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Iceland South Coast Small group activities

Our most recommended Iceland South Coast Small group activities

From Reykjavik: South Coast Day Trip and Glacier Hike

1. From Reykjavik: South Coast Day Trip and Glacier Hike

Get up close and personal with a glacier and see the most popular spots on the south coast of Iceland on this day trip from Reykjavik. Visit the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, the Insta-famous Reynisfjara black-sand beach, and hike along Sólheimajökull glacier. Departing from Reykjavik, travel along a scenic route along Iceland's southern coast and take in views of the rugged countryside and cliffs. Stop to visit two classical Icelandic waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Get the chance to walk behind the crashing waters at Seljalandsfoss. At Skogafoss, learn about the traditional Icelandic legends that surround this imposing waterfall. Next, continue to Reynisfjara beach. Enjoy a stroll along the black sands of the beach and admire the huge rock columns that extend the whole way out to the sea. Finally, arrive at the Sólheimajökull glacier. Get kitted out with crampons, an ice pick, and a helmet. After a short walk to the base of the glacier, hike up and onto the ice, through twists and turns along the glacier's peak. Hike for three hours before finishing up and heading back to Reykjavik.

From Reykjavik: Guided Exploration of Katla Glacier & Caves

2. From Reykjavik: Guided Exploration of Katla Glacier & Caves

Leave Reykjavik to discover the frozen wilderness of Iceland. Take a scenic drive to the coastal village of Vik, before going off-road in a jeep modified for icy conditions. Arrive at Katla glacier and walk across frozen water to venture into the ice caves. Venture south from Reykjavik to the coast of Iceland. Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery as you drive, encountering waterfalls, black sand beaches, and breathtaking mountain backdrops. Catch a glimpse of Kekla in the distance, Iceland’s most active volcano. Visit the coastal village of Vik, hopefully not connected to any living Vikings, and get ready for the adventure to begin. Jump into your modified super jeep, capable of driving through anything. Experience the thrill of off-road travel to reach Katla glacier. Arrive in the wondrous icy wilderness and gear up to delve into the ice caves. Walk across the frozen water with provided crampons and find yourself beneath Katla glacier. Marvel at the way the light filters through the caves. 

Sólheimajökull Ice Climb and Glacier Hike

3. Sólheimajökull Ice Climb and Glacier Hike

Defy gravity on an exciting ice climb and hike across the Sólheimajökull Glacier, the outlet glacier that was featured in Chasing Ice, the award-winning documentary about climate change. Meet your certified guide at the Sólheimajökull Glacier parking lot to collect all the necessary safety equipment. Hike toward the outlet glacier and get ready to face the challenge of the climb. Listen as your guide shows all you need to know to successfully conquer the body of dense ice. Learn all the basic techniques of ice climbing, and hear about the history and formation of the ever-changing glacier. Follow your guide to the perfect climbing location, and watch as they set up the ice-climbing system before you climb up the icy walls under their safe guidance.  

From Reykjavík: South Coast Day Trip with Glacier Hike

4. From Reykjavík: South Coast Day Trip with Glacier Hike

Combine a sightseeing tour with a glacier hike on this guided day trip from Reykjavík by bus. Marvel at Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls. Hike on Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Be picked up from your accommodation in Reykjavik and pass the Hellisheiðarvirkjun geothermal power plant. Stop at the "Game of Thrones" featured Skógafoss waterfall. Hear the story about the hidden treasure behind the waterfall. Travel to Mýrdalsjökull glacier and listen as your guide gives you safety instructions. Check your safety gear and hit the ice. Hike for 2.5 hours with 1.5 hours spent on the stunning glacier. Head to Reynisfjara's black sand beach. Take in views of the basalt columns facing the beach and try to spot a puffin family. Continue to Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls before heading back to Reykjavík.

From Reykjavík: Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike

5. From Reykjavík: Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavík, and then journey to the Sólheimajökull glacier near the southenmost village of Vik.  Upon arrival, meet your certified glacier guide and get a safety briefing to help your walk on the ice. Put on the provided glacier gear and venture out into the wilderness. Experience the unique sensation of walking on a glacier tongue using crampons and an ice axe.  Return to Reykjavík via the waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss and take souvenir photos of the amazing cascades.

From Reykjavik: Super Jeep Tour of Thórsmörk Valley

6. From Reykjavik: Super Jeep Tour of Thórsmörk Valley

Explore the natural wonders of Iceland's Diamond Circle on a tour in a Super Jeep, including the Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui waterfalls, Eyjafjallajökull volcano, and Thórsmörk mountain ridge with its dramatic views over the Markarfljót riverbed. Enjoy pickup from Reykjavik in the Jeep before heading to the first destination, Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Walk behind the water curtain to admire the cascade from every angle. Next, visit the Gljufrabui waterfall which is concealed by a cliff rock, making it a literal hidden gem of the south coast. You’ll then drive to the Gígjökull glacier, where you’ll witness the power of the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Ride through rough terrain and cross unbridged glacier rivers in the specially-designed Jeep, with impressive views of Iceland’s spectacular landscape from Valahnúkur mountain. Finally, arrive at Thórsmörk mountain ridge, a green oasis located between the three glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull. It offers dramatic views of rich greenery contrasting with the black sand desert of the Markarfljót riverbed.

