I’m always a fan of black sand beaches. But, the black sand beach in Iceland is more attractive and stunning compared with others. I know white sand beaches are nice as well. But the black sand beach in Iceland is magical. On the other hand, the beaches in Iceland become very cold and dangerous sometimes.
But, the unique beauty of those beaches beats all those negative points. So, I suggest you not miss this Game of Thrones filming location while you are on tour there.
Here is the ultimate travel guide to the black sand beach in Iceland. Just scroll down to read more.
Best Black Sand Beaches in Iceland
Here are the top 5 black sand beaches in Iceland
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach in Iceland
Reynisfjara is an easily accessible and stunning black sand beach in Iceland. Actually, it is the most famous beach in Iceland and even in the world. Its basalt columns are very famous and add a unique view to the beach. And I think this is the best place to see those columnar basalts on a black sand beach.
I must say this to you that Reynisfjara is dangerous for travelers due to unexpected sneaker waves. They are very dangerous and sudden. Most of the travelers have died due to not following the below-mentioned safety tips. I agree that anyone can forget about the danger when you see the beauty of this place. But still, protect yourself since your life is more valuable than anything. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
Reynisfjara black sand beach is located 2.5 hours away from Reykjavik (depending on the driving speed). Locating on Iceland’s south coast, you can plan for a one day trip from Reykjavik to this black sand beach. And, this destination is easily accessible and guides you correctly from GPS. Just trust your GPS path.
Stokksnes Black Sand Beach in Iceland
Stokksness offers you a chance to feel that you are on another planet. The giant mountain range (Vestrahorn Mountain Range) and the stunning black sand beach support you to feel the beauty more.
The Vestrahorn Mountain Range gives your cameras a stunning view, especially in the winter season with snow. But we know Iceland is very cold in the winter season. So, get ready for that harsh climate if you are visiting there.
You may have to pay around $75 to get access to Stokksnes Peninsula. But trust me, it is worth paying and visit this rare scene of mountains meeting the black sand beach. For me, this is the best experience of visiting a black sand beach.
Trust me, it is so dark, but yet it is more attractive and eyecatching. And on the other hand, Stokksnes Peninsula is one of the best places to see northern lights in Iceland due to its high darkness at night. The other reason I like this beach is that it is crowd-free and can take fabulous photos.
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Stokksnes black sand beach is also located on the eastern coast of Iceland near the town of Hofn. And this beach is also easily accessible and will take around 6 hours drive to reach Reykjavik. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
Solheimasandur Black Sand Beach in Iceland
A plane was crashed and fallen to Solheimasandur Black Sand Beach a few decades earlier. Still, the remnants of that flight are there and offer you a great cover location and a song visual location. Since all the passengers of the plane were survived, no issue of visiting this place.
Earlier, everyone could directly reach the beach. But, now you may have to park your vehicle and hike for the beach. The total roundtrip to the trail is around 4 miles by the ring road. Don’t worry, the hike is easy, but it will take some time since the trail is rocky.
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck is located very close to the Skogafoss Waterfall. And also, you can easily get into the location via GPS. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
Diamond Black Sand Beach in Iceland
Since this stunning beach is located across the street from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, there are broken and carved icebergs on this beach. And also, they are floating on the seawater when the tide comes in and out. However, this black and white mixture attracted my heart.
Yeah, it is more beautiful. The name of the beach (Diamond Beach) is also this diamond-like white glacier piece on the beach.
This stunning beach is located nearly 45 minutes away from Stokksness. And there’s a visiting center once you reach the sea lagoon. But, to reach this diamond beach, you may have to drive to the opposite side of Jokulsarlon Lagoon on the Ring Road. Once you reach there, a separate car park is there and just goes down to the beach.
But, there’s a bridge to connect both Jokulsarlon Lagoon and the diamond beach. Just visit both sides. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
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Dyrholaey Rock by the Black Sand Beach in Iceland
Dyrholaey is a unique black sand beach in Iceland. Actually, Dyrholaey is a tall rock with a piece of land with arches and viewpoints located on a black sand beach. So, once you visit here, you can climb the rock and get a whole view of the black sand beach and the unique Icelandic sea. For me, this is one of the best views in Iceland.
Because of locating very close to Reynesfjara black sand beach, you can visit both places on the same day. On top of the Dyrholaey Rock, there’s a lighthouse that you can visit. If you visit here in the summertime, you will see cute puffin birds that attract to nesting in the summer warm months.
Access to the beach is very easy, and you can park your vehicle in the park at the bottom of the rock. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
Why is the sand black in Iceland?
As I mentioned earlier, black sand beaches in Iceland are dangerous and cold. So, these beaches are not ideal for sunbathing. Most travelers, photographers, and videographers attract to these beaches to catch the scenic natural environment to their cameras.
The black coast, surrounded by smooth pebbles and stones and the exciting basalt stacks, makes the environment more unique. And also, stunning lava formations, hexagonal-shaped basalt columns, basalt caves, stone arches, and towering cliffs add more decorations to it. Especially in Reynisfjara beach, birds are nesting over these stunning cliffs and sea stacks. It is also one reason to consider Reynisfjara as one of the most beautiful black sand beaches in the world.
