South Coast Day Tour | Small Group
Join this minibus excursion of the most iconic natural attractions of south Iceland. See glaciers, waterfalls and a black sand beach in this best value tour that is tailored to those who want to experience all the best south Iceland has to offer.
You'll see magnificent waterfalls, white glacier ice caps, volcanoes, puffin colonies and charming Icelandic farms on rolling hillsides, all on this 10-hour day tour.
If you are staying in a guest house or a hotel in Reykjavík, you'll be picked up in the morning and then you're off to see the amazing south coast; and to allow you to enjoy the sites in cosy comfort, this tour is for small groups only – there will never be more than 19 people per group.
You’ll stop at two of south Iceland's most impressive waterfalls, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, the former being one of Iceland's most powerful waterfalls, sought out by locals and travellers alike.
Seljalandsfoss is a picturesque cascade, famed for its walking path which allows you to hike behind it in summer time. There, you'll experience an unmatched perspective, as you look out through the hissing water to the surrounding landscapes of green fields and towering lava cliffs.
After accosting the south's two water giants, you’ll make your way to Reynisfjara, a black sand beach near the small town of Vík. This beach is famed for its vibrant birdlife and eery natural surroundings. There, you are likely to see puffins swarming in search of food, around the pyramid-shaped basalt columns that make up Reynisfjara's cliffs.
Look out to sea near the shore for a view of the spectacularly shaped sea stacks called Reynisdrangar.
During the drive to these attractions, you'll see both the mighty Sólheimajökull glacier and the notorious Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano whose 2010 eruption brought European air traffic to a standstill for days due to the enormous amounts of ash it spewed into the air.
For your convenience, this tour is operated in brand-new Mercedes Benz Sprinter with free Wi-Fi on board. Your experienced guide will tell you stories about the locations and answer all your questions. You'll taste traditional Icelandic snacks, and there will be a stop for lunch so that you won't get hungry.
Don't miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to see Iceland's magical south coast. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 10 hours
- Activities: Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.
The glacier volcano of Eyjafjallajokull (1651 m) is located at the borders of the South Icelandic highlands. It featured prominently in world news in 2010 when ash from its eruption halted air traffic in Europe.
An ice cap of about 100 km with several outlet glaciers covers the caldera of Eyjafjallajökull that stands at the height of 1651 meters. The diamaeter of its highest crater is around 3-4 km2 wide and the rim has several peaks.
Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano lies north of Skogar, and to the west of Myrdalsjokull glacier and the massive volcano there; Katla.
Eyjafjallajokull is thought to be related geologically to Katla in Myrdalsjokull and eruptions in the former have often been followed by eruptions in the latter.
The 2010 eruptions
The end of 2010 saw some small seismic activity that gradually increased and resulted in a small eruption in March of 2010, characterized by a flow of alkani-olivine basalt lava.
This first stage lasted until April 12th and created the volcanic craters Magni and Modi at the Fimmvorduhals trail. They are so far Iceland's newest vocanic craters, and still eminate steam with lava glowing under the surface.
However it was the second phase of the eruption that started on April 14th that created the huge ash cloud that rose about 9 km into the skies.
This eruption halted air traffic in Europe for days, and its estimated that as many as 107.000 flights may have been cancelled during the week it lasted.
The ejected tephra measured around 250 million cubic meters. This ash cloud lasted for six days and some more localized disruption continued into May. The eruption was officially declared to be over in October 2010, as the snow on the glacier had ceased to melt.
Future volcanic developments?
Eyjafjallajokull erupted in years 920, 1612 and again 1821-1823.
Its latest eruptions were the two that occurred in 2010.
Future volcanic developments remain unclear. The area is still highly active and can be quite unpredictable. It continues, however, to be closely monitored by The Icelandic Meterological Office.
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.
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 : 08:00
Traditional Icelandic snacks
Pick-up from hotel/guesthouse/designated pick-up area in Reykjavík only
Icelandic music (traditional and contemporary)
Good to know:
If you are not staying in Reykjavik, pick-up is not available. Contact your tour operator to find out where you should meet your tour bus.
We went on the tour with our guide, Brahim. He was welcoming and utterly engaging. The man is a walking encyclopedia on all things Icland (seriously, my sister is an ecologist and he was answering some of her nerdier questions on local fauna). The scheduled stops are amazing, you can't go wrong with waterfalls, glaciers and black sand beach which has impressive basalt columns. Brahim was happy to add in a couple of impromptu stops for photos and a look at some cool sites people had shown an interest in. The minibus was comfortable and the on board wifi was a nice addition. We used three different companies for four tours during our stay and Your Day Tours was by far the best. I can't recommend them enough!
