Iceland is a unique country meant to be explored and admired, and the Icelandic South Coast is one region full of stunning places to do so. From majestic waterfalls, ice-cold glaciers, hot springs and black sand beaches the list of must-see places in the area is a long one, but we are here to help you make the most of your time. Driving along the South Coast you will have new treasures to uncover at every turn that will leave you breathless and in constant awe. South Iceland is one area you don’t want to miss!
Here are some of the reasons why visiting South Iceland is a must. These activities and natural attractions are guaranteed to give you an epic Iceland adventure and create warm memories for years to come.
The Golden Circle – Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir
The Golden Circle is a route consisting of three major sites, easily reached within a day from Reykjavík City. It is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, and for a good reason. The Golden Circle highlights history, geology and natural beauty and gives you a chance to visit an important historic site, stand between two tectonic plates, see an erupting geyser and a powerful waterfall. This popular tourist attraction is a 300km loop from Reykjavík and back. This trip is a perfect sample of Icelandic nature and great for those who are short on time and want to pack the most into their trip.
Snorkelling in Silfra
The Silfra fissure in Lake Þingvallavatn, is known as one of the top dive sites in the world for two reasons. It has one of the clearest underwater visibilities in the world (over 100 meters) and you will also be snorkelling in a crack between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates! If you are an experienced diver and are looking for a bigger adventure, you can also opt to dive between the two continents. Whichever underwater activity you choose it will be an experience to remember!
The Icelandic horses may be small in size but these horses can handle the tough Icelandic conditions like no other! Not only are they strong and hard-working, but they are also ridiculously cute and friendly, making for an adorable sidekick for exploring the countryside of Iceland.
Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss
These two waterfalls are among Iceland’s most popular attractions and a must visit when travelling in the south. While making your way along the south of Iceland you will first arrive at Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall that you can even walk behind! Less than 30 minutes up the road from Seljalandsfoss you will arrive at Skógafoss, one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. You can often see a beautiful rainbow in front of Skógafoss, can you picture anything more magical?!
Experience Iceland in its rawest and coolest form. Follow an experienced guide on a glacier walk through the wonderland of ice sculptures, crevasses, streams, and rock formations. The thick ice layers and their contrasting colours have and interesting story to tell. Blue ice is freshly formed, while white ice is a bit older, and the black debris is leftover ashes from previous volcanic eruptions. No words can do this experience justice. The glacier tours are suitable for all skill levels so need to sit this one out if you are not an avid hiker. But please don’t try and venture onto the beautiful glaciers on your own, they can be very dangerous so having a trained guide is a must.
Reynisfjara is a beautiful black sand beach located near the charming town of Vík. Along the beach, you will find beautiful cliffs of basalt columns that make a stunning backdrop. Out in the sea large basalt sea stacks stand tall and proud. Reynisfjara is absolutely gorgeous, but please be careful when exploring this unique beach, the waves can be very strong and unpredictable so keep a safe distance.
This is another jaw-dropping waterfall of which there seems to be an abundance in Iceland. Svartifoss is situated in Skaftafell National Park and is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland, a must-see spot while in the area. Black columnar basalt formations beautifully frame the waterfall, which falls into a gorge well-hidden in the birch wood covering the hills below.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
This is a stop that is certain to be a highlight of your time in South Iceland. Visiting a glacial lake with icebergs floating around is certainly not something you do every day. You even have the option to take a boat tour around the lagoon and get up close with the floating icebergs. Adorable seals are a common sight in and around the lagoon, so keep an eye out for them!
Ice cave tour
Experience the extraordinary world of an ice cave where the scattering of light as it seeps through the ice cave, gives the cave a mystical blue colour. A visit to a blue ice cave is unlike anything you’ve ever done in your travels. Ice cave tours run from November to March, but do keep in mind that these tours are very dependent on weather and cancellations may occur. It is very important that you do not try and venture into an ice cave without a guide.
Swimming in a hot spring
If you are looking for a more relaxing activity to enjoy in the South of Iceland or want to relax after a long day of exploring, then hot springs and geothermal spas should be on your list. Take an afternoon and do nothing but relax in one of the beautiful hot springs and pools, such as the Secret Lagoon and Laugarvatn Fontana as well as the natural springs in Reykjadalur. Soaking in the warm water, surrounded by nothing but the beautiful Icelandic nature, is an experience not to be missed.
South Iceland offers so many stunning hiking routes that you are certain to find one to suit your needs. From shorter hot spring hunts to the colourful mountains of Landmannalaugar and the red volcanic rock at Eldfell, hiking in South Iceland is a rewarding way to take in the stunning scenery. Hiking allows you not only to get your physical exercise done with for the day while enjoying beautiful views, it also allows you to get to places that are not accessible by car.
These places and activities are just a few of the reasons you should put South Iceland on your bucket list. The south coast provides you with magical treasures to be uncovered at every turn. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today and let us help you create the holiday of a lifetime!