South Coast, Reykjavík Sightseeing – Iceland

Iceland is a country of many contrasts, with lush greenery surrounding towering waterfalls, to volcanic rock and sand, to majestic mountains and beaches. Seeing the many different landscapes that make up Iceland is a huge reason for exploring this island country. The South Coast Classic day tour operated by Reykavík Sightseeing gives you the opportunity to see the geology of the south coast of Iceland.

The tour departs the capital city at 9:00 am from Reykjavík Bus Terminal. You can’t mistake the blue bus, with its size and company name displayed on the side.  During the drive along the North Atlantic coastline, guests are given an audio guide that provides the historical and geological background on some of the landmarks the bus will pass. The tablet automatically begins playing by GPS location, making your tour easy and educational.

Solheima Glacier

The first stop of the day is Sólheimajökull Glacier. A short walk from the parking lot and along a gravel path takes visitors to this massive glacier sitting in a lagoon. The pathway is an easy walk, and everyone is given enough time to reach the glacier accounting for varying levels of physical fitness. 

Standing up close to it, the Solheima Glacier almost looks more like a painting. The tour guide will talk about the unfortunate fate the glacier is facing in this time of global warming; in a few years, Solheima may have melted enough to no longer be considered a glacier.

Tourists are given some time to simply admire the surroundings and the peace of the lagoon and hills, before heading back to the bus. 

Reynisfara, aka The Black Sand Beach

Next on the list of stops to make is the famous Black Sand Beach, called Reynisfjara in Icelandic. Before disembarking the bus, the guide reminds tourists to stay well away from the waves; Icelandic shores can be unpredictable with the reach of its ‘sneaker’ waves. The Black Sand Beach has been given this nickname for the volcanic sand that makes up the shore. It is not soft, but more jagged to walk across.

The views of Reynisfjara are spectacular, and the geology of the beach is incredibly interesting. The cliffs that overlook the ocean are towering basalt columns that many folks climb up for a perfect photo op. There is also a basalt stone cave with this jagged architecture. A legend surrounding Reynisfjara is posted on a sign beside the path to the beach; you’ll want to take a few minutes to read this beautiful and tragic legend.

After spending some time here, the tour group will head to lunch in the fishing town of Vík. The bus drops everyone off in the parking lot of a large factory building that contains a cafeteria, a café, a grocery store, and an Icewear outlet store. The cafeteria offers some traditional Icelandic meals, such as lamb meat soup and Arctic char. Icewear is the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs, as well as outdoor gear for Iceland’s climate.

View from the top of Skógafoss

After lunch, time can be spent walking around the town before meeting back at the bus to head to Skógafoss. This waterfall is gorgeous, surrounded by lush cliffs with a wide river travelling away from it. There are two options to walk there. Visitors can climb up a set of stairs to a viewpoint above the waterfall and walk alongside the river. Or walk to the foot of the waterfall to look up at its height and be sprayed by its mist. Both provide beautiful views of Skógafoss and the surrounding landscape. 

The next and final stop of the day is Seljalandsfoss, another waterfall. You won’t tire of seeing waterfalls in Iceland; each have their own charm and beauty to them.

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is a much narrower waterfall than Skógafoss and tourists can follow a pathway that takes leads behind it! However, you’ll need to watch your footing as it gets very slippery.  Also, expect to be sprayed by a large amount of water. For those who may not be capable of this walk, there is the option to walk along the foot of the cliff where there is another tiny waterfall.

The drive back to Reykavík is about an hour and a half during which passengers can listen to some of the audio guides stories once again, watch out the window at the passing landscape, or take a nap before arriving back in the city around 8:00 pm.

For this tour, wear a waterproof jacket and good shoes, even if you don’t choose to walk behind Seljalandsfoss. For the audio guide it is recommended you bring your own headphones, otherwise you can buy a set on the bus. The tour is 10,490 ISK for adults (approximately $82 USD). You can book online and check out other tours with Reykavík Sightseeing at https://reykjaviksightseeing.is/ 

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