Are you thinking of driving from Reykjavik to Vik? Then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve been to Iceland several times throughout the years. It’s one of our favorite places to travel to. Because of that, we’ve seen and done just about everything Iceland has to offer. From beautiful cities and towns to the more rugged parts of the gorgeous island, there’s a lot to do in Iceland.
One of the most popular places to visit in Iceland is Reykjavik. Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city, and where you’ll find most of the main tourist attractions. That means there are tons of things to do there. You could easily spend a few days in Reykjavik and not need to travel anywhere else. However, if you’re wanting to see more, then we suggest at least exploring the area from Reykjavik to Vik. You’ll find some really cool things to do between Reykjavik and Vik.
For those who might not know, Vik is a village in Iceland. To make sure you get the most out of your Reykjavik to Vik road trip, we’ve made sure to give you plenty of tips. Plus, we’ve included our favorite places to stop and sightsee along the way. So, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at our top tips and favorite sightseeing spots on the drive from Reykjavik to Vik!
Distance From Reykjavik To Vik
We are sure you’re wondering how far from Reykjavik is Vik exactly. It’s just over 100 miles away from Reykjavik. That makes the Reykjavik to Vik drive a bit of a road trip, but totally worth it. But don’t let the distance from Reykjavik to Vik scare you off. This drive is definitely worth it. All along the way, you’ll find some amazing things to see from Reykjavik to Vik.
How Long Does It Take To Drive From Reykjavik To Vik
If you do the drive yourself, without any stops, the Reykjavik to Vik drive is just over 2 and a half hours. But remember, that’s without making any stops. This is why we suggest making either a Reykjavik to Vik day trip or a Reykjavik to Vik road trip. You’ll have more time to see everything if you plan a Reykjavik to Vik road trip.
If you go with that option, you’ll be able to stay in Vik for a night before heading back to Reykjavik. This also means that you can split up your sightseeing. On your way back from Vik to Reykjavik, you can stop to see things you might have missed. However, if you make a Reykjavik to Vik day trip out of it, you’ll still get to see plenty of things. Just make sure you plan ahead!
What To Expect On The Reykjavik To Vik Drive
When you first start your Reykjavik to Vik drive, you’ll be leaving the city. So, the first part of the drive is considered more ‘city driving’. As you leave the city, you’ll come to the mountain pass. You’ll have to go over the mountain pass to leave the city and actually start getting deeper into Iceland. We’ve got some specific tips for traveling over the mountain pass too.
After traveling over the mountain pass, you’ll come to the small town of Hveragerdi. Hveragerdi is at the base of the mountain. Shortly after passing Hveragerdi, you’ll see your first waterfall, Selfoss. From there, you’ll pass through another small town, Hella. You’ll keep driving until you reach Selejendafoss Waterfall.
This is when your Reykjavik to Vik road trip gets epic! From there, you’ll start seeing some of the most iconic Iceland attractions. It’s a fairly basic drive and most people find it to be pretty easy as well. You’ll just want to keep the seasonal weather in mind when you’re planning your Vik to Reykjavik drive.
Is There A Bus From Reykjavik To Vik?
There is a bus that travels from Reykjavik to Vik if you aren’t keen on driving. In the summer months, the bus leaves the city once daily. It typically takes about 4 hours to drive from Reykjavik to the village of Vik. That’s because the bus makes frequent stops. The Reykjavik to Vik bus can be a great option for people who just want to sightsee without making too many stops.
In the winter months, the bus leaves the capital city far less frequently. However, there is still a bus route that is offered. The drive in the winter is also a lot shorter because it makes less frequent stops. It typically costs about $50 per person for the Reykjavik to Vik bus. But, it’s important to keep in mind that you won’t be able to make any of your own stops. So you’re at the whim of the bus company.
Tips For Driving From Reykjavik to Vik
Be Careful When Driving Over The Mountain Pass, Especially In Winter
We had mentioned that we have some more specific tips for traveling over the mountain pass. So, here’s a little bit more information to help you plan better. It’s really important to be careful when you’re driving over the mountain pass. No matter when you visit, it is a steep road in the mountains, so, be careful. In the winter months especially.
