South Iceland offers a rich amalgamation of attractive locations to visit as it has a reputation of being home to the most exotic natural wonders in Iceland. The area offers a splendid blend of glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and how can we forget the multiple UNESCO listed historic marvels at Thingvellir. South Iceland is the most regularly and fervently visited tourist attraction. The joy of visiting marvelous locales of South Iceland would become twofold if you tour the amazing sites by bus. So, for your convenience, we are listing the top locations that can be easily reached by bus.
Hveragerdi or the Flower Village is the charismatic gateway town to South Iceland. It is situated in a huge geothermal area. The town features the largest array of greenhouses in the entire country and hence received the nickname flower village. You can visit a number of highly active hot springs that discharge colorful mud and warm water into the air, which needless to say is a rare feat. Also, you can enjoy trout and salmon fishing in the Varma River and berry picking during summers.
Höfn í Hornafirði
Hofn town in Hornafjordur is home to the biggest glacier in Europe called Vatnajokull. The scenery at Hofn is breathtaking. The largest national park in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park, is also situated here. You can enjoy diverse range of services over here including camping sites, restaurants, swimming pools, hiking trails, golf courses, shopping arenas and multiple museums. The much popular Lobster Festival is also being held every year in summer.
The incredible Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon is situated on the edge of Vatnajokull National Park. To enjoy icebergs in a wide range of shapes and styles from charcoal black soot to powder blue chunks and white streaked logs to glass like translucent formations, there is simply no end to their versatility. The Skaftafell glacier hike is the tipping point of your glacier voyage at Jökulsárlón. It is a very popular and picturesque location, where various Hollywood movies have been filmed.
Laugarvatn Fontana, located at the mesmerizing Laugarvatn Lake, is a very relaxing place where tourists get to relish the authentic Icelandic adventures and get a taste of the geothermal pools and natural saunas. There are three steam rooms that are called GUFAN. These steam baths are a treat for people from all age groups. The depth, size and temperature of the steam baths vary as these have been built over natural hot springs gradually since 1929 so you can expect the weather to be between 40°C (104°F) and 50°C (122°F). At the Grids, the steam rooms’ floor, visitors can hear and smell the boiling hot spring present underneath, which is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Vík / Mýrdalshreppur
South Iceland’s most frequently visited tourist destination is the Vik and in its Mýrdalur district’s western part lays the Dyrhólaey at a 120meter high promontory. It is a popular location where the mystic rock arch is located. The major portion of the fourth largest glacier in Iceland the km2 Mýrdalsjökull glacier is also situated in Vik. Around 600m below the ice you can expect to witness one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, the dormant sub-glacial volcano Katla. Vik features a number of sea and land attractions such as you can enjoy salmon and trout fishing, horseback riding, dogsledding and ice-climbing on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, snowmobile trips, sight-seeing in boats, wool center and fish farm, etc. It won’t be an overstatement that there are very few other locations in Iceland that offer such amazing contrasts of natural attractions than Mýrdalur.
In olden times, Kirkjubæjarklaustur village was known as Kirkjubær, which means Church Farm. The name refers to the fact that this location served as an important farming estate. The name of the village is also used as a tongue-twister in Iceland because of its complex pronunciation. The Church Floor called Kirkjugólf is a well-protected natural pavement and a famous attraction in the village. It is a natural pavement at the basalt columns. The basalt columns’ shape has been modified by wind and waves and they give away the look of a paved church floor now.
Author: John Grotti