Iceland’s South Coast: Waterfalls & Glaciers

Iceland’s South Coast

So if you have been following our 12 day Iceland itinerary you would have seen that we completed our Golden Circle day trip. If you aren’t sleeping in a campervan you check out this review about Hotel Ranga.

From there headed to Seljalandsfoss on Iceland’s south coast where we had a super rainy and windy evening. As a positive person I would like to say that the wind wasn’t so bad. On the other hand I had to ask my boyfriend multiple times if the wind was going to tip us over because it was so crazy (we didn’t tip over, lol!). If you have been reading about Iceland, you may have probably read that the wind can blow doors off hinges, this is so real it’s not even funny. We had to hold onto car doors and really make an effort to get the doors closed in some cases.

Chasing Waterfalls on Iceland’s South Coast

We survived that night only to wake up to more wind and rain the next day. Today was the start of our South coast exploring and so we bundled up all waterproof and warm and decided to explore Seljalandsfoss.

Iceland's South Coast

Seljalandsfoss on a windy and rainy day

This waterfall was absolutely stunning. You could walk behind it and really enjoy the waterfall, except on a rainy, windy day. We were completely wet, thank goodness for our rain gear! We got some cool shots but then it was time to move on.

So from there we headed to Skogafoss. This waterfall just looked so powerful, it was really impressive.

Iceland South Coast

Skogafoss waterfall on the South Coast of Iceland

We snapped a few pictures again and hit the road. Also there were so many tourists around! Bus loads of them which surprised us since it was the middle of October and also Iceland’s “low season”. So we started our drive to Vik.

The wind and rain did not easy up at all on the drive along Iceland’s south coast but when we finally pulled up to one of the black sand beaches we had a break in the rain, geared up and we ran outside to take in the scenery.

South Coast of Iceland

Black Sand beaches on the South Coast of Iceland

We spent some time here taking pictures and squeezing in between people for our picture on the basalt columns. It was really quite an impressive site.

Just a few minutes drive away we reached Vik, we missed out on exploring the town but we drove up to the church and snapped some shots and found some Icelandic horses and then it was onwards to Skaftafell National Park.

The drive to Skaftafell was drop dead gorgeous. The rain held up for a bit and we took detours on as many paths as we could and stopped for pictures at almost every turn. Iceland’s south coast was simply stunning.

Scenery on Iceland's South Coast

I’m pretty sure this is where the Fairies and Elves live.

Iceland's South Coast

Basically summed up Iceland in one shot, horses, waterfalls and beautiful scenery.

Skaftafell National Park

Iceland's South Coast, Skaftafell

Skaftafellsjökull at Skaftafell National Park

Finally, we reached Skaftafell, our intial plan was to get there and hike to Svartifoss and camp at Jokulsarlon. We lost track of time with all the stops we had made and got to Skaftafell at around 4pm, way too late to do the 2 hour Svartifoss hike. Instead we walked down towards the Skaftafellsjökull glacier and decided to camp at Skaftafell and visit this iconic waterfall early this next morning.

We woke up at 7am, it was still dark, and had a big breakfast and coffee. It was our first sunny day in Iceland and we could not have been more excited.

Skaftafell National Park South Coast

Views from our hike to Svartifoss early in the morning.

Skaftafell Park South Coast Iceland

Svartifoss was well worth the hike.

We were two of the first people to arrive at Svartifoss that morning so we got  loads of pictures before people started to arrive. The early start had paid off! From there our plan was to drive east out to Jokulsarlon and then to Seydisfjodur. It was a long driving day with plenty of stops, just getting out of Skaftafell was hard enough, just look at these views!

Skaftafell Iceland's South Coast

More glaciers around Skaftafell

Glacier Lagoons

After many more glaciers we reached our first glacier lagoon, Fjallsarlon. It was absolutely breathtaking, so peaceful and picture perfect.

