Wild South Coast | Waterfalls, Black beach and Glacier Hike
If you are a nature lover, then this tour is made for you! It visits all the great attractions of the South Coast, Glaciers, the Black beach of Reynisfjara, Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano and of course several of the beautiful waterfalls.
The highlight of the tour is a Blue Ice Glacier Hike on Solheimajokull glacier which takes around 1,5 hour.
We start with visiting the two great waterfalls of the south coast, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, as well as visiting lesser known, more secret waterfalls Glufrabui, Kvernufoss and Irafoss. As we continue we will drive under the great Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano and the Mýrdalsjökull glacier cap, where we take a Glacier Hike for about 1,5 hours and have a closer look at the Solheimajokull glacier.
A bit further is the great Reynisfjara beach, where the sea crashes upon black sands and hexagonal basalt columns and rock stacks tower over the surroundings.
In one day we will see two volcanoes and discover five amazing waterfalls, visit Reynisfjara and get up close and personal with the sleeping ice giants that are our glaciers during the glacier hike. A perfect tour for the curious tourist and the inquisitive nature lover!
This tour is available April - October. Reserve it now to secure your spot on this South Iceland tour. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: Mar. - Jan.
- Duration: 12 hours
- Activities: Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum age: 10 years old
- Languages: English
Skógafoss is one of the country’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters. Due to the amount of spray the cascade produces, a rainbow is present any time the sun emerges from behind the clouds.
Located on the Skógá river, this mighty cascade is clearly visible from Route 1 and is an excellent place to stop and stretch the legs while travelling Iceland’s South Coast. The river below Skógafoss holds a large char and salmon population and is thus a favourite spot for fishermen in the summer.
The land underneath the waterfall is very flat, allowing visitors to walk right up to the wall of water; keep in mind, however, that this will get you drenched. Skógafoss can also be viewed from the top as a steep staircase leads to an observational platform above the cascade.
Skógafoss is located near the small village of Skógar, south of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano. There you’ll find the Skógasafn folk museum, an open-air museum with both old wooden houses and turf houses, as well as a regional museum with various artefacts from this area.
A part of the Skógasafn Regional Museum is the Museum of Transportation, which showcases the history and evolution of transportation, communication and technologies in Iceland. There, you can see how this nation evolved from the age of the working horse to the digital communications of the 21. Century.
The Skógasafn museum also includes a café and a museum shop, and in the village of Skógar, you will find both a hotel and a restaurant.
At the eastern side of Skógafoss, you will find one of Iceland’s most famed hiking routes; the Fimmvörðuháls pass. The 22 km trail leads you along Skógá river, between two glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull, before ending in the beautiful Þórsmörk valley.
A gold ring is on display at the Skógasafn museum. According to legend, the ring is from a chest that was owned by Þrasi Þórólfsson, one of the first Viking settlers in the area. Folklore states that before his death in 900 AD, Þrasi buried a chest filled with gold in a cave behind Skógafoss waterfall.
Many attempts were made to retrieve the chest after Þrasi’s death, and years later, locals managed to grasp a ring on the side of the chest. As they pulled, the ring broke off, and the treasure was lost forever. The ring was then given to the local church before it made its way to the museum.
Solheimajokull is a beautiful outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap.
Solheimajokull is a rugged glacial tounge riddled with crevasses and spectacular ever-changing ice formations, jagged ridges and sinkholes and is popular for hiking and ice climbing.
The glacier river Jokulsa a Solheimasandur has its source at the glacier, flowing over the sand plain of Solheimasandur towards the sea.
Reynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal.
With its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches. In 1991, National Geographic voted Reynisfjara as one of the Top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet.
Reynisfjara is found around 180 km from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, and is a popular stop-off for those taking a sightseeing tour along South Coast. Driving to the beach is particularly easy, taking an approximate two and a half hours from the capital.
Upon visiting the beach, travellers will immediately observe rocky sea stacks sitting off the shoreline, known as Reynisdrangar. According to local Icelandic folklore, these large basalt columns were once trolls engaged in trying to pull ships from the ocean. However, as bad luck would have it, the dawn quickly arose, turning the trolls into solid stone.
Another legend tells of a husband whose wife was kidnapped and killed by two trolls. The man followed the trolls down to Reynisfjara where he froze them, ensuring that they would never kill again.
