Located on Iceland‘s south coast, Vik is a hidden gem that’s not to be missed. With stunning natural landscapes, including black sand beaches, glaciers, and waterfalls, this town offers a truly unforgettable experience.
In this detailed Vik guide, we’ll take you through all the must-see sights and activities in Vik, along with insider tips on where to stay, eat, and explore.
Where is Vik?
Vik, also known as Vík í Mýdral, is a remote seaside village located on the southernmost part of the Icelandic mainland.
It’s about 186 kilometers (110 miles) from Reykjavík and is situated south of the Katla volcano within the Mýrdalshreppur Municipality.
The town is located about halfway along the coast of southern Iceland and is the only settlement within a 50-kilometer radius in any direction, making it a peaceful and scenic destination.
Is Vik worth visiting?
You won’t want to miss the chance to visit Vik during your Iceland trip! This charming seaside village boasts some of the most breathtaking natural scenery you’ll ever see.
From the world-famous black sand beaches to the towering cliffs of Dyrhólaey, Vik has it all.
But that’s not all. The beautiful town also has a rich history and culture just waiting to be explored.
Take a stroll through the town center, visit the historic church, and sample traditional Icelandic cuisine at local restaurants.
Despite its small size, Vik is packed with amenities and accommodations that cater to travelers.
And with its location about halfway along the south coast of Iceland, Vik makes the perfect stopover point for anyone driving the Ring Road.
How to get to Vik from Reykjavik? (Car, bus, & tour)
If you want to have the most freedom and flexibility, renting a car is your best bet. The drive from Reykjavik to Vik takes around 2.5 hours, and you’ll have the opportunity to see stunning landscapes and picturesque villages along the way.
Taking a bus is another great option for those who prefer not to drive. Several companies offer daily services between Reykjavik and Vik, and the journey takes around 3 hours.
If you want a more immersive experience and the chance to learn more about the region, a guided tour is the way to go.
Plenty of tour operators offer day trips from Reykjavik to Vik. They typically include stops at some of the area’s top attractions, such as the black sand beach at Reynisfjara and the iconic basalt sea stacks at Reynisdrangar.
Where to stay in Vik
When planning your trip to Vik, finding the right accommodation is crucial.
Luckily, there are plenty of options, depending on your preferences and budget. Let’s take a closer look at where to stay in Vik.
You’ll be mesmerized by the breathtaking view of the Reynisfjara black sand beach and the towering cliffs while staying at Hótel Kría in Vik.
The hotel’s modern and chic design perfectly complements the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
With its comfortable rooms, delectable cuisine, and warm and welcoming staff, Hótel Kría is the perfect place to stay for an unforgettable Icelandic adventure.
Hotel Vík í Mýrdal
You’ll fall in love with Hotel Vík í Mýrdal the moment you arrive. This charming hotel captures the essence of Iceland with its cozy rooms, breathtaking views, and friendly staff.
Whether you’re exploring the black sand beaches or marveling at the Northern Lights, Hotel Vík í Mýrdal is the perfect home base for your Icelandic adventure.
Puffin Hotel Vík
Puffin Hotel Vík boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, with easy access to nearby attractions like Reynisfjara Beach and the Reynisdrangar rock formations.
With its friendly staff, cozy rooms, and convenient location, Puffin Hotel Vík is the perfect choice for anyone looking to experience the beauty of South Iceland’s coast.
You won’t find a more unique and charming place to stay in Vik than The Barn.
This stunning hotel has chic decor, cozy vibes, and top-notch amenities, all set amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of Vik’s natural surroundings.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll be swept away by the warm hospitality of The Barn‘s staff and the sheer magic of this enchanting place.
Weather in Vik
This charming village on Iceland’s southern coast boasts a unique climate that’s both refreshing and invigorating.
You’ll experience mild temperatures all year round, with an average high of 12°C in the summer and a comfortable low of -1°C in the winter.
However, be prepared for rain, as Vik receives an average of 230 rainy days per year.
But what really sets Vik’s weather apart is the frequent presence of rainbows and auroras – the Northern Lights can often be seen here during the winter.
Even when it’s cloudy, the dramatic landscape of black sand beaches, rugged cliffs, and rolling hills is still a sight to behold.
When is the best time to visit Vik?
Vik is a year-round destination with great weather and stunning natural beauty that’s worth experiencing no matter when you visit.
However, if you’re looking for the perfect balance of comfortable temperature and vibrant outdoor adventures, the best time to visit Vik is during summer, from June to August.
During this time, you’ll enjoy long days with up to 24 hours of daylight, making it the perfect time to explore Vik’s stunning natural beauty.
You’ll be able to hike, bike, camp to your heart’s content, and even take a dip in the nearby hot springs.
But if you’re keen to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, consider visiting during the winter months from September to March. Just be prepared for colder temperatures and more frequent rain.
How much time to spend at Vik?
You’ll want to spend at least 2-3 hours exploring the village and its surroundings.
During this time, you can stroll along the black sand beaches, marvel at the towering cliffs, and snap some photos of the stunning landscape.
If you have a bit more time to spare, I highly recommend an overnight stay.
This will allow you to enjoy the area’s natural beauty and take advantage of all the outdoor activities available, such as hiking, camping, and even soaking in the nearby hot springs.
