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Vík í Mýrdal

Location

Vík í Mýrdal is a remote seafront village in south Iceland. It sits in the shadow of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which covers the Katla volcano. Reyniskirkja is a wooden church dating to 1929. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach has black pebbles, basalt columns and the Reynisdrangar offshore rock formations. The cliffs of Reynisfjall mountain are home to seabirds such as puffins.

Check out our Travel tips and Tours on the South Coast of Iceland

Despite its small size (291 inhabitants as of January 2011), Vík í Mýrdal is the largest settlement for some 70 km (43 mi) around and is an important staging post, thus it is indicated on road signs from a long distance away. It is an important service center for the inhabitants of and visitors to the coastal strip between Skógar and the west edge of the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plain. Vík lies directly south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which itself is on top of the Katla volcano. The volcano Katla, which is a part of Katla Unesco Global Geopark – Iceland, has not erupted since 1918, and this longer than typical dormant period has led to speculation that an eruption may occur soon. An eruption of Katla could melt enough ice to trigger an enormous flash flood, potentially large enough to obliterate the entire town. The town’s church, located high on a hill, is believed to be the only building that would survive such a flood. The town has 1,400 hotel rooms for scientists and tourists, who are also briefed about Katla’s dangers