From Iceland — Sólheimasandur: Breathing In A Vast Horizon

Sólheimasandur: Breathing In A Vast Horizon

Signe Smala
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Published March 11, 2019

A desert of black sand bound by crashing ocean waves and deceivingly calm mountains, the gritted velvet plains of Sólheimasandur exude a surreal, haunting beauty. One might be eager to reach the sci-fi movie-esque plane wreck, while others might be looking to zoom around the lunar landscape on ATV or perhaps be on their way to the black, glistening beach for a stroll. Whatever it is you are looking for in Sólheimasandur will be intertwined with this feeling of freedom. Standing on these plains, you are but a tiny dot in a sweeping expanse. Lift up your face and breath in the horizon.

Choose your trip

Let’s hear it from you!

Name: Addia, Claudine, & Jaska

From: Romania, France, & France

What inspired you to come to Solheimasandur? “We are staying in a place not far from here and wanted to see a black sand beach,” Addia says. “We aren’t very interested in the plane wreck, just the beach.”

How do you like it? “It’s charming in a way,” Claudine explains. “So quiet and large with the background of the white mountains. You feel free.” She laughs. “It’s also not as cold as we expected!”

Which song would be the best soundtrack for experiencing Sólheimasandur? “‘New Slang’ by The Shins,” all three conclude.

Name: Rich

From: United States

Occupation: Student at Princeton University

Is this your first visit to Iceland? “Yes, I are here on a break with friends,” Rich says. “I had heard a lot of interesting things about Iceland and its nature, so I had to come see it. It’s been a really good time so far.”

Why did you decide to come to Sólheimasandur? “We were in the south visiting a bunch of different places and heard that we should check out the plane wreck,” he explains. “So we did this hike.”

How do you like it? “It’s really nice,” he says. “I think the plane is cool to see and the beat is beautiful as well.”

Which song would be the best soundtrack for experiencing Sólheimasandur? Rich pauses. “I’ll say ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran,” he adds.

Meet a local!

Name: Andrína Guðrún Erlingsdóttir

From: Iceland

Occupation: Manager of Arcanum adventure tours

What’s the best way to experience Sólheimasandur? “Probably on some sort of fun transport as the fields of Sólheimasandur take up such a large space,” Andrína says. “I think our ATV tour is a great option. You really get to see a lot of the area and also enjoy a drive along the coastline. In winter, snowmobiles are available. I also like to go horseback riding here.”

What is your favourite thing about this area? “The beautiful contrasts in the scenery, especially in the summertime,” she explains. “The black sand and purple lupine blossoms with the white glacier in the background. It’s breathtaking. Also, the huge space that surrounds you here. It feels like it lifts some kind of a weight off of your mind. It sets you free.”  

What is the best thing about living in Sólheimar? “Sólheimar, in Icelandic, means home of the sun. In summertime, people in Vik, which is not that far from here, lose the sunlight early, as it sets behind the nearby mountains,” Andrína says with a smile. “However, we are lucky to have beautiful sunrises and beautiful sunsets pretty much all year round. It’s good sharing your home with the sun.”

Which song would be the best soundtrack for experiencing Sólheimasandur? “That is a tough questions. It might depend on the weather,” she laughs. “My choice would be bird songs around summertime.”

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