wonders you have seen and please refrain from doing any vandalism or loitering at the Black Beach in Vik.