Salty Tours Iceland tour company review! Goth custom guided day trip: Snæfellsnes Peninsula, black church Búðakirkja.

iceland Búðakirkja black church goth gothic heavy metal reykjavik

Hail Iceland! Feels good to be back (in black) in the Land of Fire and Ice.

Photographer Joey Wong and I first visited Iceland in 2015 and took a custom, private day trip out of Reykjavik with Salty Tours. We loved the experience so much that we teamed up with them again — this time, to see Goth locations like this rather heavy metal black church, Búðakirkja!

salty tours iceland guided tour driver guides

Salty Tours is a family-run Icelandic tour guiding company. On our previous trip in 2015, Thor and Anna took us to photogenic folklore spots. This time, Thor’s daughter –Ingunn Thorsteinsdottir — drove and guided us around the lesser-known Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. (Check out our cinematic video of the adventure here.)

icelandic black sand beach lava rock photoshoot locations

Salty Tours focuses on small group trips with personalized service — meaning that you’ll get an expert-guided Icelandic adventure tailored to your travel style and interests. In my case, I was keen to see the Gothic black sand. lava and pebble beaches… Read on to see where Ingunn took us on our unforgettable day trip.

play airlines flights review iceland low cost airline planes

We flew to Iceland on from London on PLAY Airlines, a new low-cost Icelandic airline operating between North America and Europe. Despite being a no-frills airline, PLAY’s staff was lovely and their cushioned seats were comfortable. We brought along our own snacks and water (since those cost extra), and enjoyed the quick flight to Reykjavik’s Keflavík Airport on this cheerful red-and-white fleet. (If you’re planning an Iceland trip from major cites in the US/Europe, PLAY is the best bang for your buck.)

black metal iceland gothic church budakirkja

We settled at our Reykjavik hotel, and then were ready to explore with Salty Tours. Ingunn picked us up in the morning, and took us to a variety of offbeat spots in Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

At the top of my list: I wanted to see Búðakirkja (Budhir Church), a spooky-looking little black church that dates back to 1848.

Búðakirkja Budhir Church Snæfellsnes peninsula

The church’s pointed spire and demonic silhouette are an epic contrast with the natural surroundings. Although you might think this is a church for the devil (or death metal fans), the black color in fact was originally a tar coating historically used to protect wooden buildings.

satanic iceland goths gothic death metal churches

We’ve been shooting lots of reels these days — and I did a happy dance in front of Iceland’s black church! Watch our Gothic travel video here on @LaCarmina IG.

black church Snæfellsnes iceland budhir goth metal

To add to the Halloween feeling — Budhir Church is next to a graveyard. The tombstones peer out over the sky, mountains, and ocean.

iceland goth satanist devil church punk goths metal concerts

I had to do the “devil horns” hand sign in front of Búðakirkja. Snaefellsnes Peninsula is about a two hour drive NW from Reykjavik, so we were grateful to Salty Tours for taking us there.

Búðakirkja iceland graveyard cemetery black color church

The Nordic countries (especially Norway) are fond of black metal. This heavy metal genre often has Satanic themes, and emerged in the early 80s with bands like Mayhem. I could see metalheads headbanging in front of Iceland’s black colored church… or lighting it up in flames!

black church in iceland address location spooky haunted iceland spots

Photographer Joey Wong love shooting Iceland’s sweeping landscapes and attractions.

salty tours iceland private driver car expert tour offbeat itineraries guides

When you book a custom trip with Salty Tours, they’ll take you around in a luxurious car like this black Mercedes, and plan a personalized itinerary with you. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or a photography tour, these local guides will put together the perfect day trip (or several days journey) using their expert knowledge.

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall iceland Snæfellsnes

Ingunn knew we’d love Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, one of the highlights of Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The waterfall has several cascades flowing down the rocks against a picture-perfect icy landscape.

iceland women fashion what to wear clothing icelandic instagrammers

We even saw rainbows reflecting off the falling water! Watch our Instagram video to see the footage.

Mount Kirkjufell iceland witch hat mountain kuwalla tee jacket

Next to the falls is the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell. Although this translates to Church Mountain, I think it looks more like a witch’s hat! (Bomber jacket Kuwalla Tee)

iceland content creators travel tiktok vloggers instagram creator

Snæfellsnes Peninsula is about a 2 hour drive from Reykjavik, which was a pleasant journey in Salty Tours’ luxe vehicle. Ingunn told us about the history and folklore of the region as we drove past scenic cliffs, glaciers, mountains, and bodies of water.

iceland best top guided luxury tour companies saltytours

What should you pack for a trip to Iceland? It depends on the time of year — we were here in late April, and it wasn’t overly cold. I wore Uniqlo HeatTech leggings and a top, which provide insulation despite the thin material. My Miffy fuzzy pouch is from Japan, and my miniskirt is this BDG Suki moto denim skirt.

