Our tour guide recounted tales about goblins and fairies as we traveled hours to our first location on the South Coast in Iceland. The buses were cramped but we were cozy and entertained. I used Michael’s comfortable arm as a pillow as he watched the mountains morph into farmland and then back into sharp objects with hundreds of mini waterfalls.
The South Coast Tour was the most anticipated trip for us. Though the other passengers on the bus became unpleasant company, we still did our best to capture what we could in the 15 minutes we had to hike to our location, take pictures, take a breath, then head back for snacks and/or bathroom. Of all the tours we took, the South Coast in Iceland was a blast!
Why Book with Arctic Adventures
According to Arctic Adventures, many car accidents and deaths on the island are of tourists. Evidently, visitors do dangerous shenanigans to get the perfect Instagram picture. From walking too close to the ocean to driving in hazardous weather without any proper experience, tourist have risked their lives for nothing.
Knowing this helped solidify my choice to book a tour guide to drive us. I didn’t want to drive in a different country or have Michael stress on having to find his way. Though I think you could get away with driving the Golden Circle yourself, I wouldn’t recommend it for the South Coast in Iceland as the weather drastically changes the closer you got to glaciers and the ocean.
The Reynisdranger Basalt Columns on Black Sand Beach inspired the architecture for Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík. Near the town of Vik, there are freestanding sea stacks that you can sit and climb onto.
It turns out Game of Thrones did film an episode at Black Sand Beach! It was when the men of the Night’s Watch were stationed in Eastwatch. I don’t fully remember the episode; however, I had deja-vu! If you are interested in learning more about this majestic structure, read my Why Iceland Was Worth Every Penny post.
The second-best part of the south coast tour was Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. I have never seen glaciers before, so seeing that for the first time was surreal – especially with seals swimming around them. Being there was like watching an episode of Planet Earth.
For Michael, his second-favorite location would probably be the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. I also enjoyed the view but not for the same reasons he did. Mike always gravitated toward the sheer volume of water pouring down.
It was the whole scenery that took me in. The rocks devoured by moss, the black pebbles underneath my feet, endless skies, and the jutting formations all around, was all I needed to stand astounded by Iceland’s beauty. The waterfall was just the cherry on top – and a beautiful one at that!
|Iceland’s South Coast Tour Let-Downs
My biggest let-down was Diamond Beach.
The beach is known for its large glaciers washing up onshore. The crystallized water highlighted by light typically contrasted against the dark pebbles beneath. This is what caused the glaciers to look like large diamonds – hence the name.
I imagined myself being awed by the cold structures surrounding me as the ocean tumbled several feet away. Even the tour guide said, “They can be as big as couches. If you see one, please do not sit on them as the turbulent ocean can whisk you away and it is too dangerous for us to save you.”
“Wow,” I thought. So big you could be whisked away…
Unfortunately, there was a heatwave causing the glaciers to shrink and melt into tiny chunks you could easily pick up. Needless to say, with the wind whipping cold rain and ocean spray, we didn’t need a whole 15 minutes and went back to the bus shivering and wet in disappointment.
However, don’t let our experience discourage you. Our tour guide said they get much bigger and we just happened to hit natures warm spell. Your chances of seeing it in its prime is still possible.
I hope you enjoyed this recount of our South Coast Iceland adventure. We definitely would recommend grabbing a tour bus so you can relax and enjoy the view. It is not only a long drive but a shaky one as winds and rain tend to pour down as if a test to see if you can make it.
In the lands of vikings, fairies, trolls, Iceland was more than what we could have hoped for.
Comment down below if you are excited to visit yourself!