You’ll be going through a pretty rugged area that is well kept. But it is Iceland and the weather, especially in the winter, can have a mind of its own. If you’re driving over the mountain pass in winter, you’ll want to take extra care. Don’t be worried about locals driving on the road who may be more comfortable driving it in winter. They’ll go around you and will most likely understand your caution.
Leave Time On Your Schedule For Stopping And Exploring
This is probably one of the tips on this list that you’ll really want to keep in mind. There are tons of things to see from Reykjavik to Vik. So, you’ll want to leave plenty of time on your schedule to make many stops along the way. You may think you won’t stop at a certain place, but then as you get closer you may realize you do want to stop. You’ll want to give yourself the flexibility to do that. Otherwise, you might miss some really cool stuff to see!
Pack A Lunch To Save Money And Maximize Your Time
With that in mind, one of the best ways to maximize your time is to plan your meals ahead. Most people do the drive after breakfast, in the mid-morning. That means you’ll probably get pretty hungry while you’re driving. Instead of having to take time to stop and find somewhere to eat, we suggest packing a lunch.
Especially if you plan on getting out and hiking to any of the waterfalls or other stops. All that walking is going to make you hungry! So be sure to pack a lunch, plenty of snacks, and plenty of water. It will save you time, and money, as you make the Reykjavik to Vik drive. Both Reykjavik and Vik have grocery stores, so you’ll be able to stock up on supplies before you head out.
Fill Up On Gas Early And Often So You Don’t Have To Stop
If you’re planning on driving the Reykjavik to Vik road trip in your rental car, this tip is so important! Possibly one of the most important! Because the areas outside of Reykjavik are not very densely populated, there aren’t gas stations every couple of miles like you may be used to in other countries.
We’ve got tons of tips for gas stations in Iceland in general, but this is the most important by far. If you are at half a tank and see a gas station coming up, stop and get gas. We can’t stress this enough! You don’t know when you’ll see your next gas station, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Otherwise, you may end up having to go out of your way to find gas, or worse, end up stranded.
Drive The Speed Limit
This is another super important tip if you plan on driving from Vik to Reykjavik yourself. The speed limit is there for a reason, and you don’t want to speed. This is partly because there are speed cameras and speed traps set up by the police pretty frequently. The last thing you want is a speeding ticket in a foreign country.
But the other reason for this driving in Iceland trip is safety. The people of Iceland know their roads well and they know what speed is safe and what speed isn’t. Because of the rugged terrain in Iceland, the speed limits are very specific. They are the fastest you can safely travel. Plus, because the weather can sometimes be unpredictable, you want to be cautious anytime you are driving in Iceland. Part of that includes minding the speed limit. This isn’t the place to test out what it’s like to drive 100mph.
Best Things To See Between Reykjavik And Vik
Reykjadalur Hot Spring
The first stop we suggest you make on the drive from Reykjavik to Vik is the Reykjadular Hot Spring. To get to the geothermal pools, you’ll have to do a short hike. The hike typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Most of the hike is easy to fairly moderate and it’s a well-maintained trail.
However, there is a steep incline, but then the path levels out. As you hike, you’ll walk through a beautiful valley full of steam coming from the geothermal pools. There is also a cascading waterfall, grazing sheep, and the smell of sulfur from the pools. You’ll eventually come to a wooden platform where you can get into the hot spring.
After soaking in the Reykjadular Hot Spring, head back on the road to continue exploring things to do between Reykjavik and Vik. The next stop we suggest is the Kerid Crater. Kerid Crater is part of Iceland that is known as the Golden Circle. It’s a super popular area in Iceland to visit because it’s fairly close to Reykjavik still. You’ll have to drive about 15 minutes off of the road from Reykjavik to Vik, but we think it’s worth it!
It is a volcanic crater that is filled with beautiful blue water. The crater itself is over 3,000 years old! The rocky surface around the crater is red volcanic rock. This is one of the reasons why the water that has filled the crater appears to be so blue. It’s a popular stopping point, and for a good reason. So we definitely suggest adding it to your itinerary for your Reykjavik to Vik drive.
