No visit to Iceland is complete without checking out Reynisfjara Beach aka Black Sand Beach in addition to exploring the same town that is Vik Iceland. Below I take you on a journey of what to see and where to stay in this cute little town. You will most like be passing through Vik to get to Jokulsarlon and Diamond Beach lagoon in addition to Svinafellsjokull Glacier. We had rented a camper van so we had stopped in Vik for an overnight stay before we drove towards the glacier lagoons further on the ring road.
On the way back from the exploring glaciers we had more time to dedicate to Vik Iceland. Visiting the church, the shops, and restaurants, beaches and around this small town, in addition to the puffin birds on black sand beach.
I have split the post in two to make it easier to see what is available in Vik and on Reynisfjara Beach. If you are doing a self-guided tour of Iceland you have the flexibility to make as many stops as you like, we really enjoyed exploring Iceland by campervan, it also meant that we could stop at whatever time we wanted. Believe it or not, the pictures of Reynisfjara Beach were taken around 9-10pm. Iceland in the summer is truly magic as it doesn’t get dark until a 1am so if you are exploring via campervan or car rental their is the added benefit of exploring way past the hours when most tours run which means you will have these places to yourself, still with plenty of good light to take great pictures.
While the below might be perfect if you are self-driving in Iceland you can also see these places in many of the tours and day trips in Iceland, the majority of them leaving from Reykjavik. You can read more about our campervan adventures in Iceland in my recent blog post which also has tips for exploreing by campervan in addition to tips when renting or hiring one.
Vik is right along Route 1 or Ring Road as its famously known, so you definitely won’t be able to miss it with its famous cliff faces seen from the road. There are a few activities around especially if you want to make this a longer stop as well as multiple forms of accommodation options to choose from. Vik also has one gas station so if you are exploring via car its best to fill up as the gas stations are spread out and some are not guaranteed to be open.
Things To Do In Vik
- Vik i Myrdal Church – Little church situated on top of a hill, offering picturesque views of the ocean & town. You can see this below. This can be spotted as you drive through Route 1. You can spot our little campervan next to the church in one of the pictures.
Restaurant Sudur Vik – Opens and until 9pm – This is perfect as if you are driving late you have a few places still open including this one. A few of the hotels and the campsite in Vik have restaurants of cafes on site.
- Horse Adventure – Explore the black sand beaches of Iceland by horse in a 30-40 minute tour of the surrounding area.
- True Adventure – Paragliding and zip lining adventure above mountains, waterfalls, and beaches Iceland.
Where to Stay in Vik Iceland
Vik is fairly small so in the summer these places sell out fairly quickly but there are various options depending on budget, comfort and size of your group. Majority of these will have mountain or beach views. Vik is so beautiful, quiet and peaceful making it the perfect stop to chill and relax after all the exploring and driving between tourist sights and wonders in the land of fire and ice.
- Vik Camping: – If you have a campervan there is plenty of room to park and set up your little outdoor eating and chilling area. On the campsite you have a small cafe with self-service equipment too(microwave, kettle), there are toilets and showers on site too. If you have a normal rental car you can also park up and pitch your tent on site too.
- Vik Hotels: – Puffin Hotel, Hotel Katla, Hotel Kria, Kósý Vík, and Icelandair Hotel
- Vik Guesthouses: – Dream Guesthouse, Carina Guesthouse, Galleri Guesthouse, and Skammidalur Guesthouse.
- Apartments: – Puffin Vikurbraut Apartment and Puffin Bakkabraut Apartment
- Vik Home Stay: – Einarsstadir Homestay, Sunnubraut Holiday Home.
Reynisfjara Beach – Black Sand Beach in Iceland
Things To Do on Reynisfjara Beach:
Reynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal. This is the quieter side of Vik as you only have a couple of hostels and people mainly come here for the black sand beach. There is a restaurant on site with a small shop and some toilets should you need them. Right on the beach, you will find the enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Make no mistake as beautiful and inviting the beautiful waves on this volcanic beach are, they are also dangerous with rip tides. There have been a few tourists dying and being swept away by the tide. One, in particular, was only last year of a woman swept away while visiting with her husband and two kids who I hope didn’t witness the death of their mother. Enjoy the beach and surrounding cliffing without risking it all for the ‘gram.
- Puffin Birds – There are plenty or puffin bird tours in Iceland but if you are self-driving you can easily find these on the Reynisfjara Beach. There are plenty to look and most of them will be pirched up high on the cliffs they will be on the beach as well and be flying over your head. I am gutted that by the time I started taking pictures of them it was getting dark and I had left one of my zoom lenses in the car and couldn’t be bothered to walk back to the car, but if you look carefully you can make them out in one of the pictures below.
- Hálsanefshellir Cave – in the Reynisfjara Beach is one of the prime attractions of the world-famous black sand beach near Vik. The basalt columns on the cliff face are really amazing and so characteristic of Iceland as I have not seen this kind of structure anywhere in the world.
- Black Beach Restaurant – offers local foods and services coupled with unforgettable views of the splendid shoreline and the power of the ocean. The restaurant was founded by five local farmers who own the land surrounding the beach. With the steady increase of visitors, a lack of facilities became more and more apparent. Guðni Einarsson, one of the owners, says that they all agreed that they did not want to tarnish the pure landscapes and decided on a design that would blend in with the landscape and even utilise it for construction materials. The walls and floors are thus covered with gravel from the beach, which gives the restaurant added character. Open daily from 11am – 6pm. Open even on Christmas!
Where to Stay Near Reynisfjara?
- Black Beach Suites – Beautiful self-contained suites with amazing views. Offering a sun terrace and views of the sea, Black Beach Suites is situated in Vík in the South Iceland Region. Reynishverfisvegur Beach is within 2.5 miles of the property. Free WiFi is available.
- Reynir Guesthouse – Situated 1.2 miles from Reynishverfi Beach, this family-run guest house is 5 miles from Vik village. It offers basic rooms with a seating area and work desk. Some rooms feature sea views.
More on Iceland:
- Exploring The Glacier Lagoon
- Everything You Need To Know About Exploring Iceland By Campervan
- Iceland Packing List | What To Pack For Iceland
- Tips For Visiting The Blue Lagoon
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