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Educational Tour Katla Geopark

Educational Tour Katla Geopark

Educational tour –Katla Geopark

Katla Geopark is Iceland´s first geopark and it opens up a natural wonderland to the visitor. A top priority of the park is to protect the natural environment, promote local sustainable development, introduce local culture and place a strong emphasis on nature tourism.

Katla geopark is located in the southern part of the country and covers 9542 km2 or around 9,3 % of the total area of Iceland with population around 2700. The Geopark got its name from one of its most known volcanoes, Katla which is under the glacier Mýrdalsjökull.

Katla Geopark is in every sense the land of ice and fire, with its towering glaciers and active volcanoes. These forces have been shaping the land for thousands of years and the nearest examples of that are the powerful eruptions in Eyjafjallajökull 2010 and Grímsvötn 2011. But there is also more amazing landscapes in the area, mountains, lakes, black sandy beaches, green pastures and meadows, powerful glacial rivers, beautiful waterfalls and vast lava fields.

Katla Geopark´s Educational tours are tailor-made for school groups at highschool and university levels of education. Our Educational tours include all you need for an enjoyable schooltrip; a guide, a bus, warm and welcoming places to sleep and our best quality local food.



Thorsmörk Nature Reserve – The Land of the Thundergod Thor

Topic: Icelandic Sagas, settlement, protected sites, team building, experience the wilderness, improving confidence

Once you have landed in Keflavik Airport a bus and a local guide from Katla Geopark will be waiting for you to welcome your to Iceland. The bus will take you directly to Katla Geopark, along the south coast, which is only one and a half hour drive away. This day offers you a broad panorama of the history, culture and nature and how it all connects in a constantly changing earth. The afternoon we spend in the land of the thundergod Thor, Thorsmörk nature reserve, where we do team building activities, hot sauna and northern lights hunt, far away from civilization.

1. The Icelandic Saga Centre – 1 hour

The Saga Centre is located in Hvolsvöllur and gives you a chance to explore the fascinating world of one of Icelands best known Sagas- Njal´s Saga which takes place in the area. Njal's saga tapestry is a new way to display Njal's saga and an opportunity to introduce the saga to visitors. The tapestry is sewed with refilsaum (bayeux stitch), a special type of stitch that was used in the Viking age. Visitors have a opportunity to sew a part of the tapestry with help and advice from the guards. The Njal's saga tapestry will be around 90 m long and the yarn that is used is an Icelandic wool yarn, dyed with herbs. The plan is that the tapestry will take 6 - 10 years in making.

2. Efra-Hvolshellar – 1 hour

Efra-Hvolshellar are three man-made caves dug into rather rough sediment breccia, which is likely tillite in origin. Below it, there is the “fine” rock, made out of stratified, cross-bedding sandstone. One of the caves is 42 meters in length and is considered to be the second longest man-made cave in Iceland. It is believed that cave digging has been done in Iceland ever since the settlement period until the mid 20th century. Efra-Hvolshellar, sometimes called Írahellar, are even believed to have been constructed before settlement. Man-made caves are unique relics and some of them can even be counted among the oldest remaining houses in Iceland.

3. Nauthúsagil – 1 hour

Nauthúsagil is known for the rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) that grows on its ridge and whose multiple trunks lean over the ravine, some almost horizontally. Although the ravine is deep and narrow, you can walk along the river while keeping your feet relatively dry until you come to a waterfall which is a sight to behold. Nauthúsagil has a combination of geological layers, carved into tuff at the bottom, with hackly jointed lava further up and interglacial lava at the top of the ridge. Rain and wind has caused much erosion in the area so ravines and gullies frequently cut across the tuff. Hackly jointed lava and pillow lava are more resistant to erosion and many peculiar formations can be seen in the areas where these are dominant.

4. Þórsmörk Nature Reserve – overnight

Þórsmörk (Thórsmörk, land of the thundergood Thor) is a natural gem that sits between Mýrdalsjökull to the east, the river Krossá in the south, with Markárfljót and Þröngá Rivers to the north. Its diverse landscape is characterized by impressive gorges, ravines and scruby slopes and a wide variety of vegetation that is unique to the area.

From Þórsmörk is a beautiful view over the mighty Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. The place is isolated and quiet and has good facilities for team building games. During the night it is a good place for northern lights hunt.



