11 Days Alone in Iceland - Part 3

Black beaches, petrified trolls, sneaker-waves and ice-cold diamonds – our journey through Iceland continues!

Our little bucket-list marathon along the south coast of Iceland went so fast, I even jumped over one of the popular sights in my last blog. And that is Reynisfjara, better known as the “Black Sand Beach”. Its border to the west builds Dyrhólaey, an arch with a whole, that marks as well the southernmost point of Iceland. The “Eagle Rock”, Arnardrangur, which lies right of the cliff, and makes for great photos towards the eastern part of the bay. After this little detour, we went back to the Ringroad and headed over to the other end of Reynisfjara, where the famous basalt stacks called “Reynisdrangar” lie right off the coast. This was another movie set for the famous Game of Thrones series, featured in scenes from behind the wall. The basalt stacks are said to be trolls trying to pull ships from the ocean to shore when they got cached and petrified by the first daylight. Be careful though while exploring the sight. So-called “Sneaker-waves” can, even on calm days, suddenly crash onto the beach, way beyond the waterline. They have in the past pulled incautious people into the ice-cold sea, with the most recent, deadly incident in 2017. So you better watch your back and/or keep a healthy distance! Seriously!

Arnardrangur

To the east we go!

After exploring and surviving this beautiful volcanic bay we were heading on towards Breiðamerkursandur, the “Black Diamond Beach” – what a fancy name for tourists! – right outside the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. With a little detour to the glacier Svínafellsjökull, which I already told you about in part 2 of this series. If you’re lucky “Black Diamond Beach” really honors its name, with crystal clear chunks of ice on the black, volcanic sand, making them look like diamonds, sparkling in the sun. If you’re not so lucky – then we have something in common. But we still managed to find some pieces of ice for those Instagram-worthy photos. Right from the parking at the beach it’s a short walk under the bridge to the glacier lagoon itself, with drifting icebergs, lot’s of seabirds, and an occasional seal. Not as easy to get that perfect photo, but still more interesting than the beach right outside to be honest.

Black Diamond Beach
Black Diamond Beach
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

More East!

After the glacier lagoon, we decided we had to cover some ground. With just occasional breaks at some nice viewpoints along the Ringroad, we were heading 4 hours further north-east to the idyllic village of Seyðisfjörður. It’s again one of those detours that are really worth it. The village is nestled between high mountains in a small bay, only accessible by boat or over a high mountain pass, which was still covered in ice and snow when we arrived at the very end of June. The village itself seems to be mainly inhabited by artists. Colorfully painted houses, artwork shops, a rainbow street towards a baby-blue wooden church, and a vibrant cultural life with many art-related markets, galleries, and festivals. It’s like a hidden, cultural oasis, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and waterfalls! Be sure to check their calendar when planning your trip, and you might just be lucky to catch one of the amazing festivals or markets!

Follow us next week to new beautiful, impressiv waterfalls,  one of Iceland’s most thermal active areas and much more! Leave a comment and check my social channels as well to find even more interesting information and stunning views of Iceland and Norway.


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Bernd Luff

German freelance photo- and videographer, content creator, and social media manager living in Arctic Norway.

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Alone in Iceland – Part 3