When you are driving from Reykjavik, the first waterfall you will see is Seljalandsfoss. Because we didn’t do the Golden Circle until the end of our road trip, this was the first waterfall we saw. And it was spectacular. And for a unique view, you can even walk behind the waterfall into a little cave.
Skogafoss is a little bit further along route 1. You can walk close to the foot of the waterfall for some amazing pictures. Or you can walk up the stairs on the side for a nice view of the surroundings.
Walk on the cliffs of Vik
Starting from Vik, you can walk onto the cliffs to have a magnificent view over the sea, Reynisfjara and Reynisdrangar. It is a short hike but the first part is pretty spicy. This is not a very popular hike, so the chances are big that you will be alone. But the company of some sheep cannot be excluded.
Walk on black sand
Near Vik, you will find Reynisfjara, the black sand beach. The enormous basalt stacks give something special about this beach.
If you are lucky you can see puffins, especially near Vik. Although we were told that puffin season was over at the end of August, we were very lucky to see them two times. We love photographing animals (remember the prairie dogs in the US), so we spend a considerable time taking pictures of these very cute animals. It is captivating to see how they fly away from the cliffs and come back. You can spend hours watching them.
Visit a plane wreck
The famous DC-plane wreck on Sólheimasandur beach is not easy to reach. You must walk an hour to reach it and then 1 hour to go back. And be patient if you want a picture with nobody else on it. To know where to park your car: don’t worry, you will see a lot of cars when you are driving from Vik to Skaftafell National Park. When we were driving, I told my boyfriend that I didn’t know the exact location, but I only had the coordinates, so there was a chance we could miss it. And then we saw at least 30 cars on a parking lot on the side of the road, and we knew: yes, this is it ?
Visit Skaftafell National Park
Skaftafell National Park is a part of Vatnajökull national park and has a wide variety of scenic landscapes to explore. There are different hiking trails throughout the park: easy ones that bring you to Svartifoss waterfall and long ones to a the Morsárjökull glacier (21 km round-trip). The basalt columns that surround Svartifoss have provided inspiration for the design of the Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik.
See the glacial lake Jökulsárlón
This lake is on the way from Skaftafell National Park to Höfn and is just stunning. The large pieces of ice that just lie there in the water or that are drifting towards the ocean. All the different pieces that are washed onto the beach make for beautiful pictures. It was interesting to feel that when you stand next to the lake, it feels a little bit colder than in the parking lot. And if you are lucky, you can see a seal.
Did you visit the South Coast of Iceland? What did you think of it?