Although we’d had a glimpse of Reynisfjara’s sea stacks when driving previous, our first correct view was from Vík í Mýrdal (extra generally known as simply Vik), the southernmost village in Iceland.
Reynisfjara is the title given to the seashore that stretches for a distance of roughly two miles, while the massive basalt sea stacks that rise as much as 66m above sea degree are literally referred to as Reynisdrangar. It’s essentially the most well-known seashore in Iceland and is made up of black sand and pebbles because of all of the volcanic rock and sediment within the space. As the crow flies, it’s in all probability solely 3-4 kilometres from Vik, however by highway – as a result of it’s important to drive inland and again out once more to get there – it’s extra like 11 kilometres away.
Framed by dramatic basalt cliffs with geometric columns, this wild stretch of North Atlantic shoreline is essentially the most well-known seashore in Iceland. It’s so otherworldly that it’s a preferred alternative for sci-fi motion pictures; it featured in Star Trek: Into Darkness and was used to characterize the planet Eadu within the Rogue One Star Wars film.
In the gap, on the western finish of the seashore, we might see the small peninsula of Dyrhólaey the place there’s a pure arch. Access to the world is proscribed throughout May and June because of the nesting season however, within the Summer, it’s an incredible place to see puffins.
On the seashore west of Mount Reynisfjall is the cave Hálsanefshellir, the place hanging columnar basalt formations may be seen. If you’ve ever explored the Scottish islands, you will have seen comparable formations at Fingal’s Cave on Staffa Island.
Columnar basalt is shaped when magma cools slowly and cracks into columns, normally hexagonal, because the floor space decreases. The columns at all times stand perpendicular to the cooling floor and may be horizontal, spreading out from the centre, or vertical.
The diversified types of the columns are maybe because of this being a cross-section of an historical volcano, as dykes, small magma chambers and lava sills may be discovered amongst different rock formations.
Legend has it that the three Reynisdrangar sea stacks had been previously two trolls dragging a three-mast ship in direction of the shore at evening. By dawn that they had not been profitable and so turned to stone. Nearest the land is Landdrangur, the primary troll, Langsamur is the ship is within the center (which you’ll see higher within the footage from Vik – from the seashore it’s is obscured by the primary stack), and Háidrangur (or Skessudrangur) is the troll on the rear.
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Whilst the surroundings and geology are spectacular, don’t anticipate finding the seashore to your self. Admittedly we had been there in the midst of the day through the season, however there have been a number of coaches within the automobile park and we had been fortunate to discover a parking area.
And please, please take discover of the warning indicators… it is a really harmful place. If you have a look at a map and go due south from Reynisfjara, you’ll discover that there’s no landmass till you attain Antarctica. Nothing in any respect! With no obstacles between the southern polar continent and this stretch of southern Icelandic shoreline, smaller waves can coalesce and mix their power to create what are referred to as sneaker waves.
Despite the indicators and loads of information experiences about lives misplaced on this very seashore, I despaired at seeing younger kids near the water’s edge, not paying consideration, as big waves got here crashing down. Who of their proper thoughts let’s their children do that?!
The warnings are there for good motive. The ocean ground is alleged to drop a steep 8 metres proper the place the waves break. So, should you do get swept off your ft and dragged out a bit of, don’t assume you’ll be capable to rapidly arise once more.
Please don’t be a kind of people who will get caught out and dragged out to sea; you’ll not solely be placing your individual life at risk, however probably the lives of others who could or could not select to attempt to come to your rescue. Thankfully this younger baby didn’t get dragged out however, a couple of extra metres nearer the ocean, and it might have been a really completely different story.
If you wanted any extra convincing, take a look at this fairly alarming video from Finistère in Brittany to grasp why you shouldn’t under-estimate the facility of sneaker waves.
At the identical time, don’t let one thing like this put you off visiting and having fun with Reynisfjara seashore. It is a stupendous place – you merely have to excercise warning. There isn’t any have to be on the water’s edge, or certainly strolling over moist sand – stand again and revel in from afar. The view is simply the identical!
Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. You can fleetingly see the Reynisdrangar sea stacks between 3m 44s and 3m 49s and 4m 23s to 4m 28s:
Disclosure: Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.