Vik & Reynisdrangar
Vík is situated on the Southern-most land part in Iceland. Vík was once a fishing village. Men would launch their mid sized fishing boats from the black sand beach, which was a very dangerous occupation given the huge surf here. Every where along the shore line are reminders of some serious ship wrecks including a memorial to drowned seamen whose boats were likely caught up in the rocks (Reynisdrangur). Vík is threatened by glacier floods from a Katla volcano eruption. Such floods come every 100 years and are described as the biggest floods humans have ever experienced. The Church is situated high on a hill and is the site of refuge should any serious eruption occur.
Vík is now a principle tourist destination as it lies on the number 1 road at a reasonable distance for a day trip from Reykjavik. Vík is often the furthest point on most South Coast photo tours. Vík also serves as a useful resting point as it is half way from Reykjavik to Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon & ice-beach.
There is a very busy grill which shares it car park with a busy gift store and this is all across the road from one of Iceland’s largest campsites and a long golf course.
Reynisdrangur sea stacks
Most of the town is obsessed with the Reynidrangur sea stacks. You can spot the shape in many places. Legend has it that this was a tröll who was frozen in the morning light as he tried to tow his sailing ship ashore. Most photographers also obsess about the sea-stacks which can be seen from 2 beaches. The iconic shape is best viewed from the Vík beach.
From the other black beach at Reynisfjara, the stacks appear with a different configuration and can be seen along with one of the finest examples of basalt hexagons. The sea can be very dangerous and has claimed the lives of several unsuspecting tourists.
During the Winter always check weather and road conditions on safetravel.is because the elevated road approaching Vík can be very dangerous and often closes in severe Winter storms. If you get it wrong you could end up stranded in Vik for several unintentional hours.
With the sea stacks in mind explore the town to find different angles and different foregrounds. The best moments on the Vík side beach are Winter sunsets, but with light in the town better on Winter mornings.
Danger of death!
You should observe the safety warnings, especially on the Reynisfjara side. The information points called the dangerous waves “Sneaker waves”, but they should be called Doc Martin waves.
Photo Tours that could include Vik
11 day package
9 day tour
issued 13th March 2019
Snow fall in the South and East of Iceland are creating Winter driving conditions on the roads. Light-weight crampons are recommended for most tourist spots as the paths are icy.
Five days to photograph the best of South Iceland. Many top photo locations each day with overnight stays in great places for Northern lights photography.
Three days to capture the best of Iceland’s South Coast and Glacier lagoons with opportunities for ice caves and Vestrahorn mountain.
A selection of South Coast sightseeing tours from our partners.