Vík í Mýrdal is a small town within the heart of Southern Iceland’s coastline. Typically has around 300-600 people (depending on the time of the year) who call it home. You may think it is small in population size compared to the rest of Iceland. But it truly boasts some of the most dynamic unforgettable landscape features! Also extremely rich in geology and local folklore!! Come along with me today as I share with you the very best guide to Vik Iceland!
History of our Connection with the town of Vík
Fun Fact: The direct translation of “Vík” actually means, bay. So as you travel around Iceland when you see places that end with “vik” then you’ll know it’s likely near water. Another fun tidbit is that this town has always been on my top places to explore in the world, not just Iceland. It all begins in 1994 when I’m 7 years old and I spend several weeks there with my mother wrangling horses for the Scandinavian television show, The Black Rider.
Next time turns into me scaling Mýrdalsjökull (Iceland’s 4th largest glacier) with ice climbing gear. Then finding myself on countless film sets creating special effects. For example, did you know Hollywood movies like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Noah, and Beowulf & Grendel, were all filmed around gorgeous town and glacier area that sits above it?
Come to Vik to Fall in Love
Furthermore, while actually on a film project… I met my wife just outside of the town of Vik. I was on the 2015 Bollywood film Dilwale. On the backside of the mountain named Hjörleifshöfði we met while she was photographing an Iceland wedding ceremony. Turns out our film team were the party crashes as my wife’s team had permission to be there and we didn’t. Later, we met formally back at Hotel Vik later that night and had a good laugh about her kicking us out!
Both of us having decades of admiration for the town of Vik and surrounding highland areas, we decided to purchase a summer house just outside of the town. As our love for glacier hiking, climbing, and extreme sports runs deep in us both so we needed to be closer to it! Currently, we are also venturing down the path of building our year round home at the top of the town (near to the hillside church). And of course getting the word out over this passion project of Vik Expeditions too! So let us begin with this inclusive guide to Vik…
How to Get to Vik Iceland
Getting to the town of Vik is easy if you rent your own car. From the KEF International Airport you can expect a travel time of 3 hours and 15 minutes. Furthermore, if coming from downtown Reykjavik you should plan for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Your guide to Vik will lead you to be driving on Route 1 (also called Þjóðvegur).
As soon as you pass Skogafoss Waterfall, you’re heading into the area of Vík í Mýrdal (or some refer to it has Mýrdalshreppur). Which is the entire area and not just the specific town. Certainly there is such a sense of mystery about journey there, the town itself, mountains, and coastline so savor it!
The best time to visit Vik Iceland would be year round. Additionally, it’s best to have a more flexible schedule during the winter months because of road closures (for extreme wind / snow). Summer months between June-August are very popular so it is best to have things booked at least 6 months in advance to ensure first choices.
Where to Stay in Vik
Once you have found your way to Vik, you’ll need somewhere to stay. I suggest you base yourself for 2-4 nights of your stay and longer if you want to elevate your adventure with Vik Expeditions! Likely, you will book this before you arrive but here is a short list of the best places to stay in and near to the town of Vik:
- Hotel Vík í Mýrdal (formally known as Icelandair Vik or Edda Vik).
- Scandinavian-chic hotel offers an American standard in service and amenities.
- Room Types: Deluxe, Family, Triple, Superior, and Standard.
- Their staff are also offer a very good guide to Vik too!
- Hotel Katla by Keahotels
- Charming countryside hotel with basic amenities and a hot tub!
- Room Types: Junior Suite, Deluxe, Superior in a beautiful new building And Triple / Double Rooms in the older more rustic side of the hotel.
- Glamping Tents in Vik by Farmhouse.
- A unique experience with nature and near to Dyrhólaey sea arch and lighthouse.
- Black Beach Suites is luxury accommodation outside of Vik and super close to Reynisfjara Black Beach.
- All accommodations are studio apartments that have a kitchenette and private bathroom. Ideally you are 1-4 people staying.
- Vik Apartments can be found within the town limits.
- Many travelers may be more comfortable with having a full kitchen ready for them to cook and space to relax. Vik Apartments allows you to do just those things!
- Apartment Types: Standard and Superior.
- Vik Camping and Cottages
- If you love camping, I’m not sure you could find a nicer town to do it in! Pricing begins at 1,500 ISK per person.
- Hotel Kria
- Is the newest hotel in Vik’s town limits and there are often horses grazing outside of the mountain view rooms!
- Room Types: Suite; Standard with Mountain View; and Standard.
- Vik Cottages
- Have more a more basic cozy vibe.
- All cottages come with twin beds, desk and small bathroom.
Vik Iceland Restaurants
Where to eat in Vik may be your next question! Especially if you are a token “foodie” and want to explore the local food in Iceland. Allow this best guide to Vik to educate you! Special Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic occurring when this post was written, please be aware locations may have limited menus, hours, or days for opening. Therefore, it is best to contact the locations in advance to ensure no disappointments!
Interested in a 5 senses foodie experience for your dinner after trekking around all day? Iceland is a bit new to fine dining especially in the countryside. But you’re in luck! One of our favorite restaurants in Southern Iceland, just so happens to be in Vik…
Inside of Hotel Vík í Mýrdal, you’ll find a beautiful Scandinavian chic restaurant that is light and airy. From serving delicious things like locally caught Arctic Char, Pasta, local lamb and vegetarian dishes, you’ll find something for everyone here. Although it is a 4-5 star type dining experience in Vik, you can get away with wearing jeans and a sweater for attire. And if you’re tired after a long day of discovering, they can bring it to your room if staying in the hotel! Guide to Vik Tip: They are only open for dinner (and breakfast for guests).