The sea stacks themselves are home to thousands of nesting seabirds. Species that can be found here include Puffins, Fulmars and Guillemots, making it a must-see location for all birdwatchers out there.
Visitors to Reynisfjara must be made well aware of the potential dangers present at the beach. First of all, the rolling, roaring waves of Reynisfjara are particularly violent, often pushing far further up the beach than many would expect.
Visitors are advised to never turn their back on the waves, don't go chasing after them and keep a safe distance of 20-30 metres.
Aside from these sudden and dramatic shifts in tide (known as “sneaker waves”), the currents off the shore are infamous for their strength and ability to drag helpless people out into the freezing cold open ocean. A number of fatal accidents have occurred at Reynisfjara, the last of which occurred in January 2017.
Gljúfrabúi ("Canyon Dweller“) is a beautiful waterfall located at Hamragarðar in South Iceland, close to its better known counterpart, Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
The 40 metre high Gljúfrabúi can be considered somewhat of a hidden gem. It is indeed partially hidden behind a huge cliff that lends much atmosphere to the scenery.
To enjoy a view of the fall you need to wade the Gljúfurá river into a narrow opening in the cliff or follow a steep path up the cliff. Both endeavours are demanding so utmost caution is advised.
As mentioned, this waterfall is less known than its neighbour but as a result may provide for all the greater serenity, in addition to excellent scenery.
The South Coast of Iceland is the country's most visited sightseeing route, along with the Golden Circle.
The famed South Coast shoreline stretches from the greater Reykjavík area and is dotted with natural wonders such as cascading waterfalls, volcanoes both active and dormant, black sand beaches and glacier lagoons.
Geography, Nature & Wildlife
Iceland is divided into eight geographical regions. Out of these, the Southern Region is the largest, as it spans over 24.000 square kilometres with its administrative centre in the municipality of Selfoss.
What is known as the South Coast embodies the shoreline of this particular region. The area consists of a lowland that is mostly composed of marshlands, bays and cultivated pastures that are met by a series of black beaches where the estuaries to the east and west of the district close off the coastal body.
Underneath the soil rests a vast lava field, known as Þjórsárhraun. Its edges reach several hundred metres offshore where the ocean waves crash upon them, thereby protecting the lowland from the invasion of the sea. This results in the South Coast being unusually lacking in the deep fjords that so distinctly characterise the rest of Iceland's shore line.
The region boasts vibrant bird life during all seasons. It is not only rich with both marshland birds and seabirds but also migrating birds such as the North Atlantic puffin. Some species stay throughout the harsh Icelandic winter, including the northern diver, the loom and various species of gulls and ducks.
Highlights of the South Coast
The South Coast offers an unprecedented array of natural wonders that draw thousands of visitors each day. When driving the route from Reykjavík City, the highlights in their correct order are:
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Vestmannaeyjar; The Westman Islands
- Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Volcano
- Skógafoss Waterfall
- Sólheimajökull Glacier
- Dyrhólaey Peninsula
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
- Coastal Village Vík í Mýrdal
- Skeiðarársandur Glacial Sand Plain
- Vatnajökull National Park
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
These attractions count for but a fraction of what the South Coast has to offer. The vast sand plains of Sólheimasandur are home to a crashed DC-3 Plane Wreck, and close to Seljavellir by the Skógar Village there's Seljavallalaug, one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland.
- Explore the many wonders of the area on these South Coast Tours
Starting time : 08:30
Round trip excursion
Professional guide - English
Free Wi-Fi in the bus
Blue ice glacier hike for 1,5 hours
Lunch and dinner
What to bring:
Warm, wind & waterproof clothes
Good hiking shoes are necessary for the Glacier Hike. If you do not have appropriate footwear then we offer these for rent.
Good to know:
This tour takes up to 11 hours. Meals are not included but we will stop for a lunch break and also for a coffee in the afternoon. The maximum number of passengers are 15 which gives a better atmosphere while travelling
My friend and I had a wonderful time on this tour. I was really excited by the glacier hiking while my friend was really hesitant about it. The guide, Antonio was incredibly kind and encouraging, offering his reassurance, his knowledge and his steadying hand, at times, to help her. So in the end, both of us had a terrific time on the glacier hike! The weather was pretty rainy and cold, so it wasn't exactly a "perfect" day to be out hiking or seeing waterfalls, but the knowledge, enthusiasm and personalization provided by our guide made the day a lot of fun in spite of the weather. The group was small (only 9 of us) and because the guide and the driver worked so well as a team, all of us got some individual attention and a chance to get our questions answered. As noted in the other reviews, the tour ended with a secret waterfall, off the typical tourist path. This waterfall was truly breath-taking, made further enchanting by the fact that such incredible power and beauty was just a part of someone's pasture! I would highly recommend this tour for people who want to experience Iceland's natural beauty while also learning about the country, being awestruck by its wonders and having fun!
