A Day from Reykjavik:
The Beautiful South Coast
The south coast of Iceland is an action-packed adventure ride full of exciting activities and otherworldly vistas.
It’s one of the most popular places for a sightseeing day tour from Reykjavík. It offers an incredibly large variety of natural phenomena which are unusual or unique to a foreign eye. Driving from Reykjavík, you will travel over the Hellisheiði highlands, with the option of stopping at the Hellisheiði power plant and geothermal energy exhibition, where you can tour the plant and learn about this strange source of energy. From the heath you will travel down into the valley around Hveragerði, a town built on a geothermal hot spot, so you will see columns of steam rising up here and there in the hills around and even in the town itself, and there’s even a restaurant there called Kjöt & Kúnst there which cooks food with the steam from the ground!
Moving forward, you’ll drive past amazing mountains and valleys along the coastline until you get to the magical Seljalandsfoss waterfall which falls in the mouth of a cave so that you can walk the whole way around it and on a sunny day, you’re likely to see a full rainbow in the spray emanating from its base. After this you will come to the Iceland Erupts exhibition, a memorial to the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull which halted all air transport in Europe for a while.
This is followed by Skógafoss, an even larger, more powerful waterfall, and right by that is the tiny community of Skógar, which has a fascinating local museum and a couple of hotels. This is also where the mountain trail of Fimmvörðuháls starts off though you should be careful to check the conditions and get advice before considering climbing it.
After all this you will reach the town of Vík, where you can walk along the Reynisfjara black-sand beach with a view over the strange rock formations of the coast and even view some black basalt columns if you know where to go. This is all in sight of Katla and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes and Mýrdalsjökull glacier amongst the endless mountains and hills, and you could easily throw in a hike or a guided tour of the glacier to spice up your journey. If you decide to do that, just be careful and take precautions, ask advice, always let someone know where you’re going, keep your phone charged, bring warm clothes and make sure you have good shoes!
This tour takes us along the beautiful south shore of Iceland to the otherworldly Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. The trip includes some charming villages as well as Skaftafell National Park and the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Prior to the lagoon is Iceland’s largest volcano, the ice-covered Öræfajökull, and the island’s highest peak at Hvannadalshnjúkur (2110 m). At Jökulsárlón we’ll take an amphibious vehicle into the water to further explore the lagoon. The area was formed early in the 1920s and grows every year. In the water you’ll see several icebergs calved from Europe’s biggest glacier, Vatnajökull, as they drift towards the ocean, only a kilometer away.
You shouldn’t leave Iceland without experiencing the wonders of its glaciers. Glacier hiking is the best way to get up close and personal with one of Iceland’s many elements. Visiting the glaciers under the guidance of a professional glacier guide is a safe way to explore the adventurous phenomenons hidden in a glacier; rugged ice crevasses, sink holes, jagged ridges, ice walls and amazing ice formations. Whether it’s glacier hiking on Europe’s biggest glacier Vatnajökull, at Jules Vernes’s center of the earth Snæfellsjökull or at the ash covered Sólheimajökull – glacier hiking is a must-do to get a glimpse of one of the unique wonders of Iceland.