In the township of Seltjarnarnes at the north-westernmost tip of Greater Reykjavik, looking out over the Faxaflói bay, lies Grótta with its rugged beach and lighthouse. The small spit becomes an island at high tide, and it is closed off for around a month while birds nest in the early summer, but otherwise it is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Reykjavik, and one of the best near the city for spotting the Northern Lights.
There are buses which stop ten minutes away, but the scenic walk from downtown Reykjavik takes about an hour, past Harpa concert hall and the Old Harbour along a waterfront trail known as Göngustígur. Open and windy, in the winter the walk is breathtaking for more reasons than one, and even with a woolly hat pulled down well over the ears, your cheeks might take a thrashing. The lighthouse and the couple of buildings on Grótta tend to be shut, and swimming is hardly advisable, but the scenery alone is ample reward for a visit.
Grótta is also where Björk wrote Vulnicura opener ‘Stonemilker’, returning to the site to shoot the song’s 360° virtual reality music video with Andrew Thomas Huang. The following twenty-two photographs were taken on a Sunday afternoon in early February, as my partner and I skirted the water and tramped new paths into the snow, lingering long enough to catch some of the golden light before sunset as we began our brisk walk back into town.