Where are the best places to stay in Vík? What are the advantages of staying in a cottage or cabin on the South Coast? Continue reading to find out how booking accommodation in Vík can transform your holiday and the top five places to stay.
Iceland’s South Coast is one of the country’s most spectacular and popular regions.
It’s a wonderland of dramatic waterfalls, black sand deserts, glaciers, volcanoes and stunning stretches of coastline, and is home to some of the country’s most otherworldly attractions, such as the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Many guests will spend a great chunk of their holiday in this part of Iceland due to the wealth of things to see and do.
Thanks to this, a number of options for accommodation have arisen to meet the demand. While some of these are conventional hotels, there are also plenty of South Coast cabins, bungalows, guesthouses and cottages available.
These options are sought out by many travellers due to the fact that they allow for a greater degree of privacy and provide a more immersive stay in the beautiful nature.
Furthermore, their remote locations provide perfect places from which to hunt for the Northern Lights in winter or to enjoy the Midnight Sun in summer.
The most convenient of these bungalows are located around the village of Vík í Mýrdal, often shortened to just Vík.
Iceland’s southernmost settlement, it is bang in the middle of the South Coast sightseeing route, and thus an easy drive to the many wonders of the region.
In spite of its tiny population, Vík also has all the services guests will need to make the most of their vacations, such as petrol, groceries and tourist information.
For guests who want to be able to enjoy Iceland’s south over several days without rushing, while staying somewhere right in the middle of the action, there are few better choices than Vík.
Reasons to Stay in Vik
Many operators offer day tours along the South Coast, inclining many to stay in Reykjavík and explore the region on a guided excursion.
While rewarding and immersive, many of these tours only reach the village of Vík before turning back for time-management reasons; those that go all the way to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, meanwhile, will have to skip some stops to fit it in.
Even tours that explore the south over two or three days have some downsides; you may have to accommodate the needs of other guests, for example, and might not have quite as long at each site as you like.
By booking a cabin around Vík, all of these potentially annoying eventualities can be avoided, along with the perks of privacy and immersion in nature noted above.
The attractions between Reykjavík and Vík, which you will have the freedom to explore at your own leisure, are numerous and spectacular.
Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, for example, are two stunning waterfalls, both around 60 metres tall.
The gentle and picturesque Seljalandsfoss can be fully encircled if the weather allows, while Skógafoss, which is much more powerful, has an adjacent staircase allowing you to witness it from many angles.
This part of the South Coast is also home to the subglacial volcanoes of Eyjafjallajökull and Katla, and the standalone volcano of Hekla, all of which have erupted to dramatic effect over the past few hundred years.
Just a kilometre or so shy of Vík is one of the most popular stretches of coastline in the country.
Reynisfjara is a black sand shore with such ethereal beauty that it has been internationally recognised as one of the world’s most spectacular non-tropical beaches.
Part of the attraction of Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach are the dramatic sea stacks of Reynisdrangar. Which folklore suggests were once two trolls frozen by the light of the rising sun.
Also within view of the beach is Dyrhólaey, a set of cliffs featuring a rock arch so spacious that intrepid pilots have flown small planes through it.
Off the South Coast but still within an easy drive from Vík is the stunning Golden Circle sightseeing route.
This is the most popular tourist trail in the country, featuring the the geysers of Strokkur and the Great Geysir; the thunderous waterfall of Gullfoss; and the historical, geological wonderland of Þingvellir National Park.
Similarly, it is easy to reach the Westman Islands from a cabin close to Vík.
This archipelago has a fascinating history of slave escapes, pirate attacks and violent eruptions.
It also boasts easy hikes that lead to spectacular vistas, and, in summer, the world’s largest population of nesting Atlantic Puffins.
While these sites can be accessed and explored from Reykjavík with relative ease, those to Vík’s east are harder to reach.
This area, however, boasts similarly spectacular sites that many guests would curse themselves for missing.
As noted, the most famous of these is the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Located between a vast glacier tongue and the ocean, this enormous lake is abundant with spectacular icebergs, some the size of multi-story buildings.
