The Black Beach


A photo essay showcasing Iceland's notorious black beach, most commonly or officially known as Reynisfjara.

The black beach, most commonly or officially known as Reynisfjara, is a black pebble beach that features an incredible cliff of basalt columns and is found at Iceland’s southernmost point. The wind-beaten volcanic beach is also the wettest location in Iceland. This popular destination is notoriously famous for its rough and unpredictable waves. There have been several fatal accidents that have occurred on this beach over the years as currents are brutally strong and people have been swept away by ‘sneaker waves’. Immediately offshore are the towering and spectacular Reynisdrangur sea stacks which create a dramatic, yet eerie backdrop to the landscape. On arrival at the beach I took a stroll along the gritty black sand, keeping my distance from the ferocious waves that one after the other crashed along the coastline. The wind howled as snow fell slowly towards the ground creating a layer of dusting that contrasted boldly with the black sand. As the snow turned into rain, a light fog began to settle along the dramatic coastline. Even with its bleak outlook and its dangerously powerful waves, the beach felt more beautiful than any I had ever visited before.

Words & Photography: Mirko Nicholson