Iceland DIY (Drive It Yourself) – The South Coast
The South Coast is probably the second most popular sightseeing day trip from Reykjavík after the Golden Circle. (For a self-drive tour of that; click here.) To the south, you’ll usually go on route 1 as far as the town of Vík, with looming mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, stopping at different natural wonders and sites along the way, and then turn around to head back. The major sights include two waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, black-sand beach Reynisfjara by Vík, and possibly a hike on Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
There are a lot of ways to see the south coast, including any number of tours, but if you want to rent a car and Drive It Yourself, here’s how you do it:
Getting off on the right foot
Reykjavík is incredibly simple to navigate, as there are three ways out of town; route 41 west, route 1 north and route 1 south. You are, you might have guessed, going on route 1 south. What you do is you find the main road Miklabraut in town and follow it west, past two gas stations on the right, and
I’ve lived in Iceland my whole life, and I feel like it doesn’t matter how much I travel around it there are always so many places I have left to explore. So when people come here for a few days and see only the most popular places, they are missing out on a lot.
It’s not only the scenery and natural phenomena of the less visited places, but also the history and the culture of Iceland that often gets overlooked. So whereas I can see why people who are here for the first time would go straight to the Golden Circle, I’d really love for more tourists venture a bit off the beaten track to get a deeper experience of what Iceland is truly like.
So if you’re looking for something with a little different flavour, think about renting a car and setting the course for these less well-known locations in Iceland.
- Hornstrandir Nature Reserve (The West Fjords)
This protected area is perfect for hikers and nature-lovers. It was used as farmland until the mid-20th century, but now it’s inhabited only by foxes and birds. There are no roads for driving there, so you have to take a boat from Ísafjörður. Hiking in