Eyjafjallajökull - Nature and power

Topic: The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, volcanic risk management, consequenses of volcanic eruptions, sustainable farming

In 2010 two eruptions took place in this area, Fimmvörðuháls and Eyjafjallajökull. The eruptions attracted worldwide attention as it affected tens of thousands of people all around the world by stopping flight transportation. The eruption was accompanied by a glacial outburst flood and substantial ash fall so that many inhabitants had to evacuate and relocate. This day is all about the volcanic activity and a good reminder of the dynamic earth we live in. We visit farmers living at the foot of the giant volcano Eyjafjallajökull and find out how it is to live next to a volcano.

1. Magni and Móði, Eyjafjallajökull hike – 4 to 5 hours

The craters Magni and Móði were formed in the Fimmvörðuháls eruption that began on 20 March 2010. The eruption produced a 300 m volcanic fissure with a number of craters and a lava flow. Here is a unique opportunity to see a newly formed lava which is still hot beneath the surface. The names Magni, Móði and the lava Goðahraun come from Nordic mythology, Magni and Móði being the sons of Þór, who had already been referenced in the nearby area of Þórsmörk, and Goðahraun named after Goðaland, to where the lava flow was heading.

2. Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi falls – 1 hour

Seljalandsfoss is a 65m high waterfall which cascades over ancient sea cliffs into a pool below. It is possible to walk around behind the falls and come out the other side – the only one of its kind in Iceland. At night and in winter, the falls are illuminated. Just a few hundred meters north of Seljalandsfoss is another waterfall called Glúfrabúi which is partially obscured behind giant tuff rock formations. It is also possible to climb up the rocks called the ´French Nose´ for an impressive view over the falls at close range. Both Seljalandsfoss and Glúfrabúi are protected national sites.

3. Eyjafjallajökull, Living next to a volcano – 1.5-2 hours

Þorvaldseyri farm has been in the same family for over a century and is situated at the foot of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. At Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre we feel at first-hand what it is like to have a huge volcano looming over their shoulders. A short film portrays the incredible power and scope of the eruption as well as how they met the challenges of clean-up and recovery. In addition of being a traditional sheep and milk producers, the farm is working towards self-sufficiency, with their own hydro-electirc generator, on-site hot and cold water sources and growing barley, wheat and rapeseed (canola).

4. Skógafoss – overnight

Skógafoss is widely considered to be one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. It is situated on the river of Skógá, which originates from both Eyjafjallajökull glacier and the westernmost part of Mýrdalsjökull glacier. As Skógá approaches the edge of the moor, the river runs over a layer of hard rock until rushing down in a beautifully shaped, 15-metre-wide and 62-metre-high waterfall. The cliffs are ancient coastal cliffs, which were formed by marine erosion at the end of the last ice age when the sea level was much higher than it is now. According to legend, a settler named Þrasi hid his chest of gold behind Skógafoss.


Mýrdalsjökull glacier– Disappearing giant?

Topic: Erosion, glacier and glacier formation, rivers, sandur plains, table mountains, basalt columns, global warming

Glaciers and glacier rivers were thought to pose a significant problems for transportations here in previous years. While there were no bridges over the rivers, one had to trust the horses competence to cross the rivers or even the glaciers. In recent years we are experiencing drastic change in global temperature causing severe retreat of glaciers. Today we will take a walk on an outlet glaciers and learn all about those disappearing giants, their past, present and the future. How many years until glaciers are all gone and what are the consequences?

1. Skógar Folk Museum - 1 hour

The museum was founded in 1949 on the initiative of Þórður Tómasson. The museum is divided into three parts: the folk museum which offers a huge variety of tools and implements used for fishing and farming, as well as artifacts dating back to the Viking age. In the rebuilt turf houses in the open-air museum you can catch the atmosphere of times long gone and experience how Icelanders lived through the centuries. The museum of transport tells the story of technology and transportation and its development in Iceland in the 19th and 20th century.

2. Glacier walk - 3 to 4 hours

Glacier walk is a great way to understand the power and behaviour of glaciers and an adventure where you can try for yourself how it feels to walk on ice. After a lesson in ice walking we will head onto the glacier to experience this unique environment with some amazing terrain with crevasse, sink holes, ice ridges and dirt cones. In front of the glacier we can see many glacier formation as moraines and drumlins. The glacier walk does not require any special skills and the tour can be enjoyed by people of all levels in good health.

3. Reynisfjara - 1 hour

Reynisfjara is a black beach and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns. To the east are Dyrhólaey a table mountain formed in a submarine eruption when the low-lying coastal plains were fully submerged. In the sea are the spectacular shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has also a rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.

