Ice tunnels, lava fields and as-far-as-the-eye-can-see glaciers welcome you to Sudurland. Home to storybook towns and some of the country’s best-loved natural landmarks, here’s where you’ll find Thingvellir National Park, the Great Geysir and Mount Hekla. In fact, you only need to travel a few miles outside Iceland’s capital to be immersed in some of the world’s most captivating landscapes.
Things to do
Waterfall chasers are spoilt for choice in Sudurland. If you’ve dreamt of walking behind one, Seljalandsfoss is utterly magical – whether it’s surrounded by a carpet of grass or snow. Time it right at the classic-looking falls of Skógafoss and you could see a rainbow in the spray. But nothing quite beats the magnificence of mighty Selfoss and Gullfoss. You’ll need your camera on panorama setting for both.
Forget white shores and swaying palms. The beaches of Sudurland are much more dramatic. Make for the black sands near Vik, marked by striking rock formations. Folklore says these basalt crags are trolls, turned to stone by the sun. Further southwest you can unearth hidden caves, swirling with more local legends.
Take a super jeep or snowmobile ride across Myrdalsjökull glacier. Hike, climb and skirt the rugged crevasses, frozen cauldrons and sinkholes of Sólheimajökull. Or go ice caving in man-made but magnificent Langjökull. Iceland is an ever-changing landscape and Sudurland is one of the best places to see nature at play.
Ever seen a concert in a crater? 3,000-year-old volcanic Kerid is now filled with water and looks a little like an amphitheatre. Musicians sometimes play here on a floating raft – or the lake itself when frozen.
Top tip from SLH