Canyons & Glaciers near Vík, South Coast


Along the southern portion of Iceland's famed Ring Road is the humble coastal town of Vík, an excellent starting point for exploring some of the country's canyons and glaciers. Enjoy a mini road trip cruising along this stretch, passing several different sites, so you can pick and choose what you want to see! 

From Vik, a great first stop is Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, whose rock formations look like they're from another world! A short trail from the parking lot takes you along the canyon ridge, where you'll find some amazing viewpoints as the river curves around the cliffs.

Next, stop to admire the dramatic wilderness of Skaftafell, where you'll find a hiking trail leading to Svartifoss, a particularly scenic waterfall surrounded by columns of basalt. The hike is around 3 miles (5 km) long, offering great views alongside the river and out toward the ocean.

Your next stop can be the quaint town of Hof to view the country's famous Hof Turf church. Covering roofs with turf was a Medieval tactic practiced throughout Europe to protect structures from harsh weather. 

Lastly, visit either the Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoons, depending on how much time you have. Fjallsárlón is just a 10-minute walk from its parking lot, and you can get up close with the glacier's cracks and crevices. Although Jokulsarlon requires a slightly longer trek, it's famous for Diamond Beach, where you can see icebergs floating out to sea. You'll also see many pieces of ice scattered along the black sand—when the sunlight hits, the ice sparkles like diamonds!

For the best view of the area, you can climb up to the top of the nearby hill. And if you're lucky, you may even spot seals, porpoises, or smaller whale species!

Discover other unique experiences along the Ring Road and more glacier experiences in Iceland.

Itineraries with Canyons & Glaciers near Vík

Egilsstaðir to Vik: Top Sights and Stops from East to West

The Drive from Egilsstaðir (east) to Vik (south) offers some incredible scenery past calm fjords, thundering waterfalls, beaches with interesting formations, cool cliffs, and spectacular canyons. While it’s possible to drive this stretch in a single (long) day, you would miss some of the best places that Iceland has to offer. Slow down, enjoy the journey, and spend your time exploring the unique places below.

Iceland Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 11 Days

On this spectacular self-drive itinerary, you'll hit the four cardinal points of Iceland as you loop clockwise around the famous Ring Road. Stop to explore volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, and glaciers from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and beyond. Finish the adventure with a rewarding soak in the Blue Lagoon before you depart.

Iceland: Winter Waterfalls & Glacier Tours - 7 Days

Enjoy the snowier side of Iceland on this seven-day winter adventure. On arrival, head "Into the Glacier" at Langjökull, on the way to discover the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, filled with basalt columns, black-sand beaches, and beautiful cliffs. Then, go on a snowmobiling excursion out of the Golden Circle, and wind down with a warm lagoon soak. Next, visit the spectacular frozen falls along the South Coast, including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, and go on glacier walks at Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón. Wind down with some exploration of snow-topped Reykjavik before heading home.