This VR tour takes you to all the major points of interest along the south coast of Iceland. Waterfalls, Sea Cliffs, Black Sand Beaches, Glaciers and Glacier lagoons. See a map of the locations in this VR tour below.
The first panorama is from Hveragerði, a small town and municipality in the south of Iceland located 45 km to the east of Reykjavík on Iceland’s main ringroad, Route 1. This 360 panorama is shot during the town festival Blómstrandi dagar í Hveragerði. A vast number of people pass through or by Hveragerði in south Iceland each year. Located between Reykjavík, Iceland and Selfoss, Iceland, Hveragerði may be seen from the vantage point of the mountain slope, as it spreads out across a 5,000 year-old lava field. Troughout the year, pillars of steam from the numerous hot springs in the town may be seen rising up out of the ground. During summer the town is truly a green community, abounding in trees. There are walking and riding trails from the town into Ölfusdalur valley, the Hengill area and all the way to Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station and the national park Þingvellir, Arnessysla, Iceland. On the route you will find warm natural pools and rivers for bathing in the Hot River, Reykjadalur, Iceland. To South Iceland Tourist Information Center provides information about hiking trails, various activities, museums, exhibitions, culture, art, accommodation, services and guided tours of Hveragerði and its surroundings. See more travel information at https://www.south.is/”}” To South Iceland Tourist Information Center provides information about hiking trails, various activities, museums, exhibitions, culture, art, accommodation, services and guided tours of Hveragerði and its surroundings. See more travel information at https://www.south.is/
We continue our journey along the south shore and visit the first large waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, which is one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. Seljalandsfoss is located between Hvolsvöllur and Skógar, just of the Ring Road (Route nr.1) on the south coast of Iceland, by the road that leads to Thórsmörk (Road 249). Seljalandsfoss is not far from Reykjavík, Iceland, only ca 120 kilometres, which makes it a popular destination for tourists travelling along the south coast and it´s possible to visit both Seljalandsfoss and nearby Skógafoss and return back to Reykjavík on the same day. The waterfall drops 60 m (197 ft) and is part of the Seljalands River that has its origin in the infamous volcano glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Visitors can walk along a path that goes behind the waterfall. You can spot Seljalandsfoss from the ring-road long before you reach it and on a clear day it can be a breathtaking sight to watch it getting closer and closer. In the dark winter months the waterfall is lit up by floodlights at night which makes a nighttime visit highly recommended.
Next stop is another majestic waterfall, Skógafoss, a waterfall in the Skógá River on the south coast of Iceland, at the cliffs of the former coastline. After the coastline had receded seaward (it is now at a distance of about 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from Skógar), the former sea cliffs remained, parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometres, creating together with some mountains a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland. The staircase leading to the viewing platform by Skógafoss is also the starting point of the well known hiking route Fimmvörðuháls, between Skógar and Thórsmörk.
Our next location are the sea cliffs of Dyrhólaey , which is a 120-metre high promontory, not far from the town Vík and the famous black sand beach at Reynisdrangar. The place got its name from the massive arch that the sea has eroded from the headland. (The name literally means “door-hole-island”). When the sea is calm, big boats can sail through it. There has even been a daredevil pilot that flew through the arch with a small-craft airplane! From the top of Dyrhólaey there is a great view of the surrounding area. The headland is thought to have been made in an underwater volcanic eruption late in the glacial period, not unlike the eruption of Surtsey. Dyrhólaey has been a natural reserve since 1978. There is a local legend about a monster having lived here for many centuries. The monster seems to have disappeared after a landslide over 100 years ago. Birdlife here is abundant, with puffins and eider ducks being the most common species in the area. The lighthouse on the top of the cliff stands impressive and stoic in this often very windy area. Although people have actually surfed here (under optimal conditions in wet suits), the rip tides and currents are devious and one should never attempt to go into the water! Leave the swimming to the numerous seals which one often can see in the area.
