Are you searching for the best things to do in Vik, Iceland? Look no further. We have you covered on all the fun things to do in Vik, including nearby places too.
We have been to Iceland many, many times and still cannot get enough. Iceland is a beautiful country made from the raw power of fire and ice. Tall, moss covered mountains are stark in contrast to the volcanic sands that paint the Icelandic landscape. Hidden hot springs, craggy canyons, and glacier lagoons are among the best parts of Iceland’s natural wonders.
A visit to the south coast of Iceland is full of incredible hidden gems just like these. On the drive from Reykjavik to Vik, discover the best waterfalls like Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. There is even a massive volcanic crater to visit, just 15 minutes off the road called Kerid Crater. There are so many things to see and do near Vik, the southernmost coastal town in Iceland, that you simply won’t want to miss.
If you are trying to plan a great trip to Vik, Iceland, look no further. We have scouted all the best activites in Vik, including attractions near Vik. Witness the incredible live lava show and zipline across a moss covered canyon. Then, head to the geothermally heated local swimming pool to meet locals, or grab an Icelandic beer from the local brewhouse. Check out the great hikes and beaches nearby too, like Thakgil Canyon and Dyrholaey.
Are you ready? Let’s get to it. Here are the best places to visit in Vik, including attractions nearby too.
12 Best Things To Do in Vik Iceland (And Nearby!)
Zipline Adventure in Vik
One of the most fun things to do in Vik, Iceland is to go on a zipline tour adventure. Zooming over the beautiful south coast canyons is an incredible feeling. Hearts pumping and excitement flowing, everyone will love this fun and daring adventure.
Take a sh’ort hike through the river canyon before reaching four different zip lines. First, step up to the Little Rush zipline and cross the canyon. Then, conquer the Gentle Giant. Zip down the 240 meter long line and zoom over the stunning Hundafoss waterfall. Walk past the Grafargil (Grave Canyon), before trying out the 30 meter long Leap of Faith line. Finish the whirlwind of excitement with the next longest zipline, the Big Rush.
Our pro tip for the best experience possible: just make sure to bring some wind resistant clothes and wear hiking shoes. The tour takes between 1.5- 2 hours, so you will have plenty of time left over to try out other fun things in Vik like hitting the local swimming pool.
Witness the Live Icelandic Lava Show
Attend the exhilarating lava show in Vik, Iceland where molten lava can be experienced safely in close proximity. Witness a recreation of a volcanic eruption, similar to nearby volcanoes, Katla and Eyjafjallajokull. In this demonstration molten lava will be poured into the showroom over ice. Hear the pop and sizzles of 1100-2000 degree Celsius lava as you feel the intense heat radiate within the room. It’s no joke that this lava burns at the same temperatures as the nearby Katla and Eyjafjallajokull volcanoes!
Don’t miss the only live lava show in the world when visiting Vik, Iceland. Everyone will enjoy the sensory loaded experience of real molten lava. Strap on the goggles, bring a friend, and witness the mighty power of volcanoes in the south coast.
Visit the Solheimasandur Plane Crash
One of the best free things to do near Vik, is to visit the landing site of the Solheimasandur plane crash. This spot is famous for the DC-3 US Navy plane that crashed onto Solheimasandur Beach in south Iceland after running out of fuel. Since, this site has become a cool place to visit.
Even though the plane is not much more than the skeleton, it still remains one of the beloved attractions near Vik. The skeleton of the white plane, is seen stranded in the middle of the volcanic black sands on Solheimasandur Beach which created a stunning view amidst an otherwise empty shore. The crash is so cool that it even made it into the Justin Bieber music video, ”I’ll Show You”.
Just a quick 34 minute detour from from town, a visit to the Solheimasandur plane crash is totally worth the drive. This is one of the best free things to do around Vik for the whole family.
Vik i Myrdal Church
Don’t miss the most popular and most photographed church in all of Iceland, visit Vik i Myrdal, the church on the hill. This is one of the most iconic churches in Iceland. It attracts many visitors and photographers every year as it is absolutely beautiful and picturesque. The quaint white church with the red roof looks over the whole town of Vik, with the black sand beaches in view too.