I only had a day to spend in Iceland and I think I have invested my time in the best way possible. Magnus, our guide and driver, is a young, witty and funny men and he led us through a few of the glorious natural landmarks of the South Coast. He entertained us with stories about his land and the Icelandic culture and he allowed us plenty of time to enjoy waterfalls, glaciers and beaches. I would definitely recommend anyone who doesn't have much time or doesn't want to rent a car to take these tours as they are very convenient and a pretty efficient way to explore the Country.
This tour was well organized. The guide Magnus was very knowledgable and helpful. The best tour guide I met in Iceland.
Really nice to see the gorgeous waterfall! Worth to go!
We spent such a wonderful time with our guide Magnus , he was very friendly and helpful for everything :) i highly recommend this tour !
Guisti was incredibly informative --- ultra knowledgable and a terrific ambassador for his country --- Iceland. He exceeded our expectation. The tour was breathtaking --- I loved the black sand beach the best --- but all stops were amazing. I would do this tour again.
I took the trip last Monday, it was great! Our guide, Magnus, is one of the funniest guides I have ever met. Even it takes a while to go to our next stop, his jokes made distances shorter :D just one small request though: maybe you guys can keep plastic raincoats in the car, the ones like garbage bag, just for the ones who couldn't think that it's possible to get behind of some waterfalls... :D that's all. Other than that everything was great!
Booked this trip after also going on the Golden Circle Tour with Your Day Tours and loved it! Your Day Tours is a young, family-owned company and definitely your best choice when booking guided tours from Reykjavík. Entertaining and very knowledgeable guide, additional stops on the way and a stunning landscape - not to be missed!
Our guide was great (forget his name, but he hates the taste of fermented shark!), really helpful and friendly and with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Icelandic geology, economy, wildlife and everything else you would want to know as a tourist. The sights are really unique on this tour, from the Black Beach to the glacier - I will always remember getting to walk behind a waterfall (largely because of how wet I got!)
We had joined 3 different local tour during our stay in Iceland in June, 2017. "Guide to Iceland" is definitely the best amongst the three. The service was good and customer centric. The tour guide provided us a lot of useful information during the South Coast journey. Particularly, we would like to express our gratitude for the following incident : We carelessly left one of our bags in the bus when we were back to our Hostel. We called the company when we were aware of it after 5 minutes. The tour guide was so kind that he drove back very soon such that we could collect back our bag. Once again, thank you.
August was very informative about Icelandic culture, and he kept us entertained during the drive. The tour was great! The sights were amazing and we got some awesome pictures along the way as well. The tour was spaced out just right, so we had enough time to browse around and take photos at each venue. Overall, recommended!!
The beauty of Iceland has never gone out of my mind as well as my husband`s mind. We talked a lot about it, read a lot and watched videos. Over time a journey to this fabulous country has become our dream. We were preparing to it for a long time and finally we found ourselves in Reykjavik. There were only five days at our disposal. Actually only a few for to delight the amenities of this marvelous country. And who knows, how would we master our time and whether we saw at least a tenth of what so bewildered us, if we by chance didn`t drop in at the office of Guide to Iceland. Helpful staff kindly helped us to choose 3 tours that let us get the most complete impression of incredible Island. The tours of Guide to Iceland are hours-long and actually they take a whole day. What I`d like to tell is that our every day with Guide to Iceland was filled with incredible adventures. The unique “Golden Ring”, glamourous South Coast of Iceland and superlunary Reykjanes will be never forgotten. Comfortable buses made our tours as easy as possible and erudite guides told us plenty of exciting details. Of big importance was also that at each stop guides left the tour groups additional time to wander along this unearthly landscapes, along the legendary Black beach, melting, but in northern beautiful glaciers, to climb the basalt cliffs, to take photos of the rainbow closed to the waterfall and of course to see rapidly erupted geysers! We cannot fail to emphasize respect, which Guide to Iceland shows to its clients. It happened, that only me and my husband took a tour along Reykjanes Peninsula. Despite this, a minibus with a driver and a guide arrived at appointed time and place und our tour started! I really have no idea, in what other country and what other company would “drive” a bus for the sake of 2 tourists, but Guide to Iceland did it and we are very thankful for it. Besides, we would like to emphasize the informal approach of the guides to their clients. The guides not just showed us places, that were mentioned in the program, but they did everything, that we could see more..Thanks to this we visited much more natural masterpieces, than clients of other companies, but the main thing we experienced a unique feeling, that we were not just tourists in Iceland and clients of one travel agency, but desired guests of this miraculous country. Thank you Guide to Iceland for making us familiar with your country and thank you so much that our dream has come true! I hope we`ll come back to Iceland one day and then we`ll meet you again for sure.
