Top choice in The South

On the western side of Reynisfjall, the high ridge above Vík, Rte 215 leads 5km down to the black-sand beach Reynisfjara. It's backed by an incredible stack of basalt columns that look like a magical church organ, and there are outstanding views west to Dyrhólaey. Surrounding cliffs are pocked with caves formed from twisted basalt, and puffins belly-flop into the crashing sea during summer. Immediately offshore are the towering Reynisdrangur sea stacks. At all times watch for rogue waves: people are regularly swept away.

You may recognise the scene from Bon Iver's 2011 music video Holocene, practically an ode to Iceland. The beach can get busy in high season, so try to come early in the day or late in the evening.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The South attractions

1. Reynisdrangur

0.61 MILES

Vík’s most iconic cluster of sea stacks is known as Reynisdrangur, which rises from the ocean like ebony towers at the western end of Vík's black-sand…

2. Brydebúð

1.69 MILES

In town, the tin-clad house Brydebúð was built in Vestmannaeyjar in 1831 and moved to Vík in 1895. Today it houses the tourist office, the Halldórskaffi…

3. Dyrhólaey

2.06 MILES

One of the South Coast’s most recognisable natural formations is the rocky plateau and huge stone sea arch at Dyrhólaey (deer-lay), which rises…

4. Víkurkirkja


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

5. Hjörleifshöfði


About 13km east of Vík and just south of Rte 1, the small peak of Hjörleifshöfði (221m) rises above the black sands of Mýrdalssandur and offers good views…

6. Sólheimasandur

11.08 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…

7. Sólheimajökull

12.78 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…

8. Kvernufoss

15.52 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…