Glaciers, black sandy beaches and puffins
- Mýrdalur region South Iceland – visitvik.is
Volcanoes, glaciers and black sand beaches characterise Iceland‘s south coast in the area near the small village of Vík in Mýrdalur (pop. 300). Vík is about two hour’s drive from Reykjavik ( 184 km) along Iceland’s Ring road and nestles on the foothills of the infamous sub-glacial Katla caldera which last erupted in 1918.
The area is truly beautiful and boasts some of Iceland’s most amazing black sandy beaches, sea stacks and an island with an archway which is populated by puffins during the nesting season in summer.
Activities and sightseeing for all seasons
Blessed with relatively mild weather all year round the south of Iceland is ideal for sightseeing and all sorts of outdoor activities both in summer and winter. The area is usually first to turn green in spring and stays green the longest in the fall due to its southerly location, proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and prevailing wind direction. The area hardly ever blocks with snow even in the middle of winter. Summer activities include hiking, golfing and bird watching. Glacier ice-walks, ice-climbing, snowmobiling, super jeep safaris in modified 4x4s, and ATV-tours are available all year and the northern lights in winter are amazing.
Vík – the village with the short name
Vík village has a population of 300 and rests on the foothills of Katla volcano which last erupted in 1918. Vík, the name, actually means bay in English and is named after the small bay where it stands. It is the only village along the coast of Iceland which doesn‘t have a harbour of some sort. Reason being of course that it would be impractical to attempt to build a harbour along the black sandy beach which is shifted every day by the powerful roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Reynisdrangar sea stacks is the major landmark of Vík. It can be viewed, filmed and photographed from various vantage points along the beach, from the village and from the steep sea cliff above. Commercials, television series and motion pictures are regularly filmed in the area due to its unique scenic beauty and accessibility.
Kötlusetur tourist information, research and cultural centre in Vík has friendly staff that is happy to assist independent travellers find accommodation, activities and sightseeing spots
in the area. A permanent exhibition displays the challenges for the local people living in such proximity with a harbourless beach and volcano Katla.
Kötlusetur also offers a one hour walking tour around the village in summer called Meeting the Locals. Participants are shown how to catch puffins and fulmars. The tour ends with a visit to a gallery, where guests get to know a local glass-artist and her work.
Other activities in and near Vík include golfing, bird watching, hiking, ice-walking, snowmobiling and swimming in the local geothermal pool.
Accommodation offers in Vík and surroundings include; youth hostel, guesthouses, farm hotels and a four star hotel.
Glaciers, volcanoes and black sand beaches
The area near Vík is blessed with some of the most amazing scenery in the world such as Víkurfjara black volcanic beach, Sólheimajökull valley glacier, Mýrdalsjökull ice-cap, and Dyrhólaey Island with its impressive arch and puffin colony in summer.
Walk along Víkurfjara beach at sunset, walk with a guide on Sólheimajökull valley glacier, view puffins and a natural arch on Dyrhólaey island.
Attractions in the Vík area are generally accessible all year and open for business. The combination and interplay between brown and black volcanic mountains, black basalt sand beaches, white glaciers and green grass in summer make this part of Iceland one of the most outstanding places to visit.
Víkurbraut 28 – 780 Vík
+354 487 1395