South Iceland Guide

Gulfoss waterfall, Iceland

Gulfoss waterfall, Iceland’s biggest sight.

South Iceland Attractions

The country’s most popular region for tourism containing its most famous attractions in what is widely known as the ‘Golden Triangle’, and conveniently situated near to Reykjavik.

Gullfoss – a famous waterfall north of Skalholt of 35m which drops into a one mile long canyon below. Nearby is a pretty area around the gorge of Bruarhlod on the Hvita River.

Great Geysir and Strokkur ‘Butter Churn ‘ – Geysir used to spout off regularly but following an earthquake it now has less predictable outbursts and is of little interest. The nearby ‘Stukkar’ geyser has taken over the tourist entertainment role, spewing forth great quantities of water up to sixty feet in the air every few minutes.

Gufudalur ‘Steam Valley’ – north of Hveragerdi has a lot of geothermal activity including Gryla geysir.

Hveragerdi ‘Hot Springs Garden’ – a very touristy town which has a small geysir and geothermal area plus a large greenhouse called ‘Eden’ with tropical plants in it.
Walk to Hengill or Selfjall peaks and the heated stream Klambragil from here.

Hekla ‘Hooded’ Volcano – the most revered volcano in Iceland gets its name from the cloud which tends to hang around it superb cone.

Porsmork (Thorsmork) ‘Thor Woods’ – unusually arboreal for Iceland, this is a beautiful valley with trees and other flora, popular with locals as well as foreign tourists so it gets busy.
This area is great for walking, especially to Landmannalauger for an overall view, or for a bit of a trek to Skogur.

Pingvellir National Park and surrounds – an area of both great beauty and history – it was the site of the old Icelandic Parliament.
The lake is the biggest in the country and boats can help you see much of the area fairly efficiently. It’s also excellent for walking. Pingvellir National Park Photos

Skalholt – if you like classical music the town holds a festival during the summer and there is a mosaic in the local church worth seeing.

Skogafoss – a very photogenic waterfall which sprays in such a way that it often creates a rainbow.

Heimay Island – the ‘Galapagos of the North’ are a group of fifteen young islands including Surtsey which popped up in 1963.
Visit the Eldfell volcano on the island of Heimey, which last erupted in 1973, the pretty Heimaklettur mountain, the Klettshellir cave (by boat), and the puffins at Storhofdi.
The harbour on Heimay was almost cut off by the lava flow, but dramatically tamed by Iceland’s fireman.
It later held Keiko the Killer Whale star of ‘Free Willy’.
Visit the Natural History museum and Folk Museum if you have time. It’s worth staying overnight here.
Puffin meat and eggs are on the menu at local restaurants. Access from the mainland can be by sea or air.