The next day in Vik, we didn’t really have any solid plans except for an ‘Icelandic beach day’ at Reynisfjara black sand beach which felt absolutely fantastic.
On this trip already we’d seen the fire and ice side of Iceland fully from visiting an erupting volcano just a few days before and then visiting the ice cave in a glacier just the afternoon before.
Downtime felt almost deserved.
But we’re in Iceland and so downtime doesn’t mean just chilling at our hotel (we had plans for that at the tail end of our trip) so we went out to explore more of the local sights in Vik.
Our guide for the ice cave the day before had said that the mountains around Vik are great for seeing puffins but even the one that looked like we could drive up would be one we’d probably have to hike up unless we were driving a 4 x 4.
I looked up at that mountain and decided the puffins weren’t gonna be part of our plans because cute as they are, hiking up this gigantic mountain to see birds just didn’t feel like something we wanted to do.
Little did we know that it would be a lot easier than that.
Anyway, so off we went to a more accessible site near Vik – Reynisfjara black sand beach and its iconic basalt columns of Reynisdrangar.
Reynisfjara black sand beach is actually one you need to visit with caution.
It is one of the most dangerous spots to visit in Iceland because the waves on this beach seem like they’re fine but they’re quite powerful and can act in tandem to pull people out into the ocean.
It’s like the first one knocks people down and then the one after pulls them before they can get their bearings together.
That’s a very basic way of describing but you should google ‘sneaker waves in Iceland’ if you want to find out more details about this.
So yeah, Reynisfjara black sand beach is absolutely worth a visit but you should definitely keep a safe distance away from the shoreline here.
And don’t think that safe distance is where other people are.
So many people ignore this and some people don’t even know so make that judgement sensibly when you visit and not based on other people’s judgment on the day itself.
Warning aside, it’s an absolutely incredible beach to visit and a day like this with dramatic weather makes it look even more incredible.
The rain however was raining almost sideways and soon started to pick up so with that, we hopped back into the car and headed over to nearby the Dyrhólaey arch.
Dyrhólaey is this incredible rock formation that’s like an arch with a hole in it and for some reason, we’ve never been able to find it on previous trips.
Sounds ridiculous but there’s another incredible viewpoint we always get distracted by and that’s Reynisfjara black sand beach viewpoint.
It overlooks the black sand beach and is just so beautiful.
So again, we ended up going there in search of the Dyrhólaey arch andfound to our absolute delight – there were hundreds of puffins there.
I know I seemed a bit nonchalant about searching for puffins earlier but I think they might be my favourite birds.
They are so cute, I find them so fascinating and just seeing them right next to us when we weren’t even looking for them was just amazing.
It’s the closest we’ve ever gotten to puffins and we’ve been to lots of places across the world in search of them.
Leaving the puffins, I remembered we still hadn’t gone to see the Dyrhólaey arch yet and decided we absolutely had to do up we went through what seemed like the only other option to find it.
There was no way we’d make the trip all the way to Reynisfjara black sand beach and miss out on the Dyrhólaey arch again, especially not when we know how incredible it actually is.
The other route would have taken us back to the main motorway and we didn’t want to go back there just yet.
Turns out I was right and the Dyrhólaey arch was right up that mountain path.
There’s a car park near it and it’s a short walk to the viewpoint for it.
The Dyrhólaey arch is absolutely magnificent and so huge.
It was also unbelievably blustery up here thanks to what now seemed like a mini storm so after taking in the view, we hopped back into the car and made our way over to our next hotel – The LandHotel, which would be something of a mini stop for the evening before making our way to The Retreat at The Blue Lagoon.
I will show you all about that because The Retreat is quite literally a treat!
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