Iceland Beaches

Vik Beach

Suourland, Iceland

Starfish Rating of 3.5

Claim to Fame

Widely considered to be one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of Shadowgate
  • Where is it?on the south coast of Iceland on the main perimeter road 100 miles (180 Kilometers) south-southeast of the capital city of Reykjavik, on the northern Atlantic Ocean
  • Coordinates: latitude» 63.4194°
    longitude» -19.0097°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: cold oceanic
  • Development: small village with beachfront area; not developed
  • Length of Beach: 2.2m/3.5km
  • Type: black sand and pebbles with some boulders
Current Weather

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Vik Beach takes its beauty and its danger from the volcano nearby. The black basalt beach and its surrounding caves were created from the result of volcanic eruptions, and they have in turn been affected by the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallojokull.

The local village of 300 people is an active post for the rural inhabitants of the area, and is precariously situated in the shadow of a major glacier that sits atop a volcano. Should an eruption occur, flash floods would be imminent. The village church is the only building considered safe in such an event because it is erected on a hill; the rest of the tiny village is built on a broad, level plain.

This is a place of unparalleled scenery and tranquility that is almost shocking. Everything is large, except for the village itself. The long, slightly curved beach is dramatic, black and like a dividing stripe between land and sea. Here, the harsh north Atlantic is unobstructed and mammoth, dangerous waves slam the shoreline. An on-beach monument to men lost at sea is testament to its overwhelming power.

Due to the cold climate, this is not a beach made for swimming and water sports. Itís a photographerís paradise, abundant with starkly different colors, and a nature-loverís dream. The basalt caves look like layered chocolate bars, and in those caves live colonies of puffins. Hoodoo-type boulders sit stacked on the beach, their rough vegetation looking like a crop of curly hair atop their charcoal grey sides. The image of Vik Beach is almost other-worldly.

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