My teenaged kids and I totally loved this tour. It's incredibly beautiful. Our guide, Lucia, was so interesting with all the stories and histories she told as we drove through the countryside. There are several companies that do a similar tour so they mixed up the order of what we saw to avoid crowds, which was really great. They took everyone's safety very seriously, especially for the glacier walk. They provide helmets, ice cleats, and picks for everybody and are careful that all the equipment is properly adjusted, that we kept together and all behaved in a safe manner. I do recommend bringing your own food if you can. There are lots of grocery stores, etc., in Reykjavik where you can get sandwiches and fruit and snacks for the trip, because it's a long day. Wifi on the bus helps pass the time while you look out at the beautiful scenery. The bus was clean and it was a good-sized group - maybe 12 or 14 of us. I really recommend this tour!
My favourite guided tour in Iceland! I absolutely loved the fact that we had enough time at every attraction, had a nice long lunch break and enough loo breaks, and our tour guides Lucia and Davida were just fabulous. To me, they were more like long-time friends than people I'd just met. Hope to see both of them in India soon :) I would definitely recommend this tour to any and everyone who has no problem walking and exploring beautiful places. Cheers to both of them and Nice Travel.
By far one of my favorite tours in Iceland. Our guide was amazing!
Absolutely amazing tour. Lucia and Navid (sp?) were spectacular guides. Both were so knowledgeable and so much fun. Felt like they were long lost friends. Will certainly seek them out for other tours when we return to Iceland. Highly recommend this tour company. We were the only 2 people who booked the tour on that particular day and instead of cancelling the trip, Lucia and Navid showed up in a SUV and gave us a VIP experience.
My husband and I along with our two adult daughters and their significant others took this tour April 2017 and I can't say enough about how wonderful it was. Aside from our group of 6, there was only another couple for a total tour group of 8 which lends itself to a very personal experience. From the moment the tour bus picked us up, I knew it was going to great! Our tour guide Antonio was so friendly, extremely knowledgeable about all the sites we visited and the history of Iceland. Our driver Thor was great and we all felt very safe. Both my husband and I are a "little older" and Antonio encouraged me every step. It was by far my best day in Iceland. My only regret was that I was leaving the next day and couldn't do another tour. I highly recommend Nice travel to anyone traveling to Iceland and wants a tour on a more personal level.
My friend and I took this tour in March 2017, and it was a really fun tour. Aside from us, there were only 3 other people in the tour. The tour guide was very knowledgable about Iceland, nature, and the waterfalls, glacier, and beach we went to. Highly recommend!
We took this tour January 2016 with Antonio and were not disappointed. He was attentive, informative, upbeat, and flexible- all the right traits for a wonderful tour guide. He made adjustments to our tour to satisfy everyone's tastes and abilities, and made it, by far, the best day of our 5-day vacation. In fact, we are returning to Iceland in March 2017, and have requested a different tour with Antonio. This tour, and the tour guide, are not to be missed when making your travel itinerary to Iceland. xox
I highly recommend this tour. Our tour guide Antonio was amazing and very knowledgeable. We saw so many amazing sights. The waterfalls he took us to were incredible. This was one of the best tours we have ever been on! It was basically a private tour too as it was just my BF and me. If you want a fun tour with a small group then this is the one for you! Antonio took some amazing pictures of us at the waterfalls and went above and beyond to create a wonderful day for us! Thanks for the experience!!!
En esta excursión puedes ver una pequeña parte de Islandia. Me encantaron los paisajes naturales, las piedras magnéticas. Una excursión imprescindible para conocer esta isla. Nos tocó Antonio como guía y genial también
Es una excursión increible con unos paisajes preciosos. Nuestro guia, David, muy bueno y simpático. Totalmente recomendable!
What a great tour! Antonio was our tour guide. He was informative as well as entertaining. The south side of the island is an amazing mix of scenery. Highly recommend this tour. Love that the groups are small. Great job guys!!
