Absorb the South Coast Area | Private Tour
The weather can be unpredictable in Iceland so during winter you may expect us to occasionally need to alter the tour itinerary if weather/road conditions are unfavorable.
Available: All year
Duration: Approx. 12hrs, depending on your time spent at each stop and the duration of any activity added.
Pick-up: From your hotel/accommodation within the Reykjavik Capital Area.
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall
- Skógafoss waterfall
- Sólheimajökull glacier valley
- Dyrhólaey promontory
- Reynisfjara black sand beach
- Vík í Mýrdal village
Driving out of the Reykjavik Capital Area we head over the Hellisheiði plateau through moss-grown lava fields surrounded by rows of mountains towards the popular South Coast. The most recent lava in the field is believed to have flowed from a 6 km (3.7 mi) long volcanic fissure around AD 1000. On the way, we pass Ingólfsfjall mountain where the settler of Iceland Ingólfur Arnarsson is believed to be buried. Driving further south we get closer to the coastline with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and volcanoes and glaciers on the other side, and even the famous Hekla volcano can be seen from the road.
We make our first stop at the unique waterfall Seljalandsfoss, which drops like a curtain off a cliff into a beautiful meadow. Behind is a small cave and a walking path extending around the waterfall. This makes for a great angle to photograph this very picturesque waterfall and its surroundings, but be sure to wear good shoes and waterproof clothing before going behind it. A short walk from Seljalandsfoss leads into a canyon where the partially hidden waterfall Gljúfrabúi resides, cascading down the mossy walls of the canyon. We head on and drive past the ice cap Eyjafjallajökull which covers the caldera of a volcano that last erupted in 2010, memorably affecting air traffic throughout Europe. From the road, you will immediately spot the mesmerizing Skógafoss in the tiny Skógar village. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland dropping wide from a cliff that formerly marked the coastline. If the sun is out, the spraying from Skógafoss will form a rainbow and sometimes two. A staircase next to it leads up to a platform above this waterfall, giving you a great view over farmsteads to the ocean and on-site museums give you insight into how Icelanders lived throughout history. Closeby rests the Kvernufoss waterfall inside a gorge like a mix of the Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls, cascading down mossy walls with a cave behind and a trail to walk behind it.
When we're done with all the waterfalls we go to Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier extending towards the coastline from the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. A short walk from the parking lot takes you into a canyon with great ice sculptures and a lagoon that recently formed due to melting glacial ice. This valley is very unique due to the blueish-white color of the ice and black bands of volcanic ash from past eruptions of the renowned Katla volcano which lies dormant under Mýrdalsjökull, waiting to erupt any time. Extending from Sólheimajökull to the coastline is the black sanded desert Sólheimasandur, formed by a glacier outburst flood from the Katla volcano system, and in the middle of it lies the DC-3 plane wreckage from when it landed and was left there in 1973. Heading to the southernmost point of the South Coast we stop at the Dyrhólaey promontory, most known for the gigantic black lava archway with a hole big enough for a pilot flying their plane through in 1993. Here is the biggest puffin colony away from the city area and the square lighthouse Dyrhólaeyjarviti shines the brightest light of all the lighthouses in Iceland. The view from here reaches over the Reynisfjara black sand beach, which is our next stop. This is among the most popular visits on the South Coast, with the high basalt pinnacles Reynisdrangar rising out of the sea, and extremely powerful ocean waves crashing against the basalt-columned wall of mountain Reynisfjall and steadily eroding the Hálsanefhellir basalt cave by the beach. Here you need to be extra cautious, as these waves are known as "sneaker waves". Though they may sometimes look calm and harmless, they have snuck up on people and pulled them into the sea, causing fatal tragedies throughout the years when people have gotten too close to the sea. Be careful while admiring this breathtaking area and please respect the puffins and other seabirds nesting in the basalt columns.
Our last stop is the southernmost village of Iceland Vík í Mýrdal. This small seaside village is the only one without a harbor in our country so fishing was done by boats on wheels driving into the ocean and back with the catch. The villagers have had to go through sand blowing from the black beach Víkurfjara during storms and volcanic ash covering their houses from nearby eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and Katla. This beautiful village has a red-roofed white church standing proudly up on a hill, which the villagers frequently practice running to in case Katla erupts again due to a flash flood expected to demolish their homes. After this long day of exceptional landscapes and scenery, we make our way back to the buzzing city life of the Reykjavik Capital Area.
When booking this tour, you can choose from our standard tour (for shorter activities to add) or our extended tour (for longer activities to add). The following are the extra bookable activities available to add to your booking during the check-out process (please only add one activity to your booking):
Available to add to the standard tour:
- 1 or 2 hours ATV Quad on Sólheimasandur to the DC-3 plane wreck (available all year)
- Icelandic Lava Show (backstage tour after the show can be added too) (available all year)
- Paragliding tandem flight (available only May 1 - Sep 30)
- Zipline in Vík í Mýrdal (available all year)
- LAVA Centre - Cinema only, or the full experience, exhibition, and cinema (available all year)
- 1-hour Buggy Adventure (available all year)
- The Lava Tunnel Standard tour (available all year)
Available to add to the extended tour:
- Snowmobiling on Mýrdalsjökull (available all year)
- Snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull (available only Nov 1 - Jun 15)
- Ice climbing & glacier hiking, or glacier hiking only, on Sólheimajökull (available all year)
- Katla Ice Cave in a Super Jeep (available all year)
- Kayaking on Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon (available all year)
- 2.5-hour Buggy Adventure (available all year)
- The Lava Tunnel Lava Falls Adventure (available all year)
- Parking fees
- Pickup & drop-off within the Reykjavik Capital Area
- Private transport in an air-conditioned vehicle
- Knowledgeable & experienced English-speaking driver-guide
What's not included
- Food & drinks (your private driver-guide can recommend stops for lunch and refreshments during the tour)
- Extra bookable activities (can be added in the check-out process)
- Entry or admission fees
- Tip or gratuity
What do I need to bring
- Please respect nature - do not throw out trash or walk on any moss.
- For environmental responsibility purposes, you do not need to print out your e-ticket.
- Your private driver-guide can always recommend different restaurants in the area and make stops on the way so you can purchase food/snacks/drinks, but you are also welcome to bring a packed lunch.
- The total duration of this tour is dependent on whether extra bookable activities are added to the booking during checkout.
- Road conditions or adverse weather could make some stops inaccessible during winter, so the itinerary may need to be altered if necessary.
- Dress according to the weather by wearing warm and wind-/waterproof clothing in layers and bring gloves and a hat.
- Wear suitable footwear, preferably waterproof with a good grip, in case of slippery conditions due to ice, rain, or gravel paths.
- We may occasionally need to alter the tour itinerary due to unpredictable weather and road conditions in Iceland, especially during winter. The weather in Iceland can be quite unpredictable.