Shop For Icelandic Sweaters In Hella
Our absolute favorite place to get authentic Icelandic sweaters is in Hella. The shop is called ‘Wool Market Local Store’ on Google Maps. Their Instagram handle is lopasjoppan, and we suggest following her on there too! The owner of the shop hand makes all of the sweaters along with her mom and friends.
The store isn’t very big, and they may be a bit pricier than the sweaters you’ll find in the tourist areas. However, they are 100% worth it. Plus, you’ll be supporting a local artisan and business and have a 100% authentic Icelandic sweater.
Find It On Google Maps Here: Googlemaps.com
Next, you’ll continue the drive and come across one of our favorite things to see from Reykjavik to Vik. Seljalandsfoss is an amazing waterfall that you can actually walk behind! You’ll find Seljalandsfoss just off of the Ring Road. To get there, exit off and head onto the road that leads to Þórsmörk Road 249. This is also where the Reykjavik to Vik road trip starts to get epic!
Once you get there, you’ll find a decent size parking lot. From the parking lot, it’s a super easy walk to the falls. There is a pathway that leads to the front of the waterfall. You can even see the front of it from the parking lot if you don’t want to get too close. From there, you can follow a pathway that takes you behind the falls themselves.
As we said, the rest of your Vik to Reykjavik drive is going to be absolutely epic from here on out! Your next stop is Gljúfrabúi Waterfall. Gljúfrabúi Waterfall is one of the best waterfalls in Iceland. The best part about including it on your Reykjavik to Vik road trip is that it’s not that far from Seljalandsfoss.
In fact, it’s just a 10-minute walk away from Seljalandsfoss. You can reach it from the same parking lot. However, it’s different from Seljalandsfoss, in that you’ll have to hike a bit to get there. This is when you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing rain boots. You’ll have to climb over rocks and through a small river. But, it’s worth it!
Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool
This is probably one of the most photographed spots in Iceland. It looks very secluded and tranquil, and it is. The Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool is hidden away in the mountains of southern Iceland. It’s the oldest pool in Iceland and it’s not a hot spring. The unique swimming pool was built in 1923 by a local man to teach Icelandic people how to swim! You’ll find it at the foot of a mountain, which is part of the reason why it looks so dreamy.
To get there, you’ll need to take a short but very easy hike. There is a parking lot where you’ll park and then start the hike from. The trail is unmarked but very easy to follow. In total, you’ll probably spend about 20 minutes walking to the pool from the parking lot. But it’s almost a completely flat trail. This is easily one of the best things to see from Reykjavik to Vik.
Believe it or not, this next stop on the road from Vik to Reykjavik is another easy hike for epic views. Skofagoss Waterfall is another gorgeous Iceland waterfall. You can view the waterfall from the ground, or hike for a more unique perspective. There is a small stairwell that you can take that leads to a view from the top of the falls.
It is a stunning view, and definitely worth the small set of stairs if you’re able to climb them. Skogofoss was also a filming location for the Game of Thrones show on HBO! So if you love that show, you’ll definitely want to make time to visit. It’s actually one of many filming locations that are scattered throughout Iceland that you can visit.
After visiting Skogafoss, head back on the road from Reykjavik to Vik. Kvernufoss is a beautiful waterfall that most people don’t even know about. In fact, we visited Iceland a few times before we even found out about it, despite it being just a short drive from Skogafoss! Like Seljalandsfoss, you can actually walk behind Kvernufoss!
Because most people don’t know about this waterfall, it’s one of the less crowded things to do between Reykjavik to Vik. There is a short hike to get to the falls and it’s totally worth it. You can see the gorge and the falls from the Ring Road, but most people don’t realize they can actually reach the falls. We suggest making time to visit this beautiful waterfall!