Now, I’m going to tell you the reason behind the black color of this sand. Obviously, just like all the other black sand beaches in the world, this is due to the volcanic eruption and flowing lava into the sea. Having over 100 volcanoes in Iceland, frequent black sand beaches are obvious.
But, there’s a special point for Icelandic black sand beaches. Because they are always really black and wet. The reason for that is, the areas like Reynisfjara are the rainiest parts in Iceland. So, the beach never gets dry and grey. Therefore its black color and wetness remain the same.
These black sand beaches give a unique view with white snow through black lava particles, even in the winter. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
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Things to know before visiting the Black Sand Beach in Iceland
There are several things you should know before visiting the black sand beaches in Iceland. They are as follows:
Iceland’s Black Sand Beaches are easily accessible. But, one thing you should keep in mind is not to drive on the beaches in Iceland. It is an illegal thing due to damaging the ecosystem of the country.
Iceland’s Black Sand Beaches are very dangerous. According to records, so many people have died on the black sand beaches in Iceland due to several reasons (ex: sneaker waves). But, if you follow the safety tips and proper cautions, there’s no harm from this beautiful nature.
Iceland’s Black Sand Beaches offer you surreal views in the winter. I know the winter is very harsh in Iceland. And the best time to visit Iceland in the summertime. But yet, winter offers you unbelievable and unforgettable views of black sand beaches covered with white snow. You have to prepare for the cold climate with warm clothes, waterproof shoes, and clothes.
Mostly, solo travelers love to travel in the off-season. So, I suggest them to travel to Iceland in the winter as an off seasonal tour.
The black color of the sand got from the volcanic ash. As we all know, the story behind all the black sand beaches is volcanoes’ eruption in that area—the same in Iceland. Iceland’s black sand beaches are unique and beautiful, with their dark sky and climate.
When an active volcano has erupted and flew through the beach, lava, rocks, and ash stay on the beach by mixing the saltwater. Then, it creates this kind of black sand beaches. Although there are different beaches in Iceland (ex: red sand beach in Westfjords), black sand beaches are phenomenal. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
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Safety and Travel Tips to know
Here are the tips from TravelAdvo Team to concern before visiting the black sand beaches in Iceland.
Safety Tips for visiting Black Sand Beaches
As mentioned earlier, Reynisfjara beach is the most dangerous one in Iceland. So, it is better to know before you visit there. So, especially follow the following safety tips when you are on Reynisfjara.
Keep a safe and considerable distance from the sea waves all the time, especially when you are on the black sand beaches on the Southern Coast of Iceland. Due to claiming many tourists’ lives by the sneaker waves, you must be careful. On the black sand beaches near Vik and Reynisfjara, sneaker waves are very frequent. So, do not go so closer to the surf break to get selfies. Think about your safety first.
Do not attempt to swim in the water. And do not let your children wander off or play as they want on the beach.
Do not forget to check for the weather forecast before you visit. Inclement weather is not always a healthy time to travel. Try to avoid visiting the beaches on rainy or bad weather days since the wind and waves become dangerous.
Prepare with waterproof and windproof clothes and shoes. A balaclava type headcovers are better to retain the heat. Especially when you visit Solheimasandur black sand beach, prepare to avoid hypothermia and windburns since that hiking trail is very famous for heavy windstorms.
In any case, if your clothes get wet for long hours until reaching your accommodation, try to change your clothes and get warm because there’s a huge probability of getting dehydrated your body unknowingly. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
Travel Tips for visiting Black Sand Beaches
Make sure your camera is ready since black sand beaches in Iceland are more incredible than other black sand beaches in the world. So, prepare your camera to capture photos within a minimum light environment.
Visit the beaches early in the morning to avoid the crowd. I suggest you travel before 10 am to get the super experience in black sand beaches in Iceland.
Do not leave anything on the beach when you leave. It is illegal and unethical to leave anything on any kind of beach in Iceland. Iceland authorities are very strict on environmental protection rules. So, as nature lovers, we should not destroy these beautiful places by leaving garbage on the beach. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
Black Sand Beach in Iceland and Game of Thrones
Black sand beaches in Iceland are famous filming locations. Especially, Reynisfjara has been used as the background for many world-famous TV series and films.
The most famous TV series in the world, “Game of Thrones” season 7, used Reynisfjara as the wall at the Eastwatch (the men of the Night’s watch are stationed).
In the movie Star Trek: Into Darkness in 2013, Reynisfjara black sand beach into their film series.
In 2014, Noah (the biblical epic), the drama movie, was released, and it also showed Reynisfjara black sand beach.
The world-famous Star Wars Story: Rogue One and The Force Awakens cast this black sand beach as the epic space. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
Can I take Black Sand from Iceland?
No. you cannot take those black sand and rocks home. Some notices are also displayed in the entrances to prevent taking natural things home. Actually, it is unethical to disturb and destroy nature like that.
On the other hand, most of the travelers share their black memories of taking black sand home. Actually, most people believe that taking black sand home brings you bad luck. Experiences with accidents, unsuccess, exam fails, and many more negative experiences have been shared by the travelers who took black sand home. I know these things are not rational, but I just thought to mention it since most people have shared it. (Black Sand Beach in Iceland)
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