- Best time to visit
- All year-round
- 63.41762, -18.99718
- Distance from Reykjavík
- 186km (115mi)
With its enormous white and blue icebergs breaking off from Vatnajökull glacier, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a natural wonder of Iceland, a sight you absolutely cannot miss. This scenic day tour includes a thrilling boat ride on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the epic waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, the glittering Diamond Beach and charming Vík. Explore some of south Iceland’s most spectacular and iconic landscapes!
This South Shore Adventure is the ideal tour for nature lovers looking to explore some of the most unique and scenic sights in the South. Get ready for an action-packed day seeing epic waterfalls, charming towns, vast glaciers, and the most famous black sand beach in Iceland!
With its enormous white and blue icebergs breaking off from Vatnajökull glacier, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a natural wonder of Iceland, a sight you absolutely cannot miss. The nearby Diamond Beach has a stunning display of chunks of ice glistening on stark black sands. This tour features some of southeast Iceland's most spectacular and iconic landscapes!
Discover a Charming Coastal Village at Vík
The History of Vík
The village of Vík started out as most towns and villages in Iceland did – in the 9th century, a cluster of farms formed a named settlement. However, Vík is different from every other coastal town because it didn’t have any permanent traders settle until 1890.
The reason it took so long for traders to settle here could be down to the fact that Vík has never had a harbour or pier. It’s the only coastal town or village in Iceland that doesn’t have a harbour, but there is still a lively fishing community that uses smaller boats to haul in their catch of the day.
Things to do in Vík
Despite having a population of around 320 (approximately 750 including the municipality of Mýrdalshreppur), Vík is one of the largest towns in Iceland. So, there are plenty of things to see and do in Vík.
It’s an excellent place to stretch your legs if you’re making the long drive to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon or are taking in the sights of the south coast.
A pretty church in traditional Icelandic style sits atop a small hill, overlooking the town and beach – this is the perfect stroll for cramped legs. You can also head down to the vast stretch of black sand that fringes the village to admire the two craggy sea stacks that sit just off the shore.
Legend has it that these stacks are the frozen forms of three trolls that were pulling a ship to shore before the sun rose and turned them to stone.
Vík is also home to Iceland’s Lava Show, where you can witness a volcanic eruption recreated and learn about Iceland’s unique geology with plenty of drama, lava and fire.
Within the town centre, there’s a healthy selection of gastro pubs serving hearty burgers for an evening meal, cafés with home baking and soups on offer and supermarkets to stock up on supplies if you are staying in self-catered accommodation. There’s a wide selection of places to stay for all budgets, from shared rooms in hostels to comfortable hotels and self-catered apartments.
Activities and adventures near Vík
Adrenaline junkies and outdoor adventurers will find plenty to amuse themselves around Vík. Just along the coast from the village, Reynisfjara black-sanded beach is the area’s biggest attraction where the wild waves of the North Atlantic crash against shimmering jet-black sand.
The waves here are extremely powerful and unpredictable, so it is important to obey the warnings and signs posted around the beach. It is famous for sneaker waves that have been known to race up the sand and pull people out to sea in a heartbeat – too far out for a safe rescue. But heeding the warnings and staying well back from the shore, you can have a great time at Reynisfjara, strolling along the black sand and exploring the ethereal rock formations of Hálsanefshellir cave.
At the other end of Reynisfjara, the cliffs of the Dyrhólaey peninsula are a great place to spot puffins. You can also embark on a heart-pumping ATV adventure in this area, powering across the black sand to the wreck of an old aeroplane on the shore. Adventure-seekers can try their hand at zip-lining high above Iceland’s ethereal landscape just outside Vík.
Half an hour’s drive away, the impressive white tongue of Sólheimajökull glacier stretches down towards the main road. This is a popular spot for glacier hikes on the frozen surface.
Riddled with secret sinkholes and covered ravines, glacier hiking can only be done under the guidance and supervision of a professional guide. You can also try ice climbing and explore natural ice caves beneath the surface of the glacier in winter at Sólheimajökull.
All About Vík
Vík is not part of the Golden Circle. It is part of the popular route along the Route One main road that takes in the natural wonders of Iceland’s south coast.
Strolling out to the black sand of Vík’s town beach, you can capture the horizon streaked orange, red and pink by the headland, just beyond the famous sea stacks. The craggy rock formations in the sea are silhouetted against a burning sky, making this one of the best places in Iceland to witness the sunset.