Sólheimajökull Ice Climbing Tour

7. Sólheimajökull Ice Climbing Tour

Begin at the Sólheimajökull parking lot where you are provided with the glacier gear required for the trip. Then undertake a 15-minute hike on a gravel road to the base of Sólheimajökull. At the base, you will be shown how to put on and use the gear. Once on the glacier, you climb on an easy ice wall to learn the basic skills and techniques of ice climbing. After that, you will try to climb in three different locations on the glacier, either at a nice wall or a hole (called a mulan) that you can get into and climb back up.  Sólheimajökull is a small outlet glacier coming from the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. This is one of the closest glaciers to Reykjavík and takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive there. Mýrdalsjökull, the mire valley glacier, is an ice cap in the south of Iceland. It is to the north of Vík and to the east of the smaller ice cap Eyjafjallajökull. Between these two glaciers is Fimmvörðuháls pass. Its peak reaches 1,493 meters (4,898 foot) and in 1980 it covered an area of 595 kilometers squared (230 square miles). The icecap of the glacier covers an active volcano called Katla. The caldera of the volcano has a diameter of 10 kilometers (6 miles) and the volcano erupts usually every 40 to 80 years. The last eruption took place in 1918. Scientists are actively monitoring the volcano, particularly after the eruption of nearby Eyjafjallajökull began in April 2010. 

Sólheimajökull: Kayaking by the Glacier

8. Sólheimajökull: Kayaking by the Glacier

Your tour will begin as you meet your expert kayaking guide at the Sólheimajökull parking lot. From here, you will be equipped with a dry suit before being shown the basic techniques to manoeuvre in your kayak. These sit-on-top kayaks are extremely easy to steer, and no previous kayaking experience is required. Once on the kayak and you push off into the lagoon, you’ll be immediately immersed into a world of iceberg-filled calm waters, with breathtaking views of the Sólheimajökull Glacier, which is only able to be seen while on water. After a few hours of gliding along the stillness of the lagoon, you will head back to shore having collected some unforgettable memories.

Sólheimajökull: Guided Glacier Hike

9. Sólheimajökull: Guided Glacier Hike

Enjoy a family-friendly glacier walk on Iceland's most visited glacier, the Sólheimajökull glacier. Be guided by a certified, and experienced glacier guide who will equip you with crampons, and ice axes before heading up to the foot of the glacier. After a quick lesson on how to use the technical gear, you and your group will head up to the glacier to explore and experience all that the glacial landscape has to offer. Marvel at the frozen wonderland with its white, clear, and blue ice formations, deep crevasses, and water cauldrons. Take your time navigating the glacier, making sure you have plenty of photo opportunities. Enjoy the scenery and hear stories from your guide about all the ever-changing glaciers.

Sólheimajökull Glacier Hiking Tour

10. Sólheimajökull Glacier Hiking Tour

After meeting in the parking lot and being provided with the glacier gear required for the trip, go over the plan of the day. Next, undertake a 15-minute hike on a gravel road to the base of Sólheimajökull. At the base, be shown how to put on and use the glacier equipment provided. On the ice, learn the different techniques to walk with the crampons (metal spikes) under the boots. The guides will tell you about volcanos, Sólheimajökull, and Iceland and show you lots of different highlights on the glacier. Because this glacier is surrounded by volcanos, you can see different ash from different volcanos and this gives the ice a black and white contrast.  This 3.5-hour glacier hiking tour will allow between 1.5 and 2 hours on the glacier. Sólheimajökull is the closest glacier to Reykjavík and it takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive there. It is also one of the most accessible glaciers in Iceland so this is perfect for a day trip. 

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What people are saying about Iceland South Coast

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 338 reviews

If you’re going to do a south coast tour then you HAVE to walk on the glacier. It took around 3.5 hours but at a slow pace & we covered 5km. Seeing the glacier from the inside was spectacular and a memorable moment. Wear warm clothing & suitable shoes. We were physically tired at the end of the day but better than being on a bus all day & standing with the throngs of tourists at the glacier view point. You won’t regret it, such an adventure

- we done a lot in one day and didn’t feel stretched for time. We visited 2 waterfalls, the black sand beach and then a 3 hour glacier hike. All the guides were very passionate and informative. Would recommend!

Amazing experience to hike a glacier. Just a little disappointed that we got to visit the waterfalls when it was dark but still had an awesome time.

Excellent trip with a superb guide. If you do anything here, this trip was amazing

amazing tour, amazing guide - Einar! we had the best time! high recommendation!