Vík í Mýrdal

Vík í Mýrdal, also known as Vík, is a village in South Iceland.

Understand

Vík is a very small village, with about 300 inhabitants. Its importance comes largely from the fact that it's about half way along the south coast, and it's one of the few villages actually on the sandy beach that makes up most of the south coast of Iceland. The area is dominated by Mýrdalsjökull, the glacier which is home to Katla, one of Iceland's fiercest volcanoes. The village and the surrounding countryside are in constant danger of floods that might result from a potential volcanic eruption, which has been expected for many years now. On the other side of the village lies the Atlantic ocean which is treacherous in these parts, waves can be big and small boats easily get swallowed up if the crews are not experienced enough. While there is no reason to worry about the volcano if you're a tourist, you should be very careful going into the sea - there have been cases of tourists drowning when caught by waves on the beach near Vík.

Get in

Vík lies on the Ring Road, in an area where there are very few other roads. It's a little under 200 km from Reykjavík to the west, and about 270 km from Höfn to the east.

The bus that travels along the south coast stops in Vík. It leaves from Reykjavík at 8:30am and gets in around midday.

Get around

Vík is absolutely tiny, so walking around the village is easy. For the wider area, however, it's a good idea to have a well-equipped car because many of the interesting sights are only accessible via gravel tracks.

See

Basalt sea stack in a black lava beach under Reynisfjall near Vík

The Black Sand Beach near Vík (known as Reynishverfi in Icelandic) is famous with its basalt stacks and black lava sands. Here you can also admire the impressive Reynisdrangar rock formations and view the Dýrhólaey peninsula not far away. For those that are into bird watching, they can see the puffins nesting in the mountain in the summer.

Do

There are many activities to be enjoyed if you are visiting Vík í Mýrdal. If you are into hiking you will find endless routes to take advantage of - there isn't another settlement in a radius of over 60km so you will not be disturbed by much on your walks. Jeep tours are available as well as different types of guided tours for those who enjoy bird-watching, want to look at geologic formations, explore a glacier or even see a crashed U.S. Navy airplane.

Buy

You can stock up on food from the local grocery store and if you want to buy any alcohol head up for the state-run liquor store Vínbúð. Vik also has a gift shop - Galleri Leirbrot og Gler - where you can buy souvenirs.

Eat

There is a good choice of eateries in Vik suitable for most tastes and budgets.

Drink

You can have a drink in a variety of settings in Vik. From the more informal and easy going atmosphere of the Strondin Bistro and Bar to the more formal surroundings of some of the hotel bars like the Icelandair Hotel.

Sleep

You can find a variety of accommodation options here, however it can get very busy during the summer months so it's a good idea to book well in advance.

Go next

From Vík it's only about 140 km by the ring road to Skaftafell, the most popular entry point into Vatnajökull National Park. Kirkjubæjarklaustur is the nearest village to the east, similarly small but with 4x4s it's possible to drive up into the highlands from there. To the west lies Hvolsvöllur, 80 km away, and further afield are the more popular destinations of South Iceland such as the Golden Circle.

Routes through Vík í Mýrdal

Reykjavík Hella  W  E  Kirkjubæjarklaustur Egilsstaðir


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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, October 23, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.