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Iceland South Coast

National parks

Our most recommended Iceland South Coast National Parks

From Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and Diamond Beach

1. From Reykjavik: Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and Diamond Beach

Embark on a guided tour from Reykjavik to the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon. Witness the mighty Hvannadalshnjúkur mountain and black sand desert that sprawls between Skaftafell National Park and the lagoon.  Stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk behind the cascades to reach the other side. Continue to the majestic Skógafoss waterfall and admire the impressive 60-meter drop. Continue to Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and stroll along the shores of the lake. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the area as 1,000- to 1,500-year-old ice breaks away from the Vatnajökull glacier and floats silently on the water. Recognize locations from some of the many movies that have been filmed in the area, such as Batman Begins and Tomb Raider. Stop at the spectacular Diamond Beach and admire the strand of black sand speckled with clumps of ice, giving an appearance of shimmering diamonds. In the warmer months, enjoy an added boat ride around the lagoon and witness the floating icebergs up-close.

From Reykjavík: Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike

2. From Reykjavík: Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavík, and then journey to the Sólheimajökull glacier near the southenmost village of Vik.  Upon arrival, meet your certified glacier guide and get a safety briefing to help your walk on the ice. Put on the provided glacier gear and venture out into the wilderness. Experience the unique sensation of walking on a glacier tongue using crampons and an ice axe.  Return to Reykjavík via the waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss and take souvenir photos of the amazing cascades.

From Reykjavik 2-Day South Coast Tour with Blue Ice Cave

3. From Reykjavik 2-Day South Coast Tour with Blue Ice Cave

Explore the geothermal landscapes of the south coast of Iceland on a 2-day tour to some of the most amazing waterfalls, ice caves and black lava sand beaches. Day 1: South Coast - Waterfalls - Reynisfjara Depart Reykjavík and drive along Route 1 en route to Seljalandsfoss and the Gljufrabui (Hidden Falls) waterfalls beneath the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Continue to Skógafoss waterfall to watch the Skógá River fall 60 meters at the powerful cascades. Walk on the world-famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Drive on to the East to spend the night at a hotel with private bathroom close to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Search the sky for the Northern Lights if conditions are favorable. Day 2: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon - Blue Ice Cave Day 2 starts with visit at Vatnajokull National Park where views of the wilderness will take your breath away. See the icebergs of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon as they crack off Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and float out to sea.   Drive by Super Jeep to one of the ice caves that form in the winter and get about 1 hour to explore the magical blue caves. Return to Jökulsárlón to take the bus back to Reykjavik. Make a quick stop in Vik for refreshments along the way. 

South Shore Adventure Tour from Reykjavík

4. South Shore Adventure Tour from Reykjavík

This full-day coach tour of Iceland’s stunning South Shore from Reykjavik is ideal for nature lovers, as you will drive through one of the country's most scenic regions, reaching as far as Vík, surrounded by high cliffs that attract an abundance of birdlife. Departing from Reykjavik, you will drive to the gorgeous Seljarlandsfoss Waterfall, unique in the fact that you can walk behind it through to the other side. Continue to the majestic, and much photographed, Skógafoss Waterfall. Located on the former coastline of Iceland before it receded seward, the 200-foot (60-meter) drop is one of the biggest in the country. Continue through the glacial landscape of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, where the icecap covers the active Katla volcano. Drive along the black sand coastline, where the beaches are formed out of black basalt, and see the impressive Reynisdrangar rock formations near Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland. Located on the main road that circumnavigates Iceland, it’s approximately 110 miles (180 kilometers) from Reykjavik, where you will head back at the end of a long but awe-inspiring journey.

South Coast, Glacier Hike and Northern Lights Winter Tour

5. South Coast, Glacier Hike and Northern Lights Winter Tour

Your tour will start with a morning Reykjavik pick-up at authorized pick-up locations. You are then driven from the capital to Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you will get the opportunity to follow a pathway that leads you behind the fall. Traveling through sensational scenery, you will arrive at Sólheimajökull glacier for a glacier walk. Your certified glacier guide will issue you with glacier equipment. Learn about the glacier, its movements, crevasses, and its formation. You will even hear the ancient ice cracking when it moves. Next up is the famous black sand beach at Reynisfjara to see the basalt columns and cave, the stunning Reynisdrangar cliffs and the impressive basalt rock stacks that rise above the Atlantic waves. Lastly, you will come to the smashing Skógafoss waterfall, a pathway with 527 steps leads up the side of the waterfall, where you will get a view of the falls and the rainbows that appear on clear days.Iceland is a volcano country and on a clear day, you will get views of Eyjafjallajökull, Hekla and even the volcanoes around the Westman Islands, just off the coast.  You will be dropped off at your original pick-up location in Reykjavík around 7:00 PM. You will have time to get some dinner and then be picked up again from your original point for the northern lights tour.  From the capital, you will hunt for the jewel-bright colors of the Northern Lights in the countryside — Green, yellow, white, and sometimes purple northern lights are usually seen. Northern Lights can never be promised but your guide will do their very best.

