9 Most Instagramable Spots on Iceland's South Coast
The South Coast of Iceland has breath-taking vistas and stunning landscapes at every turn so you won’t be at a loss for Instagram worthy locations. But you might be wondering which are the best of the best places to get the perfect shot for Instagram. We’ve compiled a list of the 9 most Instagrammable places found on the South Coast of Iceland so you can spend less time scouting the perfect locations and more time enjoying the view.
Sólheimajökull Glacier & Glacier Lagoon
Sólheimajökull is a glacier tongue of larger Mýrdalsjökull glacier and is located between the famous and infamous volcanoes, Katla and Eyjafjallajökull respectively. Sólheimajökull glacier is relatively accessible at only a 2.5 hour drive from Reykjavik, just off the Ring Road. With the help of our experienced mountain guides you can go on a glacier walk, explore an ice cave, try your hand at ice climbing and/or go kayaking in the lagoon and get some amazing shots from above and below the ice.
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
South Iceland is famous for its black sand beaches. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is probably the most famous of them all. Where the ash from volcanic eruptions and ancient rock meet the pounding waves of the ocean you’ll find basalt columns, black sand, magnificent rock formations, such as Dyrhólaey, and sea stacks.
As an added bonus, the nearby village of Vík is home to a small white church on a hill. Views of the black sand beach from the hill are sweeping and the view from the beach of the church is inspiring. Check out the black sand beach on a 2-3 short break adventure or get revved up for adventure on an ATV tour.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach
There is no other spectacle like the one to be found at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach. Giant pieces of glacial ice float and crash together in a meltwater lagoon where seals peak out from the icy waters to say hello and boats sail between the icebergs.
Once the ice makes its way out of the lagoon and down to the ocean, some of the ice is pushed back onto the black sand beach where it sparkles in the sun, giving the beach its name, Diamond Beach. Witness the spectacle for yourself on one of our Getaway tours.
Skaftafell Nature Reserve
Wilderness area Skaftafell Nature Reserve is part of Vatnajökull National Park and is home to scenic hiking trails, waterfalls and glaciers. Hiking through Skaftafell Nature Reserve you’ll have many opportunities to bask in the natural beauty of Iceland. Take a hike up to Svartifoss (Black Falls) and marvel at the dark towering columns of basalt from which its waters fall and for which it is named.
It’s impossible to fully grasp the majesty of glaciers without setting foot on one yourself. Take advantage of our glacier walk tour for an up close and personal experience with the glacier.
The fourth largest glacier in Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, sits atop the active Katla volcano. The volcano erupts every 40-80 years so its activity is closely monitored. The cap peaks at 1,493 m (4,898 ft.) and Fimmvörðuháls (Five-Cairns Pass) which connects Skogar and Þórsmörk runs between it and Eyjafjallajökull glacier.
Those lucky enough to both explore this ice cap and get good weather while doing it will be treated to views of Iceland’s South Coast very few people get to see. Add some adrenaline to your Mýrdalsjökull experience on our snowmobiling tour. This glacier tends to get a lot of rain and snow so don’t forget your rain gear.
One of the most iconic waterfalls in Iceland, Skógafoss, lies in the Skógá River. It falls down a former sea cliff face that was at one time the southern coastline of Iceland. Skogafoss is one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls spanning 25 m and falling 60 m creating a mist that regularly creates rainbows on top of rainbows.
Take a staircase up along the side of the waterfall for a view from the top and to find the trailhead of Fimmvörðuháls (Five-Cairns Pass) which leads all the way into Þórsmörk (Thorsmork). Grab your raincoat and get ready to meet Skogafoss on one of our Tours from Reykjavík.
There are only so many viewpoints from which to see most waterfalls but Seljalandsfoss waterfall makes sure you can hit all the angles. A relatively delicate waterfall in the Seljalands River, its curtain of water hides a path and small cave allowing for a behind-the-scenes style look at this gorgeous waterfall.
A short walk from Seljalandsfoss is Gljúfrabúi (Dweller in the Gorge) waterfall. Take the stepping stone path through a small gorge to find this gem of a waterfall.
The route between Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area make up the Golden Circle. Each location highlights a part of Iceland that when brought together gives you a clear picture of the spirit of Iceland.
The fields of Thingvellir have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are bursting with Icelandic history. It’s both the birthplace of Iceland’s democracy and the oldest surviving parliament in the world.
Thingvellir is also significant in terms of natural history. Its fields are continuously being widened as the borders are two tectonic plates of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that are gradually drifting apart. As you walk down into Thingvellir, you’re walking into human and geologic history.
Gullfoss (Golden Falls) is a two-tiered wonder and one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland. With viewing platforms at the top and bottom of the falls you can get a number of different perspectives and a good workout to boot.
Geysir geothermal area gurgles and steams with geothermal activity. The namesake of all geysers, Geysir, doesn’t erupt much anymore but lords over the area with a fuming air of greatness. Strokkur (The Churn) erupts every few minutes, giving visitors a reliable show of geothermal power. The entire area is alive with otherworldly colors and smells courtesy of the geothermal activity which brings hot mineral rich waters from deep within the earth to the surface.
Add visits to these and other remarkable South Coast locations on the Golden Circle & Glacier Getaway tour and get to know Iceland.
DC-3 Plane Wreck
Straight out of a scene from a haunting, post-apocalyptic movie the abandoned shell of a DC-3 airplane lies broken and empty on the expansive black sands of Sólheimasandur in South Iceland. In 1973, the US Navy plane was forced to make an emergency landing on the sands.
Luckily, no one was injured but the reason(s) for the forced landing have never been confirmed. Whether it was human or mechanical error or the weather that made the plane land in the middle of nowhere, the incident left behind quite a sight. The shell of the plane lies in a no man’s land of black sand that stretches for kilometers in all directions, making a visit to the site eerie yet serene.
Get in on the surreality on our ATV & Glacier Walk combo tour.
Winter Months Bonus: A Winter Coat Under Northern Lights
Want to make these nine locations even more Instagramable? Visit them in the winter months! A coating of snow on the dark rock formations and black sand beaches adds a new dimension to these gorgeous locales. There is nothing quite like seeing a waterfall surrounded by snow and framed in long fang-like icicles. Now imagine seeing these winter wonderlands under skies streaming with the towering luminous ribbons of the Northern Lights. Magical!
About the Author
IMG Staff Writer
An anonymous but well informed member of our team that enjoys sharing their knowledge of Iceland & Greenland’s stunning nature.
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