One of Iceland’s largest settlements, you can easily spend a couple of days in Vík. It’s a popular overnight stop if you are travelling along the entire Route One road around the island as there are several hotels, guesthouses and hostels to choose from. There are also a couple of supermarkets, gastro pubs and restaurants. Some people base themselves in Vík before embarking on a glacier hike nearby. If you are just visiting Vík for a short stop along the south coast of Iceland, you could spend an hour or so here – having lunch and walking up to the pretty church on the hill.
Vík is right on Iceland’s south coast. However, it doesn’t have a harbour or promenade along the seafront. Instead, a vast black-sanded beach stretches between the town and the Atlantic. It is the only seaside village in Iceland without a harbour.
Vík is a small village on the south shore of Iceland. It is next to Reynisfjara black-sanded beach, and it sits on the Route One main road that circles around the entire island.
This far north, temperatures tend to remain on the low side and the average temperature in Vík across the entire year is a mere 6°C (42.5°F). The coldest month is February when the average temperature is 2°C (35.5°F), and the highest temperatures are in July with an average of 12°C (53°F). So, even though it is a beach town, it’s rare that you’ll see a day hot enough to sunbathe on the sand.
Regarding driving distance, it is 188 kilometres (about 117 miles) from Reykjavík to Vík and it takes around two hours and forty minutes to drive this route. If you are driving yourself from the capital to Vík, you simply follow the Route One road out of Reykjavík until you reach this small coastal village with its striking red-roofed church.
January is one of the coldest months in Iceland with very short hours of daylight. January in Vík sees temperatures as low as -1°C (31°F) and highs of only 4°C (40°F).
There is a little light pollution from the houses of Vík, but it is a lot smaller than Reykjavík. So, it is possible to spot the Northern Lights here during the winter months when the skies are clear. Photographers have captured the dancing green lights on display above Vík’s iconic old church for a striking portrayal of Iceland.
While it doesn’t have a harbour or pier, Vík is still considered a historic fishing village. Amphibious boats moor up on the stretch of sand that sits between the town and the sea. Vík dates back to the 9th century when Vikings landed in Iceland and created the first settlements, but this coastal village didn’t see permanent traders settle here until 1890.
The nearest glacier to the town of Vík in Iceland is Mýrdalsjökull. This glacier covers the active volcano Katla, which is one of the largest volcanoes in Iceland. Sólheimajökull glacier is also close to Vík, Sólheimajökull is a glacial tongue that breaks off from the mighty Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Sólheimajökull juts out from the main ice cap and stretches towards the Route One main road, making it one of the most accessible glaciers in Iceland. It’s a popular spot for glacier hikes, ice climbing and exploring natural ice caves in winter. It’s a half-hour drive from Vík to the base of Sólheimajökull glacier.
You can see ‘Vík’ in a few placenames in Iceland. ‘Vík’ simply means ‘bay’, so the town is named after the sweeping bay that surrounds it. Reykjavík, for example, means ‘bay of smoke’ and Keflavík means ‘bay of driftwood’.
Vík is absolutely worth visiting. Within the town itself, you’ve got local museums, gastro pubs, cafés serving homemade baking, supermarkets to stock up, and a pretty red-roofed church up on a hill. The Lava Show in Vík is a journey through Iceland’s fascinating geology and you can stroll down to the jet-black sand of the village’s beach for a striking view of two dramatic sea stacks marooned in the Atlantic. That’s not to mention the many outdoor activities and adventures to be had around Vík – from zip-lining over rivers and lava fields to ATV adventures across the black sand and glacier hikes on Sólheimajökull.
Directly on the route between Reykjavík and Vík, you’ll find the main wonders of Iceland’s south coast. Seljalandsfoss waterfall is just off the road on the way to Vík, where you can walk behind the waterfall itself and feel like you’re in a fairytale. A little further along Route One towards Vík, Skógafoss is one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland and is a popular stop to stretch your legs. Just before you reach Vík, you’ll find the black-sanded beach of Reynisfjara where the wild North Atlantic crashes against onyx-hued sand and basalt columns twist into the mouth of an other-worldly cave. These main south shore sights are all on the Route One road between Reykjavík and Vík, but there are a few other stops you can make if you don’t mind a short detour, like the tomato greenhouses of Friðheimar, the Secret Lagoon and the pristine white glacial tongue of Sólheimajökull for active adventures across the frozen surface and into ice caves.
Yes, Vík is considered Iceland's wettest village. Across the year, the town has around 2273 mm of precipitation, in the forms of rain, snow, wind, sleet, hail, and fog. September is the wettest month. It’s certainly worth packing a rain jacket if you’re visiting Vík.