Vík í Mýrdal
Vík, also known as Vík í Mýrdal, is a village in South Iceland.
Vík is a very small village in South Iceland, with about 300 inhabitants. Its importance comes largely from the fact that it's located about half-way along the south coast, and it's 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 that might result from the potential eruption of Katla, which has been expected for many years now. On the other side of Vik is the Atlantic ocean which can be very treacherous in these parts, waves can be quite big and small boats can easily get swallowed up if the crews are not experienced enough. While there is no reason to worry about the volcano if you're a tourist, you should be very careful by the sea as there have been cases of tourists drowning when caught up in the 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 a good idea to have a suitable car because many of the interesting sights are only accessible via gravel tracks.
The Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, with its black lava sand, basalt stacks and the rock formations that stick out of the sea which according to legend are petrified trolls.
The nearby Solheimasandur plane crash site is worth seeing, but not recommended for those afraid of flying.
Despite its small size, the village of Vik and surrounding area offer many options for visitors. There are superb treks for those who enjoy hiking - bear in mind that there aren't any towns or villages for at least 50-60 km in each direction, so you can walk and enjoy the stunning views without so much as a puffin disturbing your reverie. If you are not into walking, you can join a jeep tour or another guided tour, do some bird-watching, have a dip in one of the many natural pools, dive in the sea, or just relax with a drink in the village.
Reynisfjara beach has a reputation as Iceland's most dangerous beach. The waves at Reynisfjara are really strong and unpredictable, and fatal accidents have occurred at this beach, so people are advised to take extra care when visiting the area. Water is really cold and hypothermia can set in within 5 minutes, if dragged in. Heed the warning signs, listen to locals and do not take unnecessary risks. Do not take your eyes off the water and waves even for a moment.
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.