Explore Iceland’s South Coast on Northern Lights Holidays

If you consider yourself an adventurous traveller and want to enjoy the thrill of Northern Lights holidays to Iceland under your own steam, why not consider a self-drive trip? With the freedom of the open the road at your disposal you can experience all of the highlights of Iceland in your own time, as well as witnessing the fantastic Northern Lights. Holidays can vary greatly in their itineraries but below we suggest one possibility for a day excursion along the South Coast.

Highlights of the South Coast

Driving along this stunning part of Iceland’s coast, visitors are invariably entranced by the sheer beauty of the scenery. Glaciers and volcanoes dominate the inland landscape, while the wild Atlantic Ocean stretches as far as the eye can see on the coastal side. Eyjafjallajokull, is the famous volcano that most recently erupted in 2010, is one of the few that remains completely covered by an icecap.

Continuing on, you’ll reach the charming village of Vik. You may have heard about the black beaches here, but until you see the incredible basalt columns and dramatic rock formations known as Reynisdrangar, you really can’t appreciate the extent of this naturally unique area. The black sand beaches are the wettest place in the country, but it is not just the colour of the sand that draws the attention of its many visitors. The hidden caves and folklore stories also hold a fascinating allure. Even as the largest village in southern Iceland, Vik has only 300 residents.

Seljalandsfoss is well worth a stopover if you’re on one of the self-drive Northern Lights holidays. This stunning waterfall is one of the most famous in the country – and for good reason. It is noting short of spectacular. You can walk behind the huge curtain of water and appreciate the experience from a rather unusual vantage point – and this also makes for a fantastic photographic opportunity.

If more waterfalls are on your agenda, make sure you also take an excursion to the dramatic Skogar Waterfall, one of the highest in the country. Close by is the Skogar Folk Museum, which houses a rather eclectic collection of Icelandic artefacts curated by Thordur Tomasson, who still runs the museum. He is a real character and spending time with him makes the visit even more interesting.

Another visitor centre of note is the Eyjafallajokull Visitor Centre. Here you can watch a short film that tells the story of the recent eruption and gives you an insight into how the experience really was for the people who lived there. If you do want to visit this centre, however, you’ll need to pre-book, as it is closed in winter unless requested otherwise.

It’s not hard to see how Northern Lights holidays can be particularly special with a self-drive holiday. With the freedom to explore at your leisure, you really can have an adventure at your own pace.

Abigail Collins is director of Aurora Nights, who offer a select range of trips to see the Northern Lights. For Northern Lights holidays, Iceland and Swedish Lapland offer an excellent chance to encounter the aurora borealis. Aurora Nights is part of Weekend a la Carte, a family-run company passionate about client service, with a vast in-depth knowledge based on extensive travels to region of the Aurora Borealis.