4. Vík í Mýrdal - 1 hour

In Vík we take an hour long guided hike around Vík and we hear its story. In former times, transportation were extremely difficult in South Iceland. There were hardly any ports of the coast, and wide rivers made transportation on land difficult. Prior to 1900, the residents of Vík and surroundings bought their supplies and sold their wares in Eyrarbakki. The first indicator that a town would form in Vík was when a fishing company started operations there in 1876. The fishing operations died out mostly with their originators. Vík became a certified market town in 1887.



Katla and Grímsvötn – natural disasters

Topic: Outburst flood, lava flood, rootless cones, pahoehoe-lava, tephra layers, primary succession, natural treasure

Katla and Grímsvötn are the most active volcanoes in Iceland. Katla is the most dangerous volcano, famous for its large eruptions happening on average every 50-100 years. The subglacial caldera of Katla produces mainly basaltic explosive eruptions that have heen among the largest tephra-producers in Iceland and causes devastating glacial floods (jökullhlaups). Grímsvötn erupts frequently most often followed with glacial floods and ashfall. However, Laki eruption in 1783-1784, originating from Grímsvötn, left one of the largest basalt lava floods in the world, accompanied with fatal haze. Today we learn about the geological existence of the powerful volcanoes surrounding the area as well as we try to understand how people lived and adjusted to those natural disasters. What happens if this kind of a natural event would happen today?

1. Katla outbursts - 1 hour

Höfðabrekkujökull (jökull=glacier) is not a glacier as such but a gravel dome believed to have formed in the Katla outburst in 1721. After the outburst, icebergs lay on top of the dome for decades, and as a result, it was given the name Höfðabrekkujökull. Múlakvísl has eroded it considerably on the east side where we can have wonder about its original, understand the power of Katla outbursts, the damage that such outbursts cause and impact on the environment. Höfðabrekkujökull is a natural protective barrier and probably the only protective barrier that is likely to be of significant use as protection for Vík in connection with the predicted Katla outburst 

2. Hjörleifshöfði -2 hour

Hjörleifshöfði is a 221 meter high tuff promontory it was actually once an island, but during the period of settlement it became attached to the mainland while a fjord, called Kerlingarfjörður, ran along it. Today it is surrounded by sand and stands approximately two kilometres away from the sea. Glacial outburst floods from Katla caused these alterations to the landscape. Although the Hjörleifshöfði area was thought to be difficult for farming, it was rich in

other resources such as flotsam and jetsam, birds and eggs. For a long time there was a farmstead to the west below the promontory. However, the eruption of Katla in 1721 was followed by the largest flood in Katla's history, wiping away the farm along with it. Then the farmstead was moved up to the south side of the promontory and was there until the last inhabitant left in 1936, after which it was deserted.

3. Laki lava field and Fjaðrárgljúfur – 3 to 4 hours

We start by watching the film Eldmessan (15 min) at Kirkjubæjarklaustur information center. Then we head to the massive canyon Fjaðrárgljúfur and Laki lava field where we take a walkand wonder about the eruption, affection on people, animal and plants. How would it affect our life today? We also explore the vegetation and compare the vegetation on Laki lava field, witch is now covered with a thick moss), to the succession of plants on the rootless cones originating from the Eldgjá eruption.

4. Tepra layer - 1 hour

Icelandic soils differ from most other soils of Europe and the world because of a unique soil environment. Icelandic soils form in parent materials that are of recent volcanic origin, usually consisting of basaltic tephra. Soils that form in volcanic materials develop distinctive characteristics that separate them from other types of soils as Andosols. At the farm Efri-Vík a holes have been dug into the soil where we can take a look at the tephra and see how the tephra can be used to date archaeological remains.

5. Natural Treasure

The turf house by the lake is filled with natural treasures from Kirkjubæjarklaustur and its surroundings. The treasures are sustainable and have been collected with approval. In the end of the day you will receive a special glass bottle as a gift from the Geopark and fill it with a treasure from the turf house of your choosing. This unique-to-Iceland tourism concept has been created by the Icelandic design team at HAF Studio in collaboration with

Brochure in pdf 

Educational Packages in Katla Geopark

Katla Geopark provides an exciting five days educational tour in the Geopark. The tour offers you a broad panorama of the history, culture and nature and how it all connects in a constantly changing earth. Therefore it is ideal for students in geology, anthropology and environmental sciences.

