Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Solheimasandur Plane Wreck, Reynisfjara
Day 3 was one of the days I most looked forward to because we were going to see some top-rated beauties in the south of Iceland. We got an early start since we had three hours of driving to our next hotel in Hof and all our stops to make along the way. We filled up on a traditional Icelandic breakfast, which consists of bread, ham, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and boiled eggs, then we were off for the day.
First sight for the day was Seljalandsfoss waterfall. As soon as you pull into the parking lot, it feels like you’ve accidentally stumbled upon a little piece of Hawaii! The mountain is covered in vibrant green and there are multiple waterfalls flowing from it. Seljalandsfoss is the biggest out of the group, and it gives you an extra special view because you are able to walk behind it and peer through the powerful stream! Make sure you wear waterproof clothes if you visit because you will definitely get a misty shower.
After we maneuvered our way down the slippery rocks from Seljalandsfoss, we made our way down the trail to see the other waterfalls. If you ever visit this area, make sure you walk all the way down the trail because you will find a treasure at the end! Spoiler Alert: After squeezing through a crevice in the rock and doing a balancing act on the slippery stones, you are rewarded with a really unique waterfall that is so close it feels like it is plummeting down on your head! It is a must-see!
Next up was Skogafoss waterfall. This waterfall seems synonymous with Iceland as it’s typically pictured with anything having to do with the tiny country. Skogafoss is easily accessible and you can literally walk right up to it if it wasn’t for the force of the water keeping you at a safe distance. You can hear the sheer power of the falls as soon as you get out of your car. It’s pretty amazing! Skogafoss is incredibly picturesque as it tumbles down on black sand and gray stones. If you’d like to see an alternate view of the falls, you can climb the stairs to the top where you can see the river it free falls from. Be warned that the stairs to the top are never-ending and incredibly challenging! Of course, it’s all worth it in the end!
We drove ten minutes to our next stop, the Solheimasandur plane wreck. I was really excited to see this sight because it looked like a photographer’s dream! This United States Navy plane crashed in 1973 on the black sand beach at Solheimasandur. It is speculated that the plane ran out of fuel after the pilot mistakenly switched to the wrong fuel tank. Thankfully, all the passengers survived! Kudos to the pilot for landing them safely in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Everyone needs to be shown a little grace after an accidental mistake, right?
We saw some random cars parked on the side of the road and some people climbing over a fence so we figured there must be something good to see here! We followed-suit hoping this would lead us to the wreckage sight. Thankfully, we got definitive yeses from fellow hikers who already made the LONG trek out to the plane. We walked in some extreme wind for what seemed like ages before we could even get a glimpse of the weather-beaten relic. As you hike toward the ocean, you feel like you are wandering through a black rock desert. The area around you is flat and vast, expanding as far as the eye can see with black gravel. It was a stark contrast next to the billowy, cloudy, white sky. With all the wind, I just knew we were going to get swallowed up in a sandstorm, but thankfully we made it unscathed!
Last on our itinerary for the day was Reynisfjara, a black sand beach near Vik, Iceland. This is a must-see area in South, Iceland and it has a lot to offer in addition to the beautiful black sand and pebble beach. As soon as we started walking toward the shore, there was a large cliff etched with volcanic basalt columns on our left. These basalt columns are very unique and can also be found at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. As we continued to wrap our way around the cliff, we walked right into a shallow cave with interesting rock carvings. Actually, the whole cliff was whipped and scarred with unique rock formations. Out in the ocean were the dramatic sea stacks called Reynisdrangar. On the far right side of the beach, we could see an arch rock formation in the hazy distance. The whole area is photogenic and swoon-worthy. We ate dinner at a quaint cafe in Vik before heading to our sweet cabin in Hof. It was a full heart kind of day.