Iceland in Five Days - Day Three - Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

After a great night’s rest at Hótel Dyrhólaey - we had a gigantic breakfast in the hotel dining room. It was a buffet of everything ranging from smoked salmon and cream cheese to fresh oatmeal with figs. It was just what we needed for our big day of exploration of Vik and Reynisfjara Beach (otherwise known as the Black Sand Beach).

We then hopped in our car and drove to Reynisfjara Beach. It was easy to get to and parking was a cinch.

Reynisfjara Beach is one of the world’s most interesting beaches due to its unique sand and basalt column formations. The sand here is jet black and very fine from countless years of ocean waves breaking down lava that had flowed into the water. The mystical coastline stretches for five kilometers and had a mystical feel to it. In fact, legend has it that the basalt columns formations on the beach are actually the frozen remains of night trolls who unsuccessfully tried to lure a three masted ship to the land here. When daylight broke, they got caught in the light and froze into the spectacular basalt columns you see there today.

But really, they are formed from lava as it cools down when flowing downwards. When it cools, the lava contracts and creates fractures at a 90 degree angle to the lava flow - thus creating the hexagonal columns you see today. The slower the lava flow, the more regular the columns are. Pretty cool huh? Science!

Regardless of how they were actually made - I'm glad they're here since they made for some amazing photography backdrops! 😎

 
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We just couldn’t get enough of this place so did a special series of photos with a tripod and a heart!

Here is a sneak peek of the series:

Stay tuned for the whole photo set with the heart in the next post! And then after that Day Four of our trip hiking all over a glacier!

 

Follow my travels on Instagram! 😎

 


If you missed the previous days here they are:


Day One - Reykjavik

Day Two - Blue Lagoon

Day Three - Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Day Four - Vatnajökull Glacier and Fjallsárlón Lagoon

Day Five - Icelandic Horses

Iceland in Five Days - Day Two (The Blue Lagoon)


We woke up at 6:30 am today so we could be first in line at the Blue Lagoon for our 8 am entry. The tour buses and guests start lining up by 7:45 am, so if you really want to be first into the Blue Lagoon, get there at 7:30 am. 
 

 
 

 


There are three price levels that they offer for entry to the Blue Lagoon. The cheapest option is 40-50 Euro ($43 - $54) for the base entry, which includes unlimited silica mud mask application. While the premium entry ranges from 70-80 Euro ($76-$87), which includes a bathrobe, towel, drink, slippers, and a reserved table at the Lava restaurant. I wasn’t really interested in having a bathrobe or a drink, plus I brought my own towel, so the base entry was perfect for us. (There was also a 195 Euro ticket which included some spa products and exclusive lounge, but that really didn’t seem worth it.)


After you enter, they give you an electronic wristband that is used to lock/unlock your storage unit and purchase food, drinks, and items while inside the Blue Lagoon. The electronic lockers had a small learning curve to correctly lock, but you’ll figure it out in no time. Also, the staff tells everyone that they MUST shower completely naked before going into the water. I noticed about half the guys were showering ‘au naturele’ while the other half were showering with their bathing suits on. So yeah, if you’re at all skittish about being naked in front of other people, don’t worry the ‘naked shower’ rule is not enforced.


Anyways, back to the Blue Lagoon! Zory and I wanted to be the first into the pool so we could take a few photographs before anyone else got into the background. It was pretty magical to be able to be there alone, surrounded by the white steam of the warm, blue water and the warm rising Icelandic sun. It didn’t prevent my feet and toes from being completely frozen though!! I was taking all the follow photos barefoot on the freezing floor. I had to dip my feet in every 30 seconds or so because they were going numb lol. 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Whew, done with the photos and now time to enjoy the waters of the Blue Lagoon!!


Some tips for fully enjoying the Blue Lagoon: 
 

  • To find the warmer spots, hang out near the wooden blocks where they are pumping out warm water.
  • Go to the silica mud mask hut and apply the mud mask all over your face, neck, and shoulders for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Your skin will thank you afterwards.
  • Unless you want straw hair, don’t spend too much with your head and hair underwater. Use the conditioner provided 2 or 3 times afterwards to get moisture back in your hair.
  • Wade towards the waterfall and stand underneath it for the best shoulder and neck massage of your life.
  • Hang out in the cave steam room for 10 minutes, then stand outside in the cold, get a waterfall massage. Repeat several times until your body is jello.
 
 
What it looks like around noon - still not that crowded

What it looks like around noon - still not that crowded

 
 
To the very right of this is the cave steam room and the massage waterfall

To the very right of this is the cave steam room and the massage waterfall

 

And above all else - just enjoy yourself and marvel in the baby soft skin you have afterwards from the silica in the water.

 

After 5 amazing hours at the Blue Lagoon - we showered, hopped in the car, and drove along the south Ring Road to Vik.

Along the way, we pulled over to hang out with some super friendly Icelandic Horses. We saw way more horses on another day which I’ll cover in a different post, but here is a photo of one we saw on Day Two!

 

Icelandic horses are super friendly and will walk right up to you.

Icelandic horses are super friendly and will walk right up to you.

Also, here is a gratuitous shot of the typical scene we saw while driving towards Vik.