Reykjavík: Small-Group Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon Tour

6. Reykjavík: Small-Group Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon Tour

Get ready to enjoy Iceland's nature and culture as you explore the Golden Circle, the most popular route in Iceland. Marvel at the thundering Gullfoss Waterfalls, the Geysir Geothermal Area, Thingvellir National Park, and the Secret Lagoon. After pickup in Reykjavik, set off on your tour in a minibus. Make your way first to the Gullfoss Waterfalls, and admire this powerful and hypnotizing natural phenomenon. Continue to the stunning Geysir Geothermal Area and witness the Strokkur Geyser erupt every few minutes. Next, feast your eyes on Thingvellir National Park, the site of the ancient parliament of the Viking Commonwealth, founded in 930 A.D. Enjoy the unique chance to walk between two continents in a rift valley created by the drifting apart of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Afterward, stop for lunch (not included) at Friðheimar tomato farm where green geothermal energy is used to harvest tomatoes. Following this, prepare to pamper yourself with a visit to the "Gamla Laugin" thermal pool. This thermal pool, now renamed Secret Lagoon, is perfect for avoiding the crowds and mingling with the locals. Formed in 1891, it boasts the oldest swimming pool in Iceland and is maintained at a constant temperature of 38-40° Celsius.

Reykjavik: 3-day South Coast and Golden Circle Experience

7. Reykjavik: 3-day South Coast and Golden Circle Experience

Day 1: Thingvellir National Park Your tour will begin with a visit to the famous Thingvellir National Park, where you will encounter the Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir and the surrounding geothermal area. Day 2: Seljalandsfoss On your second day, you will experience Seljalandsfoss. The first stop will be to the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, where you can walk behind the tumbling water flow and feel the vibrations of the water hitting the ground. Right next to it is the waterfall Gljúfrabúi, which is snugly tucked in a gorge hidden from most people's view. To reach the waterfall, you must first test your balance by bouncing on rocks lying in the river bed. A failure means instant foot wetness and a good laugh from your co-travelers. Afterwards, prepare to meet the pearl of the south coast, Skógafoss Waterfall. Majestically tucked in a wide gorge, the waterfall tumbles down 60 meters up above a cliff into a small river, producing a cloud of mist and spray that rainbows like to dance in during the sunshine. Try to warm up for the glacier by running up the 527 steps to the top, your guide will be timing you. Following this, you will venture towards Black Sand Beach. You will visit Reynisfjara, where the Atlantic coastline presents massive waves hitting the unique basalt columns in the cliffs above the sand. This area of the south is also a paradise for bird lovers, as puffins and dozens of other unique species nest on top of these cliffs in the summertime from June to August. Day 3: Jökulsárlón You will start your third day with a trip to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, an outlet glacier of Europe’s largest glacier. You will have the opportunity to book a boat ride between the icebergs during the summertime, allowing you to get a closer look at the surrounding floating ice. On the other side of the road, the icebergs from Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon float into the Atlantic Ocean where they are quickly thrown back to shore by the tide and winds. This black sand beach is full of smaller ice rocks in all shapes and sizes, sparkling like diamonds in the daylight. The ice itself comes in all shades of white and blue, forming beautiful contrasts which are guaranteed to make your Instagram account pop. Later, to complete your perfect adventure, you will hike to an outlet glacier spawning from one of the largest glaciers in the country. After meeting with your glacier guides and strapping on your safety and glacier equipment (helmets, harnesses, crampons, and ice axes), hike on the ice for 1.5 hours. This is sure to be a spectacular experience and an opportunity to learn more about this breathtaking and increasingly rare natural phenomena.

From Reykjavik: 2-Day South Coast Trip & Glacier Hike

8. From Reykjavik: 2-Day South Coast Trip & Glacier Hike

This thrilling two day-tour begins with a scenic drive to Þingvellir National Park. You'll see the gigantic gap between the Eurasian and American tectonic plates and learn about how the world's oldest parliament ruled Iceland from here for a thousand years! Then we'll make our way to the colorful Geysir geothermal area. You'll see fountains of boiling water shoot high into the sky every few minutes while stepping between hissing hot pots and steam vents! Our next stop is Gullfoss, where you'll see a stunning two-tier waterfall thunder more than 30 meters into a deep canyon. The roaring "Gold Falls" create sheets of spray and rainbows on sunny days, so you'll get some fantastic photos here! Then you'll see the multi-colored volcanic crater at Kerið. Covered in red earth and velvet-green mosses, with a bright blue lake, it creates a fabulous mix of colors! We'll stop for the night at Hveragerði, a tiny South Coast town famous for geothermal greenhouses and sitting on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where you can stand on two continents simultaneously! The second day begins with three wonderful waterfalls, starting at Seljalandsfoss. Glacial meltwater tumbles down more than 60 meters from a volcano in a narrow ribbon of water. You can even walk through a cave to see the falls from behind! Close by is Skógafoss, another spectacular 60-meter-high cascade famous for being featured in Hollywood movies and TV shows like "Game of Thrones". If it's a sunny day, you'll see rainbows here! The second day's highlight is a trip to Sólheimajokull for an unforgettable glacier hike. This easy-to-reach glacier tongue lets you see these fascinating ice formations up close! The tour ends with a visit to Reynisfjara, the famous black sand beach. A photographer's dream, you'll be thrilled by the endless volcanic sands, the stunning basalt columns, the mighty Atlantic waves and the jagged sea stacks of the Reynisdrangar. The perfect end to an unforgettable trip!

