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There sits a tiny coastal village at the southernmost point in Iceland with a population just over 500 people, with beaches of dark onyx coloured sand and thundering waves crashing to the shores from the wild Atlantic Ocean. A tiny white church dating back to 1929 sits overlooking the village with a bright red roof and the towering Mount Reynisfjall surrounding it.
That village is Vík.
Before arriving in Iceland, I knew that Vík was one of the places I most definitely had to visit. I love tiny seaside villages that ooze character and Vík certainly did not disappoint. Our journey to Vík took us along the scenic Ring Road (Highway 1), which conveniently passes directly through the village itself. We left for Vík much later than we had wanted to because of schedule changes for one of our day tours (more on that in another post), but once we were done the tour, we hopped in the car and continued our drive to the coast. Passing by towering cliffs, ridged mountains, commanding glaciers and sprawling valleys; I can honestly say that the drive to Vík was one of the most beautiful drives of my life. The scenery was incredible and there was always something that I wanted to take photos of along the way.
Situated just under 200 kms away from Reykjavík, we arrived at our destination just as the sun was setting along the ocean. We were staying one night at The Black Beach Luxury Suites, which are a beautiful, bunch of elegant and modern suites that are linked together and sit on top of the hill with a great view to the west of the fields and coast in the distance. The staff is young, friendly and very professional and were always happy to help. We were checking in quite late and they were more than happy when we arrived and showed us to our guesthouse with a complete walk through and run down of all the fantastic amenities they had on site. Each suite came with a fully stocked kitchenette, luxurious bathroom and even heated floors throughout the entire suite. The suite was very spacious, which was refreshing and comfortable and also had a beautiful walk out patio with wooden privacy dividers between each suite. Definitely the perfect view first thing in the morning with a cup of steaming tea and coffee. Breakfast with a view? Yes, please!
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Once we were settled into our suite, we drove a short five minute drive into the village of Vík where we headed to the local grocery store to pick up a few breakfast items for the next day. Since we had the kitchenette at our suite, we made good use of the toaster, tea kettle and fridge. We then went out for some much needed food at a great little hilltop restaurant called Suður-Vík. The restaurant is located in an old house and is complete with a quirky and old fashioned quaint interior, which was really charming. As we opened the door, the place was packed. I guess that’s a good sign that the food was incredible, but I was starving and on the verge of being legit HANGRY. The wait only lasted ten minutes before we were called upstairs to the dining area, so the hangry crisis was averted. The food on the menu ranged from snacks and salads, homemade pizzas and large, hearty main courses. Their pizzas are noted as “the best pizzas in the country” and apparently, people even drive to Suður-Vík from Höfn JUST to get their hands on the pizza. With a reputation like that, how could I NOT get a pizza? I opted for a large pizza with pineapple and bacon and a massive beer to wash it down and devoured it all. I told you guys, I was hungry! And yes, the pizza was AMAZING! I definitely recommend grabbing a bite to eat at Suður-Vík.
After that much needed meal, we headed back to the suite to get some shut eye after a long day on the road. The dark skies surrounding the area of Vík is nothing short of peaceful and the complete silence during nightfall felt like a privileged luxury. At one point of the night, we heard some shuffling outside of our patio door and some crunching sounds. We opened the door to investigate and there were three massive sheep grazing in our own backyard. With subtle and soothing sounds of “baa baa baa”, it took the term counting sheep, to a whole new level.
The next morning, after a nice breakfast, we decided to explore the area surrounding Vík and also drive into the village to have a stroll around town. We had a late check out of 11am, so we packed up our things, placed them aside and headed out to see some sites before taking off to our next destination of Höfn. Now that we were driving during the area in the daylight, we were able to see what we missed the night before. The scenery was jaw dropping. The road curved itself around massive mountains with waterfalls flowing down the sides of them and tiny rivers and streams making their way across the land looking like tiny veins carrying life to the bright green landscapes.
Our first stop was to the Dyrhólaey arch, which is a massive 120 metre high rock peninsula with a hole in the middle that juts out into and above the ocean below. From Dyrhólaey, you’ll be able to see the Mýrdalsjökull glacier to the north, the beautiful black lava sea stacks Reynisdrangar to the east and to the west you can view the endless black sand beaches that the Vík area is famously known for. Kirkjufjara beach and Kirkjusandur beach are the two black sand beaches between Reynisfjara beach and the Dyrhólaey arch. They are both exceptionally beautiful, but can also be extremely dangerous during high tide. A German tourist was recently killed at one of the beaches because she was caught by a wave that overpowered her while strolling along the beach when high tide rolled in. Iceland is beautiful, but please remember to use responsible tourism no matter where you decide to go. Nature is and always will be stronger than us.
After leaving the beaches, we made our way back to our suite to check out, grab our bags and hit the road. We stopped in the village of Vík en route to Höfn to admire Víkurkirkja, which is the official name of the church situated above Vík. The view of the village was stunning and to see the Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the background just added to the beautiful view. I ran up the hill to the highest point I could get to in order to get the best shot of the village below. When I got to the top, I was shocked to come across the village’s teeny tiny graveyard, but it had an eerily beautiful look and feel to it with Mount Reynisfjall as a backdrop.
Our time in Vík was coming to a close, since we had another three hour drive ahead of us to Höfn. I do wish I had at least another full day to explore Vík and the surrounding area, but all the more reason to return, right?
If you guys have been to Iceland, have you been to the village of Vík? If you have, what was your favourite thing to do, or see? Were you there just for a day trip, or just passing through? Let me know in the comments below! In my next post, I’ll be laying out a full list of places to go and things to see while in Vík! xo