Southern Iceland: A Day at the Black Beaches of Vík | Road Trip Part 3
A Gay Couple exploring South Iceland Vík during a Road Trip Part 3. The mystic landscape of the world famous Black Beaches on Iceland is the base for uncountable stories, fairytales, and sagas of the land of trolls and elves all over the biggest most northern island of Europe. Specifically, the South of Iceland around the town Vík marks a unique spot to experiences those mysteries of the lava and rock formations of Reynisdrangar, for example. Actually, you have to be there to truly experience the magic of nature.
The small South Icelandic municipality Vík is definitely worth a stop on an Iceland Road Trip and is often at least worth a one day trip from Reykjavik. Wait, did somebody said the word Puffins? We were lucky to see the last national birds of Iceland of the season. You cannot imagine something more adorable, but look yourself! Join us on our South Icelandic Day in Vík and 3rd part of our round trip Iceland with some wonderful travel photos and enjoy South Iceland through a couple of men’s eyes before we will continue our trip to Glacier Ice of Skaftafell National Park.
From Waterfalls & Golden Circle to the Black Beach of Vík
Coming from the Golden Circle Tour, the landscape of Iceland is changing rapidly: almost every minute while driving along the retrieved Icelandic coastline, nature began to look different but extraordinarily beautiful. Cars, houses, and humans became so small compared to the cliffs and mountains of South Iceland on the left side while the view over the northern sea on the right side seemed to fade into an endless horizon. The sun points through the cloudy sky and gives an unforgettable show for us two gay travelers on our road trip around the Iceland. A thing we both never experienced so close: the Skyfall over the mountain and rock formations spotted in sunlight. Behind an unreviewable mountain formation, we drove downhill entering the small South Icelandic town Vík with the remarkable blue chapel. Welcome in South Iceland, welcome in Vík.
The South Icelandic coast of Vík
Vík in the middle of the Mýrdalur valley is a collection of a couple of houses in the shadow of the mountains in the North and the open sea in the south. Some guesthouses, little shops, and the small church Víkurkirkja together with dark clouds and rain showers creating a mystical atmosphere. The campsite Tjaldsvæðið inVík í Mýrdal is located directly next to the stone edge with a small round building with showers, toilets and a room to sit, cook and connect with other travelers. Although the campsite left its best days already behind, the morning view of the sunrise and open water side is an amazing and stunning experience not to miss on a South Icelandic day in Vík. For dinner, we can recommend the restaurant Strondin Bistro and Bar with its delicious self-made pasta and original Icelandic burger. A tip for going out for dinner: wait until you be seated. The night was windy and rainy, though. But the sunny view out of the tent the next morning… well… No words for needed. Have a look at the picture.
Waking up with Icelandic Music
Getting up at around 7 – 8 am has its positive: More time to discover Iceland with daylight, because the sun goes down already at around 6 pm in September. The plan for each today: having a hot shower, packing our tent and stuff in the car and start the discovery of the day.
To get into the right morning mood we loved to listen to our Spotify Iceland Playlist with Íkorni, Kate Bush and Yunip, simply perfect for our road trip.
Lonely Black Beach with Sunrise in South Iceland
On our way back west again over the mountain for about 1 kilometer, we took the first road on the left towards the coast. The road leads directly to a parking spot next to a small restaurant. Warm packed due to windy weather the way guides us on the black sand for a South Icelandic Day in Vík.
For all of you who know the Netflix series sense8, here is the spot they shot some of the most beautiful scenes of the first season. Basaltic rock formations, smaller and bigger caves and the big round or oval stones of the Black Beach Reynisfjara making this place to one of the most beautiful spots we have ever seen. Did you ever listen to a concert of stones created by the waves taking and bringing back the cast stones? The music of nature with the strong roaring wind and the stones floating back and forward.. yes, speechless moments full of deep sensual moments absorbing the calmness of out South Icelandic Day in Vík?
Watching the last Puffins of the season
Sure you know about the national bird and icon of the Nation of Iceland? Exactly, Puffins. These small clumsy birds with shining orange feet, a black coat with white chest and bright red beak are also known for being good divers and are normally detectable in Iceland from spring until the end of August. Our time to see them was over, but apparently, luck was with us.
