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Iceland Mag

Nature

Reynisfjara black sand beach picked one of "World's 50 Best Beaches"

By Staff

  • Reynisdrangar stacks The black sand and otherworldly atmosphere makes Reynisfjara one of the most interesting sites in Iceland. Photo/Haukur Snorrason

Any visitors to Reynisfjara black sand beach by the village Vík in South Iceland will probably agree that it is a unique and spectacular site. Part of its allure is the very uninviting character. Even on a warm summer day the black sand and freezing North Atlantic make Reynisfjara the very opposite to the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean or Caribbean which draw millions of beach goers every year. 

Which makes it all the more interesting to find Reynisfjara in the company of all the top beaches of the south seas.

In interesting company
The Canadian travel agency FlightNetwork recently published a list of "The World's 50 best Beaches", which it bills as the "most definitive list of beaches ever assembled". There, along with luxury beaches in the tropics, Reynisfjara beach pops up in spot 20. The 632 experts who contributed to the list give Reynisfjara a perfect ten points for its "sheer untouched beauty" and 9/10 for sand and water quality.

We would like to point out that the water and sand at Reynisfjara should get 0/10 if it was judged on its suitability for sunbathing and swimming: The freezing North Atlantic with its dangerous waves, and the coarse black sand are less than ideal for the kind of beach activities people look for at more tropical beaches! 

The site describes Reynisfjara as "an extremely exquisite and unique beach destination":

This mystical beach is home to scattered cliffs and natural landmarks like the Reynisdrangar (towering basalt sea stacks) as well as enormous cave mouths akin to the fantasies you see in movies. Puffins can be seen on the southern end of the beach and the Dyrholaey lighthouse is as quirky as it is notable.  This beach is the finest in Iceland and bound to make you forget about all those other tropical vacation considerations — invoking a longing to discover every corner of Iceland’s majestic shores.

We at Iceland Magazine have to agree: Reynisfjara is certainly an exquisite spot. But it is also one of the most dangerous tourist destinations in Iceland. Three people have drowned at Reynisfjara in the last 10 years after being swept to sea by the unpredictable waves which come crashing in. Please stay safe: Do not venture too close to the waves and keep children close by at all times.

Read more: Photos: Travellers in grave danger on Reynisfjara beach, narrowly escape being swept away by waves

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