In summer, boat tours will let you immerse yourself in this unbelievable place. It is also home to hundreds of adorable seals.
The coastline adjacent to the lagoon has been nicknamed ‘the Diamond Beach’ due to the fact that icebergs wash on the shore here, glittering beautifully against the black sands.
Jökulsárlón is part of the largest National Park in Iceland, Vatnajökull, named after its central glacier.
This is the vastest ice cap in Europe, and many of its outlets can be accessed along the South Coast. The easiest to reach are those within the Skaftafell Nature Reserve.
This incredible place also boasts lava landscapes, forests, glacier lagoons and waterfalls, including the waterfall Svartifoss which is renowned for its rare surrounding columns of hexagonal basalt.
Southeast Iceland is also home to the legendary ice caves, though they are only accessible between November and March.
These otherworldly places form in freezing conditions in few places around the world, and draw thousands of travellers each year who seek to plumb their beautiful depths.
It should be noted that these tours are sometimes rearranged for safety concerns, and those staying in Vík will find this shuffling of plans far less of an inconvenience than those on the far side of the country.
If travelling in the summer months, the highland reserve of Landmannalaugar presents a great alternative for a day out.
Just north of the South Coast, this spectacular region boasts rhyolite mountains dyed vibrant colours and steaming hot springs that guests are welcome to bathe in.
Best Places to Stay in Vik
As can be gathered, Vík is literally surrounded by attractions; none of those mentioned above are further than three hour’s drive away.
It is thus no wonder why so many want to stay in or around this tiny village. Which cabin or guesthouse to choose, however, will depend on your requirements for the perfect holiday.
The Vestri Petursey Houses | One, Two and Three
Three cabins sit together, isolated in beautiful nature just a few kilometres shy of Vík, these are the Vestri Petursey Houses.
All are identical, with two bedrooms, traditional log-cabin decor and stunning views from the windows and verandas.
Large groups travelling together, either as friends, for family gatherings or on a work trip, can book all three (availability allowing), to provide plenty of space for everyone and the opportunity for some privacy.
Groups of five or less, meanwhile, can simply book a singular cabin by reserving a place at House One, House Two or House Three.
The Vestri Petursey Houses are located on Route 219, which is just off the Ring Road, sheltering you from the sounds of traffic and allowing total immersion in the beautiful nature. Behind the cabins is a picturesque hill with glacier views that you can hike around, and before them is the stunning South Coast.
The Thakgil Cabins
The Þakgil Cabins are located about thirty minutes’ drive northeast of Vík, by a camping ground and spectacular valley with the same name, Þakgil.
Only accessible in summer, they are ideal for hikers who wish to witness beautiful views over Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which covers Katla volcano, and the black sand desert of Mýrdalssandur, created by its eruptions.
Like the Vestri Petursey Houses, the Þakgil Cabins suit both small families and larger gatherings, due to the fact that there are a number of identical cabins clustered together on site.
Each sleeps up to four people in one bedroom, and considering there are nine, everyone from solo travellers to groups of dozens should check out their availability.
Due to its remoteness, the Þakgil cabins are somewhat more rudimentary than other options; only cold water runs in the bathroom, for example, so you’ll have to use the communal shower at the campsite.
Even so, its unique location by such a spectacular hidden gem makes this a small concession.
While the above options are in magnificent locations, they do have other cabins around them. Individuals, couples and families of three or four may seek a place to stay in the wilderness of Iceland far from others.
For these kinds of travellers, there is no better option than the tiny, remote cabin at Álftaver.
The only other buildings near this lovely escape are part of a farm, which is home to charming Icelandic horses and sheep. Otherwise, it is surrounded by nothing but beautiful nature.
Álftaver is located between Vík and the historic village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, putting you closer to Jökulsárlón and the other sites of Vatnajökull National Park.
Regardless of which cabin or bungalow you stay in around Vík, you will no doubt be grateful for how its isolation, surrounding nature and privacy help create the perfect holiday in Iceland.