6 Incredible Things to Do in South Iceland

Iceland’s south coast is among the most visited parts of the country and with good reason. Full of mossy fields, towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, glittering glaciers, and volcanoes, there’s nothing you can’t do in the south. Keep reading to discover the best things to do in South Iceland. 

1. Witness the Powerful Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss Waterfalls

South Iceland is full of spectacular waterfalls that you must see on your trip. Seljalandsfoss is one of the few waterfalls in Iceland you can walk behind. Sunsets here are truly magical so make sure you snap a picture if you happen to catch one! As for Skógafoss, its soaring height of 200 ft causes massive spray clouds on the ground around you. If the light hits these droplets, catching a rainbow in the water is a sure possibility. 

2. Bathe in the ‘Steam Valley’ of Reykjadalur

The geothermal activity in the Reykjadalur Valley has given rise to a soothing river that goes by ‘Steam Valley’ or ‘Smoke Valley’ amongst visitors. Soaking in these warm pools with rolling green hills and cascading waterfalls in the vicinity is a unique experience in its own right. The best part is that the valley is located next to Hveragerði, a charming village only a 40-minute drive from Reykjavík.

The glacier cap underneath the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in South Iceland shot in 2008.

3. Hike South Iceland’s Volcanic Mountain – Eyjafjallajökull

Since its last eruption in 2010, the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in South Iceland has become something of a sensation. Eyjafjallajökull has erupted three times in recorded history without causing casualties, although the last one did famously disrupt European airspace for a week. For anyone who wants to experience the volcanic side of South Iceland, a hike on the trails of Eyjafjallajökull is a must!

4. Walk Along the Diamond Beach

Did you know that most Icelanders haven’t heard of Diamond Beach? Jökulsárlón, as it is also known, is split into two beaches by the bridge opposite the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The black sand beaches are scattered with icebergs from the lagoon that sparkle like diamonds in the sun. The name, ‘Diamond Beach,’ describes these gem-like formations, particularly stunning on the volcanic black sands.

Icebergs on black sands glittering at sunset at Diamond Beach, Jökulsárlón, in South Iceland.

5. Embark on a Glacier Hike on Sólheimajökull

An outlet of the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier in South Iceland, the Sólheimajökull Glacier is easily accessible from Reykjavík. Sólheimajökull is the meeting point for all glacier hikes in the area. You’ll be provided hiking gear such as crampons and should follow the instructions of your guide as there can be dangerous cracks underneath the glacier. If you don’t book a tour, you can still witness the glacier’s beauty from a distance.

6. Visit the Vatnajökull National Park

You cannot finish your South Iceland bucket list without a trip to the Vatnajökull National Park. Full of ice caves, glaciers, snowy mountains, geothermal rivers, and magnificent waterfalls, the Vatnajökull National Park is the best indicator of the fact that the South cannot be defined. There’s a visitor center to learn more about the park as well as a camping ground and hiking trails for more adventurous travelers!

An aerial shot of the Vatnajökull National Park in South Iceland.

South Iceland is full of incredible things to do, we’ve picked the best so you can experience the true beauty of the region. With amazing choices, you can’t go wrong when curating your itinerary. Book your rental car today and let the fun begin!