Gail Moran Sieckman
So glad we booked this tour. We were able to see another part of Iceland that was truly beautiful. The waterfalls were amazing and the black sand beach was worth the trip, such a beautiful sight! We took over 200 pictures on our tour, so much to see. Our tour guide, Auguste (?) was very informative and hilarious, he was very knowledgeable about each sight we visited as well as pertinent information along the way. I would recommend this tour to everyone who visits Iceland. Thank you for making our stay wonderful!
I enjoyed the tour so much. The tour guide, Kevin, was very informative and he shared a lot of stories of Iceland. It's funny to find out he is the son of Iceland-almost-president! Although the weather was not really great but I overall enjoyed the tour. Highly recommended!
Maria Adelaide Oliveira Passarinho
Adoramos o tour. O guia Broði (? será ?) foi muito divertido nas suas explicações, transmitindo informações sobre a Islândia e os islandeses de uma forma muito interessante. Todo o percurso foi maravilhoso e vimos uma terra com uma beleza natural muito interessante. Até os "banhos" que tomamos nas cascatas foram uma experiência diferente.O facto de ser um tour com poucas pessoas é também um aspeto favorável. Obrigado Your day tours. We Loved the tour. The Guide Broði (? ?) was a lot of fun in his explanations, conveying information about Iceland and Icelanders in a very interesting way. The whole course was wonderful and we saw a land with a very interesting natural beauty. Even the "baths" we took in the waterfalls were a different experience. Being a tour with few people is also a good thing. Thank you Your day tours.
Philip Dos Santos
Mine and my girlfriends experience of the South coast trip was absolutely amazing. We had the funniest, most informative and service minded guide we could have wished for. Ivar the guide was a rockstar when it came to giving us more to see than we expected. During one occasion one lady in the mini van opened a bag of peanuts, and Ivar heard my girlfriend kindly ask the lady to store them away. When he heard this, he shouted in the mini van microphone for everybody, soo nobody would open a bag of nuts. He was very kind and as we said, real genuine and funny, but in the same way very informative. We learned and saw alot of icelandic beauty on this trip. We will absolutely recommend this trip and agency to our friends. 5 stars of 5 possible. Best regards //Philip & Mikaela From Gothenburg, Sweden.
A wonderful, funny and informative experience. Lassma was great company and drew us all in with her humour, enthusiasm and care in guiding around what was obviously a country she felt so proud of.
We took the south coast day tour was definitely worth it. The tour guide Magnus was very knowledgeable and had good stories to keep everyone entertained. I would definitely recommend this company and would use them again on my next visit.
My two friends and I had a great time on the South Coast tour. Our guide Pétur was wonderful; we learned a lot with him and he did a very good job leading our small group. I would definitely take this tour again if I was to go back to Iceland
Excellent and interesting tour, the guide (his name starts with letter B, I'm sorry for forgetting it)was very good ,told us many many stories about himself and Iceland and has a very good music playlist . Today's weather was rainy,windy,snowy and sunny,but everything was so great, the views are so so so amazing! Recommend this tour 100%
Your Day Tours was absolutely incredible. Our tour guide Kevin (real name: Garpur) was incredibly informative about the sites we were seeing and was very invested in making sure we had as good a time as possible. He also taught us a lot about the culture and history of Iceland through stories about his family and past events in Iceland. On the other hand I would not book through Guide to Iceland again as they were not helpful when things went wrong and didn't respond to us in a timely manner when we were asking for help. They seem to not care about their customer's satisfaction and are very unhelpful when tours get cancelled. If I were to travel to Iceland again I would book directly through Your Day Tours, not through Guide to Iceland.
Excellent tour, the tour guide Magnus was very entertaining and had many stories about his own family, iceland's history and the natural world. He is a wise old man at the tender age of 25. Nice to be in a small tour. Magnus was flexible and made a few extra stops for photographs not on the itinerary. A very long day but worth it. The weather was poor, but the tour company can't organise everything. Plenty of toilet breaks and stops for drinks. I would recommend this company.
This tour was amazing sights were beyond anything We could of imagined our guide was really great music and snack was really nice touch the only down side is that the buses are very tight and my fiancé and I were not able to sit together it wasn't the end of the world but does put a little bit of a damper on the day.we were the last pick up so all the double seats were taken maybe some sort of assigned seating or a warning ahead of time to pack lightly and that you may not be able to sit together would make it better
We have tried a few tourguides from different company during ourstay in iceland. Guidetoiceland is the best of all!!. We had a friendly and jovial tour guide cum driver ivar(soldier in iceland). He have shared a lot of things about iceland and definitely we have learnt so much from him. The wifi in the bus was superb! There was sufficient breaks and time given for us to take photos and for us to consume our lunch. Overall guidetoiceland is a superb and great tour guide company!!
