Why should a South Iceland tour be on your travel agenda when exploring Iceland? The number one reason being that it is not far from Reykjavik and packs a punch when you want to explore and experience the natural splendours that Iceland has to offer.
The best thing about any South Iceland tour is that you can visit the area and return back to Reykjavik as a day trip. South Iceland has a mix of amazing natural wonders from waterfalls to glaciers lagoons and everything in between.
To illustrate why a South Iceland tour should be on your adventure agenda when in Iceland, here are some of the greatest natural wonders.
Things to see on your South Iceland Tour
Black Sandy Beaches of Vik
Vik is the southernmost village in Iceland and it is located just off the main ring road that follows around to East Iceland. The dark, black basalt sandy beaches have been ranked one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches on earth by a US journal – Islands Magazine.
The cold North Atlantic waters laps the dark sandy shoreline creating a spectacular backdrop of the area. The cliffs that you will find on the west side of the beach are home to many seabirds including puffins. The rock formations called Reynisdrangar that can be seen rising up from the rough waters have legendary folklore being told about it.
Infamous Thingvellir National Park
Probably one of the most well known nations parks in Iceland. It is the one place that you can view the Eurasian and North American continental plates above ground. It is also a site where the world famous Golden Circle sightseeing tour drives through because of the various geological activities in this area.
This is a world heritage site and has a UNESCO accredited ranking. Thingvellir is where the world’s first parliament congregated, the old assembly of Icelanders known as Alpingi met to perform their leadership duties.
Thingvellir is also home to the Silfra and Davíðsgjá fissures and Thingvallavatn, the largest freshwater lake in Iceland. Another geological wonder is the geysers found near Thingvellir and on the Golden Circle route. The Strokkur geysers are alive and display regular bursts of boiling water almost a 100 feet up into the air. You will also find bubbling mud pots and other smaller geysers as you walk around the area.
In the area nearby to Thingvellir, you will find the grand waterfall, Gullfoss or Golden Falls. Gullfoss is fed by the Hvítá river and as it flows for 40km along its path before suddenly plunging into a three step waterfall within a crevice that is approximately 105 feet deep. As one first approaches the falls, the edge is obscured from view, so that it appears that the river simply vanishes into the earth. The thunderous, roaring sound of the Gullfoss can be heard from a distance.
Two more iconic and incredible waterfalls on the South Iceland tour may include Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. They are both remarkable, breathtaking and definitely worth a visit.
There are two stunning lagoons in the southern area of Iceland which should most definitely be on your itinerary during your South Iceland tour. The first being, Jökulsárlón which in Icelandic means glacial river lagoon. This is a very large glacial lake on the very edge of Vatnajökull National Park located at the trail head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.
The second and smaller glacier lake is the Fjallsárlón which is located near the southern base of the Vatnajökull glacier. Both glacier lakes are highly recommended and worth a visit on your South Iceland tour.
In fact, approximately 11% of Iceland is covered by glaciers. Most of Iceland’s tourism is attracted by these glaciers. The glaciers in Iceland are unimaginable.
Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe with a depth of 1000m at its thickest point. The Vatnajökull glacier covers an area of at least 8100 sq km with an estimated ice volume of 3300 cubic km. It’s huge to say the least!
Langjökull glacier is known to be the second largest glacier in Iceland. Most of its glacier rises from around 1,200m to 1,300m above sea level.
If you have time also visit Hofsjökull. Hofsjökull is situated in the western part of Iceland’s Highlands (OK, so it’s not in the south but it is a day trip away from Reykjavik) and comes in as third largest glacier after Vatnajökull and Langjökull glaciers.
Myrdalsjökull (south of the Highlands), Eyjafjallajökull (glacier volcano south of the Highlands) are also stunning to view.
However, it is highly recommended that any glacier hiking, walking, ice climbing on or near these glaciers is undertaken along with certified and experienced guides.
In fact, most of the natural wonders mentioned above, we have a tour for. So, whether it’s a day trip or a multi-day trip, we have something for everyone. The best part, all our adventures are in small, private groups with our experienced, certified mountaineering guides for a more fulfilling and intimate adventure.