Visit waterfalls and the coast (southeast of Reykjavik)

On our second (or first full) day we took a land journey to visit  the beautiful Icelandic landscapes, such as waterfalls and black sand coastal areas, southeast of Reykjavik (about a two-hour drive).


There are so many waterfalls in Iceland, just like there are so many large lakes in Sweden. Seljalandsfoss is one of the most popular waterfall and natural wonders in the country. 

This  waterfall  drops  about  60  metres  and  is  part  of  the  Seljalands River,  originating  from  the  volcano glacier Eyjafjallajokull. There is a small cave behind the waterfall that guests can walk into.

Eyjafjallajokul Glacier and Volcano

Eyjafjallajokull  is  one  of  the  country’s  smaller  ice  caps  located  in  the  south  of  the  island.  It  covers the caldera of a volcano 1,700 metres high, and has erupted frequently since the last Ice Age. 

This  volcano  erupted  in  2010  and  2011  and  though  they  were  relatively  small  eruptions,  they  caused enormous disruption to air travel all over western and northern Europe, specifically in April 2010. Volcanic ashes  covered  large  areas  of  northern  Europe,  and  about  20  countries  closed  their  airspace,  affecting about 10 million travellers. 


This waterfall is situated on the Skoga River in the south of the main island and is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland, measuring 25 metres wide and a drop of 60 meters

.After the coastline receded seaward (currently it is about 5km from Skogar), the former sea cliffs remained intact and parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometres, and together with some mountains it has created a distinct border between coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland.


Formerly known as Cape Portland, Dyrholaey is a small peninsula located on the south coast of Iceland, close to a village called Vik.

The view from this peninsula is simply majestic, where to the north is the big glacier Myrdalsjokull.

The view to the east is the black lava columns of the Reynisdrangar come out of the sea.

To the west you can see the whole coastline in the direction of Selfoss.

Reynisfjara Beach

This black sand beach lies between the Dyrholaey peninsula and Mount Reynisfjall

It  is  famous  for  its  beauty  and  striking  scenery,  but  is  also  well  known  for  its dangerous  crashing waves.

On  the  beach  and  west  of  Mount  Reynisfjall  is  the  cave  Halsanefshellir,  where  striking columnar basalt formations can be seen.

Reynisdrangar  are  basalt  sea  stacks  situated  under  the  mountain  Reynisfjall.  It  was  formed  when magma cools slowly and cracks into columns, normally hexagonal, as the surface area is reduced.  

The columns always stand perpendicular to the cooling surface. The different forms of these columns might be the result of a cross-section of an ancient volcano, small magma chambers and lava sills. 

Sunset right outside Reykjavik

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Aurora  Borealis,  at  many  times  referred  to  by  northern  lights  or  sometimes  polar  light,  is  a  natural light  display  in  the  sky,  seen  predominantly  in  the  Arctic  and  Antarctic regions.  They  are  produced when  there is  an  interaction  between  the  solar wind  with the  earth’s  magnetosphere.  The  resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents produces light of varying colour and complexity.

I highly recommend that you go with an experienced travel guide, as we did. Furthermore, it is best to bring a proper camera and not rely solely on your smart phone if you want to take pictures.  

Our first sighting of the lights was not very clear to the common eye.

However, with a camera  and an abundant amount of patience, we were all able to capture the lights on our second evening in Iceland. It was truly spectacular!

We were also informed that these lights are easier to find when we there are no clouds and we are as far away from Reykjavik as possible.

We  started  our hunt  for  the  aurora  borealis  around  9Pm,  and  after  two  significant  sightings,  we returned to the hotel past midnight. 

IcelandAdam MitchellComment