Vík í Mýrdal, also known as Vík, is a village in South Iceland.
Vík is a very small village, with about 300 inhabitants. Its importance comes largely from the fact that it's about half way along the south coast, the largest settlement in the surrounding area and it's one of the few villages actually on the sandy beach that makes up most of the south coast of Iceland. The area is dominated by Mýrdalsjökull, the glacier which is home to Katla, one of Iceland's fiercest volcanoes. The village and the surrounding countryside are in constant danger of floods that might result from a potential volcanic eruption, which has been expected for many years now. On the other side of the village lies the Atlantic Ocean which is treacherous in these parts, waves can be big and small boats easily get swallowed up if the crews are not experienced enough. While there is no reason to worry about the volcano if you're a tourist, you should be very careful going into the sea - there have been cases of tourists drowning when caught by waves on the beach near Vík.
- 1 Kötlusetur information center, Víkurbraut 28, 870 Vík, ☏ , email@example.com. The Kötlusetur information center can be your first stop if you haven't planned what you are doing yet; they will provide useful tips on attractions, services, traveling and the best sights to see when it comes to the beautiful nature in the surrounding area.
The bus that travels along the south coast stops in Vík. It leaves from Reykjavík at 8:30am and gets in around midday.
Vík is absolutely tiny, so walking around the village is easy. For the wider area, however, it's a good idea to have a well-equipped car because many of the interesting sights are only accessible via gravel tracks.
- 1 Black Sand Beach (Reynisfjara) (Walk south from Vík towards the shore). The Black Sand Beach is famous with its basalt stacks and black lava sands. Here you can also admire the impressive Reynisdrangar rock formations and view the Dýrhólaey peninsula not far away. For those that are into bird watching, they can see the puffins nesting in the mountain in the summer. This beach is perhaps the most dangerous in Iceland and there have been many fatalities caused by "sneaker waves" (waves that sweep in much further into the beach than onlookers would expect) sweeping people out to sea.
- 2 DC-3 Plane wreck, Sólheimasandur beach (Follow the path that starts at a gate on the south side of the main road). The abandoned wreck of a U.S. Navy plane that had to make an emergency landing here in 1973.
There are many activities to be enjoyed if you are visiting Vík í Mýrdal. If you are into hiking you will find endless routes to take advantage of - there isn't another settlement in a radius of over 60km so you will not be disturbed by much on your walks. Jeep tours are available as well as different types of guided tours for those who enjoy bird-watching, want to look at geologic formations, explore a glacier or even see a crashed U.S. Navy airplane.
- 1 True Adventure Paragliding, In the sky above Iceland (Take-off location depends on the weather so the best way to locate these guys is to get in touch.), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. With True Adventure you can try a tandem paragliding flight with experienced instructor pilots.
- Horseback Riding, Mið-Hvoll, road 2160, ☏ , email@example.com. This is only available in the summer and you can ride Icelandic horses in the countryside around Vik.
You can stock up on food from the local grocery store here because there are no other nearby supermarkets. If you want to buy any alcohol head up for the state-run liquor store Vínbúð. Vík also has a gift shop - Galleri Leirbrot og Gler - where you can buy souvenirs.
- 1 [dead link] Galleri Leirbrot og Gler, Bakkabraut 6, Vik, Iceland, ☏ . A small shop with a workshop attached to it. They raise a red flag when the gallery is open so you can see it from a distance. A selection of handcrafted items to buy as a memento from your visit to Vik.
- 2 Icewear / Vík Wool, Þjóðvegur 20, ☏ . 8am to 9pm daily. A very popular wool factory outlet. You can stock up on yarn and purchase other wool products (hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters).
There is a good choice of eateries in Vik suitable for most tastes and budgets.
- Ströndin Bar & Bistro, Austurvegi 18, 870 Vík, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. June to August 17:00 to 22:00. Situated very close to Black Sand Beach, here you can take advantage of the views. Food ranges from traditional Icelandic to international.
You can have a drink in a variety of settings in Vik. From the more informal and easy going atmosphere of the Strondin Bistro and Bar to the more formal surroundings of some of the hotel bars like the Icelandair Hotel.
You can find a variety of accommodation options here, however it can get very busy during the summer months so it's a good idea to book well in advance.
- Hótel Edda Vík, Klettsvegi 1-5 (across the road from the N1 gas station, on the eastern edge of the village), ☏ , email@example.com. In addition to rooms in the main hotel, they have small cottages to rent. Like all Edda hotels, this hotel is only open during the summer. 17,000-22,000 kr.
- Hótel Katla, Klettsvegi 1-5 (5 km east of Vík i Mýrdal), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers 72 rooms, a restaurant and a bar. Location is suitable for day trips and activities around the area.
- [dead link] Hótel Lundi, Víkurbraut 24a-26, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. In an old building in the centre of the village. 16,000-26,000 kr.
- Norður-Vík Hostel, Suðurvegur 5, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Charming little hostel in an old building. Has a common room and shared kitchen facilities. 2,900 kr in sleeping bag dorm.
- Hotel Volcano, Ketilsstaðaskóli, 871 Vík, Mýrdal, Iceland (around 15km from Vík (before, coming from Reykjavík)), ☏ . Really nice and modern hotel (new). Next to Vík. Family owned. Very generous, healthy and tasty breakfast. Huge rooms&bathrooms. Cosy leaving room. Open during the whole year. €90/night (14 000 kr).
- Vik Campsite, 870 Vík, Mýrdal, Iceland (on the eastern side of the village, not far from the hotel Edda), ☏ , email@example.com. Standard camping services - electricity, toilets, warm and cold running water, dining.
- 2 Healthcare Clinic, Hátún. The only medical facility between Hvolsvöllur (80 km west of Vík) and Höfn (270 km east of Vík)
Be aware of "sneaker waves" by the Black Sand Beach. Keep an eye out for the heavy rogue waves that can sweep someone to sea. Keep distance away from the water's edge. Several tourists have died due to sneaker waves at this location.
From Vík it's only about 140 km by the ring road to Skaftafell, the most popular entry point into Vatnajökull National Park. Kirkjubæjarklaustur is the nearest village to the east, similarly small but with 4x4s it's possible to drive up into the highlands from there. To the west lies Hvolsvöllur, 80 km away, and further afield are the more popular destinations of South Iceland such as the Golden Circle.
|Routes through Vík í Mýrdal|
|Reykjavík ← Hella ←||W E||→ Kirkjubæjarklaustur → Egilsstaðir|