Reynisfjara volcanic beach is located on the south coast of Iceland within short distance of Vik, a small fishing village. Famous for its black sand and basalt columns, Reynisfjara is both tranquil and intimidating; with no significant landmasses in between Antarctica and the shores of Iceland, visitors should be wary of the roaring Atlantic Ocean. The black sand glistens in the sun and visitors are able to view Dyrhólaey rock arch, or if visited from May to August one is able to see puffins plunging from the surrounding cliffs to sea for their supper! The basalt columns are a great example of what happens to lava when it cools rapidly and fantastic for group photos! Visitors are wowed by the jet black sand, once lava that flowed from the volcano looming in the background.
You may think, once you’ve seen one waterfall surely you’ve seen them all? I was the same before visiting the vast array of waterfalls in Iceland, each one manipulating the water across the rock formations and creating individually beautiful spectacles. Known as a Foss to the Icelandic, my top Foss include Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gullfoss and Faxafoss.
Located within short distance of Thingvellir National Park and within the Golden Circle route are Faxafoss and Gullfoss. Fed from the Hvita or white river which is sourced by Iceland’s second biggest glacier, Gullfoss boasts an impressive two stage cascade, which leads into Gullfossgjúfur canyon. Visitors are able to view the waterfall from three separate angles, from the observation deck high above, from the canyon edge and from the rocks directly in front of the first fall of water. We would recommend the latter observation point (and waterproofs!), which quickly refreshes and rejuvenates with light glacial spray from the roaring falls. In comparison to Gullfoss, Faxafoss has been described as a mini Gullfoss and displays a less powerful cascade but little foot traffic, Faxafoss is very tranquil and has a quirky feature – the Salmon ladder.
Located on the south coast of Iceland Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss are both excellent examples of plunge waterfalls. With its origin from underneath the glacier Eyjafjallajokull, the cliffs Seljalandsfoss falls from once marked the coastline of Iceland. Visitors are able to view this magnificent waterfall from a pathway located behind the falls, looking out towards the sea in which Seljalandsfoss flows to! It’s not hard to see why Skogafoss is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland, as its pure natural power creates multiple stunning rainbows. Visitors are able to climb the steps up to the observation deck, predicting how many steps there are to climb and counting them as you go, once at the top the view of the plummeting water through the almost Jurassic landscape is nothing like we have ever seen before.
The waterfalls are steeped in Icelandic folk law and magic, which is understandable from witnessing these unbelievably beautiful forms of nature.