Iceland is a vast country with so many delights you should visit that you can easily get confused on where to start and what to see. However, do not worry as we have listed just for you all the main things you should absolutely see on your way to the South Coast of Iceland!
We have created a road map to show you the main spots that you will cross on the road to the South. In total there are 15 spots where you could stop by. However, it is up to you to decide which one you are the most interested in if you do not wish to do everything at once.
Your first stop will be two emblematic waterfalls of Iceland: Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi. The first one is an impressive waterfall that you can appreciate from every angle even from the back since you can walk behind the waterfall itself. The second one is a hidden gem which you can only reach by walking through a stone wall. If you are struggling with the pronunciation of Gljúfrabúi, you can also call it the Dweller Canyon. Both waterfalls can be a little bit splashy so make sure to wear waterproof clothes if you want to get close!
One of our favorite waterfalls here in Iceland: the impressive Skógafoss. When you get close to this waterfall you can really feel its power and it will amaze you but watch out as you will end up very wet the closer you get! This beauty is famous worldwide with appearances in diverse movies and series such as in Game of Thrones in season 8 episode 1 or in Vikings in the season 5.
Located in Skogar, the same city where Skógafoss is, in the opposite direction you will find an absolutely stunning hidden gem way less touristy. To reach Kvernufoss, there is a parking lot and then a short trail to follow to discover this beauty of nature. The spectacle that this absolutely stunning waterfall will give you worth the détour. We highly recommend you to stop by as it is one of our top 5 favorite spots in Iceland. This place will give you a vibe of Jurassic Park, with green nature, full of life with birds flying around (at least in summer).
Iceland is well known for being the land of Ice and Fire. Well, while you will be traveling in the South, you will get the opportunity to see the Icy face of the country on many occasions. The first one will be at the viewpoint over Sólheimajökull, which is part of the 4th biggest glacier of Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull. This glacier is one of the glaciers melting the fastest due to global warming. It retrieved about 1 kilometer only in one decade. On this glacier you can do many activities such as glacier hike that we highly recommend you to do. It is accessible to everybody and on our tours we provide you with safety equipment and licensed glacier hike guides to guide you through the ice in complete security.
For the adventurous or curious ones, Iceland has some wrecks of former farms or boats or even planes that you can explore by yourself. You might have seen on many occasions pictures of a plane wreck in the middle of nowhere. Well, this is in Iceland! However, to reach this spot, it will require you a short hike of about 1h each way on an infinite black sand beach.
Next up will be one of the most famous black sand beaches of Iceland: Reynisfjara. The peculiarity of this place is the cliff with basalt columns where many people take pictures sitting on it. It is always nice to discover some of Icelandic folklore. When you will be in Reynisfjara, you will see nearby the shore, Reynisdrangar, a rock formation that has an Icelandic folk tale behind it. It is said that two trolls saw a ship close to the land and started walking in the sea to reach it and drag it back to the beach. However, the sun rises in the middle of their adventures and turns them into stones leaving them at sight forever as warning for their pears.
Dyrhólaey is a nice cliff that will give you an impressive view over the ocean and the land. From there, you will be able to appreciate the contrast between the black sand and the blue ocean while taking in some fresh air. During the summer, you can also get the chance to see Arctic Puffins living on the cliff and flying around, fishing or sleeping.
This traditional fishing village is worth stopping by. It has a view over the ocean and the black sand beach where you can walk by but also, there is a church a little higher in the city that will give you an incredible panoramic view of the area, the city and the ocean. While you are there you can take the time to eat local food.
Created by the erosion of the water flooding from the glacier about 9000 years ago, this canyon is a nice stop you could add to your list. There is a parking lot nearby the place and you will only have to follow a trail to walk a little bit to reach higher viewpoints over the canyon. We recommend you to go to the last viewpoint that will offer you a better view of the canyon. However, note that the canyon is not open all year round. Due to the music video made by Justin Bieber in this canyon, it increases by 80% the number of visitors and the fragile nature cannot handle that much traffic so the canyon was closed for a while, the time for the country to build infrastructures to protect the wildlife.
Svartifoss is a little gem we would advise you to visit. It is located in the national park of Skaftafell and you will have to do a little hike to reach the waterfall. Good for you to know is that you will have to pay for parking your car in the park. The trail starts from a camping site and is very pleasant to walk by. There is some infrastructure in place to make the hike enjoyable with a lovely view over nature. It is a refreshing hike to do with nice weather, you will love it. After the hike, you will reach Svartifoss and be mesmerized by this stunning waterfall surrounded by basalt columns. It is absolutely surprising and amazing.
This canyon is absolutely incredible but it requires a robust car (preferably a 4×4 for gravel roads) and a fair amount of motivation to do the hike to reach the place. This hike should take about 1h-1h30 each way. To reach the first viewpoint that is already quite impressive you will hike for 40minutes – 1h. However, if you are very motivated you will need about 30minutes extra to reach the top of the hike with a higher view point. Whatever the season, this place is mesmerizing and will blow your mind away!
This viewpoint will be the occasion for you to see another glacier, Vatnajökull, the largest glacier of Europe, covering 8% of Iceland. This lagoon is extremely lovely and also in our top 5 of places we like in Iceland. Since it is less touristy than the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón (the most famous one), you can enjoy the peace and silence there, only listening to the ice melting, icebergs breaking and birds flying around while admiring the almost mirror perfect reflection of the glacier on the glacier water.
The Diamond Beach is a particular beach you should see if you are around the area. It is a unique place where you can witness actual icebergs floating away from the glacier lagoon to be pushed back to shore by the ocean’s waves on the black sand beach. According to the season, the icebergs are more or less big. In summer with the heat, it can happen that the icebergs on the shore melt away faster and look smaller than in winter time.
The final stop you could do in the south, would be the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón. Emblematic place of Iceland with plenty of activities for you to discover such as kayaking or enjoying boat tours in the lagoon. There you will get the chance to witness the beauty of nature, see some seals hunting in the area (yes, seals can live in freshwater) while being amazed by this incredible landscape.
And here you are, done with the main attractions you could see in the South Coast of Iceland ! You can always check on our website for tours and activities we are offering in the South of Iceland. It is an area we highly recommend you to visit when you come to Iceland and we will be glad to be the ones making you discover this mesmerizing area and many more!