The black sand beach
Reynisfjara beach, which lies between the peninsula of Dyrhólaey and Mount Reynisfjall, is famed for its beauty and striking scenery, although its crashing waves can prove dangerous. Fishermen launched their open boats from the beach in times past, among them the Reverend Jón Steingrímsson, who was a farmer at Hellur in Mýrdalur, and the doctor and naturalist Sveinn Pálsson.
Behind Reynisfjara lies Dyrhólaós, a large brackish lagoon with several rivers and streams flowing into it. The mouth of the estuary closes occasionally, preventing seawater from flowing in, and causing the water level to rise (by up to 1 m). The mudflats in Dyrhólaós provide important feeding grounds for water birds. Migrating birds that pass over Iceland on their way between mainland Europe and Greenland or Canada make use of the flats to nourish themselves on their journey, and mudflats such as these also provide vital nourishment for Icelandic grassland birds when conditions are hard in the spring.
Celebrating Earth Heritage
How to visit the Katla Geopark
Katla UNESCO Global Geopark is in central South Iceland