A place of stark, wild beauty, this black-sand beach on the south coast is one of Iceland’s most photogenic locations. Here, roaring Atlantic waves batter the Reynisdrangar sea stacks, the black pebble shoreline, and the pyramid-like cliff of basalt columns known as Garðar, where puffins and guillemots can be seen.
Reynisfjara Beach is a common stop-off on South Iceland day tours from Reykjavik. Organized day tours typically combine a visit to Reynisfjara with trips to other nearby destinations, such as Skaftafell National Park, Sólheimajökull glacier, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and Skógafoss waterfall.
Multi-day tours from the capital typically combine south shore attractions with sights around the Reykjanes Peninsula, Golden Circle, Borgarfjörður valley, and Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Things to Know Before You Go
- With its striking landscape, this black beach is a must for photography enthusiasts.
- The waves here can be treacherous; keep your distance from the shore.
- The uneven, stone-littered surface of the beach makes it unsuitable for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Reynisfjara Beach is situated on Iceland’s south coast near the town of Vík. The beach is about 112 miles (180 kilometers) from Reykjavik and can be reached via the Ring Road (Route 1) and Route 215. Driving from Reykjavik takes about 2.5 hours. The nearby Dyrhólaey promontory, accessible via Routes 1 and 218, also offers striking views of the beach. If you don’t have access to a car, it’s best to go as part of a guided tour.
When to Get There
Reynisfjara Beach is recognized for its dramatic beauty. Summer is perhaps the best time to come here, with long, lingering sunsets and sunrises providing ideal lighting conditions for photographers. This is also the best time to view birds in the nearby cliffs. Don’t expect to sunbathe, even in summer, as winds are strong here year-round.
Reynisfjara Beach on the Big Screen
Due to its unusual appearance, Reynisfjara Beach has been used as a filming location for Hollywood movies and hit TV series. In Game of Thrones, it served as the beach at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea in season seven. It was also used for scenes in Darren Aronofsky’s 2014 religious epic Noah and in Star Trek: Into Darkness.