After a relaxing time in Reykjavik where we visited multiple museums, we head out for the day with our guide Sola to see Iceland’s South Coast waterfalls, glacier, and puffins. Tourists can book with Sola via toursbylocals.com; one of our favorite private guide sources. We also like to use Get Your Guide at https://getyourguide.com
The south coast has some of my favorite places to visit and includes some beautiful waterfalls. Another reason I love it is because there’s a good chance to see the cutest birds in the world, Puffins!
Waterfalls at Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss
Foss means water fall so anytime you are in Iceland and see a sign ending in ‘foss’ you know what you will find soon! My favorite waterfalls on the South Coast are also the favorite of hundreds of others today. Because we knew this, we left early from Reykjavik hoping to beat the crowds.
If you get to Skogafoss at the right time of day, and there is no cloud cover, there are usually spectacular rainbows. I do love my rainbows but today there is just a tiny bit of color. I love the sound and view of the rushing water as it drops about 200 feet over the cliff.
Seljalandsfoss is spectacular as you stand in front of it. But it only gets better once you climb the wet and somewhat slippery steps and walk behind the water fall. The source of the water is from the glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Barrett and I were fortunate to find a fellow hiker take a picture of us behind the waterfall.
Glacier at Solheimajokull
While it had gotten cold and pretty windy, we still took the opportunity to see Solheimajokull. Jokull in Icelandic means glacier. Solheimajokull is an outlet glacier from the 4th largest glacier in Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull. It was a nice short hike on a trail that was very accessible to see Solheimajokull. The glacier is about a mile wide and five miles long but it looks much bigger.
The Puffins at Reynisfjara
While I love the basalt columns at Reynisfjara (also known as Black Sand Beach), my very favorite thing about this lovely stop is getting to see Puffins! I love these little cute and colorful birds. I could sit and watch them for hours. They sit in the craggy rocks or in grass covered areas, often looking like they are playing hide and seek. Iceland is home to the majority of the world’s puffins.
It’s hard to get a proper perspective to the basalt columns at Reynisfiara. They are beautiful and the cave Hálsanefshellir is a wonder to stand and look at where it feels as if the columns on the other side are coming straight through to the cave.
The town of Vik is quite picturesque and you can see the trolls of Rehnisfjara in the water.
A bit of Peace and Quiet Boondocking
Boondocking once again, Sola drove us out to a very quiet, isolated beach where we sat and listened to the waves. It was peaceful, a lovely break from dealing with the crowds of fellow tourists at every stop all day long. For me, the crowds can sap my energy having to bob and weave through people, trying to enjoy the stop, taking pictures, and remembering to take in the moment.
The Lighthouse Trail
On our way back towards Reykjavik, Sola took a slight detour to Stokkseyri where we spent a little bit of time exploring the village and a section of what is now called the Lighthouse Trail. The trail has a walking path that follows the coastline, although you can also drive along the roads. It is connected by three lighthouses, Selvogsviti, Knarrarósviti and Hafnarnesviti and three villages, Þorlákshöfn, Eyrarbakki, and Stokkseyri. The trail is nearly 30 miles long. It looked like a wonderful trail to come back and hike from start to finish!
For more information on the Lighthouse Trail, visit https://www.south.is/en/destinations/travel-routes/the-south-coast-lighthouse-trail.
This turf house was used by the fisherman during bad weather when they couldn’t get back to their villages. They would bring their boats up to the shore and shelter inside this turf house until the weather allowed them to travel.
Returning to Reykjavik
This is our last dinner in Reykjavik as we head out for the Blue Lagoon and our last Michelin dinner at Moss tomorrow. Tonight we dined at Fiskmarkadurinn, which was the first time (and hopefully not my last) eating here. The restaurant was very nice, quiet and the food was wonderful.
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While you plan your visit to Iceland, you might wonder where we stay in Reykjavik? Both the Marriott and Hilton brands are popular, not to mention they each have multiple locations for different budgets. We like to stay at the Hilton Konsulat as it has easy access to downtown and is in a quiet area. You can book directly through Hilton https://booking.tp.st/Cd16t3Lj or through Booking.com https://booking.com
Trip Advisor https://tripadvisor.tp.st/qT4jKKmw provides great information and reviews for pretty much any travel destination. Keep in mind that reviews are personal opinions, not always fact but if you see a lot of good reviews, you have a great chance of it being accurate and the same for not so good reviews!