Black sand and waves

South Coast Tour, Iceland

We only booked one tour before heading out to Iceland; the South Coast Tour with Time Tours. Neither of us had done anything like this before which made us reluctant to book more than one. Thankfully it was a brilliant day!!

At 9am a minibus arrived to pick us up from our apartment. There were 10 of us from all around the world, plus our guide Alex. The weather had been incredibly wet so Scott and I were waterproofed up to our eyelids. If you want to get the most out of Iceland, you need proper clothing.

First stop — a farm on the way to the waterfalls. This farmer got rich from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010. After the volcanic ash settled, nearby farmers were quick to remove it from their land. However the owner of this farm kept his ash and sold it to aircraft researchers. Apparently he’s pretty wealthy now.

Farm with mountains

Skógarfoss waterfall

Skógarfoss waterfall was absolutely roaring. Scott and I walked up to the viewing platform you can see top right to get a better view. We didn’t stop here for long so we motored our way up to the top; did it in just under 10 mins, wooo!

Waterfall in mossy rocks
Skógarfoss waterfall
Me in front of waterfall
Me at Skógarfoss waterfall

Skógarfoss may look deserted but it was quite the opposite. A large group of people moved when we arrived, which was lucky for us because we managed to get a photo of each other without anyone else in the background.

Scott in front of waterfall
Scott at Skógarfoss waterfall

Sólheimajökull glacier

Visiting Sólheimajökull glacier was one of my favourite parts of the day! We walked down rugged paths towards a mass of blue ice. Aside from the ice and moss, the landscape was practically colourless. It sounds morbid but it was a breathtaking place.

Black sand and mist
Sólheimajökull glacier

The stripes in the ice below are made from layers of volcanic ash. Ice forms, ash settles, another layer of ice forms and so on. Seeing all the layers of ask make you realise just how many years its taken for this ice to form.

Blue glacier ice and black sand

Blue glacier ice and water

Closeup of blue glacier ice
Sólheimajökull glacier ice

Sadly climate change is causing this glacier to melt rapidly. When this ice melts it releases carbon — which is exactly what we don’t need more of.

Reynisfjara (black sand beach)

Words cannot describe how wet and windy the black sand beach was! We had to keep the Nikon in a plastic bag so the rain didn’t get in. On the plus side, bad weather made this place all the more atmospheric.

Cave on black sand beach
Basalt cave at Reynisfjara beach
Plant growing on rocks
Basalt cave

Because we were on our honeymoon, we tried to remember to take a few more photos of ourselves. If you follow regularly you’ll know neither of us make an appearance on here very often, we’re a bit camera shy 🙂

Us on on a black sand beach
Mr & Mrs
Black sand and waves
Reynisfjara beach

Did you notice the footprints way before the ocean? These waves on Reynisfjara beach are strong enough to pull you into the ocean; lots of people have died here for this very reason. I can see why too. Even stood this far back, the waves seemed very tall. Anyway, we decided to play it safe. We hadn’t eaten much for lunch and there was no way I was going to let either of us go out on an empty stomach.

Basalt columns in the ocean
Reynisfjara beach

Sand at Reynisfjara is actually small shards of incredibly black, coarse grit; it’s nothing like typical sand on most beaches. The wind was absolutely howling but somehow birds were managing to fly over the top of the waves and around the basalt columns.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Seljalandsfoss drops 60m into a small cave which has a path around the back of the waterfall. If you’re dressed for a drenching it’s nice to stand and watch the water crashing down for a bit.

View behind waterfall
Behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Cascading water from waterfall
Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Without booking the South Coast Tour we’d have never seen these other-worldly sights. We enjoyed this tour so much we on to book another — Reykjavik Erupts.

Such an amazing place, hope we go back one day!

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and haven’t done a tour before, I’d definitely recommend booking a smaller minibus or 4X4 tour. They cost a little more but it’s a really nice experience. You don’t feel ‘herded’ which I think could be case with some of the larger coach trips.

6 comments on “South Coast Tour, Iceland

  1. Wow!! Amazing photos – you should get some of those printed and framed! I visited Iceland last year and it was the most beautiful place, you are definitely right about the weather making it more atmospheric! I would love to return as well!

    • Thanks Ellie! We framed some photos from our trip to Norway a few years ago; they’ve been there a while so it would be good to replace them — some of these would be perfect. Fingers crossed we both get to visit again someday 🙂

  2. Looks like such a beautiful place to visit 🙂

  3. Ah this brings back allllll the memories Gemma! Beautiful!

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