Our Educational tours include all you need for an enjoyable schooltrip; a guide, transportation, warm and welcoming places to sleep, various activities and our best quality local food.

Prices are variable and depend on the length of stay, group sizes, class of accommodation etc.

Katla Geopark´s also povides tailor-made educational tours for school groups at any levels of education. 

For further information, special requests and prices please contact us at:

Katla Geopark

Katla Geopark includes geological features of global significance. Over 150 volcanic eruptions have been recorded in the area since the 9th century. The eruptions created the landscape and influenced where people settled. Through the centuries, man and nature have affected the region's history. The area is constantly changing due to the volcanic activity.

A geopark is defined as a territory, which includes a particular geological heritage and a sustainable territorial development strategy to promote development. It must have clearly defined boundaries and sufficient surface area for true territorial economic development.

The Geopark covers about 9% of Iceland, 9542 km2, and follows the borders of three municipalities, Skaftárhreppur, Mýrdalshreppur and Rangárþing eystra. About 2700 people live within the Geopark.
GeologyIceland lies astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where tectonic plates move apart from each other, causing a rift zone. A mantle plume exists below the country, centred beneath Vatnajökull ice cap. In South Iceland the interaction of the rift zone and the mantle plume results in complex and diverse volcanic activity. Volcanic activity and its widespread effect on the area's nature and landscape make Katla Geopark very special.

The Geopark is in the most volcanically active area of Iceland, and the volcanic systems at Eyjafjallajökull, Katla, and Grímsvötn are particularly active. The region is characterised by central volcanoes, eruptive craters and fissures, rootless cones, lava fields, table mountains (tuyas), and hyaloclastite ridges which trend SW-NE, like the rift zone.

Ice caps are prominent in the landscape, topping the highest volcanoes. Outlet glaciers and glacial rivers flow from them and glacial landforms, e.g. moraines and ice-dammed lakes, occur in the area. Large floods, usually glacier outbursts associated with subglacial eruptions, have formed outwash plains in the lowlands. The oldest bedrock in the area is about 2.5 million years old, and can be found at the base of Lómagnúpur, an old sea-cliff (671 m). Other interesting features in the Geopark are fossil-bearing xenoliths, and tephra layers which are useful for dating (tephrochronology).


Þórsmörk (Thórsmörk) is a natural gem that sits between Mýrdalsjökull to the east, the river Krossá in the south, with Markárfljót and Þröngá Rivers to the north. Its diverse landscape is characterised by impressive gorges, ravines and scruby slopes and a wide variety of vegetation that is unique to the area. In times past, the farmers of Fljótshlíð and the area under Eyjafjall pastured their sheep all year round, due to the mild climate found within þórsmörk. Since the 1918 eruption of Katla, Þórsmörk was designated as a Natural Mountain Reserve. There are many curious natural rock formations in the area, such as Snorraríki, Sóttarhellar Cave, Álfakirkja (The Church of the Elves), Stakkholtsgjá Gorge and the stone arch in Stóra Enda. Only large jeeps and buses are able to navigate the road into Þórsmörk, due to the ever changing volume of water which can turn small and easily passable tributaries into tumultuous rivers in matter of hours.

Interesting museums

South Iceland has all kinds of museums and exhibitions. Most of them are pretty standard but others are dedicated to more abstract things, such as eruptions and other curious phenomena.

Eyjafjallajökull Glacier

The Eyjafjallajökull glacier is a 1651 m high glacier-capped stratovolcano. It is one of the smaller glaciers of Iceland. It is situated to the north of Skógar and to the south and west of the bigger glacier Mýrdalsjökull. The icecap of the glacier covers a volcano (1651m in height) which has erupted relatively frequently since the Ice Age. The crater of the volcano has a diameter of 3-4 km and the glacier covers an area of about 100 km². In June 1994 an earthquake swarm lasting for nearly a month occurred below the active volcano Eyjafjallajökull in South Iceland. It is otherwise a relatively quiet volcano - although it is not listed as being inactive. Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 1821-1823. The south end of the mountain was once part of the Atlantic coastline. As the sea has since retreated some 5 km, the former coastline has left behind sheer cliffs with a multitude of beautiful waterfalls, the best known of them being Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. In strong winds, the water of some of the smaller falls can even be blown up the mountain. It is one of the three glaciers that surround the Thorsmörk area - the other 2 being Myrdalsjökull and Tindfjallajökull. Specialized tours are arranged on the glacier for both skiing, superjeep tour and hiking. One should never venture onto the glacier without guides and good knowledge of these kind of activities as this is a very dangerous area for unexperienced visitors.

