When many visit Iceland they set off on a non-stop adventure and truly don’t get to soak in the beauty around them. By hopping from one sight along the ring road to another there are often many things, people, and sights that you pass by without a second thought. Iceland south coast adventures are infinite and staying here for a few nights is perfect to explore one of the most beautiful parts of Iceland.
I luckily was able to stay 4 nights at Hotel Rangá to experience many of the adventures the South Coast offered with South Coast adventures. I was able to witness the beauty of the changing landscape, and weather, and learn more about the glaciers, volcanoes, and waterfalls in the area.
Not to mention this is the home to one of the best hotels to watch the ever-elusive bucket list experience of watching the Northern Lights.Read more: South Coast Iceland Adventure Travel With Hotel Rangá
*Disclaimer:This Post May Contain Sponsored Content And Or/ Affiliate Links. This Is A Way I Make An Income From My Blog. I Am A Participant In The Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. An Affiliate Advertising Program Designed To Provide A Means For Sites To Earn Advertising Fees By Advertising And Linking To Amazon.Com Thanks to an amazing trip organized by Matador Network and Hotel Rangá. All views are my own.
One of the first and most well-known 4-star hotels in Iceland, Hotel Rangá has been welcoming guests as well as stars. I mean both kinds of stars with one of the best telescopes in Iceland that guests can peer into the night sky with an astronomy night, to experiencing the northern lights with the authentic northern lights wake up call. Hotel Rangá has thought of it all. From amazing local Icelandic dishes with a modern fresh twist to the best hot chocolate that you could ask for after a long day exploring the South Coast of Iceland.
What makes Hotel Rangá special?
The rooms are amazing and all have outside access with a view as far as the eye can see of the natural landscape. Also, the attention to detail of their suites is all themed after countries or continents. I got to tour the Antarctic Suite, the Iceland Suite, the Japan Suite, as well as the Africa Suite where Kim and Kanye stayed during their time at Hotel Rangá.
My favorite thing to do was unwind after my adventures in the hot tub facing the beautiful river winding behind the hotel at sunset. Also, I saw some of the best Icelandic sunsets here.
Finally, the hotel has a feel that will make you feel at home. The owner has receptionists who wear Icelandic sweaters with the design his mother created, and you can feel the love for their hotel with the attention they pay their guests.
There won’t be a moment you will feel bored on the South Coast of Iceland. Hotel Rangá works with a lot of local adventure outfitters to make for an experience with locals that truly love their country and will share what it means to be Icelandic with you.
Adventure Travel On the South Coast of Iceland
On my recent trip to Iceland, I had a dream adventure trip to Iceland in the winter. It was amazing from the Northern Lights to the waterfalls, as well as places I would have never dreamed about visiting, but were the perfect surprise.
Snowmobiling on a Glacier
When you go to Iceland I highly recommend not only seeing a glacier but riding a snowmobile on one of the largest glaciers in the world. We first arrived at Hotel Rangá and almost immediately were whisked off by super jeeps to Eyjafljallajokull glacier to kick off the trip with an adventure.
Southcoast Adventure is a family-owned and operated company founded in 2008 on Iceland’s south coast. They are great with beginners, trust me, because I had zero snowmobiling experience and got stuck once or twice.
This tour is awesome because they also provide snowsuits that keep you extra warm on the ride that lasts about 3 hours. On this tour, I got to see the beautiful Westman Islands as well as a landscape as far as the eye could see of the Iceland South Coast.
If you want to see easily accessible waterfalls while you are in Iceland, the south coast of Iceland offers some of the most famous waterfalls in the world. Especially if you are a Game of Thrones fan. One of the most popular waterfalls is Skógafoss, which is over 60 meters tall and 25 meters wide. Walk upright to the base of the waterfall and feel the mist splash your face.
Another famous waterfall is Seljalandsfoss, which is famed for being able to walk in a cave behind the waterfall. This is closed in the winter, but I did walk along the cliffside where I found another waterfall in a cave! Gljufrafoss is a unique waterfall and a hidden treasure located only a 10-minute walk from the famous Seljalandsfoss.
The South Coast of Iceland is a paradise for nature lovers whether you are visiting during Iceland’s winter or summer. In Iceland, you can visit some of the most powerful and beautiful waterfalls in the world.
