On my most recent blog post about Iceland, I shared my amazing expierence visiting the South Coast of Iceland (The South Coast Of Iceland – Waterfalls, Rainbows & Black Sand Beaches).
The next question would be, should you take a guided tour or should you do it yourself by renting a car? I’ve come up with a list of both pros and cons for both and leaving the decision up to you.
There are two ways of seeing the South Coast of Iceland, you can do it with a tour like I did or by renting a car and driving around yourself. Everything is on the same main road and you can spot all the locations on the normal tour from the main road yourself.
- The South Coast Of Iceland: Waterfalls, Rainbows & Black Sand Beaches
- The Night I Almost DIED In Iceland
- Horseback Riding With Icelandic Horses In Iceland
- The Solo Female Traveler’s Guide to Iceland
- 21 Things You Didn’t Know About Iceland
- Chasing The Northern Lights – Iceland
- Iceland, The Place Where Dreams Are Made!
- The Incredible Blue Lagoon Experience
I actually got to expierence both. On the first day I did the South Coast tour with Grayline Tours and the next day I did a glacier hike and ice climbing with Troll Expeditions and rented a car with a friend of mine from Lagoon Car Rental.
Here is what you can expect to see in the south coast tour I did with Grayline.
A few awesome things to see on the South Coast of Iceland
- Skógafoss Waterfall
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Black Sand Beach – Reynisfjara
- The village of Vik
- The Airplane Crash
- The Game of Throne film location
- Sólheimajökull Glacier
Here is a vlog of me hiking the Sólheimajökull Glacier and ice climbing with Troll Expeditions.
Pros & Cons
Ideal for solo travelers & couples.
- If you booked an actual tour, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything. You simply book the tour and get picked up from your location and have a driver for the rest of the day.
- You won’t have to drive 3hrs each way, especially on the way back when you’re probably tired, cold and there are no road lights.
- You never know how the weather might turn out in Iceland, some days are better than others but the weather in Iceland is basically insane and changes about 100 times a day. It can be sunny one minute and the next you’re in a crazy snowstorm. If you’ve never driven in the snow, this might be a very stressful situation. So let someone else do it for you while you look out the window, take photos, listen to good music or nap.
- Renting a car cost money and will probably cost you the same as the actual tour.
- You also know that you’re guaranteed to see everything that’s written on the schedule.
- You probably won’t get enough time to spend at these places. Our first stop at the beautiful Skógafoss waterfall, we only had 30mins. For some, it’s just enough time but for people like me who love taking photos, videos and enjoying the place, it’s not enough time. You’re basically being rushed and limited on time everywhere you go.
- The tour I went on was sold out, which means there were no extra seats. While I don’t mind sitting next to a stranger, I know that some people mind. Also because Iceland is always cold/freezing, you probably have with you a bunch of layers, maybe also a camera backpack, gear, backpack with snacks or your belongings and want the seat next to you to put some of them aside while on the bus. So if the tour is sold out, you’d probably have to have it on your lap the entire day which is a 12hr tour. On our tour this became a problem for a few people.
- You don’t have control over the AC or the heater.
DIY – Do It Yourself
Ideal for couples and families.
If you’re going to do it yourself, you should definitely rent a car from Lagoon Rental in Iceland. They have amazing customer service. When I visited the Sólheimajökull glacier, I didn’t know the tour doesn’t come with transportation from Reykjavik, so I called Lagoon Rental and they literally got me set with a car in just a few short minutes. They also sent a driver to come pick me up from my hotel within 10mins, it was an amazing expierence. I highly recommend them.
- You get to have flexibility on when you leave and what time you’ll be back.
- You get to pick the music in the car.
- You have more space to store your things.
- You can make more stops throughout the day to see other cool things you might spot along the way.
- You get more time at your favorite places without being rushed.
- You have to spend money on renting a car.
- You might have to drive in the snow during a storm, rain, blizzard which is very scary for those who aren’t familiar with it. I’ve driven through the snow many times but also got into a car accident once (not in Iceland) when someone in front of me pressed the brakes and my car lost control and did donuts on the freeway and I almost died. So although I personally have experience driving in the snow, I’ll also do everything in my power to NOT have to do it.
- If you got into a car accident because of bad weather your basically F***ed.
- You’d have to drive back 3hrs after being exhausted.
- You might get lost.
- Most of the cars in Iceland are automatic, so if you can’t drive a stick shift like me, you’re kinda screwed.
Whichever way you choose to get to the South Coast of Iceland, I seriously would HIGHLY recommend going! You can’t go to Iceland and miss it! If there are any must in Iceland it’s visiting the Blue Lagoon, doing the Golden Circle Tour and seeing the South Coast of Iceland!
After visiting Iceland 2 times and doing almost every tour possible on the Island, these are definitely my recommendations for you!