You’ll also be able to see the Northern Lights, especially during winter.
Best things to do in Vik
Ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Vik? Here are some of the best things you can do in this enchanting village on Iceland’s southern coast:
Wander Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
As you sink your toes into the jet-black sand at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, you’ll be awed by the towering cliffs and the dramatic basalt formations surrounding you.
Listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore and breathe in the fresh sea air.
And don’t forget to snap a few photos of the famous basalt columns, which have become an iconic symbol of the area.
Visit Vik I Myrdal Church
If you’re looking to delve deeper into the rich cultural history of Vik, a visit to Vik I Myrdal Church should be at the top of your list.
With its striking white exterior and classic Icelandic design, this beautiful church has been a beloved landmark in the Vik village for over 800 years.
As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time to a simpler era, surrounded by historical artifacts and beautiful artwork. Take a moment to light a candle and reflect on the beauty and history of this remarkable place.
Try horse riding
Iceland has a long and proud history of horsemanship, and there’s no better way to explore the stunning countryside than on horseback.
With a friendly guide leading the way, you’ll ride through rolling hills, pristine forests, and along sparkling rivers.
Along the way, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Vik’s natural beauty, all while experiencing the thrill of riding one of Iceland’s famous horses.
Don’t worry if you’re a beginner – the experienced guides will make sure you feel comfortable and safe throughout your ride.
Watch Icelandic Lava Show
This mesmerizing show takes you on a journey through Iceland’s geological history, with a live demonstration of molten lava pouring from a volcano.
As you watch in awe, you’ll learn about the science behind Iceland’s incredible natural wonders and the power of Mother Nature.
The show is both informative and entertaining, making it a perfect activity for families, couples, or anyone interested in the natural world.
You’ll leave the show with a newfound appreciation for the beauty and power of Iceland’s natural wonders.
With the stunning coastline and dramatic cliffs as your backdrop, you’ll soar high above the breathtaking landscapes of Vik.
Gliding through the air, you’ll feel a rush of excitement and freedom unlike anything else.
An experienced guide will walk you through every step of the process, assuring you a safe and memorable experience.
Plus, with the option to fly in tandem with an instructor, even beginners can enjoy this thrilling activity.
Join the zipline and hiking adventure
Are you ready for an exciting and adventurous day in Vik? Then look no further than the zipline and hiking adventure!
You’ll start by hiking through the breathtaking landscapes of Vik, taking in stunning views of the coastline and surrounding mountains.
Then, it’s time to take to the skies and soar across the canyon on a thrilling zipline ride.
With the wind rushing past you and the ground far below, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline and freedom like no other.
Along the way, knowledgeable guides will share interesting facts about the local geology and wildlife, making for an educational and unforgettable experience.
What to pack for Vik?
When preparing for a trip to Vik, it’s essential to pack appropriately to make the most of your vacation.
As a coastal destination, Vik can experience unpredictable weather, so it’s best to bring clothes that can withstand rain, wind, and cold temperatures.
Pack a waterproof jacket, comfortable walking shoes or boots, and warm layers like sweaters and thermals.
If you plan on exploring the beaches or hiking, consider bringing a backpack to carry your essentials like water bottles, snacks, and a first aid kit.
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and sunglasses, even in the colder months, as the sun can be quite bright in Iceland.
Also, bringing a travel adapter is always a good idea, and Iceland uses European-style electrical outlets.
Food & drink
One must-try specialty is the Icelandic lamb, known for its tender and succulent flavor. A great place to taste this dish is Halldorskaffi.
Or you can visit Sudur Vik, which offers a range of seafood dishes, including fresh Icelandic cod and shrimp.
For a relaxing dining experience, visit Berg Restaurant, which features local ingredients in its dishes and has a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape.
If you’re looking for a quick bite or a cup of coffee, Lava Bakery and Coffee is a great choice.
Other tips for visiting Vik
First, it’s important to note that the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so be sure to pack accordingly with warm, waterproof clothing.
Secondly, many attractions in Vik are outdoors, so bringing sturdy hiking shoes is recommended.
Also, while credit cards are widely accepted in Iceland, having some cash on hand for smaller purchases is a good idea.
Lastly, it’s important to respect the natural beauty of Vik and follow the country’s “Leave No Trace” principles when exploring. This includes not littering and staying on designated paths to protect fragile ecosystems.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your visit to Vik and make unforgettable memories.
How big is Vik, Iceland?
Vik is a small but significant town in Iceland, with a population of around 320 residents. Despite its size, Vik is considered one of the biggest settlements in the area and is a popular stop on most south shore adventures.
Should I stay in Vik, Iceland?
Whether you should stay in Vik depends on your travel plans and preferences. If you want to explore the beautiful black sand beaches and nearby attractions such as Dyrhólaey or the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, staying in Vik could be a good option. However, if you prefer a more urban setting with a wider range of amenities, staying in nearby larger towns like Reykjavik or Selfoss might be a better fit.
Vik offers many breathtaking places to visit and exciting things to do for travelers.
From exploring the dramatic black sand beaches to witnessing the stunning Northern Lights, this beautiful destination has no shortage of adventures.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or cultural experiences, Vik is a must-visit location for anyone looking to explore the wonders of Iceland.
So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and incredible memories.