Iceland Day 4: Black Sand Beach

We slept in on day 4 and woke up to quite the sunrise from our hotel in Vik. The village of Vik, Iceland is the southernmost village in Iceland and is located on the main Ring Road around the island.  This village is a main stopping point for travelers and we were amazed to find out that the village is the home to less than 300 people. Crazy, in Atlanta there’s way more than 300 people in my apartment complex alone… but in Iceland 300 people is considered a good sized village!  Vik has black sand beaches, and the locals told us that this place has been voted in polls in the past as one of the ten most beautiful beaches on earth.  So we had to spend the beginning of our day exploring and seeing what this place was all about.

At breakfast our options were limited with the protein and healthy fats so I added in some granola to get a little bit of extra fuel for the workouts we had ahead.  My sugar didn’t get too high, and I needed something to prep for the day ahead so I didn’t have to worry about getting low sugars.  After breakfast, we figured it was time to crush a quick morning workout and we scoped around for some options. This beach had some monster waves, as we learned there is no landmass between here and Antarctica and the Atlantic rollers can attack with full force.  Therefore, we made sure not to get too crazy and go for a cardio swim.  Instead, we played it safe and went with some step ups and pushups on the rocks.  Step ups are great because you can do them literally anywhere that there is a ledge/ rock/ step/ curb/ you name it.  This workout was a great quick fix to burn some calories while being in awe of the scenery at the same time.

After hanging out for a few hours, we went on our way to hunt down what we heard was another hidden gem, Seljavallalaug.  This is a quite possibly the highlight of our trip and it is a must see if you are ever in Iceland.  Seljavallalaug is a little pool that was originally built to teach Icelanders how to swim in the 1920’s.  It still stands today, down an uneven track that winds through the mountains and we were on a mission to find it.

We parked our car at the end of a road full of potholes and we went on our trek. Forewarning, Iceland backroads have a ton of potholes. This walk took maybe 15 minutes and if you happen to ever do it, I recommend going slow as the ground isn’t even in all places.  Anyway, the whole walk felt like we were on a completely different planet.  Green mountains, snow, streams, and then boom, the infamous swimming pool pops up around the corner.  The most random pool, without a building in sight, tucked in the middle of the mountains. We ran into a few folks hanging out here and apparently the locals volunteer to take care of this pool and keep it clean from volcanic ash. We spent some time here just relaxing and enjoying one of the most peaceful places we’ve ever been.

After this, we called it a day and went back to the hotel to get some dinner and hunt the northern lights.  We didn’t find the lights as it was crazy cloudy outside, but it was only night 4 so we knew we had a few more chances!

Travel Tips:

• Breakfast options are limited at times, do as best as you can to pick around and eat smart for your blood sugar and prepare for the day ahead

• Step ups are a great lower body exercise that can be mixed in practically anywhere to burn some extra calories

• If you are ever in Iceland, I highly recommend the walk to Seljavallaug

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