South Iceland Coast 101

14 Jul 2020

Full of spectacular natural wonders, the south coast of Iceland will take your breath away!

Taking route number 1 along the south coast of Iceland is a highly recommended journey whilst travelling in the country. A number of the iconic sights can be found along this highway road, twisting between sparkling glaciers, thundering waterfalls and black sand beaches.

The route, roughly from the capital Reykjavik to the sleepy village of Vík, is 186km (115 miles) and the South Coast tour with BusTravel Iceland takes 10 hours in total to complete. With many of the key Icelandic attractions packed along the coastline this is a journey that is guaranteed to impress.

Although some may opt to drive this route independently, a tour with a reputable company will, not only keep you safe in Iceland’s ever-changing weather but also, provide the added extra of a local imparting specialist knowledge and hidden gems. BusTravel Iceland offers two tours which focus only on the South Coast, enabling our guests to fully immerse themselves into the history, geology and spectacular scenery of the region. We not only take our guests to the most popular sights, but we also ensure they get to spend time at places that are often overlooked, such as the Sólheimajökull glacier.

Although all these phenomenal locations are located along the south coast, they are still unique and offer the traveller a ‘chocolate box’ of Icelandic attractions that can be seen in just one day! It is important to spend enough time at each location, to fully enjoy the experience, speak with your guide and take those all-important photos!

The key locations along the south coast include, Skógafoss waterfall, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Sólheimajökull glacier and the quaint Village of Vík.


Skógafoss Waterfall

Possibly the most famous waterfall in Iceland, a staple of Instagram feeds and coveted by travellers of all ages and backgrounds. It is the third biggest waterfall in Iceland, and has many folktales connected to its mystical presence. Water thunders down a 60m drop creating constant background music to the spectacular sight. Due to the ever-present mist created by this sheer wall of water, there is often a rainbow, or sometimes two, which completes the look and makes this one of the most impressive places in a country full to the brim of outstanding beauty. When travelling there, visitors are told to look out for a chest packed with treasure left behind by the first Viking settler in the region, Thrasi Thórólfsson. Maybe you will be lucky on your visit and find this famous Viking gold hoard!


Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Another of the key must visit locations in Iceland, and yet another mind-blowing Icelandic waterfall. The origin of this waterfall can be found in the infamous volcano glacier Eyjafjallajökull. One of the little secret aspects of this waterfall is that you can walk right behind it! From behind the waterfall you can peer through the curtains of falling mist and water across the flat plains of the south of Iceland straight down to the Atlantic Ocean. Another reason why some visitors make a pilgrimage, of sorts, to this beauty point is because it featured in the famous Justin Bieber music video shot in Iceland.


Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Iconic swathes of black sand stretch down to the Atlantic Ocean, in which stand the impressive basalt sea stacks of Reynisdrangar. Legend tells us that these rocks were once trolls, who forgetting the time, became stone when daylight touched them. This beach is not only home to many myths and legends but it is full of abundant wildlife, with many seabirds nesting in the nearby cliffs. The coastline is comprised of the uniquely shaped basalt cliffs which complete the look of a greyscale canvass with dramatic shapes bursting with spiritual vibes.


Sólheimajökull Glacier

Often overlooked by travellers and tour operators, this is a unique gem worthy of a stop when travelling along the south coast. Nestled between the volcanoes of Katla and Eyjafjallajökull, an outlet glacier for the larger Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Sólheimajökull is a prominent and imposing location and easily accessible. We recommend taking a short walk along the glacial plain up to the tongue the glacier where you can marvel at its beauty.


Village of Vík.

The southernmost village in Iceland, this charming little town offers the weary traveller the perfect place to rest and eat before continuing their journey. It is also the perfect pit stop for those travellers continuing their journey east to the Glacier Lagoon (Jökulsárlón). Although it may seem small to those coming from more cosmopolitan countries, this is actually a large settlement by Icelandic standards. With the increase in tourism, Vík has experienced noticeable growth and now offers a variety of delicious restaurants and stylish pubs for travellers to discuss their days adventures over a drink or a traditional Icelandic fish dish.


You can journey around these outstanding sights in only one day when booking a once in a lifetime South Coast tour. All BusTravel Iceland South Coast tours leave from Reykjavik and include a day packed with adventure, and an extra special stop at the Sólheimajökull glacier! For a more intimate experience some travellers may prefer to take a private south coast Iceland tour where they can spend more time with their guide and have a more flexible schedule.

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