Coming around the corner of the beach towards the cliffs gave us the chance to see hundreds of Puffins flying around and catching the small fishes before landing like clumsy flying penguins on the cliffs again. Especially Karl couldn’t get enough of them… Don’t miss to see them fly and land on our YouTube video!
The Saga of Trolls & a petrified ship – Reynisdrangar
But do not stop just at the beginning of the beach, even when walking on the stones along is difficult. Keep on walking facing the 3 rocks formation of Reynisdrangar close to the beach. With low water, you can pass a small tunnel cave reaching the side of the coast with a remarkable view over Vík and Reynisdrangar. Is there a special spot for bird watching in Vík? Yes, there is! You will find an almost isolated part of the Black Beach as an ideal spot to watch seabirds and puffins. Mystical, magical and only reachable by climbing over the cliffs!
Following the Icelandic Saga, the 3 rocks formation was a former ship captured by trolls close to Iceland. Well.. slow trolls obviously because they couldn’t manage to be back from their pirate trip before sunrise. And so the Saga of Reynisdrangar and the 3 rocks was born.
Icelandic Breakfast with a view (like a painting)
Two hours later and really hungry we arrived back in our car. On the other end of the bay, we spotted a high stone formation with a platform and a white building on top. Curious as we are, we took the road back west taking the next road towards the coast. And there it was: our private breakfast spot. It should not be our last breakfast stop outside in the sun with a stunning view over the mountains in the north. Perfectly equipped with our own and the rented camping stuff from Iceland Camping Equipment Rental in Reykjavik, we were able to eat where and whenever we wanted to! Have a nice meal!
On top of Iceland with a White Lighthouse
The second time we were really happy to have a 4×4 to do our road trip once around Iceland: Prepared to have stormy weather on top of the mountain, we had to pass a gravel road with huge holes. And there we were: on top of the half-island Dyrhólaey, no wind at all and just an incredible view.
The pure white lighthouse Dyrhólaeyjarviti, the deep blue sea, and the cloudless clear blue sky – a perfect moment on our South Icelandic Day in Vík. The walk from our car towards the coast of the world famous peninsula Dyrhólaey with the “rock bridge” or so-called “Door whole island” and an overall stunning view south over the North Atlantic.
Sweet & Salty Nature spectacles & Lava Caves
Driving back downhill further towards another part of the beach, we reached quietly a busy part of the coast. Well, busy in Iceland simply means the 20 cars on a parking area. 😉 Here at Kirkjufjara beach, where lava met the ocean, intense colors, different kind of colored stones and huge lava caves invited us to spend hours while sweet water from the glaciers flows into the salty ocean.
Walking along the wide almost lonely beach, we couldn’t get enough of lava basalt caves, the intense, unreal colors while sitting on top of cliffs with a stunning view. Just be, that’s the motto here at Kirkjufjara beach close to Vík. Be and take a deep breath of the intensity of nature.
Campsite Kirkjubær & Public Pool with a view
To be honest, we cannot say how long we spent time in Vík. The only thing we know.. it was really late to keep on driving to our planned next stop. We decided to cut the day and reach the next bigger town Skaftárhreppur with 2 campsites (campsite Kirkjubær II & Kleifar) and a public pool, hotels, a shop, gas station, and restaurant. We decided for the campsite Kirkjubær II that was well maintained, clean and close to the public pool. Do a mountain hike and enjoy the view over the valley or do as we did: take a bath in the small public pool with a view over a waterfall while sunset. A perfect end to a perfect day. PS: We would have loved to take pictures of us sitting in the 40°C pool watching the waterfall during sunset. But we didn’t: Use your imagination and trust in our words. Try it, it is really worth it!
More Iceland Articles:
Iceland Road Trip Part 3: Exploring South Iceland Vík Black Beach
As mentioned in our TOP 13 HIGHLIGHTS OF ICELAND the town Vík and the area around are definitely worth a stop, for an hour or even way longer. Our tip: take your time for Vík!
But what happened on day 4 of our 21 days road trip around Iceland after our South Icelandic Day in Vík? We drove through lava fields, over one-way bridges towards the ice of Skaftafell National Park. Wanna know more? Stay tuned.. on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
See you on Ice! Karl & Daan.