Djúpalónssandur, Iceland – The Point of No Return

Below me I can see the ocean. In front of me I can see the ocean. It’s raining and I’m standing on tufts of sodden growth that have crept up between the cracks of volcanic rock.

I’m wearing a transparent plastic cape to shield me from the rain. It’s not mine but I accept the offer from my friend who is much more practical than I could ever wish to be. I look like an idiot. I believe nothing screams Asian tourist louder than an Asian tourist wearing a transparent waterproof cape.

Djúpalónssandur, Iceland

I’m standing up here, amid the roar from the sea and in the air, with the wind encircling my body, causing my flimsy, plastic cape to rise up and flap around me like a wailing seagull. Enough. I take it off and screw it into my backpack. Immediately I feel calm and closer to nature.

Everything is new for me, but everything is how it’s always been. Not much would have changed up here. There are a few people around but I’m glad I am alone. My friend is somewhere in the distance. I want to share this experience with nobody. I want to be alone with the sea until at least, I return back to the car and the music is turned on again. Earth, Wind, and Fire has been playing on the stereo, we are in the Land of Fire and Ice after all.

The sea rears up and crashes down into foamy bubbles against the cliff and unusual rock formations jutting up from below the sea. Nothing looks normal in Iceland. It’s a place created by something that isn’t a man but also not a woman, maybe a wizard on an acid trip.

No wonder they say over half of Iceland’s population believe in trolls, if I stayed here any longer I’d believe it myself. I’d believe in fairies, unicorns and eight-legged dragons too. Anything is possible here.

Djupalonssandur Iceland

Black beach, Iceland

To my right is the beach. Black like the night. Where the waves fold into it and wash up on the shore leaving a white trace before sizzling and dissolving slowly into the black sand until it happens again. I stay and watch the waves move back and forth until I’m disrupted by the voice of my friend.

“If you were going to kill yourself, would you rather set yourself on fire or drown?” he asked.

“Drown. Without a doubt” I reply.

“Me too. You’d get knocked unconscious within moments”

“Yes, far less painful and far more beautiful”

Then I begin to wonder if anyone has ever come here to die before. A place as moody and beautiful as this is made for that sort of thing.

For a moment I think about my own mortality.

My friend begins walking back to the car but I can’t seem to move my feet. I call out that I won’t be long but the truth is that I don’t want to leave. I could spend forever looking at the ocean, or looking for more treasures between the rocks and undergrowth. Leave me behind! I am happy here! Head on without me!

Mushrooms in Iceland

Djupalonssandur beach

Djupalonssandur. Snæfellsnes peninsula

I take one last look at the ocean, the strange volcanic rock formations, and take a deep breath before turning my back.

Snæfellsnes peninsula, Iceland


Where? Djúpalónssandur is located on the eastern foot of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in west Iceland.
How? By Car. Iceland doesn’t have trains so the best way to explore it is always by car.
Want more inspiration? Visit 

Have you explored the Snæfellsnes peninsula of Iceland?

A travel & culture blog specialising in Scandinavia and the Arctic, peppered with the rest of the world in between.

'Djúpalónssandur, Iceland – The Point of No Return' have 19 comments

  1. October 10, 2014 @ 1:27 am RealGunners

    Yes, you are a tourist, just get on with it 😉
    My god, that place does look like where a wizard would go to hone his skills…


    • October 12, 2014 @ 6:41 pm admin

      Haha, I’m glad you get me RG! This is definitely wizard honing skills territory!


  2. October 10, 2014 @ 4:58 am Colleen Brynn

    Haha, eight legged dragons. Good one. I feel the same about Iceland.


    • October 12, 2014 @ 6:42 pm admin

      Iceland is beyond words isn’t it Colleen? But we can but try and get our views across!


  3. October 10, 2014 @ 7:14 am Escape Hunter

    So interesting, I must visit Iceland one day!
    But prolly I’d pick a warmer period 🙂


    • October 12, 2014 @ 6:54 pm admin

      Come rain, sun, winter, summer – Iceland is truly awesome in all weather!


  4. October 10, 2014 @ 3:09 pm Sarah Alexandra George

    I love this 🙂 Although I hear drowning is very painful – maybe not that easy a choice :S


    • October 12, 2014 @ 6:55 pm admin

      Between the devil and the deep blue sea Sarah!


  5. October 11, 2014 @ 2:17 am Mike

    Beauty and solitude are always right in my wheelhouse. Seeing that beauty does make you realize just how small we are as humans are both physically and cosmically, huh? I enjoyed you little video now we need to get you to work up to vlog for us readers! Oh and btw…you mean unicorns aren’t real, Shing??! Loved this post as I do every one of them always my friend 🙂


    • October 12, 2014 @ 7:08 pm admin

      Nature like this really does make you feel small Mike, I like these moments, moments of feeling awed by nature.

      Ahhhhhh ok, well maybe these little videos are the stepping stones to vlogging! Hopefully! 😉


  6. November 7, 2014 @ 11:15 am Dan

    This report almost makes me want to cancel my flight to Hawaii tomorrow and go again to Iceland instead. Ah well, I’ll do that in April next year 😉

    As always a beautiful report in every sense, thanks Shing!

    Tripping wizards, priceless!


    • November 23, 2014 @ 5:17 pm admin

      Haha I must have done something right with this post then, nothing would make me want to cancel a trip to Hawaii!! (Although, I shouldn’t take your words too seriously ;-))

      I hope you had an amazing trip, one day you’ll have to write a guest post on The Culture Map 😀


      • December 3, 2014 @ 10:02 am Dan

        Well after all I’m glad I didn’t cancel 😉 It was fantastic to say the least…. 3 weeks just passed in a flash…. I think I leave the writing to you but I’d happily would provide pictures and infos if you would like.

        Next stop: Iceland (South and East)


  7. November 7, 2014 @ 4:20 pm Escape Hunter

    No, you’re not a tourist, you’re a traveler!
    There’s a huge difference between the two. 🙂

    One thing I find stupid is the fact that ‘some people’ frown upon travel in general – the mere fact that one travels makes him/her look like an “idiot” in their minds.

    I even encountered people finding jogging, running and hiking – funny, senseless and “for idiots”.

    After seeing your photos, I’m putting Iceland on my destinations list 😉


    • November 23, 2014 @ 5:34 pm admin

      I think even if you are a traveller you are still a tourist though… The important thing is about making the effort to learn and connect with your surroundings. Labels don’t matter.

      Great to hear that Iceland is on your list, it won’t disappoint I assure you!


  8. November 19, 2014 @ 10:15 pm pam | a Blonde around the World

    What an amazing place! The pictures are unreal!! And you look so cute! Despite the transparent cape 🙂


    • November 23, 2014 @ 5:37 pm admin

      It’s such a beautiful place Pam, I wish I had this place on my doorstep…. Haha, the cape had to go!!


  9. May 10, 2015 @ 6:46 pm shihui

    Wow saw that you have many post of iceland! I’m planning to do mine this coming october, is october a good time to travel to iceland?~ the northern light is the huge factor of why we will be there but after seeing your post i see many more great places we can go! amazing! 😀


    • May 11, 2015 @ 11:02 am admin

      Hi Shishui! Haha yes, I’m a bit of an Iceland addict 😀 If you want to see the Northern Lights then October is a great time to go. I often find there’s not enough daylight between Dec-Feb. However, as you know the Lights are not guaranteed so I really recommend you to try out some other activities such as glacier walking, doing the golden circle and if you have time, visiting Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon!

      Let me know if you have any more questions! If not, have a fantastic time!


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