Iceland – South
Note: This blog post is part of a series documenting a two-week road trip through Iceland. To view the collection in full, click here. For individual posts in this series, please head to the bottom of the page where the individual links are located. Thanks for reading!
Iceland's South coast is the sole destination for many while on the island. Just a few hours from Reykjavík, many take advantage of the endless supply of bus tours that jet people down to Vík, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss – and many, many more.
The South coast is also where Chelsea and I experienced true environmental and geographic devastation that tourism has had on the region. Trash littered the ground, cars weren't obeying the rules of the road and signs were completely disregarded and trespassed. While I understand that the two of us are tourists ourselves, we take pride in our approach to leaving no trace of our time on the land.
I've read that the island has had trouble scaling to meet the tourism demand. I hope in the coming years, the level of tourists plateaus and Iceland's government can catch up. When in someone else's home, please take a moment to understand how your actions can be detrimental to the land and wildlife.
After spending the previous night in a nearby campsite, we made our way to Skaftafellsjökull. The massive glacial tongue was nestled between neighboring mountain ranges, forcing the ice to give way to their shape. We decided to make the slow trek down dirt roads to get closer.
We spent the majority of the morning at the glacier, admiring the silence it brought and the lovely blue hue of the ice. We then hit the road once again, exploring other regions of the coast.
Rising out of the rolling, surrounding landscape, Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon stands out with confidence. Over 320 feet tall, its origins date back to the ice age – and after thousands of years of glacial runoff and erosion, nature gets to show off its work of art.
The mighty Skógafoss. With a drop of over 200 feet, it's one of Iceland's largest (and most popular) waterfalls. The walls that flank the waterfall hide history in plain sight: each marks the past coastline of Iceland, before the sea receded a few miles outward.