Nature & Environment Jan 28, 2021

Check out What Makes Iceland’s South Coast Unique

South Iceland is home to a new downtown, culture walk in Vík and tiny cafe situated in a school bus!

South Iceland contains many of the most popular Icelandic tourist attractions; it’s home to natural landmarks including Vík and incredible waterfalls. Keep reading below for some updates from Iceland’s stunning southern coast. 

New Downtown in Selfoss

Some towns are old, and some are new. But in Selfoss, the past connects with the present in an utterly unique way – we look forward by looking back. Thirty-five historic buildings, previously damaged by fire or that had fallen into disrepair, are being reconstructed to form a unique cultural center. Cutting-edge architecture is set against the panorama of Icelandic history and it will all be within a one-hour drive of all Iceland’s major nature attractions in the South. Opening this year, the new Selfoss Centre will host shops, restaurants, hotels, and cultural activities of many kinds. Learn more here.

Vík Culture Walk

When entering Vík, visitors are immediately struck by the beautiful ocean views, steep green mountains and crashing waves on the wide black sand beach. Many snap a picture of the idyllic red and white church on the hill top and another one overlooking Reynisdrangar sea stacks.

A less obvious attraction, however, is the curious history of Vík and its rich culture. Vík locals are encouraging visitors to slow down, take in the culture and deepen their experience of the incredible town. The new Vík Culture walk is a 2.5 mile walking route threading the highlights of Vík like pearls on a necklace. Along the way, there are fifteen signs with local history, myths and folklore in both English and Icelandic. Participants can park by the Icewear Magasín shopping center and follow the trail to the beach to find the first sign on the route. Be prepared to hear stories of elves, shipwrecks and rocket missions among fascinating stories of the people who built the town. The signs all have a QR-code so walkers can download a map of the route right to their phone and find information about nearby restaurants, exhibitions, accommodation and services. On the route, visitors will also find the starting points of some favorite nature hikes, including the two mountains Reynisfjall and Hatta.

Vík is a popular tourist destination and while the pandemic put a pause on travel, the locals of Vík and the surrounding area have been hard at work fixing roads and trails, cleaning the environment and strengthening the infrastructure. Vík Culture walk is scheduled to be ready by the end of March and locals are excited to welcome visitors again in 2021.

Skool Beans

Whether it’s insects, flowers, chocolate, tea, coffee or bacon, Skool Beans has your hot drink or snack covered. Apart of the “Stranger Things” section of the mention at Skool Beans Cafe in Iceland, insects and bacon are just two of the funky ingredients coffee-lovers can choose from! Situated in Vík, the tiny cafe is built inside of an old school bus nested at the bottom of a mountain under Katla, a well-known volcano.

Visitors can stop in and grab either a hot cup of coffee, loose tea, matcha tea or tasty hot chocolate to pair with a simple, yet delicious snack like toasted bagels, hummus, cheese and sweet treats. Patrons can also pick up a souvenir of homemade jewelry or unique hand soaps made from tea and botanicals. If they’re feeling down, Skool Beans’ “The Happy Newspaper,” a printed paper that only focuses on positive news stories from around the world will surely cheer them up. Check out the cafe here and on Instagram: @skool_beans.

Be sure to follow South Iceland on Twitter for more updates!

Featured Image credit: Skool Beans