Beauty of the Southern Coast of Iceland

The South Coast of Iceland is full of breathtaking sights that are a joy to experience any time of year. Whether you prefer Iceland’s endless summer days or enchanting winter nights, the South Coast will tailor to all interests.

Witness mystical waterfalls, a towering volcano, massive glaciers, otherworldly black sand beaches, and picturesque villages all wrapped up into one epic adventure.

Once you feast your eyes on this spectacular work of Mother Nature, you will never want to go back!

Getting to the South Coast from Reykjavik

Whether you book a group tour or hire a car, driving is the easiest way to reach the magical shores of southern Iceland. From the artistic capital of Reykjavik, jump on Route 1 and simply head south to find some of the most enchanting scenery the country has to offer.

Top highlights on your drive along the South Coast

If you are attempting to complete this drive in one day, be prepared to leave at the crack of dawn. From the most popular attractions to hidden gems, you will find countless places to stop and explore. Charge the battery on your camera, pack plenty of snacks, and get ready for the journey of a lifetime!

Eyjafjallajökull

Eyjafjallajökull – credit: Homo-Cosmicos/Shutterstock.com

Iceland is a hotbed for volcanic activity and the island nation caught the world by storm with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010. Travelers across the globe were left scratching their heads trying to pronounce the name of the volcano that wreaked havoc on their vacation plans. This highly active crater is now a popular sight to behold when driving towards the southern shores. The mountain has an intimidating presence watching over the peaceful landscape filled with grazing Icelandic horses.

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – credit:SwenStroop/Shutterstock.com

This enchanting waterfall feels like you have stepped foot into a fairytale. From the distance, you can see the stream of water flowing over the cliffside and it will put a boisterous grin on your face.

In the summertime, you can walk behind the cascading waterfall for stunning views of the river cutting through the landscape.

Skógafoss

Skógafoss Waterfall – credit: Yevhenii-Chulovskyi/Shutterstock.com

The mighty Skógá River flows over this magnificent canyon to create one of the most famous images in all of Iceland.

The tremendous volume of water that plunges to the floor of the canyon will take your breath away with its sheer power. A colorful rainbow reflects off the water to create a beautiful image fit for a postcard.

For sweeping views of the rocky terrain above the waterfall, climb the nearby staircase that takes you to the top of the cliff.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Black Sand Beach of Reynisfjara & the mount Reynisfjall – credit:AndreyBayda/Shutterstock.com

For unbelievable geological formations and bewildering ocean views, this iconic black sand beach will feel like a paradise. The silky smooth black sand and fascinating basalt columns lining the shores make this one of the most dramatic beaches in the world.

The jagged rocks rising from the sea and scenic cliffs overlooking the Atlantic create an awe-inspiring sight you will never forget.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon – credit: Adellyne/Shutterstock.com

Iceland is known for its mind-blowing landscapes and this iceberg filled lake and neighboring black sand beach are towards the top of the list.

Massive chunks of ice from the Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier plummet into the lagoon and slowly add to the lake’s depth. If you want to come within inches of these gigantic icebergs, take a boat onto the lagoon for a remarkable experience.

The fun does not stop at the lagoon! Many of the crystalline shards of ice end up stranded along the black sands of Diamond Beach. The correct name of the beach is Breiðamerkursandur and it has captivated visitors with its gleaming icebergs that shine brightly underneath the sun.

The elegant contrast of the sparkling icebergs and gloomy black sand create a world that has to be seen to believe.

Three Exhilarating South Coast Adventures

  1. Hike the Fimmvörðuháls Trail near Skógafoss for astonishing views of mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls.

  2. Snap on your crampons and conquer Sólheimajökull on a thrilling glacier hike.

  3. Gain a bird’s eye view over the picturesque village of Vik on an adventurous tandem paragliding flight. 

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