The South

This gorgeous glacier is Iceland’s fourth-largest ice cap, covering 700 sq km and reaching a thickness of almost 750m in places. The volcano Katla snoozes beneath, periodically blasting up through the ice to drown the coastal plain in a deluge of melt water, sand and tephra. Local operators run tours along the glacial crown as part of longer trips. Don't explore the area on your own; the ice is unstable and the track to the caldera can be impossible to navigate.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The South attractions

1. Katla Geopark

1.01 MILES

In 2011 Iceland formed its first ‘geopark’ to protect a region of great geological importance, promote local culture and sustainable development, and…

2. Sólheimajökull

9.78 MILES

One of the easiest glacial tongues to reach is Sólheimajökull. This icy outlet glacier unfurls from the main Mýrdalsjökull ice cap and is a favourite spot…

3. Sólheimasandur

12.53 MILES

On 21 November 1973, a US Navy aeroplane was forced to crash-land at Sólheimasandur. The crew all survived, but the wreckage of the militarised Douglas DC…

4. Kvernufoss

12.88 MILES

Pretty much off the tourist radar (you'll likely have the place to yourself) is this hidden 20m waterfall that you can walk behind. The short trail to it…

5. Skógar Folk Museum

13.23 MILES

The highlight of little Skógar is the wonderful Skógar Folk Museum, which covers all aspects of Icelandic life. The vast collection was put together by…

6. Skógafoss

13.57 MILES

This 62m-high waterfall topples over a rocky cliff at the western edge of Skógar in dramatic style. Climb the steep staircase alongside for giddy views,…

7. Drangshlíð Rock

14.87 MILES

Impressive turf houses and old farmhouses built into an enormous freestanding rock, in front of the Eyjafjöll Mountains. Local farmers would keep their…

8. Víkurkirkja

16.4 MILES

High above town, Vík’s 1930s church has stained-glass windows in spiky geometrical shapes and awesome village views.