Things to do in Vik Iceland
There are so many things to do in Vik Iceland, as it is located nearby some of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls, beautiful black sand beaches, impressive glaciers, and amazing hiking trails. Vik, Iceland is a village in south Iceland that is definitely worth a visit on your next rip to Iceland!
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What is Vik known for?
Vik is well known for it’s famous Black Sand Beach and for being near the Katla volcano. Additionally, within an hour of Vik are some of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls. Overall, there is so much to do in Vik, Iceland.
Where is Vik?
Located in the beautiful South Iceland, Vik is only around a 2 and a half hour drive from Reykjavik. Vik is located right off Road 1, popularly known as the Ring Road.
Vik is a great overnight stopping point for anyone completing a road trip around Iceland. It’s also an excellent spot to stay a few days if you plan to only visit South Iceland rather than driving the entire Ring Road.
25 Things to Do in Vik, Iceland
1. The most popular thing to do in Vik Iceland? Check out Reynisfjara Beach
One of the best things to do in Vik, Iceland is visit Reynisfjara beach. Reynisfjara is nicknamed the Black Sand Beach due to its dark colored sand. Located just outside of the small village, the black sand against the dark basalt columns gives this place a dark, mystical appearance.
Although there are many black sand beaches in Iceland, Reynisfjara is the most well-known and for good reason. The black sand beach is an incredible place to visit with out of this world views.
However, its also important to note that the water here can be dangerous, as strong undertow can pull you out to sea. There are sneaker waves which are strong waves that come up much closer to shore than expected. Due to this, its recommended to keep a safe distance of 100 feet from the water.
2. Admire the Vík i Myrdal Church
Vík i Myrdal Church is the church in the famous view of the fishing village of Vik. The church is atop a hill which provides an amazing view of the village below and the ocean in the distance. You can drive further up past the church to get an even better view of this scenic place.
3. Explore the Katla Ice Cave
Looking for adventure? This guided ice cave tour is an ultimate adventure seeker experience and one of the most popular things to do in Vik, Iceland. The 3-hour guided tour will take you on a super jeep to the dormant Katla volcano, where you’ll get to experience the jaw dropping Ice Cave.
4. Another great thing to do in Vik Iceland? Visit Dyrhólaey
Located right outside of Vik, Dyrhólaey is a small peninsula that offers a great view of Reynisfjara. Dyrhólaey is known for its beautiful arch, and is a great place to see puffins in the summer months. Dyrhólaey also has a lighthouse, which sits atop the peninsula.
5. Check out Loftsalahellir Cave
Considered a hidden gem in South Iceland, this small cave is rarely visited by tourists and is a must stop for photographers. The cave is only 15 minutes from Vik, and 6 minutes from Dyrhólaey. It’s small, but offers an amazing scenic overlook of Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara in the distance.
6. See the Famous Lava Show while in Vik, Iceland
The lava show is one of the most popular things to do in Vik, and is great for both kids and adults! This 1 hour live show recreates a volcanic eruption and allows you to see real lava up close.
7. Try a Lava Themed Lunch
After checking out the live lava show, stop by the Soup Company next door to try their Lava themed soup! They also have plenty of other soups which make for an easy lunch. Not a soup fan? Try some Icelandic food at Halldórskaffi or some volcano-themed pizza at the Black Crust Pizzeria.
8. Explore the Yoda Cave
Love Star Wars? Check out this cave, nicknamed the Yoda Cave due to it’s resemblance to Yoda. It’s about a 20 minute drive from Vik to the cave, and you can drive right to it. The cave is an amazing spot for photography + of course for some selfies!
Fun fact: Rouge One used this as a filming location!
9. Hike Hjörleifshöfði
Above the Yoda Cave is a 220 m (721 ft) high cliff, Hjörleifshöfði. Hjörleifshöfði got it’s name from Hjörleifur Hróðmarsson, a Viking settler that is said to be buried in a mound at the top. This spot makes for a great hike with historical significance as well as incredible views.
