Iceland

Vik

2019-07-30

Vik, or Vík í Mýrdal in full, is the southernmost village in Iceland, located on the main ring road around the island, around 180 km (110 mi) by road southeast of Reykjavik.

Despite its small size (291 inhabitants as of January 2011) it is the largest settlement for some 70 km (43 mi) around and is an important staging post, and thus it is indicated on road signs from a long distance away. It is an important service center for the inhabitants of and visitors to the coastal strip between Skógar and the west edge of the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plain.



Consider as one of the ten most beuatiful beaches on Earth in 1991. Its stretch of black basalt sand is one of the wettest places in Iceland. The cliffs west of the beach are home to many seabirds, most notably puffins which burrow into the shallow soils during the nesting season. Offshore lie stacks of basalt rock, remnants of a once more extensive cliffline Reynisfjall, now battered by the sea.



Vík lies directly south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which itself is on top of the Katla volcano. Katla has not erupted since 1918, and this longer than typical dormant period has led to speculation that an eruption may occur soon. An eruption of Katla could melt enough ice to trigger an enormous flash flood, potentially large enough to obliterate the entire town.



The town's church, located high on a hill, is believed to be the only building that would survive such a flood. Thus, the people of Vík practice periodic drills and are trained to rush to the church at the first sign of an eruption. The town has 1,400 hotel rooms for scientists and tourists, who are also briefed about Katla's dangers.



Apart from the amazing panorama of the village and beyond, the first thing that pops into sight as you round the corner into Vík í Mýrdal is the beautiful Reyniskirkja white church up on the hill which was built in 1929.

Iceland has several volcanic beaches along its coastlines, but Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is by far the coolest and most famous on the island. It is easily accessible from the main road running through Vík í Mýrdal and taking a walk on the black sand beach is a must. Together With basalt columns, unique lava formations, towering cliffs, and caves the area is a nature lovers delight.



TIPS

*Location: 180 Km southeast from Reykjavik.
*Duration: One day.
*Best time: May-September.

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