Southern Iceland is home to most of the most popular tourist routes in Iceland—with good reason. The coastal Ring Road road from Reykjavík to Höfn is a trail of picturesque towns, black sand beaches, dramatic mountains, powerful waterfalls, basalt cliffs, towering glaciers and sprawling lava fields. It’s a completely immersive and visceral experience of Iceland’s natural environment that you could easily spend weeks exploring. These are just a few of our favourite sites along the way.
This intense day-long hike takes you past countless waterfalls into the Highlands, across desert, fresh lava, snow where two glaciers meet, and down into the Þórsmörk valley. The sights are magnificent at every step and packed with moments of genuine exhilaration. It’s not for the novice, as it has difficult patches that could prove to be a struggle to those with physical limitations or severe fears of heights. It’s challenging and only open in peak summer, but it’s simply unforgettable.
Friðland að Fjallabakki
Rising to 940m, this hike is fairly straightforward and anyone with a moderate level of fitness should be able to climb to the top with relative ease. After taking in the breathtaking views, you can continue on down the other side and loop around back to the huts via the steaming geothermal vents and vibrant moss-covered lava fields of Laugahraun.
South Coast, Route 249
This huge area of hiking trails encompasses a number of hikes from short climbs to multi-day adventures. Some circuits are relaxed and low impact for inexperienced hikers with limited movement. The area also includes a beautiful campground with cabins, a hot pot, and summer yoga classes.
More Best Of Iceland Awards
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Iceland 2018 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Iceland—here, posted worldwide. We also have a Special Offer double-pack that also includes our Best Of Reykjavík magazine, about places to eat, see, swim, visit, and shop in the country’s capital city, here.