From Reykjavík: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Private Tour

9. From Reykjavík: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Private Tour

Discover the natural beauty of Glacier lagoon in Jokulsarlon in Vatnajökull national park. Experience the raw power of nature that is evident in these stunning landscapes. Admire the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and perhaps a lesser-known waterfall as well. Get up close to a few glaciers, and see others towering over the coastline. Arrive at glacier lagoon in Jökulsárlón and take an optional boat tour to one of the lagoons along the base of the glacier. Stop at Diamond beach where icebergs bounce like giant diamonds on the waves at the black sand beach.

Sólheimajökull Ice Climbing Tour

10. Sólheimajökull Ice Climbing Tour

Begin at the Sólheimajökull parking lot where you are provided with the glacier gear required for the trip. Then undertake a 15-minute hike on a gravel road to the base of Sólheimajökull. At the base, you will be shown how to put on and use the gear. Once on the glacier, you climb on an easy ice wall to learn the basic skills and techniques of ice climbing. After that, you will try to climb in three different locations on the glacier, either at a nice wall or a hole (called a mulan) that you can get into and climb back up.  Sólheimajökull is a small outlet glacier coming from the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. This is one of the closest glaciers to Reykjavík and takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive there. Mýrdalsjökull, the mire valley glacier, is an ice cap in the south of Iceland. It is to the north of Vík and to the east of the smaller ice cap Eyjafjallajökull. Between these two glaciers is Fimmvörðuháls pass. Its peak reaches 1,493 meters (4,898 foot) and in 1980 it covered an area of 595 kilometers squared (230 square miles). The icecap of the glacier covers an active volcano called Katla. The caldera of the volcano has a diameter of 10 kilometers (6 miles) and the volcano erupts usually every 40 to 80 years. The last eruption took place in 1918. Scientists are actively monitoring the volcano, particularly after the eruption of nearby Eyjafjallajökull began in April 2010. 

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What people are saying about Iceland South Coast

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,588 reviews

We had the most amazing time with this ice climbing experience! We definitely hit the jackpot with North Ice. They’re a small operation, and created an experience which didn’t feel touristy at all. I don’t know if we got lucky or if their groups are always small, but it was just my partner and I with our guide. He started by introducing us to the equipment (harness, crampons, ice pick) then we hiked onto the glacier. We were the first ones there (started earlier than other groups) so we got to discover the wide expanse of ice entirely empty. Our (super friendly!) guide gave us a science/history lesson about the glacier’s formation, then a demonstration on how to climb. He lowered us down into a crevasse one by one for us to climb back out. We did this twice, then went further on the glacier as groups were starting to arrive and did another wall twice. We finished with one last climb out of a hole with the most beautiful clear ice and little waterfall. All in all, we had such a blast!

We had a great half-day out on the glacier with our guide. He was very experienced and we enjoyed the smaller group setting which allowed us to get to know one another. We spent the first part on a route just learning how to ice climb and then we did another route where we were lowered into a crevasse. I’m an experienced rock climber and my girlfriend is not — we both really enjoyed the tour and got a lot out of it. The tour also taught us a lot about climate change impacts on the glacier which we really appreciated. We’d look into a longer tour the next time we’re in Iceland - definitely recommend!

We were suppose to go on a volcano tour but it was cancelled due to the weather so we booked this tour instead.The experience was amazing the waterfalls,diamond beach and glacier lagoon absolutely stunning the only thing that would of made it better would of been the weather but im so pleased we went ,also the bus journey was incredible long but if u want to see these amazing wonders u need to travel much respect for the driver what a long day.

Had a very nice tour that might have sparked a new hobby. Got nice information about the glacier and what not. Then clear and to the point explanation about how to climb and the do's and don'ts after which we went for it. The whole vibe was very nice and laid back and had a few laughs even though it was somewhat rainy and windy. So make sure you are properly clothed for the weather and you'll be in good company with Bergur. :)

This was my favorite day trip I had by far! The guide, Marcel, was amazing and really knowledgeable. The glacier hike is an absolute MUST DO!!