South Iceland

The south coast of Iceland holds some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Iceland. The area boasts a unique mix of volcanoes and glaciers, geysers, hot springs and waterfalls, along with multiple historic sites like the UNESCO site of Thingvellir

The Golden Circle

You’re headed into the ‘volcano zone!’ South Iceland is a masterpiece of volcanic activity and home to some of the island’s most celebrated natural wonders along the ‘Golden Circle’ route which is a real must for sightseers. Its centerpiece is Thingvellir (UNESCO), where settlers established an assembly in AD 930 which has evolved into the world’s oldest parliament today. Thingvellir is also a masterpiece of nature, with a scenic lake and rifts which mark where the continental plates of America and Eurasia meet.

Other Golden Circle highlights include Gullfoss, the ‘Golden Falls’, a mighty two-tier waterfall on the Hvita River, and the geothermal fields of Geysir, where the spouting spring Strokkur erupts every ten minutes.

Places to visit on the south shore

The forces of nature in south Iceland have shaped not only the land but man’s life too. Off the south coast, the Westman Islands were evacuated in 1973 because of volcanic activity – but the inhabitants soon went back. The area is also the location of Iceland’s newest star Eyjafjallajokull, the unpronounceable volcano that made itself known to the world in April 2010.

History is everywhere in south Iceland, too, spanning the whole range from the Saga Age farm at Stong to the old bishop’s seat of Skalholt and the regional folk museum at Skogar. The southeast offers Europe’s largest glacier at Vatnajokull National Park where you can also experience the awe-inspiring Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, renowned for its boat cruises among dancing icebergs.

Few places in Iceland can match the wealth of contrasts found at Skaftafell National Park, where green woodlands and black mountains converge with the sheer white glacier in the shadow of the country’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnjukur.

In the village of Vik, you'll find the dramatic Reynisdrangar cliffs rising from the ocean, along with Reynisfjara beach, known for its black sand and spectacular patterns of basalt columns.

Waterfalls on the south coast

Touring the south coast of Iceland is extremely popular among tourists. Therefore, two magnificent waterfalls located there have become the most renowned waterfalls in Iceland along with Gullfoss. Firstly we're talking about Seljalandsfoss, special for the fact that one is able to walk behind it, and secondly, the powerful Skogafoss waterfall, which is also the starting point of the Fimmvorduhals hiking trail.

For more detailed information about attractions, villages and activities in the South coast be sure to go through our destination guide.

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