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Frequently Asked Questions

About South Coast Tours in Iceland

Easily accessible from Reykjavík, the South Coast stretches from Reykjanes peninsula, in the west, to Höfn town in the East. The South Coast is one of Iceland's most popular sightseeing routes because of the many diverse natural features found just off the main road. South Coast tours make it possible to partake in sightseeing, glacier hiking, snowmobiling, ice-caving and boat trips, to list only a handful of activities.

1. What are the most popular attractions along the South Coast?

The South Coast is best known for the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss; the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull; the black sand beach Reynisfjara; Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon; Skaftafell Nature Reserve and numerous glacier ice caves.

2. When can I see the ice caves on the South Coast?

You can visit the ice caves of Mýrdalsjökull between October and April and the ice caves of Vatnajökull from November to March.

3. How far do day tours along the South Coast take you?

Some South Coast tours will take you all the way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, whereas others will turn back at Vík and Reynisfjara black sand beach.

4. How long does it take to travel to the South Coast?

To reach Jökulsárlón from Reykjavík takes four and a half hours without stops. A return journey would thus require nine hours of driving.

5. Where can I stay along the South Coast?

There are many options available, particularly around Hella, Hvolsvöllur, Vík, Klaustur and Jökulsárlón.

6. Do I need a 4WD to drive along the South Coast?

No, Route 1 covers the South Coast, which is paved and well-maintained. It is highly recommended you only drive a four-wheel-drive in winter.

7. Is the South Coast crowded?

In summer, the most popular sites, such as Seljalandsfoss waterfall, will undoubtedly have crowds. They can be avoided by travelling outside of peak times and making the most of the long days. Alternatively, you could try visiting Iceland in a quieter season.

8. Are there any active volcanoes on the South Coast?

Yes, most notably Katla and Eyjafjallajökull. Although both have erupted in the not so distant past, they are well monitored and pose virtually no risk to travellers.

9. Is the South Coast dangerous?

The most dangerous parts of the South Coast are Reynisfjara beach (due to its unpredictable sneaker waves) and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, especially for those who ignore the warnings and try to step on the icebergs. Otherwise, the South Coast is a very safe region.

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What is the South Coast?

The South Coast of Iceland contains some of the country’s most beloved natural attraction, from Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls to Reynisfjara black sand beach and Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.

The South Coast is also home to some of Iceland’s prettiest towns and villages. Directly beside Reynisfjara black sand beach is the village of Vík í Mýrdal, home to approximately 330 inhabitants. Vík is known for its reserved culture, as well as for it being the perfect spot to grab a bite a eat or do a little souvenir shopping.

Other towns along the South Coast worthy of a visit are Selfoss (the largest town in the region), Hveragerði, Flúðir, Hella and Hvolsvöllur.

While the South Coast boasts an untold number of major attractions, there are also great swaths of land that are hauntingly barren as a result of glacial flooding that has wreaked havoc on the area for centuries.

Sólheimasandur is one such area, a makeshift volcanic desert that sits between the South Coast’s ancient sea cliffs and today's shoreline. The DC plane wreck is, perhaps, what Sólheimasandur is most famous for, having crash-landed there in 1973.

In stark contrast, some of the areas are luscious and green, particularly its long stretches of farmland and Skaftafell Nature Reserve, found within the unique and awe-inspiring Vatnajökull National Park.

Those with an extended stay in Iceland have no reason not to explore this most majestic of regions, a stretch of shoreline as much characterised by its beautiful nature and settlements as it is by the breadth of opportunities available. Birdwatchers, culture fiends and photographers will find this area as special as glacier hikers, snowmobilers, cavers or even paragliders.


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