Visiting Reynisfjara beach and sea stacks


Although we’d had a glimpse of Reynisfjara’s sea stacks when driving past, our first proper view was from Vík í Mýrdal (more commonly referred to as just Vik), the southernmost village in Iceland.

Reynisfjara is the name given to the beach that stretches for a distance of approximately two miles, whilst the large basalt sea stacks that rise up to 66m above sea level are actually called Reynisdrangar. It’s the most famous beach in Iceland and is made up of black sand and pebbles due to all the volcanic rock and sediment in the area. As the crow flies, it is probably only 3-4 kilometres from Vik, but by road – because you have to drive inland and back out again to get there – it is more like 11 kilometres away.

Framed by dramatic basalt cliffs with geometric columns, this wild stretch of North Atlantic coastline is the most famous beach in Iceland. It’s so otherworldly that it’s a popular choice for sci-fi movies; it featured in Star Trek: Into Darkness and was used to represent the planet Eadu in the Rogue One Star Wars movie.

In the distance, at the western end of the beach, we could see the small peninsula of Dyrhólaey where there’s a natural arch. Access to the area is limited during May and June due to the nesting season but, in the Summer, it’s a great place to see puffins.

On the beach west of Mount Reynisfjall is the cave Hálsanefshellir, where striking columnar basalt formations can be seen. If you’ve ever explored the Scottish islands, you may have seen similar formations at Fingal’s Cave on Staffa Island.

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