On the road: Reykjavík to Vík

Magazine On the road: Reykjavík to Vík

The drive from Iceland’s capital Reykjavík to the idyllic former fishing village of Vík takes about 2 hours 20 minutes and takes you through moss-covered lava fields, gleaming glacier edges and impressive waterfalls worth seeing. With all the incredible natural beauty along the way, here are a few tips on where to stop on your drive to Vík!

Hveragerdi Geothermal Park – Geothermal swims and eats!
35 minutes drive

Hot springs, clay foot baths and black bread baked right in the burning ground! That’s what Hveragerdi’s Geothermal Park is all about. Conveniently located in the middle of Hveragerdi this is a great place to stop for a refreshing dip in a hot spring or have lunch in the local restaurant that uses the geothermal heat for its outdoor kitchen. The park is open every day in the summer, and during the off-season, the local information office arranges group tours on request.
More: South Iceland Tourist Information Center: tel. +354-483 4601 www.south.is

Seljalandsfoss – Peaking behind a waterfall
1hr 35 minutes drive

On a bright day, you can see the white waters of Seljalandsfoss falling from far away. The waters are pouring down from the most well-known glacier in Iceland – Eyjafjallajökull – which famously erupted in 2010. The waterfall is right by the main road, impossible to miss and has a parking space right next to it. What makes the Seljalandsfoss a unique experience is the possibility to walk behind the falling waters – and some people even go fishing under it! Make sure you have sturdy outdoor shoes, and preferably water-resistant clothing if you go for a walk behind the waterfall – the path is rocky and muddy.

Seljavallalaug - Swimming in the armpit of a glacier
1 hr 50 minutes drive

If you want to get off the beaten path for a bit, the Seljavallalaug outdoor pool will be the perfect opportunity for that. Seljavallalaug is a protected 25-meter pool built in 1923, located in a valley nook of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland. How to get there is also a small adventure. Driving from Reykjavík you turn from the Ring Road no. 1 onto road 242 (Raufarfell). The road is very small so drive slowly so as not to miss it! Drive until you see a sign for Seljavellir and drive along that road to a new pool, where you can find a parking space. From the car park, there is a walking path accessible for anyone able to walk. The path is rocky, and there is a small creek you need to cross so wear good shoes! The walk is about 15-20 minutes, and the pool will be visible right at the end of the path. There are open changing rooms, but no lockers, so leave your valuables in a safe place and remember, this pool is not heated. The views will be the most incredible you’ve ever seen while taking a dip!

Skógafoss – Views from above and a hidden treasure
1hr 55 minutes drive

Another incredible waterfall along the route to Vík is Skógafoss, which falls off cliffs that used to be the Southern Iceland coastline. It’s one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland with a 60m drop of water, and the waterfall is 25m wide. There is a walkway right up to it and stairs to an observation platform if you feel like stretching your legs after the drive and taking a short hike up. And pssst! A Viking legend has it that there is a treasure of gold hidden behind the Skógafoss waterfall…

If you have more time: Vestmannaeyjar (The Westman Islands)
2h 35 minutes drive & ferry ride

The Westman Islands are a popular place to visit, and you can get to the ferry from the same route you are driving to Vík. Just follow the signs from Route 1, just before the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The ferries leave from Landeyjahöfn, and the ride takes about 35 minutes. There are accommodations and restaurants at the Westman Islands if you wish to stay overnight, flightseeing and boat tours and loads of lovely puffins.

 

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