I hope this provides you with some Iceland outfit inspiration! I wore slouch socks from Japan with Comme des Garcons x Salomon sneakers, as the terrain requires good walking shoes.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula attractions photogenic mountain waterfall

Another benefit of traveling with Salty Tours — they take you to non-tourist areas, a far more peaceful and bespoke experience than joining a big bus tour to the Golden Circle.

iceland nature photography tours guided salty tour

Kirkjufell mountain rises over the waterfalls… You may recognize this landscape, as it was featured in Game of Thrones!

what pack iceland women's fashion clothing outfits inspiration icelandic travel

Weather can be variable year-round, but we got lucky with blue skies. All photos by Joey Wong.

uniqlo heat tech top leggings layering thermal iceland clothing outfits

Iceland is a photographer’s dream, filled with fascinating natural formations. You can see our previous Iceland 2015 adventures here (we went to Blue Lagoon and more).

 snaefellnes peninsula landscapes photography spots attractions tourists

Our photography and content have come a long way since then, thanks to improvements in  camera technology.

iceland private tours custom itineraries salty tours guide driver

Traveling with our Salty Tours guide Ingunn felt like going on a road trip with friends. She grew up in Iceland and has many years of experience guiding for her family’s company.

y2k low rise miniskirt red urban outfitters bdg Suki Racer Moto Denim Micro Mini Skirt

I kept warm with Uniqlo HeatTech (shirt and legging), Maison de Fleur gloves from Japan, and a BDG Suki moto racer denim mini skirt.

stone stairs Djúpalónssandur & Dritvík

Onward to another Gothic destination — Djúpalónssandur, a black lava and rock beach. The steps can be a little daunting, so take your time with the descent.

salty tours iceland reykjavik private guided tours cars

There are several hiking trails around Djúpalónssandur with magestic views (I’m not a hiker, though!)

comme garcons salomon white sneakers CDG trainers platform sneaker slip on

My white Comme des Garcons x Salomon platform sneakers contrasted with the pitch-black rocky ground.

Black Lava Pearl Beach on Snæfellsnes in West-Iceland

Snæfellsnes Peninsula has it all, including this black lava and sand beach. I was enthralled by the dramatic environment.

iceland shipwreck beach British trawler, The Epine GY7 iron remains

Close up on the black pebbles, known as Djúpalónsperlur (Pearls of Djúpalón) — they’re the rounded remnants of ancient lava flows. You can also find rusty metal remains strewn about, from the 1948 shipwreck of British trawler, Epine GY7.

black pebble beach rocks Djúpalónsperlur - Pearls of Djúpalón

You need to be strong and hardcore to survive (especially back in the day) as a fisherman or sailor in Djúpalónssandur

elf shaped lava rock iceland legends magical places

The wild Atlantic ocean crashes onto the shore, which is marked by striking red-black rock formations created by eroded lava.

iceland outfits jackets women's clothing ideas traveling cold weather

There are tales of Icelandic elves and trolls lurking in these parts.

Djúpalónssandur iceland snaefellsnes peninsula

The lava cliffs are also a sight to behold. The hexagonal basalt columns are made when the molten rock cools and breaks in this pattern.

iceland tour guide expert guides drivers custom tours

As Cersei says on Game of Thrones: “The North cannot be held… not by an outsider. It’s too big and too wild. And when the winter comes, the Seven Gods together couldn’t save you and your royal army.”

Arnarstapi or Stapi fishing village Snæfellsnes

If you want to get around to the interesting, remote areas of Iceland, you’ll need a car. Since we were in the good hands of Salty Tours, we didn’t have to worry about car rentals, directions, navigation and other logistics — we could simply relax and take in the picturesque landscapes as passengers.

weird iceland attractions circular arch strange bizarre stone circle

Ingunn knew we’d love the vibe at Arnarstapi, on the southern coast of Snæfellsnes. How neat is this naturally eroded stone arch, called Gatklettur.

iceland Bárður Snæfellsás at Arnarstapi troll house statue

Giants exist north of the Wall in Game of Thrones… and we found one at Arnarstapi. This is a massive stone statue of Bárður Snæfellsás, a guardian spirit said to be half man and half troll.

offbeat iceland nature destinations tours

In our video of our Salty Tours day trip, you can see me scooting inside the Troll!

dark icelandic cliffs arnarstapi

With uncanny landscapes like this, it’s no wonder that Iceland is a treasure trove of tales about elves, trolls, and other mystical beings.

salty tours iceland day tours from reykjavik best rated

We can’t thank Salty Tours enough for this unforgettable tour of Gothic spots in Snæfellsnes Peninsula! Please reach out to them if you’re keen to do a custom, private day trip like ours. Salty Tours does pick ups and drop offs from your hotel in Reykjavik, and puts together the perfect itinerary to fit your interests.

stylish iceland fashion blogger outfits winter cold weather outfit inspo

The certified guides are so friendly and caring — you can see our previous trip with Salty Tours in 2015 with Ingunn’s father, Thor!

black church iceland heavy death viking metal goth

I leave you with some final shots of Iceland’s black metal church — I think the Miffy bag adds to the spookiness! (All images Joey Wong.)

gothic iceland clubs shows nightlife goth reykjavik

And please watch the reel of our Iceland adventure with Salty Tours here (@lacarmina Instagram).

Is the Land of Fire and Ice somewhere you’d like to visit? If you’ve already been, what were some of your most memorable moments?


Filed Under Fashion, Iceland


  1. Nikki_boagreis
    Posted June 9, 2024 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Wow, that background scenery is gorgeous, specifically the church. Never thought about visiting, but it certainly look’s like a place worth checking out. Btw, i love your platform sneakers, they are so cute.

    • lacarmina
      Posted June 11, 2024 at 12:22 am | Permalink

      I had to get these sneakers in Japan! So glad I did. YES Iceland is a must visit, I think you’d love it! Like being on another planet.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked with *