South Coast Tours

South Coast Tours

Travel Iceland's South Coast and witness a wide array of waterfalls, glacier-capped volcanoes, Reynisfjara black sand beach and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

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South Coast Tours

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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.

Frequently asked questions

What are the most popular attractions along the South Coast of Iceland?

The South of Iceland is best known for: the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, the glaciers Eyjafjallajokull, Myrdalsjokull and Vatnajokull, the quaint village of Vik, the famous black sand beach Reynisfjara, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and numerous ice caves.

When can I see the ice caves on the South Coast of Iceland?

Because of the vulnerability of the ice caves during the summer months, most ice cave tours in Iceland are only available for visitors between November and March.

How far do day tours along the South Coast of Iceland take you?

Some tours will take you all the way to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, whereas others will turn back at the village of Vik or the Reynisfjara black sand beach. Private tours may have more flexibility. However, most small group tours operate on a stricter schedule.

How long does it take to travel Iceland's South Coast?

Reaching the black sand beaches near Vik from Reykjavik takes about three hours. A return journey would thus require nine hours of driving. Although it is possible to make this journey in a day, breaking the trip up over two days is advisable, allowing you to take your time exploring the sights. Many people will start their trip by visiting the Golden Circle, before starting their journey to the South Coast of Iceland. Multi-day tours starting in Reykjavik may also follow this format.

Where can I stay along Iceland's South Coast?

There are many options available, particularly around the small town of Hella, Hotel Hvolsvollur, the village of Vik, and the town of Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

Do I need a 4WD to drive along the South Coast of Iceland?

The famous Route 1, the Ring Road, goes along the South Coast and is paved and well-maintained. However during the winter season, it is highly recommended that you rent a four-wheel-drive as the roads can be snowy or icy, and the winds tend to be higher. The 4x4 will grant you better stability on the roads and allow you greater freedom.

Is the Iceland's South Coast crowded?

In summer, the most popular sites on the south shore of Iceland, such as Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the village of Vik and Reynisfjara black sand beach, will undoubtedly have crowds. Crowds can be avoided by traveling outside of peak season or taking advantage of the long daylight hours during the summer and visiting the sites in the evening.

Are there any active volcanoes on the South Coast of Iceland?

Yes, there are. The most notable of these are Katla which last erupted in 1918 and the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano which last erupted in 2010 causing air disruption all over Europe. These volcanoes are well monitored by geologists and are deemed to pose little to no risk to travelers by Icelandic authorities.

Is Reynisfjara black sand beach at Vik dangerous?

The most dangerous parts of the South Coast of Iceland are Reynisfjara black sand beach by Vik, due to its unpredictable sneaker waves. While there, it is especially important to take note of all warnings and keep a safe distance from the waves. Otherwise, the South Coast of Iceland is a very safe region.

What is South Iceland known for?

It is known for its beautiful waterfalls, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and its extensive black sand beaches. It's also known for its geothermal activity, making it popular for growing vegetables in greenhouses, and it's also the center of Iceland's dairy production.