Ultimate Guide to Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

No-one has missed the beautiful black beaches of Iceland on Instagram. Wanting to know more about how to visit this spot? See our ultimate guide to Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland.

Reynisfjara Black Beach is definitely the most famous beach in Iceland, with regular daily visitors in the thousands. Unlike the white beaches of the Mediterranean, the exact option is the attraction - 'black as night' sand and peddles to contrast the atmospheric Icelandic sky and sea. Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

Where is Reynisfjara Beach?

Reynisfjara Beach is very close to the most southern tip of Iceland, near the coastal village of Vik. A 2.5-hour drive (190 kms) from central Reykjavik, this beach is easy to reach, 6 kms off the A1 highway. It is in an isolated spot though with just a small cafe close to the car park.

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

Why is the sand in Reynisfjara beach black?

The sand at Reynisfjara beach is actually cooled black lava but has been smoothed down by the sea into the texture of beach sand. This sand and the smaller pebbles glisten and sparkle in the sunset. This stretch of beach can be very moody weather wise which creates magic with the different sprays, clouds, mists, and storms.

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

How do you get to Reynisfjara beach?

Leaving your vehicle up at the carpark, you can simply walk straight out onto the beach. The caves and grottos are to the left of the carpark. Please be careful though with your exploring and keep an eye on the unpredictable waves and tides. There is a cafe beside the free car park.

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

Can you swim at Reynisfjara?

Unfortunately, due to the tides and conditions, you are unable to swim at this beach. It is a long stretch of beach which you can walk along, again, keep an eye out as this beach has claimed several lives over the last few years.

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

How much time do you need at Reynisfjara beach?

Depending on your routing, most people spend up to an hour here. You can climb on the balsalt columns, visit the caves, and catch that perfect photo. Keep a close eye out for the beautiful wildlife that lives in the basalt columns, including puffins, guillemots, and fulmars. If you can time your visit for sunset or with some atmospheric conditions, all the better!

There are some other black beaches you can visit in Iceland. Just up the road from Reynisfjara, you can visit the Sólheimasandur beach with its abandoned aircraft wreckage still laying where it crashed in the 1990s.

What tours visit Reynisfjara Beach?

Our Iceland small group tours and day tours visit the Vík Region and stop by Reynisfjara Beach. It is well and truely on the tourist path so if you are on one of our self-drive itineraries, try to hit the beach in the quieter times of the day!

You can also visit the other black beaches of Iceland during your visit. Diamond Beach on Iceland’s south coast and by the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, has washed-up glacier diamonds shining on the black beach. Several of our itineraries include a visit to Jökulsárlón.

See all our Iceland tours here.