The tiny and remote seafront village of Vík is one of the most picturesque places along the Ring Road. As you drive along Highway 1 (Ring Road) en route to Vík, you’ll be greeted by the infamous black sand coastline, massive green hills, thundering waterfalls that cascade over mountain ridges and oodles of Icelandic ponies along the roadside fences just waiting for you to stop and pet their disheveled hair. Although Vík is a small village, with a population just coasting over 500 people, there are plenty of beautiful places to see and a ton of adventurous things to do in and around the area. I’ve compiled a list of things to do and see while staying in Vík, so grab a pen and a notebook to write down some of my suggestions to make your visit to Vík a memorable one!
Visit Dyrhólaey Arch
Hop in your trusty rental vehicle and head to Dyrhólaey Arch. The Dyrhólaey arch is a massive 120 metre high rock peninsula with a hole in the middle that juts out into and above the wild Atlantic ocean below. Over many years, sea erosion has carved a giant hole in the towering seaside cliff, giving it a commanding presence. The hole is large enough for boats to sail through, which make for an experience all in itself. The area is also considered a wildlife mecca for sea birds such as puffins. There are many signs in the area mentioning to visitors to stay away from the cliff’s edges, as to not disturb the area that the puffins like to call home. Getting to Dyrhólaey is very easy. Located just eight kilometres west of Vík along Highway 1, hang a left onto route 218 and drive all the way to the end until you reach a gravel parking lot. From the parking lot, you can get out and walk the foot paths for free at your leisure. There is also a lighthouse at the top of Dyrhólaey, which can be accessed by car along a gravel road, or by foot if you have the time and stamina.
Take a Stroll Along the Infamous Black Sand Beaches
Everyone comes to Vík for the black sand beaches and for good reason too. Vík’s black sand beaches have been voted one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Non-Tropical Beaches in the World. From the beaches, 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. To get to Reynisfjara beach, head down route 215 off of Highway 1 and drive all the way down to the coast. The 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 sneaker wave that overpowered her while strolling along the beach when high tide rolled in. Iceland is exceptionally beautiful, but please remember to use responsible tourism no matter where you decide to go. The sheer force of nature is and always will be stronger than us.
Read more: Inspired by Iceland – The Land of Fire & Ice
Buy An Authentic Icelandic Wool Sweater
You can’t go to Iceland and NOT buy an authentic Icelandic wool sweater. I mean, you could not buy one, but kind of like an Instagram post, did you even go to Iceland if you didn’t buy a wool sweater? Ya, that’s what I thought. There are a ton of places that sell wool sweaters throughout Iceland, but don’t be fooled by knockoffs. You’ll be able to tell the authenticity by who is selling them. If you buy them from a larger souvenir shop, chances are that they aren’t real and not knitted by Icelandic folk. While in Vík, you’ll be able to get your hands on one of these authentic and beautifully knitted, super cozy sweaters and if you’re lucky, for the fraction of the price of ones sold in Reykjavík shops. You can find an Icewear store right in Vík, which has Víkurprjón adjacent to the shop and sells traditional handmade, authentic and beautiful Icelandic wool products. The company is one of the oldest and best known knitwear producers in Iceland, so you know that you are getting the best quality for your money.
Read more: A Complete City Guide to Reykjavík, Iceland
Visit the Famous Vík Church For Great Views
Víkurkirkja, built in 1934, is the small white church perched on a hill high above the eastern side of Vík that is surrounded by Mount Reynisfjall. Head up the hill for picturesque views of the ocean and village from above that can’t be beat. On a clear day, you can see the black Reynisdrangar lava sea stacks at Reynisfjara beach. In the summer months, the area around the church is surrounded by bright purple lupins, which makes it one of the most iconic views and photo ops in the country.
Venture to the DC-3 Plane Wreckage
If you’re into eerily creepy scenery that looks like something straight out of an episode of Mayday, you’ll definitely be interested in venturing out to the DC-3 Plane Wreckage on Sólheimasandur beach in Southern Iceland near Vík. The DC-3 wreckage is now a famous spot for plane enthusiasts and the curious to explore. In November 1973, this US Navy airplane was forced to crash land on Sólheimasandur beach after running out of fuel. Miraculously, the crew all survived the impact, but the plane still sits abandoned after over four decades. It definitely makes for one creepy, yet cool spot to visit. Located approximately twenty minutes west of Vík down a five kilometre dirt path, it does make for an interesting adventure (one that I wish I had time to get to, but time ticks fast when you’re exploring tons of places, guys). In the past, you were able to drive in 4×4 to the wreckage, but due to flora and the surrounding area being damaged by vehicles, local landowners put a kibosh to all vehicles and now you must walk from a newly built parking lot situated along Highway 1. If you’re going to visit the wreckage site, be prepared for tumultuous weather of any kind, as it’s an open area and I hear that the winds are winds are vicious – duh…it’s Iceland! Here is a map with the coordinates and location to the wreckage site.
Paragliding Tandem Flight
For all you adrenaline junkies, have I got something for you! Do you have the desire to fly high in the sky above Iceland’s magnificent scenery? Well, good news…you can do just that with True Adventure located in Vík. This tour will take you soaring high above the village of Vík with a professional and internationally qualified paragliding pilot who will show you Iceland’s beauty from above. Safety is True Adventure’s utmost priority, so they are always checking flight and weather conditions before taking off and if in any case the weather dampens your fun and you cannot go, you are given a full refund. Next time I’m in Vík I’ll definitely be booking a tour with True Adventure.
Don’t let Vík’s small size make you think that there is not much to do, or see while visiting. Whether you are into long walks on volcanic black sand beaches, or taking in some adrenaline fueled activities, Vík will surely meet and exceed all of your expectations.
Have any of you been to Vík? Are these some sites and activities that you’d be interested in? Let me know in the comments below! xo