Exploring Iceland’s South Coast

On our second day in Iceland, we went south, traveling along the ring road. This is a beautiful part of Iceland, where you can see incredible mountains and volcanoes, as well as the power of the North Atlantic Ocean. We drove to our farthest destination first, and then took our time heading back to the Airbnb, which was a good decision on our part, because the farthest destination was the one we wanted to see most.

Stop 1: Eyjafjallajökull Viewing Spot
Price: Free
Just a quick car park stop,you can get out and see an amazing view of the mountains, some glaciers, and the volcano Eyjafjallajökull. It’s a cool spot to see some things that you wouldn’t be able to get to without a Mountain vehicle.

Stop 2: Reynisfjara Beach
Price: Free
This was one of my top destinations in Iceland, and I was so excited to go see the black sand beaches and basalt columns at Reynisfjara. This was one of the most incredible beaches with the roughest seas I’d ever seen. Everyone is standing way back from the water, because if you got sucked out by a 16 foot wave, you probably wouldn’t come out. There are signs all around the beach warning people of “Dangerous Sneaker Waves”, which are waves that can wash really far on the shore. And they will come pretty far up, so watch your back. It’s an amazing spot to explore, whether you walk along the beach (away from the water), watch the puffins that nest in the rocky cliffs, or climb on the hexagonal basalt columns.

Stop 3: Dyrholaey
Price: Free
Getting back on the road and going around the mountain from Reynisfjara takes you to the Dyrholaey nature preserve, where you can observe the North Atlantic from cliffs above. It’s another really pretty spot to walk around – with options to go down by the water (not too close, again), or to hike up on top of the cliffs. Dyrholaey and Reynisfjara are right next to each other, so if you see one, definitely go see both!

Stop 4: Sólheimajökull
Price: Free (to stop and see)
We really wanted to see a glacier while we were in Iceland, luckily we happened to pass one on our South coast road trip. There are various excursion companies and glacier experiences- but we just opted for a self walking tour to save some money. You can get up pretty close to the glacier just by walking on the path, although I don’t recommend touching the glacier without guides, as they can be unpredictable. But you still get a great view! Just bundle up, it’s chilly back there!

Stop 5: Skogafoss
Price: Free
Skogafoss is an incredible waterfall that cascades down from the cliff above into a very shallow river plain. Since it’s so shallow, you can get pretty close to it – if you don’t mind getting wet. You can also climb the steps to the top of the cliff and look at the river cascading over the edge which is pretty amazing.

Stop 6: Seljalandfoss
Price: $4 Car park fee
I know we stopped at a lot of waterfalls, but this one was my favourite. It’s a tall, thin waterfall, but the rock behind it has eroded enough that there’s a path you can walk on – so you can easily walk and spend time behind the waterfall. I didn’t realize this was a bucket list thing for me – but it totally was, and I definitely took my time hanging out behind the waterfall. You will get misted, so bring rain gear!

The south coast of Iceland is truly beautiful, with amazing geological features and places to explore. It’s an unforgettable road trip and if you have the chance to go, take it and enjoy every moment.

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