Also known as Vík í Mýrdal, Vik is a village along the southern coastline of Iceland. Travelers sightseeing along the country’s South Coast often travel through the area, but the village is worth taking at least a day or two to explore the area. There’s plenty of dramatic landscapes and interesting sights to see. Read on for an essential guide to Vik.
How to Get to Vik Iceland
If you’re renting a car during your trip to Iceland, getting to Vik is easy. If you’re traveling from downtown Reykjavik, it’s around a 2 hour and 45 minute drive. The drive is about 30 more minutes if you’re coming from Keflavik International Airport. Most of the journey will be on Route 1, or Þjóðvegur 1. You’ll be entering the Vík í Mýrdal area after you pass Skogafoss Waterfall. (Be sure to stop and see the waterfall up close. There’s a parking lot right off Route 1.)
Things to Do in Vik
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Located just outside of the main area of Vik, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is known for its caves, black sand beach, and its basalt columns. It’s an inspiring and unique beach that you should be sure not to miss. Note: Do not go near the water! The water may not look that rough, but the riptide waves are extremely dangerous. You’ll see plenty of signage to warn you of the dangerous waters.
One of the more interesting and unique things to do in Vik, Iceland is the Icelandic Lava Show. Here you can safely see what happens when a volcano erupts.
Horses are a significant part of Iceland’s history, particularly when it comes to riding horses. If you’re spending a day or two in Vik, take some time to do some horseback riding. I personally recommend Vik Horse Adventure. It’s the company we used during our trip and there’s nothing bad I can say about our experience. They’re great for all experience levels, from never having been on a horse to having not ridden horses in over a decade to more experienced riders.
Eat a Traditional Icelandic Hot Dog
It may sound a bit strange, but one thing you need to eat in Iceland is a traditional Icelandic hot dog and the place to get one in Vik is the N1 fuel station. If you’re from the United States, these are not the hot dogs you’re probably used to. Icelandic hot dogs are a whole other level: tasty and made from 100% lamb meat. The hot dog is traditionally topped with mustard, ketchup, fried and raw onions, and remolaði sauces.
Vik i Myrdal Church
The Vik i Myrdal Church, or Víkurkirkja, is an iconic sight along Iceland’s Ring Road. Built in 1932, the hillside church was constructed with concrete walls that have helped it stand against the strong wind over time. You can also hike the trails behind the church and find a stunning view overlooking the town.
Eat Traditional Icelandic Meat Soup
After a day of hiking or touring around the South Coast, you may need something to eat that will warm you right up. The best cure for the cold may just be traditional Icelandic meat soup. Inside the N1 fuel station, you’ll find Vikurskali serving the best bowl in town.
Sólheimasandur Abandoned Plane
Take some time hiking to find the famous abandoned airplane at Sólheimasandur beach. If you’re not up for a hike, you can also take the shuttle to the plane wreck.
Vik also has its own brewery, Smiðjan Brugghús, where you can stop in for a beer flight. You can also enjoy a burger and fries with your beer.
Search for Puffins
One of the reasons tourists come to this part of Iceland is to search for puffins, particularly in the summer months. From around mid-June through August, puffins can often be spotted at the cliffs of Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjall Mountain.
Visit the Wool Gallery
You can find loads of items handmade by locals at the Wool Gallery. This makes it one of the best places to find local souvenirs to bring home.
Vik Iceland Restaurants
Wondering where you should eat during your visit? Here are what I believe to be the best restaurants in Vik, Iceland.
Halldórskaffi is a small restaurant inside an old Icelandic house that offers a variety of delicious options for lunch and dinner. I personally recommend the Tiger Prawn Pasta and the Icelandic lamb sandwich. Their pizzas are good, too.
Located near the Vik i Myrdal Church, Sudur Vik is a multi-level dining establishment. I would say this is the place to eat in Vik if you’re looking for a more traditional meal, such as the lamb filet, as well as wood-fired pizzas. We were visiting Vik when there weren’t many tourists (early June 2021 when Iceland opened back up to tourists) and were lucky to find one open table, so I would recommend trying to make a reservation.
Not justNot just a place for beer tastings, Smiðjan Brugghús is also one of the newer places to eat in Vik. If you’re looking for bar food to go with your beer, like wings and burgers, this is the place to go. There’s a selection of around 30 craft beers and 10 beers on tap.
Located in the middle of town behind the N1 fuel station, the Strondin Pub serves true pub food with a view.
Where to Stay in Vik
Obviously if you’re going to be staying in the Vik area for a couple days you’ll need somewhere to stay. Here are some of the best places to stay in Vik.
Hotel Katla by Keahotels is a charming hotel in the countryside just outside of the main area of Vik, Iceland. The hotel includes all of the typical basic amenities, as well as a hot tub. There are a variety of different room types available, ranging from double and triple rooms to deluxe and superior, as well as Junior Suite. Superior rooms and up are typically in the newer building, while double and trip are in the more rustic, older part of the hotel.
Hotel Vík í Mýrdal
The Scandinavian-chic Hotel Vík í Mýrdal offers all the amenities and service that could be considered standard in the United States. Rooms here include standard, superior, deluxe, triple, and family rooms.
Hotel Kria is Vik’s newest hotel within the town limits and offers standard double or twin rooms, standard rooms with mountain views, and suites.
Black Beach Suites
If you’re looking for something a bit different than a typical hotel, Black Beach Suites can be found close to Reynisfjara Black Beach, just outside of Vik. These studio apartments feature a private bathroom and a kitchenette.
Vik Apartments are located within the town limits and include a living room, dining area, and a full kitchen. Guests can choose from standard and superior apartments.