Visit the dramatic South Shore of Iceland crossing fertile farmland with striking views over waterfalls, glaciers and historic natural landmarks. Perfect for a gentle half day exploration or a full day excursion, the South Coast route encompasses spectacular scenery, captivating birdlife and the raw beauty of Iceland’s rugged coastline. You can pick and choose your stop off points on route but here are a few of the South Coast’s highlights to consider along the way.
Stop by Seljalandsfoss. A unique waterfall in the river Seljalandsá, about 30 km west from Skógar. It’s 60 meters high with a footpath behind it at the bottom of the cliff.
Eyjafjallajökull Erupts Visitor Centre
A must see exhibition capturing a pivotal moment in contemporary history.
The Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre opened on April 14, 2011, exactly one year after the Eyjafjallajökull eruption started. As a family-run facility, the goal is to give visitors a personal look at what it is like to have a volcano at one’s back door. A short film portrays the spectacular natural event, and the hectic times and incredible challenges met by the family farm of Þorvaldseyri.
You can book your adventure in the Hotel Rangá reception, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skógar og Skógafoss
Skógafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland at 25 metres wide and a 60 meter drop. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is usually visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend also says that local people found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.
Heading onwards in the direction of Vik, take time to stop at Dyrhólaey – a 510 acre promontory south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier and the southernmost point of the country. Dyrhólaey was formed about one hundred thousand years ago during the warm-up period of the last ice age, in an underwater eruption similar to the formation of Surtsey, a famous volcanic island southwest of the Westman Islands.
One of the most mesmerizing landmarks of the south; Reynisfjara is a black sand beach just outside of the town Vík and features amazing cliffs of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, called Garðar. Further on, you can see the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar.
The area has rich birdlife, including fulmars and guillemots but your attention should be focused on the ocean. At Reynisfjara beach you need to be very careful because of the strong and unpredictable waves.
On arriving at Vík you will find a few shops stocking handcrafted Icelandic products and also several places to eat. Remember to refuel your car before your return journey. Vík is Iceland’s southernmost village. Although this community of about 450 inhabitants faces the open and unforgiving Atlantic, Vík is the only seaside settlement in Iceland left without a harbor.