Day tour from Reykjavik to Vatnajokull National Park with stops at all the South Coast highlights and optional boat ride at the glacier lagoon.
This amazing day tour from Reykjavik is full of splendid views of Iceland’s spectacular nature. Drive along the beautiful south coast with stops at all of Iceland’s must see highlights including the stunning waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. The drive brings you diverse visuals while we make our way to the beautiful Skaftafell Nature Reserve and visit the breathtaking Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. Add an optional boat tour to complete your day.
This is the ultimate way to make the most of your day in Iceland!
Meet on location
Departs from Overwrite
- Tour highlights
- Small Group Experience
- Skaftafell Nature Reserve (Only During Summer)
- Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
- Diamond Beach
- Reynisdrangar Basalt Sea Stacks
- Skogafoss Waterfall (Only During Summer)
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- Vík Village
- Hekla Volcano view
- Eyjafjallajökull Volcano view
- Pick-up & drop off from Reykjavík
- English Speaking Tour Guide
- Stops at the Highlights of the South Coast
- Guided Tour to Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
- Free WiFi on Board Your Bus
We start our day in Reykjavik but it’s also possible to be picked up on the way to Skaftafell National Park (see pick up locations for more information).
As we drive along Iceland’s epic South Coast, we will stop at the most beautiful locations and must-see natural attractions. The number and the order of our stops vary between summer and winter, due to dramatic daylight differences.
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
The wonderful Reynisfjara black sand beach with its pitch-black volcanic sand, rounded pebbles, awe-inspiring basalt columns, towering sea stacks, and a fantastic basalt-column cave is famous for being one of the top 10 non-tropical beaches of the world by the American journal, Islands Magazine.
Just off the shore, the Reynisdrangar peaks dominate the view. The oddly-shaped basalt rock stacks rise high from the ocean. According to a local legend, the were originally trolls who were turned into stone when they faced the morning sun.
These cliffs and sea stacks here are home to a number of nesting seabird species, including the cute and silly-looking Atlantic puffin among them. They can be seen here in the summertime, between May and September. In the distance, the impressive Dyrhólaey stone arches tower120 meters/400 feet high over the black sandy beach.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and the Diamond beach
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon – the deepest lake in Iceland – at the foot of the Vatnajökull glacier. As the glacier reaches the lowland areas, it retreats and melts, creating a lagoon. Giant icebergs coming from the glacier float slowly towards the ocean. The icebergs are quite varied in size and shape. The biggest ones can be as large as 20 to 30 meters. As the glacier “calves” and new icebergs enter the lagoon, it changes its appearance all the time.
The black sand beach where the icebergs are washed ashore by the waves is called the Diamond beach. Together these two attractions are probably the most photographed natural attractions in all of Iceland. Jökulsarlon has deserved the nickname “the Crown Jewel of Iceland”.
They have become world-famous as they have been featured in Hollywood movies such as James Bond, Batman Begins, and Tomb Raider. From May until September, you have the option of a boat ride in the lagoon to get even closer to the icebergs (the boat ride is not included).
Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. It is very photogenic as it plunges over 60m into a shallow pool. The river which feeds Seljalandsfoss has its origins at the magnificent volcano glacier, Eyjafjallajokull. But the main reason why this cascade is so unique is that you can walk behind the water flow and see the waterfall and the world from a new perspective. Bring your raincoat as you will get wet from the drizzle! (Please note that during winter, the path behind the cascade may be closed as it gets too slippery and dangerous.)
Skógafoss waterfall is another well-known cascade. It is located a 30-minutes’ drive from Seljalandsfoss. Both waterfalls drop 60 meters tall (197 feet) but Skogafoss is much wider (25 meters /80 feet) than Seljalandsfoss. Although it’s not possible to walk behind Skógafoss, you can walk very close to it or even climb the stairs up to its top. Due to the amount of spray it produces, rainbows and even double rainbows can usually be observed on sunny days.
With a population of 300 inhabitants Iceæand’s southernmost village, Vík í Mýrdal is the busiest settlement in a 150-km / 39 mi area on the South Coast. This vibrant little place is a typical Icelandic countryside village, with colorful houses, scenic views and a teeny-tiny church on the top of a hill.
Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park
Skaftafell Nature Reserve was established in 1967 and later became part of Vatnajökull National Park in the year 2008. It is a vibrant valley surrounded by impressive glacier tongues and beautiful mountains. No wonder why it’s one of Iceland’s most popular hiking area. Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, (2,110 meters / 6922 feet), can be seen as it towers over Skaftefell.
Pick-up: Pick up starts at 8:00 am. You will be picked up from your selected pick up location in Reykjavík. Please note, that the pick up can take up to 30 min.
Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
Remember to bring: Warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket & pants, headwear, and gloves. Good hiking shoes are recommended. This is a long tour so bringing some snacks with you is also a good idea.
What if I don’t own all of these clothing necessaries?
Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking boots, waterproof jacket, and pants in the booking process. We do not rent gear from the location.
The boat ride on the glacier lagoon is only available from May-Oct. If you plan on booking it as an optional extra, it is important to do so beforehand to secure your seat as there is no guarantee there will be availability on site.
This is a long day tour. It takes about 5 hours to drive to the glacier lagoon area. Therefore this tour duration is about 15-16 hours, including all the stops along the way.
That from October 16th - May 14th we will skip the following activities because of the short daylight: Skógafoss and Skaftafell
Jökulsarlon is situated in the South East of Iceland on the edge of a glacier called Breiðamerkurjökull. It is about a 4.5-hour drive from Reykjavik.
The Diamond Beach is a black sand beach next to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. It is a beach where icebergs have drifted onto the shore creating the illusion of huge diamonds.
Just outside of Vatnajokull national park you will find the Diamond Beach it is about 5 hours outside of Reykjavik.
There are a few glacier lakes in Iceland but Jökulsarlon is the largest. Here the icebergs are made up of glacial ice that can be up to 1000 years old.
This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.
Here you should wait for your guide.
Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.
View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.
Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.
After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.
Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summertime).
Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.
Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.
Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.
All of our tours are guided in English.
No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.
The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.
Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.
For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.
We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.
The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.
Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.