South Shore - Reynisfjara – Eldhraun – Glacial Lagoon – Diamond Beach
Pick up for the tour between 7:30—8:00 (7:30am – 8:00am). Please be at your assigned pick-up location no later than 7:30, as your location may be one of the first for tour pick-up. (Check your confirmation information for pick up location details.)
Make sure that your phone number and e-mail are listed with Iceland Travel so we can contact you if needed.
The route leads your group over the Hellisheidi Pass where you’ll glimpse the vast South Shore laid out far below. Pass by Hveragerdi, a village known for its hot spring-fed greenhouses. Southern Iceland is one of Iceland’s most fertile areas, and you’ll drive by several charming Icelandic farms, often with colourful herds of Icelandic horses in the fields. With a bit of luck and clear skies you’ll glimpse Hekla, Iceland’s most frequently erupting volcano, as well as the glacier-crowned Eyjafjallajokull volcano, famous for its 2010 eruption.
Make the acquaintance of two impressive waterfalls. The ribbon-like Seljalandsfoss streams gracefully down from high cliffs. If the trail conditions are just right, you can actually walk behind the waterfall. Skogafoss is a beautiful glacial waterfall plunging into a quiet pool. It’s a beautiful subject for photos and, if you’re up to the challenge, you can climb up 527 steps for a magnificent view over the falls.
The route leads you along scenic coastline to Vik, Iceland’s most southerly town. At the nearby Reynisfjara beach, you’ll feel nature’s power as you see waves thundering and crashing onto the black sands. Framing the beach are beautiful geometric columns and a small cave. Far out to sea loom basalt spires that legends say were once trolls. While on the beach listen to your guide’s advice and stay back from the water; the waves are dangerous and unpredictable.
During the summer months it is also possible to view Dyrholaey, a peninsula with an unusual natural arch. It is a nature reserve that is home to many bird species, including puffins. (Dyrholaey is closed between mid-May and late June for bird nesting. Puffins are generally in Iceland between early May and early August).
Continue the tour, passing by the dramatic Eldhraun lava field, the largest flow of lava in recorded history. The 18th-cenntiury volcanic eruption that created Eldhraun led to serious famines in both Iceland and Europe. Cross over vast, imposing plains of black sands left behind when volcanic activity caused glaciers to melt and flood the area. You´ll soon be entering the domain of Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe, which you can see in the distance. Many glacier outlets have been creeping down from Vatnajokull, creating amazing glacial vistas. One of these is Beridamerkurjokull, a rippling wall of ice marked with cracks and crevices. Chunks of ice break from it and tumble into the nearby Jokulsarlon, the Glacier Lagoon, and then out to the Atlantic Ocean.
Stop at the Glacier Lagoon to take in the unforgettable sight of icebergs drifting and bumping together in the frigid water.
Head to your overnight accommodation in the scenic beauty of South Iceland. During the winter you’ll be in a good place to observe northern lights if the conditions are right. During summer you’ll surely find inspiration in the quiet atmosphere and mystical lighting of the midnight sun.
Overnight is in Southeast Iceland.
Approximate Distance Driven: 376km/234 miles.