Black Sand Beach
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, I highly recommend making a stop at the black sand beach on the south coast. Reynisfjara Beach is like no other place on Earth. The black sand is a natural wonder created by the volcanic activity in the area, and it’s simply mesmerizing to see it contrast against the deep blue ocean. As you walk along the shore, you’ll be surrounded by towering basalt columns and dramatic cliffs that make you feel like you’re in a different world altogether.
However beware, there is a sign at the entrance to tell you if it is advisable with a coloring light system. When we went it was a yellow light and we were told to exercise extreme caution. While I did not get the perfect Instagram photo, it was an experience to truly see the light of Iceland’s weather which can change at the flip of a switch.
The ocean here is powerful and not to be taken lightly. The waves and currents can be quite dangerous, so make sure you stay within the designated safe areas. This area is known for getting rogue waves that have taken many tourists to their demise. I am from Florida and the winds here reminded me of being in a Hurricane 4 storm.
Super Jeep Tour to the Highlands and Þórsmörk
When you come with South Coast Adventures here they will make sure you see the best sights of the valley. Þórsmörk is a stunning valley in the south of Iceland, nestled between the glaciers Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull. The area is renowned for its incredible scenery, with dramatic mountain peaks, lush green valleys, and winding glacial rivers. Visitors to Þórsmörk can explore the area on foot, hiking through the valley and taking in the breathtaking views. The valley is also home to several hidden waterfalls, including the stunning Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls.
On our adventure, we had jaw-dropping river crossings in the super jeep and got to visit Þórsmörk, Mýrdalsjökull glacier, and the highlands. We will also hike up to Gígjökull glacier where we observe the effects of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. I found it super interesting to learn about the effects of volcanic activity on the Icelandic population as well as how nature heals and changes the landscape of Iceland over time. Þórsmörk is a true wilderness, and it was a unique experience to see this firsthand from something I only heard about in the news.
For Game of Thrones fans, you can also see the Game of Thrones canyon where they shot some scenes of the famous HBO show.
Explore the Katla Ice Caves
When I saw photos of Icelabd and tourists visiting Iceland’s ice caves, I knew I had to experience it. I got to go on an adventure of a lifetime with South Coast Adventures to Katla Ice Caves.
Located in the southern part of the country, the Katla ice caves offer a unique and unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure travelers alike. The caves are formed by glacial ice that slowly melts over time, creating intricate patterns and shapes that are awe-inspiring.
Explore ice caves that are made safe by the teams of guides that make wooden bridges through ice caves that traverse a river that carves through them below. See brilliant blue hues of ice caves that will make you feel so small due to their size, and shimmer ice will dazzle as you play in this outdoor playground.
Pack your warmest clothes that will keep you dry because if you are feeling adventurous you may want to slide down a glacier!
How to get to Katla Ice Caves?
Getting here is an adventure in itself and why I advise you to take a tour with South Coast Adventures. They provide the ride with an epic Super Jeep that will take you over the snow and icy conditions to get there safely.
The caves are located in the Kötlujökull glacier, which is part of the larger Mýrdalsjökull glacier in southern Iceland. The tour company can pick you up in Vik, which is about a two-hour drive from Reykjavik. The road to the caves can be challenging, especially in winter when icy conditions can make driving difficult. It’s important to check the weather and road conditions before setting out and to make sure you have a reliable vehicle. Once you reach the base of the glacier, you’ll need to hike to the entrance of the cave. It’s a bit of a trek, but the stunning views along the way are well worth the effort. Also, our guides provided us with crampons so we could comfortably and safely walk.
Iceland South Coast Must See Soft Adventures
A trip to Iceland would not be complete without experiencing a ride on an Icelandic horse. I was so happy I had the chance to visit the Icelandic Horseworld. Here we got to learn all about this unique breed of horses from a breeder and family-owned business. They offer tours as well as stable visits where you can interact with some of the most friendly horses you will ever meet.
The Icelandic horse is a special breed that has been bred for over a thousand years in Iceland. They are known for their unique five gaits, which include the smooth tölt and the flying pace. Visitors to Icelandic Horse World can learn all about the history and breeding of the Icelandic horse, as well as their unique gaits and personalities.
Overall, Icelandic Horse World is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in horses or Icelandic culture. The farm offers a unique and unforgettable experience that is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Iceland.
Visit the Natural Hot springs
Hrunalaug is a hidden paradise tucked away in the beautiful Icelandic countryside. This natural hot spring is the perfect spot to unwind and soak your worries away. With its serene surroundings and warm waters, Hrunalaug is truly a magical place.
