My favorite day out of my Iceland trip, the South Shore drive is absolutely underrated and an incredible way to spend a full day when based in Reykjavik. Driving from Reykjavik to Vik and back, you see so many incredible sights. If you are interested in this drive and the stops along the way, here is my itinerary and short reviews of each stop. We did a self-driving tour and left around 8 AM that morning. It will take you atleast 8 hours to do this drive (Google Maps says it is about 5 hours round trip, without stops). I did this trip with Rachel from unjustwanderlust.com and have to give her credit for this itinerary. She did a great job finding all of the awesome spots to see!
- Leaving Reykjavik, we drove to the little town of Eyrarbakki. This little town is south of Selfoss on the coast and is super adorable. It also houses one of the only jails/prisons in Iceland. And if the Icelandic barely existent crime rate tells you anything, there wasn’t much going on at this jail (I don’t even think the lights were on!) But the town is adorable and a nice little stop before a busy day.
- This waterfall is one of a kind. You can actually walk behind it, which is awesome. There are several small waterfalls within walking distance as well, and a small cave. You’ve got to spend a little time here, rain or shine. It’s a definite must when visiting Iceland!
- Skogafoss Falls
- This waterfall is enormous. Part of one of the Thor movies was filmed here. You can actually climb to the top and have an incredible view of the surrounding landscape. However, the day we did this drive it was foggy beyond belief, and we couldn’t see twenty feet in front of us, even at the top (truth time: I didn’t even climb to the very top, only half way.) Rachel continued the climb, but there was nothing to see. So I saved myself an unnecessary workout. Sweet! But the falls are incredible and you’ve got to make this a place to see.
- My favorite part of my Iceland trip, hands down. This glacier is incredible. You can apparently see it from the top of Skogofoss, but the fog prohibited that few. So we drove to where google maps told us to get out, and we walked. And walked. And walked. It was so foggy around, we could not even see the glacier ahead of us, or the lagoon to the left of us. We finally turned a corner and the most amazing sight I have ever seen was in front of us. You can walk on this glacier and actually touch it. With guided tours, you can even hike it! Located on top of an active Volcano, you are standing on actual volcano ash during your visit. This place is awesome. Seriously. Go see it right now!
- Not a usual stop on any South Shore tour, and for that I am glad. This place was incredible! And we were only one of a few people there. I would vote this as a better beach to visit than Reynisfjara (though this was still an incredible sight!). This little peninsula houses an arch formation worth seeing, black sand (real sand) beaches and a bird sanctuary with views. This was such a great find and my second favorite part of this drive!
- This black sand beach is a sight to see. It is actually covered in smooth black pebbles and the contrast on a cold, rainy day against the water was absolutely incredible. It houses basalt columns that give the cliffs a unique landscape. The currents here are extremely dangerous, and it is advised (by signs and others around) to not enter the water. Deaths have occurred even by people standing in a few inches of water. When the waves move in, they are no joke. So go see this incredible beach, but do not get in the water!
- This was our last stop before turning around and driving straight back to Reykjavik. In Vik, there is the cutest church with a view of the town (with a whopping 300 residents). We were there right after sunset and it gave us incredible views.
You can also see Eyjafjallajokull (the volcano that erupted and disrupted thousands of flights a few years back) along this drive, though our day was so foggy we couldn’t even spot it if we wanted. There is also the old Navy plane crash site located on the black sand beach of Solheimasandur. We didn’t choose to visit this, for one reason alone. You can no longer drive to this site, so it is a 2 hour walk round trip. With limited daylight during the winter, it wasn’t worth it to burn a few hours, so we carried on.
On this day, we had a lot of ups and downs (not getting the views we so badly wanted because of fog, missing the turn to the black sand beach and losing daylight, being so tired that I couldn’t keep my eyes open, losing Rachels purse and not realizing until we were back in Reykjavik (we did find it though, and everything was in its place!), a migraine that hit on the drive back, and so much more)—but this was one of my favorite travel days ever. Have you ever done the South Shore drive? If so, what was your favorite part of the drive? If not, does it interest you? Can you pronounce any of the locations that we visited? Because I can not! As always, remember to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see when a new post goes up! XOXO