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.
Strandvegur 76, Vestmannaeyjar
This Westman Islands restaurant swept this category with every panellist giving it top honours. With locally sourced ingredients, incredible presentation and a very cosy setting amongst the beauty of the region, Slippurinn is possibly the best iteration of New Nordic fine dining and the best restaurant in Iceland. Head chef Gísli Matthías Auðunsson’s menu incorporates wild seasonal herbs and berries from the beaches of the islands, with local fish, seabird eggs and meat, prepared in creative and surprising ways. “You can taste the landscape,” said one panellist. “I literally cried because the food was so good.” This place deserves a Michelin star.
This large, proud, red-painted harbour house is one of the main buildings in Vopnafjörður. It contains a local history museum, an information centre, a crafts shop, and a cosy and welcoming café. “Try the stellar local seafood pizza,” the panel advised. The opening hours are somewhat sporadic, so check in advance.
Iceland has a massive amount of greenhouse produce activity and here, one gets to sit amongst the tomato plants and bees with a fabulous meal. “I wanted to pick tomatoes off the plant while I ate,” said one panellist. Famous for their succulent soup and bread buffet, their small but superb menu also includes pasta dishes and killer cocktails.
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.