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10 Spots You Can’t Miss on Iceland’s South Coast

The South Coast of Iceland is renowned for its dramatic landscapes, diverse natural wonders, and breathtaking views. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the top ten places you should visit to experience the best of this stunning region.

1. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Jökulsárlón is a mesmerizing glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs that have broken off from the Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. The lagoon is constantly changing as the icebergs melt and drift out to sea, making every visit unique. Boat tours are available, allowing you to navigate between the towering icebergs and even spot seals basking on the ice.

2. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

This magnificent canyon, approximately 2 kilometers long and up to 100 meters deep, is carved into the landscape by the Fjaðrá River. The canyon’s winding path, surrounded by lush greenery and steep cliffs, creates an awe-inspiring setting. Visitors can hike along the edge of the canyon for stunning panoramic views and explore various lookout points that offer different perspectives of this natural wonder.

3. Dyrhólaey Peninsula

The Dyrhólaey Peninsula is known for its striking black sand beaches and the famous Dyrhólaey Arch, a massive rock arch formed by the erosive power of the Atlantic Ocean. The peninsula offers incredible views of the coastline, and it’s a prime spot for birdwatching, especially during the nesting season when puffins and other seabirds can be seen up close. The contrast of the black sand against the blue ocean creates a dramatic and unforgettable scene.

4. Seljavallalaug Natural Pool

Nestled in the mountains near Seljavellir, Seljavallalaug is one of Iceland’s oldest swimming pools. Built in 1923, this geothermal pool is fed by natural hot springs, providing warm, soothing water in a serene and picturesque setting. Surrounded by rugged mountains and lush valleys, the pool offers a unique and tranquil bathing experience.

5. Sólheimasandur Beach

Sólheimasandur is a vast black sand desert known for the iconic remains of a US Navy DC-3 plane that crash-landed here in 1973. The wreckage, set against the stark black sand, has become a popular destination for photographers and adventurers. The site is accessible via a flat hike from the main road, offering an eerie yet fascinating glimpse into aviation history amid the desolate beauty of the beach.

6. Sólheimajökull Glacier

Sólheimajökull is an outlet glacier of the larger Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. It’s a popular spot for glacier hiking and ice climbing, with guided tours available for all skill levels. The glacier’s striking blue ice, crevasses, and ice caves make for an adventurous and educational experience. As the glacier is rapidly changing due to climate effects, each visit provides a unique view of its dynamic landscape.

7. Kvernufoss Waterfall

Tucked away in the secluded Kvernugil gorge, Kvernufoss is a hidden gem among Iceland’s waterfalls. The path to the waterfall involves a short hike through a scenic canyon, culminating in a view of the 30-meter-high cascade. A unique feature of Kvernufoss is the ability to walk behind the waterfall, offering a captivating perspective and the chance to feel the power of the water up close.

8. Mýrdalsjökull Glacier

Mýrdalsjökull is Iceland’s fourth-largest glacier and covers the active volcano Katla. The glacier is a fantastic destination for snowmobiling, glacier walks, and exploring ice caves. The tours often include a thrilling ride across the ice cap and provide an opportunity to learn about the glacier’s geological significance and its impact on the surrounding environment.

9. Skógafoss Waterfall

One of Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls, Skógafoss boasts a drop of 60 meters and a width of 25 meters. The waterfall is easily accessible from the Ring Road and offers a stunning view from both the base and the top, accessible via a staircase. On sunny days, the spray from the waterfall often creates beautiful rainbows, adding to the magic of the location. Skógafoss is also the starting point for the Fimmvörðuháls hike, one of Iceland’s most famous trekking routes.

10. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Seljalandsfoss is famous for the path that allows visitors to walk behind the waterfall, offering a unique vantage point and a thrilling experience. The waterfall drops 60 meters from the cliffs of the former coastline, creating a stunning curtain of water. The area around Seljalandsfoss is rich with smaller waterfalls and beautiful walking paths, making it a great spot for exploration and photography.

Visiting these incredible locations along the South Coast of Iceland will provide an unforgettable journey through some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes on the planet. Whether you’re drawn to the icebergs of Jökulsárlón, the dramatic cliffs of Dyrhólaey, or the hidden beauty of Kvernufoss, the South Coast has something to offer every traveler.