Vík í Mýrdal
South Iceland : Vík í Mýrdal
Vík, also known as Vík í Mýrdal, is a village in South Iceland.
Vík is a very small village, with about 300 inhabitants. Its importance comes largely from the fact that it's about half way along the south coast, and its one of the few villages actually on the sandy beach that makes up most of the south coast. The area is dominated by Mýrdalsjökull, the glacier which is home to Katla, one of Iceland's fiercest volcanoes. The village and the surrounding countryside are in constant danger of floods which would result from a potential eruption, which has been expected for many years now. On the other side, the Atlantic ocean is treacherous in these parts, waves can be big and small boats easily get swallowed up if the crews don't know what they're doing. While there is no reason to worry about the volcano if you're a tourist, you should be very careful by the sea - tourists have drowned when caught by waves on the beach near Vík.
The bus that travels along the south coast stops in Vík. It leaves from Reykjavik at 8:30am and gets in around midday.
Vík is absolutely tiny, so walking is easy. For the wider area, however, it's be a good idea to have a well equipped car because many of the interesting sights are only accessible via gravel tracks.
The black lava beach, with its basalt stacks.
From Vík it's only about 140 km by the ring road to Skaftafell, the most popular entry point into Vatnajökull National Park. Kirkjubæjarklaustur is the nearest village to the east, similarly small but with 4x4s it's possible to drive up into the highlands from there. To the west lies Hvolsvöllur, 80 km away, and further afield are the more popular destinations of South Iceland such as the Golden Circle.