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South Coast, Jokulsarlon & Diamond Beach

Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach, Reynisfjara & Vík Village

Day tour from Reykjavik to Vatnajokull National Park with stops at all the South Coast highlights and optional boat ride at the glacier lagoon.

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4.6 rating based on 33 ratings
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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!

  • Availability

    All year

  • Duration

    14-16 hours

  • Duration Overwrite

  • Level

    Easy

  • Pickup

    Yes

  • Meet on location

    No

  • Min. Age

    6 years

  • Ratio

    1:19

  • Departs from

    Reykjavik

  • Departs from Overwrite

  • Price from

    19.990 ISK

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
Included
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 Waterfall

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

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.

Vík Village

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 Information

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.


Practical Information

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.


 

Please note

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

Where is Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon located?

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.

What is Diamond Beach Iceland?

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.

Where is the Diamond Beach in Iceland?

Just outside of Vatnajokull national park you will find the Diamond Beach it is about 5 hours outside of Reykjavik.

Are there icebergs in Iceland?

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.

How is it best to be ready for a pick-up for a tour with Arctic Adventures?

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.

Can I drink alcohol before or during Arctic Adventures tours?

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.

Do you offer any family friendly tours, for younger children?

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.

Can the itinerary for the tour change?

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.

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures tour?

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.

Can the guide advise if I am eligible for rescheduling the tour and/or a refund?

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

What type of power outlets are used in Iceland? Do I need to bring an adapter?

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.

How are the tours rated in terms of difficulty?

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.

 

How does carbon offsetting work?

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.

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Price from: 19.990 ISK

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If you are staying downtown Reykjavik please read this information about pickup.

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South Coast, Jokulsarlon & Diamond Beach | Average rating: 4.6/5 based on 33 customer reviews


