Insider tips: Explore Vik like a local
Olly Gaspar is a professional adventure travel photographer and blogger known for his captivating visual storytelling and immersive travel guides. Olly has spent the last five years traveling full-time and posting about his adventures on We Seek Travel.
What should I do on my first trip to Vik?
Vik is a small village on Iceland’s southern coast and one of the coolest places to stay. It’s known for its towering volcanic cliffs, epic black sand beaches, and dramatic waterfalls. If you’re visiting Vik for the first time, you’ll want to visit Reynisfjara Beach, one of Iceland’s most famous black sand beaches and an amazing spot for dramatic landscape photos. Skógafoss waterfall, one of the largest in the country, is another must-see. — make sure to visit early to beat the crowds.
What are some hidden gems to see in Vik?
There are several hidden gems to discover in Vik that are not as well-known as the popular attractions on the nearby Golden Circle route. One is Fjadragljufur, a stunning and secluded canyon just a short drive from Vik that’s great for hiking. You can also find some excellent glacier and ice cave experiences from Vik, like the trip to Katla Ice Cave. If you find the Skógafoss waterfall too busy when you arrive, check out the Kvernufoss waterfall, a much less visited but equally beautiful cascade nearby.
How much time should I spend in Vik?
Many travelers visit Vik for only a day on the way to see the southern highlights like Reynisfjara Beach. Still, there’s so much to explore here, and finding a place to stay in Vik for two or three days is a great idea if you want to visit the ice caves and black sand beaches, and experience the famous zipline in the Diamond Circle.
What is the best way to get around Vik?
The best way to get around Iceland is to rent a car. You can easily do this in Reykjavik or at Reykjavik Airport. While Vik is a small village, most of its main attractions are located outside of town, so it’s best to drive or book a tour that leaves from the village.
What are the best months to visit Vik?
Summer is the peak visitor season in Iceland (June-August) when the weather is mild and the days are long. This is the best time for outdoor activities like hiking and day trips to see the amazing waterfalls, but everywhere is busier. If you prefer fewer crowds, Alternatively, the shoulder seasons around May and September are a good time to go. You can still enjoy good weather and long daylight hours at this time but with fewer tourists and lower prices. If you visit Vik during the winter, prepare for extreme cold, but you’ll get a better chance to explore the nearby ice caves and see the Northern Lights.
What is Vik known for?
The small southern village of Vik is best known for its stunning natural scenery and unique volcanic beaches. The village is also known for its rich history and culture. Don't miss the ancient church of Vík i Myrdal and the Skaftfellingur Ship Museum.
What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Vik?
One of the most incredible natural areas to explore around Vik is the Skaftafell National Park, around 1.5 hours away by car. Skaftagell boasts epic glaciers, incredible ice caps, and towering mountain backdrops that make for some amazing photos. This park has plenty of hiking trails, including the Skaftafellsjökull glacier and the Svartifoss waterfall trails.
What are the best beaches around Vik?
Vik is home to several stunning volcanic beaches, including Reynisfjara Beach and the lesser-known Dyrhólaey Beach. These beaches are worth visiting for the impressive volcanic landscapes, quite unlike anywhere else on Earth. Reynisfjara Beach, located just a few kilometers west of the village, is famous for its black sand, towering basalt sea stacks, and dramatic cliffs formed by the powerful forces of the ocean and wind. Dyrhólaey Beach is located about a 15-minute drive east of Vik and is another beautiful beach with an impressive, massive arch rising from the waves.