Vik i Myrdal Church is accessible all year around; however we prefer to visit in the summer months when hillsides are filled with blooming purple lupine flowers. Go for great photos, meditation, and the incredible view. This church is one of the best places to visit in Vik!
Cappuccinos from Skool Beans Coffee
Head to Skool Beans for one of the best things to do in Vik. Don’t miss this incredibly epic coffee house in town. Believe it or not, but this coffee shop was made out of the back of an old school bus, hence the name Skool Beans. It is truly one of the best cafes in Iceland!
The Skool Beans coffee bus is off the beaten path in Vik. Head toward the town campgrounds and look for the big yellow bus. Although the bus is not big enough to seat many, it is such a cool spot, that we did not even care.
Inside, you’ll find that Skool Beans does not lack in personality, not to mention quality. You can find a variety of locally designed souvenirs such as pins, mugs, and stickers. Be on the look out for Jeffery, the outdoor cat that runs the whole joint. As a joke, the owners of Skool Beans even have Jeffery themed souvenirs too.
Trust us when we say you will not want to miss out on this unique coffee shop. Not only is Skool Beans the coolest coffee house in Iceland, the drinks that come out of there are super tasty too.
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beaches
Another one of the best things to do in Vik is to walk among the Reynisfjara black sand beaches. This is one of the best beaches in Iceland, and is a short drive from Vik. In fact, this beach is so iconic that Game of Thrones and Starwars were filmed there.
Reynisfjara beach is the best place to see basalt rock columns, sea caves, and cute Icelandic puffins. You can even find the giant sea stack formations of Reynisdragnar there. According to lore, Reynisdragnar is the resting place of petrified giant trolls that were once turned to stone as dawn’s first light struck their bodies.
Don’t miss the best beaches in Iceland; Reynisfjara is one of the best things to do around Vik afterall. You can visit this enchanting beach with kids, friends, or as a romantic stop for two. Just stay safe while exploring the beach and keep an eye out for powerful sleeper waves present on this coastline.
For more tips and tricks on Reynisfjara beach, check out our blog post filled with all the best information on how to visit.
A visit to the Dyrholaey is one of the best things to do around Vik, that needs to be added to the Iceland itinerary. Dyrholaey is a small peninsula that juts into the crashing waves of the Atlantic in the south coast of Iceland, very near Reynisfjara and Vik. This massive rock structure is not only the best spot to get a birds eye view of the coastline, but it also has a charming century old lighthouse too!
Dyrholaey is one of the best beaches to visit in Iceland for ionic for its unique promontory, or land that juts into the water. In fact, Dyrholaey translates to “door hill island,” which refers to the naturally formed arches in the peninsula’s base. These arches, or ‘doors’, are so large that even some ships and small airplanes can pass through it!
There is a great view to be seen in each direction at Dyrholaey. Cast your gaze to the mighty Katla volcano in the north, or to the Reynisdragnar sea stacks to the east. You can even spot cute Puffins and Artic Terns along the sea cliffs in the summer time, as Dyrholaey promontory is also a dedicated bird sancturary.
Because this awesome place makes for popular puffin nesting grounds, Dyrholaey is at times closed. While only for a short time during puffin nesting season of early May- mid June, car access is restricted on the peninsula. However, you can still walk on foot to visit the lighthouse, or view Dyrholaey from the lower beach access. Dyrholaey is one of the best free attractions near Vik, that you absolutely will not want to miss!
Drink Icelandic Beer from Smidjan Brugghus
One of the best things to do in Vik for adults is to visit the Smidjan Brugghus. Taste one of their 10 exclusive Icelandic craft beers on tap. Pair a delicious brew with a satisfying burger and crispy fries. It is one of the best places to try beer in Iceland!
Open your taste buds to flavors like the Halta Ketti- milkshake Kveik IPA poured straight from the tap. Try the double dry hopped Wet Spot NEIPA filled with citra, Amarillo, and mosaic hops on the next round. There are even beer cocktails to choose from too. Pair any drink with a the tasting platter. Plenty to share, it comes with incredible flavors like spare ribs smothered in Smidjan stout, crispy beer battered onion rings, spicy buffalo wings, and scrumptious pulled pork.
From the minute you walk in the door, you’ll be met with great vibes at Smidjan Brugghus. The atmosphere is both energetic and fun. They even have card games available for anyone who wants to play. Make sure to stop in the brewery anytime you are planning for activities in Vik! This is a great spot to take anyone and everyone.
