I have been a tour guide for more than 2 years now and I have seen most parts of the country. The North is spectacular, the Westfjords are amazing and East Iceland is unique in its own way. But if I had to recommend an area to visit, especially for visitors coming to Iceland for only a couple of days, I would recommend the South Shore of Iceland.
It is no coincidence that most of my tours as a guide are to the South Shore. It is simply amazing and incredibly diverse. From Reykjavík you can drive east for some 3-4 hours and witness immense lava fields, black sand beaches, active volcanoes, beautiful waterfalls and some of the biggest glaciers in Europe.
No matter how many times I visit this magical place, it always finds new ways to surprise me. Experiencing it in winter is also completely different from summer. The following three recommendations are for people interested in experiencing South Iceland and seeing a lot in a short period of time.
The tour begins with two of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland; Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Next up is the Sólheimajökull glacier hike, which I personally recommend. Then you see the famous plane wreck on Sólheimasandur made even more famous by Justin Bieber.
Finally, there is a chance to relax in one of Iceland's oldest swimming pools, Seljavallalaug. What I like about this tour is that since most of these spots are quite near to one another, the time spent in the bus is minimal.
Book this tour here: South Coast Elements | Glacier Hike, Lava Caving, DC-3 Plane Wreck & Geothermal Pool.
This is one of the longest day tours at 14 hours but if you really want to see Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, it is more affordable to do it in one day as opposed to having an overnight stay in between.
Another great thing about this tour is that you get to see Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. On the way east you will see the famous waterfalls; Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, the beautiful village of Vík and its surrounding black sand beaches and perhaps, a glimpse of the active volcanoes; Eyjafjallajökull and Katla. This is a day tour that offers a wide variety of different landscapes in a relatively short period of time.
Find this tour here: Day Tour to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
Although not necessarily considered to be part of the South Shore I wanted to include this tour as it combines a lot of my favourite places in one day. It starts off with Þingvellir National Park, the oldest and most famous national park in Iceland, where you will experience the birthplace of Iceland's parliament in the year 930, Alþingi. Next up, the geothermal Geysir area with Iceland's most active geyser, Strokkur.
Then there is the highlight of the tour, an hour-long snowmobile tour on Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland. Finally, to finish up the Golden Circle tour, you will visit one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, Gullfoss. This is a must do for people spending a couple of days in Iceland.