As you continue driving from Reykjavik to Vik, you’ll take a bit of a break from all of the waterfalls. But that doesn’t mean the scenery is any less epic. In fact, this next stop on the Vik to Reykjavik drive is an actual ancient glacier. Yes, you heard that right, a glacier! You can even take guided hiking tours of Sólheimajökull, the glacier itself.
It is shrinking in size, but it’s still insanely epic! Sólheimajökull is fairly easy to get to as well. There is a parking lot just off of the Ring Road that leads you to Sólheimajökull. In the parking lot, you’ll find a cafe and the path that leads you on a 15 minute hike to the glacier.
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck
The Solheimasandur Plane Wreck is another extremely popular photo spot on Instagram. It is a famous Icelandic plane wreck on a black sand beach. The beautiful coastline of Iceland combined with the wreckage makes for a really unique thing to see from Reykjavik to Vik. Thankfully, everyone survived the plane crash and it was deemed too costly to remove the wreckage.
So, now, it’s a popular thing to do between Reykjavik to Vik for amateur and pro photographers! It’s an eerie sight, which is part of its appeal. It looks like a ghost plane on the black sand beach. You don’t have to spend a lot of time here. However, we still suggest making a stop on your Reykjavik to Vik drive.
Your next two stops as you drive are actually so close to each other that you can see one from the other. The first stop is Loftsalahellir Cave, which is just a short drive from Sólheimajökull and the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck. You’ll take a brief, but steep, hike to climb inside the actual cave.
The cave is actually believed to be the historic site of the meetings for Myrdal farmers. Loftsalahellir Cave has started to become a popular photography spot as well. From inside the cave, you’ll get to see some beautiful views. When you’re inside the cave, you’ll see your next stop on the drive from Reykjavik to Vik which is the Dyrhólaey Peninsula.
The Dyrhólaey Peninsula is a sign that you are getting close to reaching Vik. There are rock formations and natural caves along the shore of the peninsula. While you’re there, you’ll have some pretty sweeping epic views. You’ll be able to see the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, lava columns emerging from the sea, and the rocky black beach coastline.
Make sure to look out for the black lava rock arch that gave the peninsula it’s name while you’re there! There is also a historic lighthouse that you can visit. If you’re visiting in the summer, you may get to see puffins nesting on the cliff face!
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Your last stop as you take the Vik to Reykjavik drive, or vice versa, is Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. One of the things Iceland is probably best known for is its black sand beaches. One of our favorite black sand beaches to visit is Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. You’ll find huge black basalt columns, crashing waves, and of course, black sand. It was also a Game of Thrones filming location!
One of the most important things to keep in mind while visiting Reynisfjara is to be careful of the waves. The beach has become known for its sleeper waves. You absolutely do not want to get caught up in these waves. They can be deadly! So, get as many pictures as you want, but do not go in the water!
Best Reykjavik To Vik Tours And Day Trips
If you don’t want to drive from Vik to Reykjavik yourself, there are a number of tours to Vik. While many of them hit some of the most popular spots on the drive, none of them will make all of the stops we’ve listed above. So, if there’s something you really want to see on this list, check to make sure your chosen tour to Vik offers it as a stop.
South Of Iceland Day Trip
The South of Iceland Day Trip is a great option for seeing many of the stops on our suggested list. However, it doesn’t spend a lot of time in Vik. You’ll be there for a quick lunch break before heading back on the road. Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll be on a schedule. So, you won’t be able to spend all the time you want to at each of the stops.
The stops that are included are Hvolsvöllur, Skógafoss, Sólheimajökull, Vik, Reynisfjara Beach, and Seljalandsfoss. Two of the stops are quick and just meant for photo ops, while the others you may have a bit more time at. You’ll also be driving over an hour before you make your first stop and after your last stop. So, you won’t see much of what is close to Reykjavik in terms of sightseeing.
Book Your Tour Here: GetYourGuide.com
Full-Day South Coast, Black Beach, And Waterfalls Tour
If your main goal in visiting Iceland is to see the black sand beach and the many waterfalls, then this is a great tour option. The Full-Day South Coast, Black Beach, and Waterfalls Tour is pretty popular. As the tour name states, you can expect to be gone all day. The tour leaves from Reykjavik and makes several stops. But, again, it does not stop at all of the places we have listed. So, keep that in mind.