Visit Hafnleysa Maritime Museum
Hafnleysa Maritime Museum is one of the best attractions in Vik. This museum tells the stories about the uniqueness of Vik, the only fishing village in Iceland that does not have a harbor. In fact, Vik has never had a harbor. That is why the Skaftfellingur ship alone changed the destiny of Vik.
Due to the violent Atlantic ocean waves and sandy shallows along the Vik coastline, the construction of piers was always inhibited, which forced locals to travel long distances for imported goods. Skaftfellingur ship was constructed in 1918 in Denmark and brought to Iceland. Overtime, the Skaftfellingur ship had become an important tool in the growth and development of Vik. Skaftfellingur earned its place in the heart of the community quickly, but was later seized by the British in August of 1942. However, in 2001, Vik church artist Sigrun Jonsdottir, later bought and brought Skaftfellingur back to its home in Vik. Today, it stands as part of the museum.
Go to the Hafnleysa Maritime Museum to visit the incredible Skaftfellingur ship and other historical artifacts. Discover the stories of over 112 marine incidents, try on costumes from time’s past, and watch the exclusive documentary filled with historic footage of Vik. This Vik attraction is ideal for families and history buffs, though we think everyone will enjoy this great museums of Iceland.
Go on a Horseback Riding Tour from Vik
Hands down, one of the best activities in Vik is the horseback riding tours. Riding horseback is the most fun way to explore the coast of Vik. Not to mention, this activity is totally picturesque. You’ll ride along the magical black sand beaches and the crashing waves of the Atlantic.
Channel the inner Viking warrior or goddess vibes within for a horseback ride on Iceland’s south coast. With knowledgable guides and well trained horses, you’ll feel right at ease even if you have never ridden a horse before. We think this is one of the best Icelandic tours in Vik. The tour is suitable for all levels, including beginners and is a great activity to take kids 10 and up.
Take a Dip in the Vik Swimming Pool
Another one of the best things to do in Vik, Iceland is to take a dip in the local swimming pool. It’s no lie that Icelanders enjoy swimming pools. Actually, the swimming pools are such a quintessential part of the true Icelandic experience.
Icelandic swimming pools are fabulous because they are heated! We love the outdoor pools the most because they are filled with gloriously warm waters and they offer fantastic scenic views.
You are likely to find many of the friendly locals at the swimming pools, as they are a great spot to hang out with friends. The Vik outdoor swimming pool also offers a sauna and hot tub to its visitors. Stop by for a dip in the amazing geothermal pool waters!
Hike and Camp in Thakgil Canyon
Another one of the great things to do near Vik is to hike and camp in the peaceful Thakgil Canyon. Close to Myrdalsjokull glacier, the beautiful green mossy canyon of Thakgil hides a secret oasis, one with a waterfall and small lagoon.
In the summer months you can hike through the beautiful Icelandic canyons and reach the camping site of Thakgil. There is a cool dining area for hikers inside of a cave complete with benches, a fireplace, and grills! There are even candles are fastened to the wall for light. If tent camping isn’t your thing, don’t worry, they have a small pine cottage to rent as well.
When visiting Thakgil Canyon, stop by its neighboring canyon, Remundargil. A gorgeous hike empties to the bottom of the canyon where you can see another tall and slender waterfall called Remundargilsfoss. The hike to the waterfall only takes about 30 minutes. This hike is fairly easy but will require climbing over a few large rocks.
Make the drive from Reykjavik to Vik and discover the beauty of south Iceland along the way. The drive is jam-packed with amazing gems that you won’t want to miss like Skofagoss waterfall, Reykjadalur Hot Springs, and guided hiking tours on Solheimajokull outlet glacier. Vik is the perfect town to rent a hotel or camp nearby.
There are so many fun things to do in Vik, Iceland. The tiny coastal village is full of history, hikes, delicious food, and adventure. Whether you take a beachside horseback riding tour, meet the locals at the outdoor swimming pool, or zipline across a canyon, a visit to Vik will be fun for everyone. Don’t forget to put this charming town on your epic Iceland itinerary, especially if you are traveling via Route 1, Iceland’s ring road!