We continue our tour towards Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall near the village Vík í Mýrdal, southern Iceland which is framed by the famous black sand beach Reynisfjara, that was ranked in 1991 as one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world. Reynisfjall is a 340 m high tuff mountain arising out of a volcanic eruption from under a glacier in the penultimate Ice Age, near the village of Vik. Alternating in an irregular manner are layers of tuff, pillow lava and columnar basalt veins and loops. Legend says that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock. Nota Bene: The waves at Reynisfjara are especially strong and unpredictable, and fatal accidents have occurred at this beach, so people are advised to take extra care when visiting the area.
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. Despite its small size (291 inhabitants as of January 2011) it 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.
Our next stop is the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Icelandic for “church farm cloister”) which is one of the smallest villages in the south of Iceland on the Hringvegur (road no. 1 or Ring Road) between Vík í Mýrdal and Höfn. It is part of the municipality of Skaftárhreppur and has about 120 inhabitants. Kirkjubæjarklaustur’s geographical location makes it better known than other villages its size. It is the only place between Vík and Höfn which offers services such as a fuel station, a bank, a post office and a supermarket. Nearby tourist attractions include Fjaðrárgljúfur, the Lakagigar craters, the Eldgjá canyon and Skaftafell – Vatnajökull National Park.
We continue our journey towards the biggest glacier in Iceland, Vatnajökull. Öræfajökull (The highest part of Vatnajökull) is an ice-covered volcano in south-east Iceland. The largest active volcano and the highest peak in Iceland at 2,110 metres (6,920 ft), it lies within the Vatnajökull National Park and is covered by the glacier. Seen here from the black desert sands of Skeiðarársandur. The sand is carved by millennia of glacial floods that have come flowing from nearby glaciers Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Skeiðarárjökull and Morsárjökull. The bridge in the foreground is regularly swept away out to sea by massive glacial flood waves that come rushing down the sands. The snowy peak in the middle is Hvannadalshnúkur, pyramidal peak on the northwestern rim of the summit crater of the Öræfajökull volcano in Iceland and is the highest in Iceland. An official measurement completed in August 2005 established the height of the mountain as 2,109.6 metres (6,921 ft) (previously set as 2,119 m (6,952 ft)) The route to the top is a popular climb through numerous and frequently hidden crevasses, and, because of this, the climb calls for experienced mountain guides.
We end our journey at one of Iceland´s natural wonders, Jökulsárlón, which is a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland. Its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of larger Vatnajökull Glacier. The Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach. In winter, the fish-filled lagoon hosts hundreds of seals. The lake can be seen from Route 1 between Höfn and Skaftafell. It appears as “a ghostly procession of luminous blue icebergs”. Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies: A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Batman Begins, as well as the reality TV series Amazing Race. The Jökulsárlón lake provides outstanding views of the ice cap, a vast dome of ice that rises to a height of 3,000 ft (910 m). It spills to the lagoon 12 mi (19 km) away from the jagged glacier hill to the edge of the water line. The lake developed only about 60 years ago (1948 is mentioned), when the entire area was less than 100 ft (30 m) of glacier, which was only 250 yd (230 m) from the Atlantic Ocean, and 2 mi (3.2 km) away from Vatnajökull. Vatnajökull was at the shore line of the ocean and dropped icebergs into the ocean. However, it started drifting inland rapidly every year, leaving deep gorges en route, which got filled with melted water and large chunks of ice. These icebergs gather at the mouth of the lake’s shallow exit, melt down into smaller ice blocks, and roll out into the sea. In summer, icebergs melt and roll down the channel into the sea. The lake does not freeze in winter. Ice water and soil make a unique ecological phenomenon. Jökulsárlón Lake, the “glacier lake”, is now reported to have doubled in size in the recent 15-year period. The huge blocks of ice that calve from the edge of Vatnajökull are about 30 m (98 ft) high, which fills the lagoon stocked with icebergs. Some icebergs appear naturally sculpted on account volcanic ash from ancient eruptions that partly covers them.