Top 10 Natural Black Landscapes

Top 10 Natural Black Landscapes

We enjoy viewing lush greenery, turquoise waters, golden sandy beaches and dazzling valleys covered in a thick layer of snow. However there are landscapes, that fascinate with the blackest of black. Most of them could be found on the volcanic terrain like Iceland or Hawaii. But the lists includes some surprises.

10. La Payunia Provincial Reserve, Argentina

The natural reserve is known for numerous volcanic cones and arid surroundings, creating an unearthly landscape. La Payunia is also a home for various species of plants as well as animals, including flamingos, condors and venomous snakes. The park is about the size of Rhode Island and even has approximately 150 residents.

Why to go there?

It is best to visit the reserve on a guided tour, which will introduce to the terrain and drive around the most popular sites. Tourists get to admire the outlandish fields of basalt, Pampa Negra – a black lava field, Pampa Roja – a red lava surface and more.


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

9. Reynisdrangar, Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

Posited on the beach in the southern part of the country, Reynisdrangar are mysterious basalt sea stacks, scattered on the Reynisfjara shore. According to the Icelandic mythology, the site is a wreckage of a troll ship. The surroundings are dominated by the black sandy beach, which is of a volcanic origin. Meanwhile some of the basalt rocks are made of hexagonal columns – a phenomenon not that unusual to the country.

Why to go there?

The site also provides numerous great angles for the photographers.

Reynisdrangar-Photo by Felix Lipov

Photo by Felix Lipov

Reynisdrangar-Photo by Samuel Feron

Photo by Samuel Feron

Reynisdrangar-Photo by Bob Gundersen

Photo by Bob Gundersen

8. Vestrahorn, Stokksnes, Iceland

One of the first settlements in Iceland were found in this area. Vestrahorn is a 454 meter high mountain overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and part of the headland of Stokksnes. The shore features stunning lava dunes, that are constantly being shaped by the natural forces of water and wind.

Why to go there?

The site is very popular among the photographers, because the scene changes constantly. The sun, fog, waves and those black dunes perform a truly dramatic view. Wet sand mirrors reflections of the mountainous range above, providing an enigmatic site. This is one more place to add to the Icelandic bucket list.

vestrahorn-Photo by Skarphedinn Thrainsson

Photo by Skarphedinn Thrainsson

7. Mauna Loa, Hawaii

The biggest volcano on Earth: measuring from its base on the floor of the ocean, Mauna Loa is 9,170 m (30,085 ft) tall. The active volcanoes still form Hawaii: Kīlauea is the most active one, while Loihi is a submarine volcano – the erupted lava streams straight into the ocean.

Why to go there?

The best place to experience the volcanic power: the whole island is of a volcanic origin. Frequent eruptions from other volcanoes, the amazing landscapes – Hawaii is not only a beach paradise.

Maun-Photo by Tom Kualii

Photo by Tom Kualii

Maun-Photo by Nick Selway and CJ Kale

Photo by Nick Selway and CJ Kale

Mauna-Photo by Marli Miller

Photo by Marli Miller

6. Skógafoss, Iceland

Found in the south on the Skógá River, the waterfall drops from steep cliffs, covered in green carpet of verdure. Its plunge reaches 60 meters (200 ft) height and 25 metres (82 ft) width, making it one of the biggest waterfalls in the country.

Why to go there?

According to the legend, a viking has hidden his treasure in the cave behind the falls. However, there are other reasons to visit it: besides its natural beauty, the waterfall’s spray often produces a rainbow, making it even more unique.

Skógafoss-Photo by Robin Kamp

Photo by Robin Kamp


Photo by Unknown

5. Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Found in the southern part of Iceland’s highlands, the Landmannalaugar is a popular tourist destination in wonderful Iceland. It is famous for the multicolored rhyolite mountains, lava fields and the Hekla volcano.

Why to go there?

Hiking in this vast land of amazing geological versatility promises an unforgettable experience. The agencies also provide tourists with horse riding routes during summer. The pictures depict the incredible landscapes of this remote land, shaped by the rough forces of nature.

Landmannalaugar-Photo by Max Rive

Photo by Max Rive

Landmannalaugar-Photo by Sigmundur Andresson

Photo by Sigmundur Andresson

Landmannalaugar-Photo by Uwe Müller

Photo by Uwe Müller

4. Punaluʻu Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

Also known as Black Sand Beach, Panalu’u is an unusual site in Hawaii, famous for the white sandy paradise. However, the islands in the Pacific Ocean are of volcanic nature. Flowing lava has also created the black color of this beach, whose sand is of basalt nature.

Why to go there?

There is a picnic area and other facilities, so the tourists can have a nice day trip to the beach. Giant Hawaiian Green Sea turtles bask on the shore and can often be seen here. It is said that the feeling of this black sand under your feet is unique. So take an opportunity to visit the site once in Hawaii.

Punaluu-Photo by Evan Gearing

Photo by Evan Gearing

Punaluu-Photo by Paul Garrett

Photo by Paul Garrett

3. Kelimutu, Flores Island, Indonesia

A volcano has three amazing summit crater lakes of different colors. The water of the lakes is red, green or blue. It is believed by the locals that the lakes are a resting place for their ancestors. According to their tradition, the water color corresponds to the moods of the spirits. One can never predict the colors of the lake, as sometimes they change to white and black.

Why to go there?

The colors actually change due to the fumes, coming from the volcano and causing chemical reactions. Definitely a unique place on Earth, also the national park, where the volcano is situated, is also worth visiting.


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

2. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Ireland

This is a national treasure: 40 000 naturally formed basalt columns are protected by UNESCO. This natural gem is a result of a volcano eruption. But for centuries it was thought to be a creation of the giants, who needed a road.

Why to go there?

Get there by train, bus or car. There is a parking lot next to the Visitors Center.

Giant-Photo by Jim Richardson

Photo by Jim Richardson


Photo by Unknown

1. Svartifoss, Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

The Black Fall is a unique waterfall, that confirms Iceland as the land of many natural wonders. Svartifoss stands out because of the dark basalt columns, surrounding the fall. The columns formed over a long period after lava covered the rocks and the heat slowly, but persistently affected the basalt.

Why to go there?

The surreal appearance of the waterfall has inspired architects of Iceland: Hallgrímskirkja and National Theater are the most famous examples, that blend well with Icelandic landscape. If you will go to Skaftafell, you won’t miss Svartifoss, since most of the hiking tracks start from here.

Svartifoss-Photo by Zsolt Kiss

Photo by Zsolt Kiss

Svartifoss-Photo by Derek Kind

Photo by Derek Kind

Svartifoss-Photo by Filippo Bianchi

Photo by Filippo Bianchi