Destination Europe

Iceland South Coast Classic Tour: Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Posted on
November 20, 2019

We toyed with the idea of hiring a car during our visit to Iceland, but decided instead to take arranged coach tours to some of the sights we wanted to see.

We actually used two companies and our first excursion was with Reykjavik Sightseeing, on their South Coast Classic Tour.

We were collected at our nearest bus stop to our apartments and taken to the main bus station, where we picked up our coach and met our tour guide, Alex.

It was raining when we left Reykjavik and I have to admit that we didn’t get much of a view of the lava fields out of the windows as we headed south as we had to endure thick fog and cloud covered mountains. Thankfully, Alex checked the weather before we left and moved our excursion around so we would get the best of the weather in each location.

We were each given tablets which followed our route and gave us information about each location we drove through as we headed along the route, but Alex made the journey more fun with interesting anecdotes and Icelandic folklore and stories of trolls.

There was excitement as we headed past the glacier-capped Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, which was the cause of all the air traffic chaos of 2010 and onto the our first stop – Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.

Before we got off the coach, Alex warned us of “sneaker waves”, a disproportionately large coastal wave that can sometimes appear in a wave train without warning, especially on the Atlantic coastline.

I am so glad he did, as we witnessed a few tourists get caught out by some rather large, but unexpected waves. The trick is to see where the footprints end and not stray beyond that point.

Reynisfjara is considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches, with its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas.

Basalt Stacks Iceland

The kids were more excited by the folklore tales which say that the large basalt columns were once trolls trying to pull ships from the ocean to shore. However, these trolls were dim and went out too late in the night; dawn broke on the horizon, turning the trolls into solid stone.

There is plenty to explore, with the cave being a real source of fascination for the kids.

They even attempted to do some sand angels – well who needs snow??

If you do visit this bit of coastline, do remember to wrap up warm as it is extremely exposed and windy.

From Reynisfjara, we then hopped back into the coach where we headed around the bay to the southernmost village in Iceland – Vík.

Alex was on form as he told us that the town of Vík lies directly south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which lays on top of the Katla volcano which is overdue an eruption. The town has regular drills to evacuate to the towns church, located on a hill above the town, as such an eruption would melt enough ice to trigger an enormous flash flood.

The black beach continues here and from this side you can see all three basalt stacks in the water.

Vík is a small town with only has 291 inhabitants, but is the largest settlement for 70 km and has a large gift shop and three restaurants which offer great views of the beach.

We ate at the Víkurskáli Grill which was by far the best value and the perfect place to refuel before heading off to explore more of the south coast.

To be continued………..

Read all about the second half of our South Coast Classic Tour here.

  1. Reply

    Cassie Mayers

    November 21, 2019

    Wow this place looks amazing! I do love a rocky coastline! you got some lovely pictures too!

  2. Reply


    November 21, 2019

    Oh wow this looks incredible to visit . I love beaches in all weathers . Something so calming about them isn’t there

  3. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    November 21, 2019

    Oh my goodness what an absolutely incredible looking place to go and explore! It looks amazing there, I could spend hours wandering the shore I think.

  4. Reply

    kaid saifee

    November 22, 2019

    Hello Kara, It seems beautiful Holiday of yours, nice photos.

  5. Reply

    Jennifer Gladwin

    November 22, 2019

    What an amazing tour! That black sand beach looks amazing. We’d love to explore Iceland, it’s definitely on our bucket list.

  6. Reply

    Rebecca Smith

    November 22, 2019

    Looks like an awesome tour! I’d love to visit the black sand beach and Jack and Olivia would love the stories about trolls. One day I will get to Iceland!

  7. Reply

    Jo | My Anxious Life

    November 23, 2019

    I would absolutely love to go to Iceland, its natural wonders really seem something to behold. Amazing place to take children as well, lots of learning opportunities as well as fun.

  8. Reply


    November 23, 2019

    What a beautiful place to explore and what a fun tour to be one, it looks like there’s a lot to see and do x

  9. Reply

    This German Mama

    November 24, 2019

    This just looks like such a beautiful place visit and the kids look they enjoyed it too. I’d love to go and see iceland one day.

  10. Reply


    November 25, 2019

    looks very filmy place, but its really nice to go and hangout with black sand and beach is key point of south coast tour. Thanks for sharing beautiful photos of your trip.

  11. Reply

    Jess Howliston

    November 25, 2019

    WOW what an absolutely beautiful place, I would love the chance to explore here myself one day! The black sand beach is just so different and the views look stunning. I love hearing all the tales and folk stories and think they are so lovely and bring so much character to a place!

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog