Iceland has many spectacular areas, and the beauty of this place can honestly overwhelm the senses at times. Everywhere you look, it is as if all of the story book pages that you have read long ago were pulled from your thoughts and pushed into reality. I am being completely serious here, and out of all of these gorgeous places, one of the most delightful and magical villages that we visited was Vik.
We were on a tour of South Iceland, and we stopped at the town of Vik to see Reynisfjara Beach. Leading up to this stop, I was really very excited, because when we were initially planning our trip, we really wanted to see a black sand beach. Luckily for us, this particular area was known for it. As I stepped out of the bus, the cool sea air greeted me with a sense of welcoming in a refreshing breeze.
I had sneakers on, which is not exactly beach apparel, but I did not mind as I ran with joy towards the ocean. The black volcanic sand was lined with smooth rocks, and shined when the sun broke through at times to peak at them. As I reached the waterline, I gazed off into the distance, and noticed towering rock formations known as Reynisdrangar. They are actually remains of basalt sea cliffs, and were even featured on the popular show Game of Thrones in Season 7 “Eastwatch by the Sea.”
It is also important to remember if you are traveling to this location that the waves can really rise up quick, and it is recommended that people stay at least 30 meters or 98 feet away from the water’s edge. The reasoning behind this is a geographical one since there are not major land regions between Antarctica and Reynisfjara, the waves can utilize the entire length of the Atlantic Ocean to build up. With this information, you will want to use a lot of caution in this area if you are traveling here!
There was also an abundance of wildflowers that made their home in this coastal spot. As we gazed at the colors radiating off the blooms, we noticed these immaculate cliffs hugging the area. Upon further inspection we noticed people jumping off them! I had never seen paragliding before in my life, but it is also a popular thing to do if you are visiting Vik and you are feeling adventurous!
After we explored the shore line, we made our way back to the tour bus, honestly wishing we had just a little more time to explore. The natural beauty of this spot was like no other, and it would be so nice just to see a little more of the landscape. As we walked back, we noticed our tour group huddling around the back of the bus, and the driver had a small flashlight looking into the guts of the bus engine. As the rest of the group trickled in, he made an announcement that unfortunately we would be stopped here for several hours because something was going on with the bus, and it would need to be fixed.
Much to my surprise, I would say a majority of the people in our group decided that they would wait out these several hours back in the bus. I shot over a comedic and joyful gaze to my husband, and we quickly hiked away from the bus and into the city of Vik. The village of Vik, in full known as Vík í Mýrdal, is the most southern village in Iceland, and is about 110 miles or 180 km southeast of the city of Reykjavik. Currently, it has under a thousand residents, but it is still one of the largest settlements in the area.
As we walked through the town there were various shops and restaurants. I really liked walking through a Wool Gallery, and there were so many high quality items there from hats and scarves made from wool to even keepsake woolen keychain ornaments! We also found a restaurant Smidjan Brugghus that I recommend as well, and they do have the best burgers, ribs, and hot wings as well as a large variety of brews. If you are vegetarian you are still in luck, because they do carry a delicious vegan burger as well!
After we explored the town, we noticed one of the most beautiful churches sitting high on a hill almost floating above the town. We decided to hike up the hill to see this quaint beauty in person. The door appeared to be slightly open, so we walked in. We were greeted by a sweet Icelandic woman who kindly waved us into the open area. Although it was small, the church had its own brilliance and the pale golden hues danced with the radiant reds to create an area of worship that was peaceful, strong, and elegant all at the same time. We thanked the lady in the church, and felt grateful for this opportunity to see a part of the area that is sacred to those that inhabit it. The Reyniskiraja Lutheran Church was built in 1929, and really helped Vik become more of a bustling region in Southern Iceland.
As we walked back to the bus, we were so grateful for the opportunity to explore and learn more about this lovely area. I think there is a lesson here as well. Sometimes, even if we do not see it, detours can be a benefit to the journey as a whole, and all these layers really do impact our lives and help us see places in new perspectives.
I hope that you have enjoyed this little collection of stories and recommendations for Vik Iceland. I highly recommend it to learn more on the Icelandic culture and landscapes if you are making the journey there. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled here, and what your experience was like as well. Also remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!