A picture can definitely be worth a thousand words. This selection of photos of Iceland’s south by a German photographer is probably worth millions of words.
Take a trip like this one on a 4 Day Small Group Summer Tour of the Golden Circle, South Coast and Eastfjords
Christoph Hamarcher recently spent some time here in Iceland and documented his trip in these incredible images. His journey took him from the nation’s capital of Reykjavík to the south coast. These snapshots showcase the incredibly diverse and unique sights and attractions Iceland has to offer.
For anyone visiting Iceland, a great place to start is the nation’s capital, Reykjavík.
Pictured is the iconic Icelandic landmark Hallgrímskirkja Church which has featured in a limitless range of things from wall art, to paintings, even to an episode of the Simpsons.
It was built in 1945 and designed by Guðjón Samúelsson. Standing at an impressive 74.5 metres high, this tower is not only a beautiful attraction, it’s also a fantastic navigational point in downtown Reykjavík. It still serves as an operational church, and visitors can take a tour to the top to get a fantastic view of the city.
A stroll towards the Ocean will bring you to one of the most photographed monuments in Iceland, the Sun Voyager sculpture.
This sculpture was added to the Reykjavík shoreline in 1986 to commemorate the 200 year anniversary of the city. Designed by Jón Gunnar Árnason, the structure incorporates viking maritime engineering and humanity’s history of exploration.
Take a guided tour of the Reykjavík area here
Moving along the shore will take you to Iceland’s largest concert hall, Harpa. It’s shimmering glass exterior reflects the sky and ocean while still fitting in perfectly. By night the building comes alive with light shows and concerts.
For those keen on a small hike, you can take a walk around the city, eventually making your way through a small woodland called Öskuhlíð. On top of the hill overlooking this wood is an impressive dome capped structure called Perlan (The Pearl).
Inside, visitors can see the Wonders of Iceland exhibit. This new addition to the iconic building is an indoor tribute to the natural beauty and ecology of Iceland.
A visit to Iceland wouldn’t be complete without checking out the Golden Circle. This sample-sized tour of Iceland’s spectacular nature and history is easily accessible from the city, with many day tours operating daily. Visitors to the Golden Circle will be privileged to view; Þingvellir national park, the Geysir geothermal area and of course the colossal Gullfoss waterfalls.
See the entire Golden Circle on this Day Tour
Its name means ‘Golden Falls’ and it’s one of the most iconic waterfalls in the country. It towers at 32 metres and cascades with pure force.
Leaving the city behind, the south coast is a perfect introduction to the natural beauty of Iceland. The winding roads surrounded by cliffs, mountains, glaciers and ocean vistas are worth the drive.
When most Icelanders think of the south, they think of waterfalls. The south coast could be seen as waterfall alley. One of these is the magnificent Seljalandsfoss. This towering beauty pours out over the mouth of a cave giving it a magical Narnia looking quality.
An unexpected attraction of the south coast is the DC-3 plane wreck. In 1973, this US Navy plane was making a routine flight from Höfn in the east of Iceland when it had to make an emergency landing. None of the 7 passengers on board were injured. Today the shell of this aircraft sitting on a barren landscape has become a huge attraction for tourists and photographers.
Moving along the coast will take you to the peaceful town of Vík. This is the southernmost town on the Icelandic mainland. Coming into town will see you drive down a beautiful hill overlooking the ocean. Vík is a popular stop for all travelling the south coast, with its idyllic church and mystifying black sand beach.
From Vík many make the pilgrimage to the famous Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. This is a place where the sea combines with the volcanic history of Iceland to create an incredible juxtaposition. An otherworldly highlight of this area is the hexagonal basalt columns that form some of the cliff faces in the area. These naturally forming wonders where the inspiration for Reykjavík’s Hallgrímskirkja church.
The next stop is the crown jewel of Iceland, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This massive body of water sits in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. The blue waters of the lagoon are dotted with white and blue icebergs that seem to glow against the watery backdrop.
Next to the lagoon is Iceland’s famous Diamond Beach. As the icebergs of Jökulsárlón drift towards the sea, some of them melt into smaller blocks, resting on the stark contrast of black sand. Capturing the sunlight during the day, these icy remnants give the shoreline a jewelled appearance.
A visit to the south coast wouldn’t be complete without a trip inside an ice cave. Ice caves are naturally forming. They are the result of thawing and freezing of glacial ice. Each one is as unique as a human fingerprint and the experience of stepping inside one is breathtaking and transformative.
Waterfalls are incredible to see in summer but are also fascinating sites in the winter.
This image of Svartifoss in Iceland’s east is a perfect example of that. Despite the frozen landscape, this 20 metre fall is still toppling over its basalt cliff face. Witnessing something this spectacular provides an insight into the magical mythology that is the lifeblood of this incredible land.
To see more of Christophe’s photography visit his facebook page here.