The stops on this longer tour include Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, and Reynisfjara. You’ll also be able to see Eyjafjallajökull volcano and glaciers along the way. This tour is full of some of the best highlights on the drive from Vik to Reykjavik and it’s a great option if you don’t want to drive yourself.
Book Your Tour Here: GetYourGuide.com
South Coast Classic: Full-Day Tour From Reykjavik
The South Coast Classic tour is truly a classic. It’s perfect for people who only want to hit the biggest highlights on Iceland’s South Coast. It includes many of our favorite stops on the Reykjavik to Vik drive. However, it still doesn’t include everything. It’s definitely just for those seeking to see the highlights. On the South Coast Classic day trip from Reykjavik, you’ll make a few stops.
Those are Hvolsvöllur, Sólheimajökull, Reynisfjara Beach, Vik, Skógafoss, and Seljalandsfoss. You’ll have about 6 and a half hours to travel between the different stops and sightsee before heading back to Reykjavik. So you’ll definitely be gone all day. It also provides you with a decent amount of time at each stop. For that reason, it’s a great option for tours to Vik and the surrounding area.
Book Your Tour Here: GetYourGuide.com
Best Places To Stay Along The Reykjavik To Vik Drive
If you plan to do the Reykjavik to Vik road trip, you’ll want to stop at some point for the night. There are a couple of amazing options, both along the way or in Vik itself. We’ve tried to include a mixture of both, to give you some options while you’re planning your road Reykjavic to Vik road trip. If you don’t have your accommodations for Reykjavik planned yet, we know some amazing places to stay there too!
The Garage Apartments
Our absolute favorite place to stay when traveling along Iceland’s South Coast is the Garage Apartments. We’ve been lucky enough to stay there a few times now, and every time it’s epic. The scenery surrounding these apartments is unmatched. You’ll be able to look out the window or door of your own private apartment and see rugged mountains and a waterfall.
They are also really conveniently located between Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The host, Anna, is kind and attentive and makes every attempt to make your stay both comfortable and memorable. You’ll be in a picturesque location but near some of the top attractions between Vik and Reykjavik. You truly can’t go wrong staying there.
Check Rates Here: Booking.com
INNI Boutique Apartments
The INNI Boutique Apartments are actually closer to Reykjavik. In fact, they are in Hveragerdi, the town that is at the base of the mountain after the mountain pass. However, Hveragerdi is still a little under an hour away from Reykjavik. So, if you need a place to stay on the way back into Reykjavik after a long day, it’s a great option. Sometimes, especially on a long road trip, you just need to crash, even if you’re close to your destination.
With that in mind, we suggest checking out INNI Boutique Apartments. The apartments come with free WiFi, a private terrace, and even a sauna you can use. Inside each unit, you’ll find a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom with a hot tub and freshly laundered bathrobes, and even a small sitting area. It’s the perfect place for a solo traveler or couple who need a beautiful place to stay during the Reykjavik to Vik road trip.
Check Rates Here: Booking.com
Black Beach Suites
The Black Beach Suites are a great option if you’re looking to stop in Vik for the night. That means you’ll have all day to explore the things to see from Reykjavik to Vik. On the way back, you’ll be able to stop again at your favorite spots, or even anything you might have missed. Vik is also a great option for staying the night if you plan on continuing to drive along the Ring Road.
When you stay at the Black Beach Suites, you’ll get to experience plenty of scenic views. Most of the condo-style accommodations come with a private terrace. The terrace looks out onto the nearby Reynishverfisvegur Beach, which is just over 2 miles away. Inside the condos, there is typically a small kitchenette, a small sitting area, and of course, a variety of bed options. They all have stunning views as well.
Check Rates Here: Booking.com
If you have the time to do the Reykjavik to Vik drive, we think it is highly worth it. There are tons of things to do and see, and it’s nice to go at your own pace. Even if you take one of the many tours they offer in Iceland, you’ll see plenty of sites!