Eyjafjallajökull featured prominently in world news in 2010 when ash from its eruption halted air traffic in Europe. An ice cap with several outlet glaciers covers the caldera of Eyjafjallajökull with a crater diameter 3-4 km wide. The outlet glaciers, Steinholtsjökull and Gígjökull, descend from the main glacier and can be visited by 4x4 trucks along the F-road to Þórsmörk. The area between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull with volcanic craters, Magni and Móði, created in the first stage of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in April 2010.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

A unique waterfall in the river Seljalandsá, about 30 km west from Skógar. It is 60 meters high with a foot path behind it at the bottom of the cliff, but with a thin cascade. It is the only known waterfall of its kind, where it is possible to walk behind it. The waterfall is very picturesque and therefore its photo can be found in many books and calendars.

Access to the waterfall is from the farm of Seljaland along the Ring Road, Iceland's main highway. A little further to the west there are several other falls, among them the interesting Gljúfrabúi which is partially masked by its own canyon. Access to it is from Hamragarðar farm along the road, east of Markarfljót.

Both of these "do-not-miss" attractions lie very close to the main Ring Road at the base of the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier, on the road leading in to Thorsmörk.

Skógafoss - Waterfall

Only a few kilometers away from the south shores of Iceland, lies the village of Skógar along the Southern Ring Road. It is a popular summer-resort centre surrounded by unusual scenic beauty. The breath-taking view of Skogáfoss waterfall and scenic surroundings and the snow-capped heights of two towering glaciers are Skógar's major summer attractions. There are two settlements by this name. One is Ytri-Skógar (outer or western Skógar) and the other Eystri-Skógar (eastern Skógar), located at a short distance from each other. Ytri-Skógar, commonly referred to as Skógar, is the main settlement. It is an old farm and has a church from 1890. It is located between the Skógá and Kverná rivers.
The greatest attraction of Skógar is of course the beautiful 60-metre high Skogáfoss waterfall in the river Skógá. Like the legends of buried treasures of Egill Skallagrímsson in Mosfell near Reykjavík and Ketilbjörn in Mosfell near Skálholt, there is a similar legend about the settler Þrasi who is believed to have buried his chest of gold under the Skogáfoss waterfall.
If the sun conditions are favourable - one can see a vivid rainbow in front of the waterfalls. The river below the falls holds a large salmon and char population and fisherman are seen here fishing July - October. The path leading to the top of the waterfalls continues following the river upstream - where numerous more dramatic waterfalls of sheer beauty are to be found. A great hike - to say the least!
One of the finest folk museums in Iceland is situated in extraordinarily beautiful natural surroundings. The interesting local folk museum has a collection of over 6000 artifacts and examples of various types of dwellings in Iceland since the early times. The collection of tools and equipment used at land and sea is outstanding. The museum also has an old turf farmhouse, where guests can experience the standards of living in Iceland in past centuries.
From Skógar the Ring Road runs eastwards along the foot of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, across the southern sandy plains and over glacial rivers, passes Seljavellir and continues along the soaring glaciated massive of Eyjafjöll and the two waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi. From here runs a 10 km long trek along the river Skógá over the Fimmvörðuháls Pass between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers to the mountain oasis of Þórsmörk.
Skógar is a place to explore the natural diversity of the south or, if the weather is good, to spend a holiday amid beautiful and rugged landscapes. It is also very close to the ocean and the unique black beach.

Mýrdalsjökull glacier and Katla

Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and Katla Volcano

Mýrdalsjökull is a glacier located in the south of Iceland. It is situated to the north of Vík í Mýrdal and to the east of the smaller glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Its peak reaches 1493 m in height and in 1980 it covered an area of 595 km². The view on a clear day is one of the prettiest in the world.

Guided snow scooter, snowmobile, Super Jeep, dog sledding and iceclimbing tours are offered on the Myrdalsjökull glacier. Travelers on the glacier have to be extremely careful about crevasses and inexperienced travelers should not go there alone. Weather conditions shift very rapidly and high winds and snowstorms can appear in a flash all year round.

