The South West

The South Western area of Iceland offers a real mix between dramatic lava fields and the some of the country’s most stunning beaches – although Iceland tours are not stereotypically known to be beach style holidays these beaches are so wild and dramatic we do recommend seeing them.

The Reynisfjara Beach is of particular merit and the combination of impressive rock foundations and black lava sand mean the beach was able to obtain an award in 1991 as one of the top 10 most beautiful non tropical beaches in the world. The area is also home to the famous Reynisdranger sea stack formations which are believed to be remains of sea cliffs and make for a dramatic sight. Ancient folklore believes these stacks were once trolls which were trying to pull ships in from the sea, however dawn fast arose and therefore the trolls were turned into solid stone. From a wildlife point of view these sea stacks are full of nesting birds including thousands of Fulmars, Puffins and Guillemots. It is therefore considered a must see for bird watchers.

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Although impressive the sea in this area is beginning to build a notorious reputation. It is believed that due to the lack of any significant land masses between Reynisfjara and Antartica the waves are able to build up significant strength meaning that even on a still summer day they can raise far quicker than expected. It is therefore imperative that visiting the site should be done with caution – our guides will ensure you come to no harm on these formidable beaches when on your tailor made Iceland holiday.  West of the neighbouring village of Vik are the cliffs of Mount Reynisfjall. This imposing mountain is 5km long and approximately 340 meters tall. It is renowned for being home to thousands of puffins between the months of June and August. Seals, whales and dolphins can also be seen in the ocean.

This South West also includes the Golden Circle which combines three of the country’s most famous sights. These include the Gullfoss Falls which translates as the golden falls and is one of the most recognised waterfalls. It sits within the canyon of Hvita River. It plunges in two stages and falls a dramatic 105ft in total. The Golden Circle also includes the Geysir’s Geothermal fields and pools which includes Strokkur – a famous hot spring which shoots boiling hot water as far at 100ft in the air.  The Golden Circle also includes Pingvellir which is a stunning and dramatic landscape and a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s an area of approximately 300 kilometres and starts in Reykjavik in the West and goes East to Gulfoss before coming back around in a loop via Selfoss in the South. There is so much to see on any holiday in Iceland, but we don’t recommend packing it in, but seeing a few select places and relaxing into each one – we will guide you through the different options and ensure the holiday is perfect for you.

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