Went on a tour with Antonio and David. The group was super small and it was so fun! Antonio was very knowledgeable, friendly, and took some time getting to know each of us. The waterfalls were gorgeous. Would definitely book with them again!
This is an amazing tour and highly recommend it. Our tour guide was incredible with the history of Iceland, the volcano's, the farming, Iceland's Resources and random facts. He was open to questions and there was 5 people on the tour, which made it very personable, even the driver was participating and having fun (they use the small buses). The scenery while driving to the waterfalls and the Black Beach is nothing you'll ever see! Each waterfall and scenery is different, none are the same.
Best and most fantastic tour ever! Small group - there were only two travelers, a Canadian and me! The driver is so nice that he even stopped to take us to pick up the blueberries off the road, which is very tasty. We have seen more than seven waterfalls, some of which are private and are like secrets behind the mountains. The minibus is new and the driver is knowledgeable. Strongly recommended! It was just like a private tour!
Loved everything about this tour. Small with only four of us, so that was a bonus. The guide was really great, knowledgable, and fun with enlightening facts about Iceland and the history. Highly recommended!
Best waterfalls and rainbows ever seen!
This was a great tour! We had a small group (only 4 of us) so it was much more personal than the larger tours. We got to see many of the waterfalls that most tours take you on, as well as some that the guides found on their own, so they're less touristy. The guide had a lot of information and was very accommodating. I would definitely recommend this tour!
That was a really nice tour! The views were amazing. The bus was cozy. Thanks to our enthusiastic guide, we enjoyed the sightseeing and the food in Iceland very much :)
Cheng Yin Cy
The tour was great. We saw a lot of beautiful waterfalls. We also saw rainbows by the waterfall. I really liked the secret waterfall that we were brought to. The group was small, so it felt more personal. On the whole, I'd recommend the tour.
What to ask more? Me and my friend selected the Wild South Coast trip to visit Southern Iceland and to see some waterfalls. We could feel we booked a private trip. We were only 5 in the minibus which made the travel very comfortable with many stops. The programme was amazing. We visited sights with full of tourists, but also places where we were alone and took as much photo as we wanted without that anyone show up in our photos. The weather was beautiful. The guide was amazing and patient with us even if we were always those who come back late to the minibus and normally it was his day off. The driver was great also. I highly recommend to select this trip. It worth the price. (There was also a strong wi-fi in the minibus. )
I had a great time on this amazing tour. The guide was really friendly and helpful. I loved going to the secret water fall where no other tourist were brought to. I had an incredible experience on this tour and I greatly recommend it. The next time I visit Iceland I will book all my tour with through this company.
We had such a great and impressive experience for our waterfalls tour with Guide to Iceland. Our tour guide was Antonio and he was very nice and took us to a secret waterfall which very beautiful and there was no other tourist there except for us. We really enjoyed our tour and would recommend other to do so.
A great experience! Both the guide and driver were very friendly and very knowledgeable- we in essence had two guides, giving both an insight into the tour and life in Iceland. Both were always willing to make sure we were happy and attended to all our needs. It was very a personal tour, and everyone on the tour was very approachable to address our wishes and questions. The tour was fantastic and it became apparent as we continued that the visited areas not visited by other parties/companies; some of the tour's features were not even mentioned in our guidebook- we very much left feeling we had a unique experience. I have already recommended this tour to friends and family due to visit Iceland very soon.
Wong Thai Yong
Amazing tour! Our guide Antonio was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining throughout the tour, and really made us feel welcome as he shared his love for Iceland with us. Our driver Robert was also really skillful and the ride was always comfortably smooth; he was really friendly too! This tour was truly the best way of exploring the south coast and we had absolutely no regrets about not driving through it ourselves on hindsight. Even as I'm typing this I'm considering planning my next tour to Iceland in summer, and I will certainly look for the same guides to bring me around again! Thanks Antonio and Robert for the wonderful experience!
The locations we visited were wonderful but very little information was provided at the various locations and almost no information was shared as we were driving. Everyone was very nice but I had different expectations for a tour at this price level. Other tours of the same price level I took were far and away more engaging and informative. Most of group was there as a part of a volunteer tour and perhaps there was some miscommunication regarding the type of tour I had purchased and the tour we went out on. Wonderful people, disappointing tour.