The road trip is about 12 hours roundtrip, and we rented a campervan through Airbnb. Definitely make sure your gas tank is filled up everytime you pass a gas station. Once you get out of the city the gas stations are few and far inbetween.
We hit a lot of great spots, but there are honestly so many other great spots that you could add on. I will list some of the ones that we plan on catching on our next trip to Iceland at the bottom of this blog!
Here are the locations we were able to visit on our trip:
Seljavallalaug Outdoor Pool & Secret Hotspring:
Probably one of the most photographed hotsprings in Iceland is this outdoor pool. It is free and right off the main road. We went around noon and there were probably about 5-6 people there. We checked out the water here and it was a luke warm temperature, but it was cool to check out. We ended up bypassing this pool after dipping our toes in and walking a bit past it to find a tiny little trail that leads you to a secret private hotspring that is in between two mountains with a small river rushing by it. There’s only room for 2 maybe 3 people at most so you don’t have to worry about anyone joining you, and like I said earlier it’s a bit tricky to find and ticked behind a hill so totally private. Nudity is perfectly acceptable at this hotspring. It was absolutely incredible and a lot warmer that the main pool. My husband proposed to me here so this little place has a very special place in my heart.
This is the first stop on the trip, and a really cool experience. Here you can actually walk behind the waterfall! There were a good amount of tourists there so if you want to miss the crowd try to get there early in the morning or around sunset. It’s right off the main road so you will be able to easily get to this location.
Another stop off the main road, this waterfall was my favorite of the trip. It just felt larger than life and had a more eerie feel to it. I also recommend walking up the stairs to the right of the waterfall where you can look over the top of the falls and view the stunning river that leads to the falls. There’s also a lot of wild sheep at the top of the stairs we were able to catch a few shots of them!
Right before you get to Vik there is this incredible stop. To see the iconic view over the shore of this beach you have to walk up this huge hill, but the view is totally worth it! There’s also a cool lighthouse at the top to check out too.
One of my favorite spots of the trip, but there are some things to know before going! It is a big tourist spot so if you want any chance of having no people you need to get there at dawn. We arrived at 8am and there were a lot of people even then! Also you NEED TO BE CAREFUL at this beach. It has extremely dangerous “sneaker waves” as they call them. These are waves that happen every once in a while that are huge and come way further up shore than all the other waves. People have literally died getting too close to the ocean. As you are walking into the beach there is a sign with warnings and a photo of a tourist that died there. It shows them getting dragged off into sea. That being said it is an amazing location straight out of a movie with huge basalt pillars.
Vik is a cute town a few miles east of Reynisfajara beach and one of the filming locations for The Game of Thrones. We stopped and stayed here the night before going to Reynisfajara beach to make sure we could get there early to beat the large crowds. They had showers and bathrooms at the campground, but it’s a pretty popular spot so it got pretty crowded there. We arrived here near the end of the trip and realized we were actually doing pretty good on our budget so it’s one of the few places we stopped and went out to eat. There are a few cute local restaurants here. We decided to go to Sudor-Vik. It had a very nice atmosphere and great food! We were honestly just happy to eat anything other than what was in our cooler.
The most picturesque place on the list! It looks like a place straight out of a painting. It’s a bit off the main road, but definitely worth the slight detour.
Kirkjubaejarklaustur Swimming Pool, Campground, and Stjornafoss:
Before our final stop at the Glacier Lagoon we stopped to shower and relax after a long day of adventures at the Kirkjubaejarklaustar Swimming Pool. We were the only ones there so we had all the hot tubs to ourselves and a beautiful view of the mountains and a waterfall! Highly recommend stopping by here. We then found a campground in this town just minutes from the swimming pool. It lead us down a gravel road and around the corner next to the camping area was Stjornafoss waterfall! It is an incredibly underated waterfall that has little to no visitors.
Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach:
The farthest east we went and the perfect place to end our south coast roadtrip. The Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach are right across the road from each other. The ocean here is a lot more calm than the rough and rugged Reynisfajara beach. At the Glacier Lagoon you will see large pieces of ice that broke off from the glacier floating in a lagoon. At the Diamond Beach you will see some of those same pieces that washed ashore from the ocean scattered all over the beach that are melting away. It looks like huge glistening diamonds scattered over black sand. The colors are just beautiful here with the contrasting blues, blacks and whites. The beach is breathtakingly cold so bundle up as much as you can for this one!
South Coast Iceland Wish List:
US Navy DC-3 Plane Wreck
The Blue Peak