As far as relaxing beach holidays go, Iceland’s Reynisfjara Beach wouldn’t be at the top of an ordinary beach getaway list. For one, it’s Iceland and nearly always chilly, and two, Reynisfjara’s shores are less white sand and more lava pebbles.
Still, it’s precisely this rugged, unique beauty that drew us to see Reynisfjara in the first place. Admittedly, the water was way too cold for bikinis, but when you have basalt caves to explore, columns to climb, and beach sheep (I know right?) to watch, then it becomes an equally good beach break in its own right.
We rocked up to Reynisfjara late at night, so it was with some surprise and delight when we opened our campervan door in the morning to enjoy a sea view with our breakfast.
We took a quick look around for puffins after someone told us the area was a popular site for them, but to no avail. Instead, we consoled ourselves with climbs on the basalt columns and failing to convince the local sheep to take a selfie with us.
Moving down along the coast is Vik, Iceland’s southernmost village and host to one of the most photogenic churches in the country.
Supposedly Katla, the nearby volcano, is due for an eruption soon. The heat of the volcano can melt the nearby glaciers and cause a flash flood, destroying all of Vik but the church on the hill. As a result, the locals frequently hold drills to practice racing to the church!
Vik also marked the halfway mark of our Icelandic adventure, and it was a bittersweet moment that we had to say goodbye and begin the gradual return to Reykjavik. Fortunately, our spirits were momentarily revived with a spontaneous stop at Skogafoss waterfall.
Despite our best attempts, or others would say, foolish endeavours, we couldn’t find any hikes behind Skogafoss. Instead, we gave up, and just admired how well Iceland does waterfalls.