The volcano Katla, in the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, has erupted on average every 40 - 60 years. Sixteen eruptions have been recorded since the settlement of Iceland, the last in 1918, but there have probably been more. Katla is one of the most famous volcanoes in the country, and its eruptions usually have very serious consequences. It can actually be regarded as one of the most powerful volcanoes in the world and probably the largest active volcano in the northern hemisphere.

During the eruption, the glacier above the volcanic vent melts and the melted water collects under the ice-cap until it makes its way out under the edge in a violent flood. These are called "Jokulhlaup". Huge amounts of ice, rocks, silt and sand carried along by the floodwater. Most of the Mýrdalssandur sand plain has been formed by deposits in past floods.

Katla has been showing signs of unrest recently and some geologists suspect that it might erupt in the near future, since it is way overdue to erupt.

Eruptions of Katla have taken place (since known and recognized human settlement): 1918, 1860, 1823, 1755-56, 1721, 1660-61, 1625, 1612, 1580, 1416, 1357, 1311, 1262, 1245, 1177, 950.

Jeep- & Glacier Tours

Many travel agencies specialize in different kinds of jeep exhibitions. A jeep tour on a glacier with breathtaking views is an unforgettable experience.


Mýrdalshreppur is one of the three municipalities within Katla Geopark, a UNESCO Global geopark. Vík in Mýrdalshreppur is situated in the center of the Geopark and is also Iceland's southernmost village. The muncicipality is bordered by Mýrdalsjökull glacier to the north, Jökulsá river to the west, Blautakvísl river to the east and black sand beaches to the south. Due to the sandy beaches and rough seas, Vík remains Iceland's only sea-side village which has no harbour. Despite the lack of port, it has for long been an important trading post for farmers along the south coast of Iceland.


The Vík area is truly a place of outdoor adventures. Mýrdalsjökull glacier offers opportunities such as guided glacier hikes, year-round ice cave explorations, glacier-lagoon kayaking and snowobiling near Katla volcano. The adrenaline will surely kick in on an ATV tour on the black sand beaches of Sólheimasandur; Zip-lining down a canyon or floating in the air in a thrilling paragliding adventure. For those who prefer to have both feet on the ground, there are numerous hiking routes in the area and a golf course in beautiful scenery at the outskirts of Vík. Last but not least, a horse riding tour along the black sand beach overlooking Reynisdrangar sea stacks is an unforgettable experience.

Museums and exhibitions

The Icelandic Lava Show is the only place in the world where you can safely see molten lava at 1100 degrees Celcius. It is a unique exhibition which no visitor should miss. At Katla center, you will find a free exhibition about Katla volcano and the global geopark the town is situated in. The town's unique seafaring history is depicted in the Skaftfellingur maritime museum, whose centerpiece is undoubtedly the wooden ship Skaftfellingur which was used to freight products and people along the harbourless coast up until the mid 20th century.


Nestled between the black sands and the white glacier cap are grassy hills and mountains. A walk up Reynisfjall mountain is a local favorite, providing views over the Atlantic and close proximity to gorgeous bird cliffs. A walk up Hatta mountain will in addition give you a view over the glacier and Heiðarvatn lake. On Hjörleifshöfði cape you will find ruins of an old farm and a viking burial mound. A drive to Þakgil canyon (accessible in summer only) will provide you with even more hiking opportunities. You will find maps and information about hiking and activities at the Katla information center at Víkurbraut 28, Vík.


A 220 m tall former Surtseyan island surrounded by black sand. The island formed offshore and has since been partially buried by the advancing Mýrdalssandur sand plain. A massive jökulhlaup from Katla, buried the fjord of Kerlingarfjörður, probably in 1179 and subsequent jökulhlaups have driven the shoreline several kilometers into the sea, the last one occurring in 1918. Easy to reach during summer, you can hike to the top from west side where one of the first settlers is believed to be buried as well as the last farmers from the headland. Also look at the large sea eroded cave on the south side and enjoy the nesting fulmar in the cliffs.

South Iceland

Towns & Villages

The south of Iceland has several towns and villages, each with its own style, charm and points of interest. Selfoss is the largest town and has a variety of shops, services, many restaurants and fast food places. Most towns are close to the main route, making them accessible and enjoyable.

Explore map by categories

Map Höfn Kirkjubæjarklaustur Vík Vestmannaeyjar Hvolsvöllur Flúðir Laugarvatn Reykholt Laugarás Borg Brautarholt Hveragerði Árnes Selfoss Hella Stokkseyri Eyrarbakki Þykkvibær Þórlákshöfn