To get to the hiking trail, you’ll park at the small parking lot before the Yoda Cave. The round-trip hike is 2 miles, and does include elevation gain and some steep areas. More information on this hike can be found on alltrails.com
10. Admire the Beauty of Skogafoss
One of Iceland’s most popular waterfalls, the magnificent Skogafoss is located only about a 30 minute drive from Vik. Skogafoss is an impressively large waterfall, dropping around 60 meters. Rainbows also are frequently seen at this impressive waterfall.
Skogafoss is a must visit waterfall on a trip to Iceland.
11. Hike the Waterfall Way
Right next to Skogafoss, you’ll see a set of steep stairs that will take you to the start of the Waterfall Way. Waterfall way is a relatively easy hiking trail that passes through several stunning waterfalls.
I recommend hiking for around 1.5-2 miles, before turning around and heading back. This will allow you to see around 5-6 waterfalls and will likely take around 2-3 hours. More information on this hike can be found here.
The Waterfall Way does continue on further, but turns into a challenging trek along the Fimmvörðuháls Trail to Thórsmörk. This trek takes 8-10 hours one way and you would need to have transportation back to to Skogafoss. This trek would only be recommended for experienced hikers.
12. Check Out Kvernufoss
Kvernufoss is a hidden gem waterfall nearby the much more famous Skogafoss and Skogar Museum. To get to this scenic waterfall, you’ll start on the trail by the Skogar Museum and hike it until you get to the waterfall. It is around 1 mile round trip, so plan on having around an hour of time.
13. Learn about Icelandic Culture at the Skogar Museum
Located next to the famous Skogafoss, and only a 30 minute drive from Vik is the Skogar musuem. This museum includes three smaller museums: a Folk museum, Technical museum, and an Open-Air Museum.
The Open Air museum is quite interesting, as it shows real-life replicas of the historic Icelandic turf houses. The Folk and Technical museum are both indoors and consist of thousands of artifacts from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
14. Visit the Breathtaking Sjleandafoss
Located around a 50 minute drive from Vik is the breathtaking Sjleandafoss. This waterfall is unique not only in it’s beauty, but also because you can walk behind it! This is another absolute must visit site in Iceland.
To walk behind the waterfall, follow the small trail and be careful because it can be slippery! Also, you’ll want to wear a rain jacket or poncho as you may get wet from the splashing falls.
15. Explore the Hidden Waterfall Gljufrabui
Located next to Sjleandafoss, is a secret waterfall called Gljufrabui. To get to this amazing waterfall, you’ll follow a short trail into the canyon opening. Once inside, you’ll be right next to the waterfall! It’s a unique experience, but definitely wear a rain jacket if you want to stay dry.
16. Go Horseback Riding in Vik Iceland
Looking to go horseback riding with the famous Icelandic horses? Horseback riding on the Black Sand Beach is truly an amazing experience! Vik Horse Adventures is well rated and offers a 1 hour horseback ride, as well as 30 minute kid-friendly rides.
👉 This experience fills up quick! Click Here to book Vik Horse Riding
17. Drink Icelandic Beer at Vik’s Smiðjan Brugghús
After a day of exploring, what could be better than a refreshing Icelandic beer at the local brewery in Vik? This brewery has a great selection of local beers to try, as well as some great food. Definitely a recommended spot to check out!
18. Go Swimming at Seljavallalaug Pool
Want to swim in the oldest pool in Iceland? Seljavallalaug swimming pool was built in 1923 and is surrounded by majestic mountains in the middle of nowhere. The pool is heated naturally via geothermal forces, and is around 20-30 degrees Celsius.
It is around a 20 minute hike from the parking area to the pool. The pool is completely free to use and does have a small changing area.
Unfortunately, in recent years there has been algae around the pool and the changing area is left dirty. This is sadly because many tourists have left litter and do not respect where they visit. However, the pool itself is still a very unique and beautiful spot in Iceland.
19. See the Sólheimasandur Plane Crash
The plane was a 1973 US Navy plane that crashed along the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach. Everyone in the plane survived, but the plane has been left there for decades, giving it an eerie atmosphere.
Getting to the plane crash is a 20 minute drive from Vik to the parking area. However, you cannot drive your car to the crash site.
