Vik Beach, Iceland
The town of Vik, considered to be one of the wettest places on earth, is 110 miles away from the capital Reykjavik and the southern most city in Iceland. The village is home to less than 300 inhabitants and to one of the world’s most beautiful black basalt sand beaches. The western cliffs of the beach are home to a large puffin population!
There is no land mass between Vik and the arctic which leaves it prone to intense weather and rough seas. It should, therefore, be no surprise that the beach is littered with monuments commemorating those sailors and fishermen taken by the sea.
Vik lies directly under the Mýdalsjökull glacier which lies atop the Katla Volcano. The color of the sand was likely created by hot lava flowing into the frigid ocean, causing it to fragment into little pieces. Katla has been largely inactive since 1918. This relatively long period of inactivity has led many to believe that a volcanic eruption is likely to occur soon! If an eruption does occurs it would have the potential to melt a substantial amount of ice. This could lead to a huge flash flood and leave the exposed town defenseless against the powers of nature.
The town church which lies high atop a hill is believed to be the only structure that would survive the potentially devastating forces of nature. For this reason there are periodic drills to train the inhabitants of this small town to literally ‘run for the hills’ at the first sign of an eruption.