The peaceful seafront village of Vik in the fertile Myrdal Valley is set along a dramatic stretch of coastline, quaintly poised between glacier topped mountains, rugged sea cliffs and black sand beaches. Vik is Iceland’s most southerly village and one of the most popularly photographed areas in the country.
Few other places in Iceland offer as many contrasts in nature as Vik with the iconic Reynisdrangar cliffs jutting out from the sea, and the Dyrholaey unique stone arch that marks the western edge of the district. The lush green pastures, rich birdlife, and glacial rivers all sit under the shadow of Myrdalsjokull glacier and the ominous Katla glacier-volcano, which is one of Iceland’s most active.
There are a number of wonderful hiking trails in the area as well as a campground with a natural cave that serves as a kitchen for travelers with a grill and fireplace. The nearby freshwater Heidarvatn Lake makes for excellent trout fishing and there is salmon fishing and horseback riding as well. One of the most enjoyed experiences in the area is a ride on an amphibious boat, which enables you to literally drive out to sea.
Distance between Reykjavik and Vik
It takes about two and half hour to drive from Reykjavik to Vik, approximately 180 km. The route however is beautiful and making a few stops along the is almost neccessary, e.g. stopping by Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss is mandatory if you’ve never seen these majestic waterfalls.
What to see in Vik?
Vik is situated near the Black Sand Beach and Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks. Both are within a hiking distance and easily accessible. Please be advised, that the Black Sand Beach is not a regular beach, and the waves can get very dangerous. Make sure you do not wade in the water and if you are travelling with children, hold their hands at all times, especially during windy conditions and at high tide. The pull is very strong and one wave can easily pull you out.
There’s also a superb and new Lava Show, where you can see real, glowing red hot lava. Make sure you book a seat in advance, since this is a really popular show. We also recommend that you hike to the top of the small hill where the church stands. It offers a great view of the villge and the Black Sand Beach.
Check out our complete guide to the South Coast.