Treasures of Southern Iceland

SOUTHERN ICELAND: A place to be thrilled and feel the amplified nature in the vast empty space in Iceland is the southern part of this country. There are countless things to experience and discover in this part. The whole region is a treasure chest filled with long shorelines, magnificent waterfalls, lava fields, volcanoes and craters, black beaches, glaciers, wildlife, and lots more.

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Driving by Southern Iceland’s stunning landscape

This was our third and final excursion on our last day in Iceland. I bought it online in Viator for $80 per adult and lunch isn’t included. We were picked up from the Tour Bus Stop-12 in Reykjavik by Bustravel Iceland a little after 8am and were dropped off at the same place around 6pm. It was a big tour bus with comfortable seats and a restroom. Our guide was very knowledgeable, helpful, and a funny gentleman. He was also quite a good photographer and a story-teller. One thing I’ve seen here is that you don’t need to tip the driver or the guide in Iceland…they don’t expect it and haven’t seen anyone tipping them during any of our excursions. 

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Magical mountains of Southern Iceland

TIME of TRAVEL: It was during my kids’ summer break (end of July of 2019) when we flew to Iceland and my little sister flew into Reykjavik from the East Coast. We were in Iceland for 5 nights. Please check out my other posts/pages for all the trips/excursions we took in Iceland. Although we were prepared for rain and sun with waterproof jackets, hats, rain boots, and hoodies, it barely rained during our stay…nothing we couldn’t have handled with just a t-shirt. But it does get chilly and windy in some places. So, being prepared doesn’t hurt, especially if you are traveling with children like me. 

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Southern Iceland

EATING and SHOPPING: On the day of this trip, we had lunch in the Village of Vik at Icewear cafe…Iceland’s famous sweater and winter clothing store. This big cafe offers lots of options. I had Icelandic fish and chips with a side salad. By the way it’s different than the English style fish and chips. 

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Icelandic fish and chips in Vik, Iceland

Beside the cafe was one of the biggest Icewear stores with more selections than any other Icewear stores we’ve checked. 

PLACES I’VE VISITED: Enjoy the miles after miles of lava fields covered with soft green moss while you are in Southern Iceland…it almost looks like a fairytale land. Whole drive was very pretty with scenic landscape and stunning shorelines.  

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Driving by Skogafoss Waterfalls

  1. SKOGAFOSS: Our first stop after leaving Reykjavik is Skogafoss. South Iceland is known for its tall waterfalls and Skogafoss is one of them dropping straight down from 60m cliff. This is one powerful waterfall and you can get really wet if you try to get too close to it. Take a few minutes to walk over the trail that leads to the top of the falls. We didn’t take that walk, rather stayed near the falls where you can see it’s sheer mighty force. We spent about 20 minutes here enjoying the falls and the small river that flows from it. 
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Skogafoss Waterfalls in Southern Iceland

  1. SOLHEIMAJOKULL GLACIER: From the falls, our second stop was Solheimajokull, a 14 km long outlet glacier with a majestic lagoon. Ice-breaks from the glacier keeps the lagoon stocked with icebergs creating a stunning site to visit. 
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Solheimajokull Glacier in Southern Iceland

Be ready to walk and hike to get close to the glacier. The hike was about half an hour or so, from the bus all the way to the glacier. My 9 years old could do it with a breeze. They were thrilled to be able to touch the glacier ice and walk over them. 

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Solheimajokull Glacier in Southern Iceland

There are other tours/package you can take to actually go glacier hiking, which I saw some groups were doing with proper gears and guide. 

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Solheimajokull Glacier in Southern Iceland

  1. VILLAGE of VIK: From all the walking and hiking on the previous glacier, we were ready for lunch at this small but beautiful coastal town of Vik. There isn’t much to do in the town itself…or at least we didn’t have time to do anything here, other than just having a meal. This place gets lots of annual rains. The famous Icelandic winter clothing brand was born in Vik.

4. REYNISFJARA BEACH: Reynisfjara a gorgeous black volcanic beach, just a few minutes drive from the center of Vik. This is famed for its striking scenery. On one side the beach, west of Mount Reynisfjall, hexagonal grey columnar basalt formations can be seen surrounding a sea cave. On the other side is the rough sea with crashing waves. And in between are the standing bold rocks to add to the beauty of this whole seascape. 

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The sea cave with basalat columns in Reynisfjara Beach in Southern Iceland

The powerful waves on this beach is known to be very dangerous. Be careful and never turn your back to the ocean. 

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Reynisfjara Beach in Southern Iceland

The sea cave, Halsanefshellier, is where the striking columnar basalt formations can be seen. These columns are formed when magma cools slowly and cracks into columns, usually hexagonal, as the surface area decreases. These columns stand perpendicular in hexagon shapes. By the way, if you are into Bollywood films, the famous song “Gerua” by Shahrukh Khan and Kajol was partly done here. 

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Reynisfjara Beach in Southern Iceland

  1. SELJALANDSFOSS: Our final spot of the excursion and in Iceland was this impressive . This is the famous waterfall in South Iceland which drops not only off a 60m high cliff, but also where visitors can walk behind the falls for a thrilling experience.
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Seljalandsfoss Falls in Southern Iceland

It is one of the most photogenic falls that you’ll see in most of Iceland’s travel guides. Yes, you can get slightly wet from the mist but with caution, children can do this easily. This is one of the biggest attractions in this side of the island and shouldn’t be missed. 

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Seljalandsfoss Falls in Southern Iceland

 

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