To get to Hrunalaug, you’ll need to take a short hike through a gorgeous valley. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding mountains and countryside. It’s a truly special experience that you won’t forget.
Once you reach the hot spring, you’ll be greeted by warm waters that are sure to soothe any aches and pains. The water is the perfect temperature for a relaxing soak, and the peaceful surroundings make it even more enjoyable. My favorite thing was the little hut built into the ground that made me feel like I was in a scene from The Hobbit.
If you want to avoid the crowds, make sure to arrive early!
Cave Hella – Dining in a cave or cave tours
The Caves of Hella and Hotel Rangá offer one of the most unique dining experiences in Iceland. The caves are formed from ancient lava tubes, giving them a mysterious and otherworldly feel. Visitors can enjoy a delicious meal while surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the caves.
As a finale to an epic trip, the group I traveled with wore Icelandic sweaters and were surprised by Hotel Rangá while dining in a cave. We had amazing lamb, as well as other Icelandic dishes. One of the amazing staff of Hotel Rangá played light Icelandic tunes and we ate like Vikings in a cave.
Caves of Hella have been taken care of by the same family for over 200 years, but the caves have been there since before the Norse arrival in the late 9th century by the Celts.
Vik is a charming coastal town located in the south of Iceland, known for its stunning black sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, and quaint village charm. The town is situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, with sweeping views of the sea and surrounding landscape.
One of the most famous landmarks in Vik is the iconic Reynisfjara black sand beach, known for its dramatic basalt columns and powerful waves. Another must-see attraction in Vik is the Reynisdrangar sea stacks, which rise majestically from the ocean just off the coast. According to local legend, the stacks are the remains of two trolls who were turned to stone by the rising sun.
In addition to its natural beauty, Vik is also home to several charming cafes, restaurants, and shops, offering visitors a taste of Icelandic culture and cuisine.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing coastal getaway, Vik is a must-visit destination in Iceland. With its stunning scenery, charming village atmosphere, and range of attractions and activities, it’s no wonder that Vik is one of Iceland’s most popular destinations.
While I did not get to explore the town too much other than the nature around it, here are two spots I ate at that were great!
Smidjan Brugghus is a brewpub, brewery, bar, and restaurant, that offers some of the best burgers in Iceland. They also had a range of sides that were perfect to accompany the drinks and mains. This was the perfect way to wind down after the black sand beach.!
Afterward, I headed to Skool Beans for a pick-me-up coffee. Skool Beans is a unique cafe with amazing coffee concoctions as well as sweet delights. It is located on an old school bus! The owner also makes some unique custom jewelry pieces that make for great souvenirs.
What to pack for Iceland’s Winter and Spring?
One thing you always need to remember about Iceland is the conditions are always changing so it is best to be prepared for fall, summer, and winter. At least for me coming from a warmer climate, it is better to have layers than to be left without.
Warm layers: Regardless of the season, Iceland can be chilly, so bring plenty of warm layers, including a warm jacket, a sweater, and a hat and gloves.
On this trip, I went with bringing WoolX. I got a new schacket, merino wool leggings, and a beanie that kept me warm chilling at the lodge.
Waterproof clothing: Iceland is known for its rain and snow, so make sure to pack a waterproof jacket and pants to stay dry.
When I visited Iceland I wanted some waterproof pants that I found on Amazon. Check out my Amazon storefront here to find my packing list for Iceland.
Sturdy footwear: Good quality waterproof hiking boots are recommended for exploring Iceland’s rugged terrain.
Swimsuit: Iceland has many geothermal pools and hot springs, so pack a swimsuit if you plan to take a dip.
Sunglasses: In the summer months, Iceland gets a lot of daylight, and the reflection of sunlight off the snow can be blinding.
Also, don’t forget a power bank. This one from Amazon is a great choice.
Have I convinced you to visit Iceland’s South Coast yet?
Iceland’s south coast is an amazing adventure that you are not going to want to miss and basing yourself at Hotel Ranga will be the best decision you make to have a unique experience to adventure the South Coast of Iceland. From exploring waterfalls and natural springs, to high-octane adventures on the glaciers and volcanoes of Iceland, there is something for everyone.
If you are looking for more adventure travel be sure to check out my articles exploring the outdoors in Zermatt, Switzerland!