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Vík

Vík í Mýrdal is the southernmost village in Iceland right next to the great Mount Katla Volcano and on one of the longest black beaches in the world. To the north lies Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and to the south there is the open ocean stretching ten thousand miles all the way to Antarctica. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is just on the other side of Mount Reynisfjall and Reynisdrangar rock formations can be seen rising from the sea just off the coastline. Vík is one of the main stops of the ring road on the south coast of Iceland and if you are heading further east to the glacier lagoon then the Ice Wear complex has the last proper grocery store for the next two hundred miles.


The classic South Shore Tour usually goes all the way to Vík which is not just a great lunch stop but also has one of the best souvenir shops along the ring road and a really good collection of wool goods many of which are made in the area since Ice Wear is from right here. Vík is also the home of The Icelandic Lava Show where you can experience a recreation of a volcanic eruption as they heat lava up its liquid state at 1100°C and you get to hear it sizzle, see it flow and feel the intense heat in safe controlled surroundings. There is also a lovely church on a hill above the village where there is a beautiful view over the area and far out to sea.


Vík is the center of Katla UNESCO Geopark formed around the area affected most by the great volcano. During the 1918 eruption so much ash, gravel and lava was brought forth by the volcano that the coastline in the area moved on average around 200 meters out. Eruptions in the past have greatly affected the area and it is evident from the rugged peaks and amount of black sand that this is a place very much at the mercy of the elements. The coastline goes through daily changes as the sand moves and the whole area is famous for the irregular sneaker waves which have caused deaths as people get snatched up and pulled out to sea. But for those who wish to brave nature then this is also a popular spot for paragliding and there is a little glider port on top of Mount Reynisfjall.


Whether you are spending the day doing The Golden Circle, The South Shore or The Glacier Lagoon, Vík is the largest settlement in a scarcely populated area but offers some options for lunch, dinner and accommodation including Hotel Kría and The Icelandair Hotel Vík and there are quite a few good spots for northern lights in winter and during the summer months puffins and full-mars nest in the seaside cliffs.