"The best tour so far!" | 5 stars By Marie 27/04/2019
"Thanks so much to Guðjón! I’ve never been on a tour with such a knowledgeable and funny guide. He defenitely knew his way around the South Coast and shared many interesting stories and facts about Iceland. He made sure that we had a great tour even though the weather was the worst. Guðjón even stopped at Skogáfoss and the Black Sand Beach, which were not planned stops due to the season. Thank you again!"
"Long day but so worth it!" | 3 stars By Claire Hubbard 31/03/2019
I would encourage anyone visiting Iceland to do this trip. The minibus was comfortable, and the group was small with around 13 of us on it. The tour guides there are back were knowledgeable, and went out of their way to make sure that we had the best of experiences. The sights and stops were amazing, and this trip really was the highlight of our stay in Iceland. If you're in doubt, then don't be - do it, you won't regret it.
"Jokulsarlon trip" | 5 stars By Rhona Graham 24/03/2019
"This is a very long day trip- but totally worth it. The sights at Jokulsarlon Lagoon and Diamond Beach are truly amazing. Plenty of rest stops along the way & we also stopped at a couple of waterfalls which was great. Our guide on the outward trip (Haffi) was lovely. Unfortunately the return guide Tomas repeated more or less the same commentary- but not quite so charmingly! Other than that it was a wonderful day"
"Amazing!" | 5 stars By Elena 10/03/2019
Very very pleased with the tour! There are a lot of things to see along the way and even tho you may not have time to stop at all of them, the guide is very happy to give you more information and explain everything! It was fantastic and I would definitely recommend!
"Had a great time!" | 4 stars By Van 07/02/2019
Coming from a tropical country, I did enjoy this trip during the winter. The scenery getting to the South Coast was magnificent! Although the time spent in each attraction was too limited, overall, it was still a great trip. I probably would go for at least the 2-day trip if you want to really make the most out of your time in the south coast area.
"impressive" | 3 stars By Edin Zvizdic 27/01/2019
"I think we were the first tourists from Bosnia as the guide said. The adventure is wonderful. Guide Tomas, a brilliant human being, has great knowledge of Iceland, kind person, great professional. Buses are comfortable. the organization is top notch. all praise for the complete tour, I recommend to everyone as a compulsory part while visiting Iceland."
"Glacier Lagoon Tour" | 5 stars By Wilhelmina 25/10/2018
"Would recommend this tour to anyone that asks. Yes it is a long tour and you need to be prepared for that, but WOW it was magical. Yannis was a mine of information and the guide going home also. Suggestion only, Can the Skogafoss Waterfall be done on the way to Jokulsarlon, rather than the way back in late September. Unable to see due to being very dark The only moment of downside in a magical day Thank You for an amazing experience"
"Extremly nice tour guides" | 5 stars By Marcelo 21/10/2018
The tour guides are extremely awesome!!!
"Awesome Tour!" | 4 stars By Lyzette Oliveros 10/10/2018
This tour is long since it has a lot of stops and a lot of driving. Yannis and Norris were great tour guide! They were funny and knowledgeable. I removed one star since two other individuals had issues at Jökulsárlón. I'm not sure if it's AA's fault or they just didn't realize they had to buy the boat tour separately. This resulted on us missing the last two stops which were Skogafoss and Black Sand Beach. We still went and did a quick stop but it was pitch black and couldn't really see anything. Overall I highly recommend this tour and really enjoyed our tours with Arctic Adventure. I would book with them again.
"Great adventure" | 5 stars By Sana 30/09/2018
I enjoyed the south east coast tour with arctic adventures, the tour guide was excellent ,the whole day was an amazing experince.
"Amazing Tour" | 5 stars By Mario Makary 30/09/2018
Norris made sure to make the 500 KM an extremely fun and informative trip. Great service. Thanks for making our trip to Iceland memorable.
"Awesome tour!!!" | 5 stars By Nikita Parikh 28/09/2018
I really enjoyed this tour and thought it was money well spent. Both our tour guides Siggi and Martin made the tour exceptional. They were really friendly and nice and tried to entertain us throughout the journey. Anyone that is planning on going I would recommend they do this tour. I took 3 Artic adventures tours and this one by far was my favorite. This is a really good tour company and well worth the money.
"Holly is an outstanding guide!" | 4 stars By Alicia Dunn 26/09/2018
We really enjoyed the South Coast tour and it was made even better and more interesting because of Holly. She is a great storyteller and exceptional guide and driver.
"Two thumbs up" | 5 stars By Trina 19/09/2018
It was a long day well spent. The tour was organized and we had great, knowledgeable and funny guides. I would recommend this tour.
"One day tour worth taking" | 5 stars By Abhay Aher 13/09/2018
"South coast & Jökulsárlón sightseeing from Reykjavík tour was very well organized and executed. It's a long tour of hundreds of kilometers. Van was spacious and comfortable. Driver provided enough information along the route. At each stopping point enough time was given to all of us to enjoy the location/attraction. Overall very enjoyable and comfortable one day tour."
"Long but exciting tour" | 5 stars By Javier 07/09/2018
This tour is a great choice because is the only one that combines Jokulsalon with a comprehensive visit to South Coast (at least the only one we found). It was a long day but full of exciting experiences throughout all the tour stops. Worth the effort!!
"South Coast Tour to Jökulsarlon" | 4 stars By HH 23/08/2018
Compared to all other bus tours that offered same day trip to Jökulsarlon Lagoon, Arctic Adventures offered the smallest group size at the most reasonable price. The guides were timely and friendly, although we would’ve loved a little more information along the way. With that said, we would highly recommend this tour for all those who are tight on time, but would like to squeeze in a south coast tour of the island.