Maybe instead of changing out of your hiking clothes you want to head to dinner right from your adventure… Casual dining options in Vik could be any of the following:
Sudur Vik sits up on the hill near to the church. They offer 2-3 levels of dining (including a bottom bar where they often show sporting events). In my personal opinion this is the best place in town to eat wood fired pizzas or a casual home cooked traditional meal. For example, they have all the favorites like Lamb, Arctic Char, Ribeye, Chicken, and even some Asian fusion dishes. Guide to Vik Tip: Highly suggest an in advance reservation before arriving.
Smiðjan Brugghús is relatively new establishment to the town. For you beer lovers, make sure this is a stop on your visit to Vik. They offer 10 beers on tap, a selection of 30 craft beers, burgers, ribs, and hot wings. Most days you can walk in, but if coming in as a group you need to have in advance reservations.
Strondin Pub is behind the N1 fuel station in the heart of the town. Offering true to form, “pub” food you’ll have a stellar view as you delight!
Drangar Restaurant can be found within Hotel Kria. Expect the unexpected with their menu. If you’re a picky eater, we do not recommend.
Halldórskaffi has simple tasty options such as a lamb sandwich, pasta, local fish and lamb. Know, it’s a super small old Icelandic house so space is very limited.
In hurry to get on to your next adventure or head to bed early? The best fast food options in Vik follow below. However, do not think just because they are “fast” doesn’t mean they lack quality or taste!
- The Soup Company serves up delish soup, salads, light sandwiches, and desserts!
- Víkurskáli is a cafeteria dining (inside of the N1 Fuel Station). Contrarily though, don’t let that discourage you! My wife and I eat weekly there often getting the Magistrate Burger, Marinated Lamb, Chicken Curry and Meat Soup! Super nice view of the Reynisdranger formations in the see too!
- Ice Cave Bistro is another cafeteria style where you can order up wraps, salads, and other quickly made dishes.
- N1 Gas Station for a traditional Icelandic Hot Dog! Iceland Travel Tip: If you want to go all in traditional, also grab a can of Coke and a Prince Polo Bar. This is the “road trip” food of Icelanders!
Top Nature Sights in Vik to See on Your Own
Nature is likely what will call you to this guide to Vik in the first place! In fact, countless editorials have boasted about the beaches here being the most dynamic and picturesque in the world! Allow me to share with you some of our favorite nature sights in Vik (and near to) that are a must see…
- Dyrhólaey Sea Arch and Lighthouse (Guide to Vik Tip: The road leading up is often closed while birds are nesting between mid-May to mid-June).
- Reynisfjara Black Beach (Note: Do not go near the water, they are riptide waves and are very dangerous!)
- Trek to the Viking tomb in Vik.
- Visit Vik Black Beach (more offbeat than the touristy Reynisfjara).
- See the “Voyages” Friendship Statue.
- Loftsalahellir Cave: Hike up to one of the coolest caves with a stunning view!
- Spend time hiking to the famous abandoned airplane (Note: Be very aware of the weather conditions before embarking). Also know there is a shuttle you can pay to forgo the hike.
- See the town of Vik from atop the Víkurkirkja (aka Vik i Myrdal Church). Incredible view! Additionally there are some hiking trails you can give a go if you’re so inclined too.
Activities in Vik:
- Witness the Icelandic Lava Show.
- Play Golf in Vik with a beautiful backdrop!
- Relax at the public pool and hot tubs at Sundlaugin.
- Buy a souvenir from the famous Wool Factory of Vik (located in Icewear in the Vik Mall).
Best Things to Do in Vik Iceland with a Guide
Hiring a local guide, tour, or embarking on an expedition is a fantastic way to elevate your experience in Vik. To illustrate, we will share with all of the local experts of their trade. Guide to Vik Tip: Always try to book directly with company versus one of the big box tour operators who just “sell” the tour. That way, the local guide doesn’t pay commission and you get a direct no-middle-man experience from start to finish!
Adventure Tours in Vik
- The original ice cave tour company in Vik are our friends at Katlatrack. They offer an abundance of tour types to discover ice caves year round. We suggest booking the full “Katla Ice Cave Tour” for the best experience of Mýrdalsjökull.
- Ready to challenge yourself to a day of ice climbing around Vik? I’m ready to craft a custom adventure to your skill level.
- Zip-lining in Vik can be done with the locals at: https://www.zipline.is/
- Want to try your hand at horseback riding on a black beach? The folks at Vik Horse Adventure cannot wait to help you!
- Are you a shutterbug professional or amateur? Booking a Vik Photography Expedition with me might be totally up your alley!
- Want to see the “best of Vik” in 1 hour? Katlatrack has just the tour for you!
- Did you know snowmobiling in Vik can be done? Local company Arcanum would love to help you.
- A bit more of a thrill seeker? Parasailing with the True Adventure team may be ideal for you!
- Ready for one of the most extreme things you can do in Vik Iceland? Book a Winter Camping Expedition with me!
- Still find yourself obsessed with Game of Thrones (GOT)? Vik was actually a film site and the team at Katlatrack are happy to share where they were on the GOT Hidden Mountains Tour!
- Love cross country skiing? I’d be happy to show you our favorite routes around Vik during the snowy winter months!
Find yourself more in love with the idea of planning a trip here after this complete Vik Iceland Guide? You will not be disappointed if you take our advice. The town is also an awesome “base camp” for all of your Southern Iceland adventures.
For example, it makes seeing all of the large waterfalls in the south easy, Vatnajökull National Park, and the famed Glacier Lagoon area within a nice daily driving distance. Lastly, are you looking to elevate your adventure? We’ve love to hear from you if so! Contact us for more information!
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