Fjallsarlon Iceland's South Coast

Fjallsarlon on a bright sunny day

After many, many photos at Fjallsarlon it was time to head to the bigger (more touristy) Jokulsarlon. I was not looking forward to seeing all those tour buses again. We pulled up at the first car park before the bridge we realized we had picked the right side. All the buses were parking at the other car park, so it was just us and a few other photographers. It was actually just as peaceful and we saw lots of seals playing around the icebergs. It was simply magical and just something you don’t see everyday. You can easily squeeze this in even for a weekend getaway in IcelandFind more about the highlights of the South-East coast.

Jokulsarlon Iceland's South Coast

Jokulsarlon. Glacier Lagoon.

We crossed the road to check out the beach which looked like diamonds sprinkled across the black sand. Mother nature is just amazing. From here we had a 3 hour drive to reach Seydisfjodur along the Eastern fjords.

Jokulsarlon. Iceland's South Coast

The black beach near Jokulsarlon


  • Elaisha Green October 28, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Skogafoss reminds me of Ben Nevis in Scotland. Absolutely gorgeous. I’m definitely adding this to my Iceland Bucketlist. And those lagoons! Did you hike or drive up to them?

    • Stace October 28, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      We were as close as we could get!

  • Suma Jain October 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Iceland’s golden circle tour sounds very interesting, these waterfalls look amazing one after the other, hard to choose which one is the best! And the black sand beach looks so surreal! Lucky that you guys were not harmed by the wind there!

    • Stace October 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Yes the wind was really scary! I think if I had to pick a favorite waterfall it would have been Svartifoss! The black basalt columns are stunning

  • Tina and Jimmy October 28, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I want to go live with the Fairies 🙂 can’t imagine how beautiful it would be to have such a gorgeous waterfall backdrop in front of my house! Great photos. I’ve never seen chunks of ice like that on a beach, very nice pic!

    • Stace October 28, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Thank you! I love the fact they believe in fairies its adorable!

  • Deni October 28, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I can’t get over how beautiful Iceland is! I love how many hikes to waterfalls you guys did too! I think I would probably be doing the same thing if I went (plus the Golden Circle too, so I will have to check out that post as well). I’m glad to see that you saw some seals there too! They’re so cute when they poke their head out of the water 🙂

    • Stace October 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      They were adorable. We got through the whole country in our campervan! So have a few more posts to write! Makes me sad writing them. I miss it so bad lol

  • Meg Cale October 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    lololol that caption “Pretty sure this is where fairies and elves live” cracked me up. That’s exactly how I feel about Iceland. Every time I see it i’m like… there’s definitely going to be a faire folk ritual happening there…

    • Stace October 28, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Yes! I totally get why they believe in it!

  • Lydia@LifeUntraveled October 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Iceland is such a natural wonder! Those rock formations at Svartifoss are really cool and Skogafoss waterfalls are indeed quite impressive! Looks like you had a great time chasing waterfalls. 🙂

  • Clare October 29, 2016 at 6:25 am

    I loved Iceland, I did the first part of your trip, but would love to have gone further east. Next time I want to go back in summer and hire a car and see the whole island 🙂

  • Helene October 29, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Hi! I’ve been living in Iceland for a few months now and I was here for a month last winter too! I’m glad you came mid october because like you said in summer it’s way more crowded!! I’m going to do a post soon on my favorite waterfalls in Iceland if you’d like to read it ! 😉 Did you go to that one : Gljúfrabúi? It’s in a cave, pretty amazing! So cool you’ve been doing the whole island! Never been to the east yet! What was your favorite thing you’ve seen? One of my favorite regions is the west fjords! what about you? 😉

    • Stace October 29, 2016 at 8:43 am

      I loved the West fjords too! I loved Seydisfjodur in the east it was just adorable. We just visited the popular waterfalls along the way! Cant wait to read your post!

  • Sophie Nadeau October 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    If there’s one place that ‘s on the top of my bucketlist, it’s Iceland! The wildlife, the waterfalls- I love your reflection shots so much!

    • Stace October 29, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you!!!


Leave a Comment