lisa o connell
Incredible tour! Needed every second of the 10 hours as it was pack full of amazing sights, my favourite being the black beach! Peter our guide was very knowledgeable and enjoyed being part of a small group as it made the tour more personal and efficient. One not to be missed :)
This tour is amazing! We were picked up promptly by a hilarious guide who made sure that we got to see everything the area had to offer. From hiking up with us closely to a glacier, taking photos of us, stopping in to Fákasel Horse Park simply because the weather and time were good enough - Your Day Tour's Small Group South Coast Day tour is NOT to be missed! I would definitely recommend this - beautiful landmarks, an entertaining and helpful guide, and all at a pace that is both manageable and convenient. Having lunch by the beach is also pretty great!
Ivar was a terrific guide---very informed about the places we visited. Also peppered information with funny family stories, so we learned a lot about local culture and tradition. The places we visited were special, my particular favorite being the black sand beach. Excellent trip, I highly recommend it.
We all 8 were very happy, with all the places we stopped, enough time to enjoy, sun and snow on the black beach, and the family stories of our guide, very funny. A perfect day.
Thanks for our helpful guide, we saw a lot of amazing landscapes and knew kinds of interesting stories and histroies. It was a small group and the whole schedule was well arranged. Our family had quite a good time during the trip, especially the hiking in the glacier.
Simply brilliant! Highlight of a truly amazing holiday! If I could recommend any excursion it would be this one!
I can only echo the great sentiments by the other reviewers on here. This was a great tour with a great guide! Ragna took us to all the amazing locations and despite some heavy rain everyone on the bus had a good time (even if we were soaked to the bone - can't help the weather some days in Iceland). The Icelandic snack and drink was also a nice little touch that you don't get with other tour operators. The tour didn't start at the closest waterfall either so that helped stay ahead of the bigger buses and we circled back later which worked really well throughout the day. Being in a small group was brilliant as we got a very personalised experience and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to see some great visual places.
A billion wow's for this tour. I did a couple of tours while in Iceland and have to say that what stood out on this one was the guide's abilities to guide, teach and share. From the minute I got into the van the guide made us feel like we were embarking on a new friendship. Garpur introduced himself, his life and many, many stories. All of which gave the tour so much depth. He taught us Icelandic, history, ecology, about music, and photography. Literally couldn't have asked for more. He gave us plenty of time at each location, to really enjoy and explore. My biggest plus was his patience with teaching us camera skills. They carried me through my entire time in Iceland and I have some gorgeous pictures that I took myself to remind me of my trip. My ability has grown massively and I was so overwhelmed to finally be able to take a picture of the night sky. He even gave us little tricks to master as we were driving along. His knowledge was invaluable to my entire trip. I am so glad that this tour was my first. A million thanks for my day. You made my first solo holiday so special and I will never forget it <3
After the golden circle tour this tour was the next one and I would not have made better decision.I loved it so much!The waterfalls,glaciers these sights are just unmissable.these must be seen if you are visiting Iceland.Few things to mention.Well organised,professional service,enough time to see everything,knowledgeable and entertaining guide providing icelandic snack,drink,music and lots of information about everything.
We had a great time, our tour guide and driver Maki was a funny guy and we really enjoyed ourselves.
Our guide was amazing! Really funny and sweet. He had lots of great stories, legends and personal experiences to share. During our driving time we listened to Icelandic music superstars. I loved that part! The sights were gorgeous. Lots of puffins at the black sand beach. The guide even provided traditional Icelandic snacks! I highly recommend this tour and tour company!
I absolutely recommend this tour! I had such an amazing day on the South Coast with Your Day Tours. Our guide Bothi was really nice, funny and told us not just about the sights but also about a lot of other things related to Iceland, like its nature, culture and people. There was enough time at every sight and the group wasn't too big.
It was super awesome tour. The guide Bothi was super nice and talkative. The tour was well planned and you have enough time in each spot. I would recommend this to my friends. Your Day Tours is your best choice for one day trip in Iceland.
Awesome tour, tour guide Ivar was rocking and calm, witty. And tour spots were spot on. Black sand beach was the highlight while skodafoss waterfall was magnificent. Also the waterfall where you could get behind the fall. Glacier point of selmeijokull was picturesque. Ivar's collection of rock was soothing. Only point is that if the tour could be stretched to an hour more during summer like this and if Myrasdjokull could be seen from other side by turning the bus towards other side also.
We didn't go to black sand beach reynisfjara, this is the most important part for me to book this tour. The tour guide lady decide to turn back halfway because the Midsize bus not suitable in such strong wind, not sure whether big bus can make it. We went to a beach with black sand, but that is not "the black sand beach". Maybe just today, the bad whether, but very disappointed.