"Fantastic experience" | 3 stars By Cristina Youngren 17/08/2018
I had a great time on the tour. The weather was perfect, the guides entertaining and knowledgeable and the scenery breathtaking.
"Fabulous Experience" | 5 stars By Trupti 11/08/2018
This was an amazing tour. Tour guides are so knowledgeable. If we had done it by ourselves we won’t get the good information. I recommend this tour to everyone. They cover all the best spots on south coast.
"Nice tour" | 4 stars By Santosh mangalore 11/08/2018
A well managed tour..sufficient time at all spots.. tour guides were very informative...kids had a nice time..must do tour in iceland
"South coast tour" | 4 stars By MG 05/08/2018
"The south coast tour was long but amazing. The black beach, diamond beach and the glacier lagoon were breathtaking.The boat tour on the glacier lagoon was one of the best experiences we have had. It was well worth the long day. I am so glad we went on this trip. The tour guides were good, but in comparison to the other tours we took, they were not as interactive and engaging."
"Long day, but great" | 5 stars By Heidi 21/07/2018
I enjoyed this tour even though so long. It was great to have two different guides too. Our guide back to Reykjavik was great (Adolph). He made extra stops and gave great information. Our guide to the south coast did not have a lot of information to share . . . we finally asked him to tell us about Iceland as we were driving. I thought the tour was great and the size perfect. One thing that would have been nice to have on this tour or any tour was a map of where we were going and stops . . . sort of a visual to see as we drove around
"Beautiful Iceland!" | 5 stars By Gary Johnson 14/07/2018
We spent three days in your beautiful country. Your tour was the highlight of my day. The tour was 15 hrs and we were expecting 10 hrs. That is a long time for a couple approaching 80 yrs. It was definitely worth it to see that much of your country. Just talked to friends who are going for two weeks in August. It is very expensive. Where ever we will went, English wasn't a problem.
"Southern coast with glacier boat ride" | 4 stars By Chrissie Arico 05/07/2018
Hi... I have to say that Arnar was great! He told us such interesting facts! He was personable. I was sad that he didnt do our return trip from Glacier Lagoon. The next guide barely spoke to us the entire way back. We stopped at a few stops but we didnt really learn anything at any of them with the second guide. He really was pretty mediocre and disappointing.
"Incredible places and beautiful views throughout the whole drive" | 5 stars By Tsvetelina 08/07/2018
This tour took us to some of the most amazing places on the South Coast. We hadn't booked the boat tour in advance, but we really appreciate that our guide helped us do this on site. Even though we had seen pictures of the lagoon and the diamond beach in advance, they were even more incredible to see live. We were lucky to see a seal resting on an icebrg in the lagoon. Both guides we had on the trip were very nice and told us a lot of us interesting things about Iceland while travelling. Although it is a long trip, there are enough stops and we didn't feel that tired at the end of the day.
"Great Experience!!!!" | 5 stars By Andrea 08/07/2018
The tour guy is the best. We have fun since the minute he picked us up from the hotel. The beauty of Iceland was described in detail. I 101% recommended this tour. Great Time! Thanks
"Fantastic tour!" | 5 stars By Fanny 07/07/2018
What an amazing experience! From the moment we were picked up at the hotel to the moment we were dropped off back in Reykjavík, the tour guides made our experience an unforgettable one. Odei (I hope I’m spelling it right) was very professional and showed us little hidden places that we were not expecting to see. He was great! On our way back, we had Arnar (Eagle) and he was very funny and animated. He told us a lot of stories about the Vikings and what is like to grow up in Iceland. He introduced us to Islandic music, food and culture and really united the group. By the end of the tour, we were all a big family and were laughing and eating together. This was my second time in Iceland and it left me wanting more. I truly believe that this tour was so successful because of the amazing guides we had. Thank you Artic Adventures, Arnar and Odei for a truly amazing experience. I hope to see you soon for the 6 day tour. Keep up the good work!
"Favorite tour!" | 5 stars By Clarel 05/07/2018
This was by far my favorite tour! Long day on the bus but worth it. Diamond beach was beautiful and the glacier lagoon even better. The day we went, it was too windy for the boat tour so we missed out on that. Black sand beach was impressive. Highly recommended tour!
"This was a great tour!" | 5 stars By Despoina Filiou 03/07/2018
This was a great tour! We packed loads on one day but it was an amazing experience!
"Long but amazing day!" | 5 stars By Jennifer Bagley 14/06/2018
Fantastic trip - so many stops to view beautiful sites that the long drive didn't feel bad at all. Great tour guides with local knowledgeable and fun stories. Plenty of time to enjoy the stops. Thanks for an unforgettable day!
"Wonderful sights. Great tour guides." | 5 stars By Debbie 13/06/2018
Wonderful sights. Great tour guides.
"Awesome Tour" | 5 stars By Taylor Wilson 11/06/2018
The tour was great, and very good tour guides. Just sit back and relax while you get driven along the south coast, and enjoy the sights.
"Amazing Experience!" | 5 stars By Jess 11/06/2018
We had a wonderful day on this tour. The waterfalls, glacier and beaches were absolutely incredible. The guide talked a lot throughout the long drive providing interesting information about the history of Iceland and different sights. It is a very long day (we left at 8am and returned at 1.30am) so we recommend keeping this in mind when making plans for the following day. The tour could have stopped for a shorter period at a few places on the drive back when it became clear that we would be quite late arriving back and the weather wasn't overly pleasant but it was still a very great experience.
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