To access the site, you will either need to walk or take the shuttle. Shuttles run from 10am-5pm and you can get tickets right at the parking area. Walking takes around 40 minutes to an hour each way, and the walk itself is quite dull. You should also not attempt the walk in the winter or bad weather conditions.
20. Check Out the Northern lights
Visiting during the winter? Seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky is a major bucket list item.
There is no way to guarantee that you’ll see the Northern lights, but if you happen to go between the months of September through April you may have a chance. Chances of seeing the aroura increases when there are no large cities around, making Vik a great potential spot to catch the Northern lights.
Tip: You can check the forecast here which will indicate if conditions are favorable for Aroura sightings.
21. See the Puffins
Visiting in the summer? The adorable Atlantic Puffins make there way to Iceland from the end of April through August!
One of the best places to see the Puffins is just outside of Vik, on the Dyrhólaey arch. July is the best month to see them and its best to go in the morning or evening as the puffins go to catch fish during the day.
22. Go Shopping at Ice wear in Vik
Icewear is a popular outdoor apparel store throughout Iceland. Vik has a large Icewear store where you can find outdoor gear, wool sweaters, wool blankets, and other souvenirs. It is definitely worth a stop if you are in need of some gear or souvenirs.
23. Zipline Iceland
Looking for something adventurous? Try this 2 hour zip line tour that takes you on a short hike and through 4 different zip lines over the surrounding scenery. If you are feeling even more adventurous, you can combine this with their paragliding tour!
For more information on this fun zipline tour, see their website here.
24. Explore Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
Located one hour drive east of Vik, you will find the jaw dropping Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. This magnificent canyon is an astonishing 100 meters deep.
The canyon is near the Ring Road, but does require about 2 miles of driving on a gravel road. The best time to visit is during the summer months, when the moss covered canyon will appear more green and lush.
There are several great viewpoints at the beginning of the canyon. Looking for a nice hike? There is a 2 mile hike you can take above the canyon, more information on the hike can be found here via alltrails.com.
25. Admire Stjórnarfoss
Not far from Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, and only one hour east of Vik, you’ll find a beautiful waterfall: Stjórnarfoss. This waterfall makes for an easy stop and is beautiful in the summer when the flowers are in bloom and the water is refreshing to wade in.
The waterfall is located right outside the small town of It is located shortly off the ring road, near a small town called Kirkjubæjarklaustur, and there is even a campground across from the falls! If you are headed further east, you’ll want to make sure to fill up your gas as this is the last town for many miles.
What is the Climate in Vik, Iceland?
Iceland weather can vary significantly and change quickly, even in the summer months. In general, South Iceland is known to be very windy. It is always a good idea to check safetravel.is for weather related alerts.
Keep in mind that if it is very windy out, you’ll want to park your car facing the wind. When getting out of the car, hold the door and get out quickly. South Iceland winds have been strong enough to rip the car door off if parked against the wind and the car door left open.
How many days to stay in Vik
If you are headed out on a road trip along the Ring Road, 1-2 nights is the perfect amount to stay overnight in Vik and be able to see the major sites before heading further along.
If you are just visiting South Iceland, I’d recommend staying 2-3 nights so that you fully see everything South Iceland has to offer before heading back to Reykjavík.
Where to Stay in Vik
If you are looking to stay in the center of Vik, Hotel Kira is a highly rated hotel. Just a few minutes drive from Vik, the Black Beach Suites offer apartment style rooms overlooking the scenic black sand beach. Traveling on a budget? The Barn is a well-rated local hostel near the black sand beach.
📍 Budget Option: Click here to book The Barn Hostel
📍 Apartment Style Option: Click here to book the Black Beach Suites
📍 Mid-Range Hotel Option: Click here to book Hotel Kira
So, is Vik worth visiting?
Absolutely! Vik is a great spot to base yourself when visiting all of the amazing attractions that South Iceland has to offer.
From the beautiful waterfalls, to the mystical black sand beach, to the impressive ice caves- Vik has something for everyone.
It’s a perfect stop if you are doing a road trip along the famous ring road. If you are looking to stay closer to Reykjavík but want to still experience Iceland, Vik makes an ideal area to stay for 1-2 nights while you see the best of South Iceland.