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.
Best Sightseeing Tour
Vatnajökull National Park
The endless colours of the Fjallabak region are best seen from a high vantage point. Flying in either a helicopter or a small plane, you’ll witness the braided glacial rivers, rich volcanic landscape and intense glacial structures of this stunning area that can’t be fully appreciated from the ground. Whilst it’s definitely not for the budget traveller, there are various companies that offer these flights and it is worth every penny.
After a short hike, descend into the dormant Þríhnjúkagígar volcano and witness a side of the earth one could rarely experience. “There’s something bizarrely humbling and emotional about standing in the Rothko-esque empty belly of a volcano,” said one panellist after seeing this natural wonder.
One can fly or take a ferry to Heimaey, the largest of the Westman Islands, but the best way to take in this island chain is by hopping on a boat tour and weaving through them all. Jagged sea cliffs, volcanic isle formations, rich birdlife and mysterious waters, the whole adventure is visual poetry.
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.