Our South Coast: Fire & Ice tour is an action packed day that allows you to experience the best parts of the south coast of Iceland. The south coast has some of Iceland’s best sights. We get to explore massive glaciers, powerful waterfalls, volcanic black sand beaches and infamous volcanoes. This Hidden Iceland tour really has it all, and you can experience it in one unforgettable day. Read more and book below.
LAVA Centre Interactive Exhibition
The South Coast: Fire and Ice tour starts with pickup in Reykjavik from 8:00 am. We head out along the south coast, driving through the beautiful Icelandic landscape to the town of Hvolsvöllur. Here we visit the newly opened, award winning and interactive LAVA centre. You will learn all about Iceland’s volcanic past, present and potential future. The LAVA Centre is ideally located only 1.5 hours from Reykjavik. The small village where it is based is situated close to many active volcanoes including the world famous Eyjafjallajökull. It was this very volcano that stopped over 100,000 planes from flying back in 2010. Don’t worry though, none of the active volcanoes in Iceland are currently erupting!
Glacier Hike on Sólheimajökull Glacier
A short drive through some awe inspiring scenery and we arrive at the true highlight of the trip. We get ready for a glacier hike on the stunning Sólheimajökull glacier. This mighty glacier flows down from the enormous Mýrdalsjökull icecap. The ice cap sits directly on top of one of the most powerful and feared volcanoes in the country, Katla. This section of the south coast is really what gives the South Coast: Fire and Ice tour its name. Past volcanic eruptions and the moving glaciers create the stunning landscapes that are unique to this area.
The glacier hike on the tour is around 2.5 hours in total with around 1 hour spent on the glacier ice itself. We hike for around 3-4 kilometres (approx. 2 miles) in total at a medium pace with lots of stops. The hike requires a moderate fitness level with good knee and ankle mobility, where you will hike up and over uneven terrain.
PLEASE NOTE: The glacier hike is not mandatory part of the tour. If you are worried about your fitness for the hike, please get in touch with us or read our Glacier Hike Guide.
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Next up, we head to Reynisfjara to see the amazing rock formations at this spectacular black sand beach. The angular basalt columns with their hexagonal shapes are the perfect photo spot on calm days. In summer you might get to spot some very cute puffins nesting in the cliffs overhead. In winter you are often treated to some intense crashing waves. One thing is for sure, you’ll get lost in thought as you wander along the volcanic black sand. For those of you who haven’t brought food with you, the Black Beach Restaurant is a great spot to test out some local produce. The locally grown turnip soup is a Hidden Iceland guide favourite!
As we reach the latter part of the day we start to drive back west towards Reykjavik. Along the way we will make a quick stop at the famous Skógafoss waterfall. This 200ft fast flowing vertical waterfall can be enjoyed from afar or up close. Just remember to wear your waterproofs if you go to the very front. You can hire some Hidden Iceland waterproofs if you want to get really close. On sunny days you might be treated to a rainbow hidden in the mist of the waterfall. The majesty of this waterfall is not lost on popular culture either with both Game of Thrones and Vikings using this location for filming.
The action doesn’t stop there though. Our final stop of the day on the South Coast: Fire and Ice tour is at the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. A similar height to Skógafoss but with one key difference; you can walk behind this one when it’s not icy. The waterfall is a result of melting glacial ice pouring down from the peak of Eyjafjallajökull. The cave behind the waterfall is massive enough to walk all the way around. In winter it is often not possible to walk behind due to ice. During these months you are then treated to the wintery scene of snow, icicles and a partially frozen waterfall.
South Coast Sights
The drive back to Reykjavik allows you to sit back in comfort and take in even more of the beauty of the south. It also gives you the chance to admire and share all your treasured photos from the day. On clear days the view from your comfortable Hidden Iceland vehicle adds so much to the tour. If you’re lucky you might see a few more volcanoes in the distance. Notably, the cone shaped Hekla volcano and the archipelago of the Westman Islands. We’ll get you back in time for a late dinner in the city.
Operates: All year
Duration: 11-12 hours
Pick-Up Time: 8:00 am
Group size: Minimum 1 / Maximum 12
Minimum age: 10 years old
Level of difficulty: Moderate (glacier hike) – full mobility of knees and ankles is required.
Price: 22,990 ISK per person
Included: The entrance fee at the Lava Centre Exhibition in Hvolsvollur, a glacier hike* with all the glacier safety gear you need (crampons, helmet, harness and axe). Pickup and drop-off in Reykjavik and transportation with a small group (max 12) and an English speaking guide.
For choosing your PICKUP LOCATION please read this important information.
Glacier Hike Details
The glacier hike on our scheduled trips are aimed for first timers. However, the ice can be steep and uneven in sections. If you struggle with walking for one hour at a good pace and don’t enjoy walking on uneven and sloped ground then the glacier hike may not be for you. The steepest sections involve stair like features and slopes. You will be wearing crampons (spikes) on your feet and full mobility of your ankles and knees is necessary. The glacier hike on this tour is around 2.5 hours in total with around 1 hour spent on the glacier ice. The hike covers around 3-4 kilometres (approx. 2 miles). The hike requires a moderate fitness level where you will hike up and over uneven terrain.
Each guide on the trip will make the final decision at the time of the hike. If they refuse to let you on the ice please know it is purely for the safety of not just you, but also for the rest of the group. To learn more about the glacier hike you can check out our Glacier Hike Guide.
Good to know
We will stop in the south coast town of Hvolsvöllur to load up on snacks for the day. You can shop here and bring food and for the day if you want to spend more time at the sights during lunch. There is ample time to have lunch at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach Restaurant too. Lunch is not included in the price of this tour.
Please note that the glacier hike is NOT a mandatory part of the South Coast: Fire and Ice tour. The amazing views of the glacier and lagoon from the front is a great alternative. If you are unsure if you would like to join this part of the tour chat with your guide on the day.
The glacier can sometimes be unsafe or inaccessible due to weather or conditions at the glacier. This can often be as a result of high levels of rainfall, strong winds or heavy snow. Hidden Iceland consider safety to be our number one priority. If we are unable to do the glacier hike then, when possible, we will walk along the glacier valley to the edge of the glacier (if safe). We will then continue our tour along the south coast, adding in a couple of our favourite hidden sights. These extra stops would not be possible normally.
We look forward to exploring with you on our South Coast: Fire and Ice tour soon.