Drive from hotel
The Sólheimasandur plane wreck can be seen in many postcards and posters of Iceland. But what is the story behind the photos? This DC-3/117 plane was used by the US Navy to transport cargo. On November 21, 1973 the plane was hit with strong winds on a routine trip from the village of Höfn to Keflavík. The cold winds caused the plane’s engines to give out and the plane started to fail. Luckily, the captain managed to land the DC-3/117 on a frozen black sand beach, saving the lives of all aboard. Nowadays, the plane is just a frame with no remnants of any seats or equipment left inside. And yet, the spot is a popular tourist attraction, possibly due to its eerie appearance – a downed plane in the middle of black sands with nothing else around. The Sólheimasandur plane wreck has also been featured in commercials and music videos shot in Iceland, most notably Justin Bieber’s video, “I’ll Show You.”
FAQ about Sólheimasandur Black Sand Beach & DC3 Plane Wreck
On our social media channels we frequently post tips, tricks & fun facts about Iceland with the hashtag #knowIceland.
The Sólheimasandur DC3 plane wreck is located on Iceland’s south coast between the famous Skógafoss waterfall and the town of Vík. After passing the Skógafoss waterfall, drive for another 5 minutes until you pass a bridge. You will see a carpark to the right. From the carpark, you can access a walking trail to the plane wreck.
It takes approximately 1 hour to walk to the plane wreck and 1 hour to walk back to the carpark. In total, the walk back and forth to the plane wreck is about 2 hours. If the weather forecast is bad, please do not venture out on the walk. In Iceland, storms can come in very quickly. Unfortunately, there have been fatal accidents, so please take caution.
Distances from Sólheimasandur Black Sand Beach & DC3 Plane Wreck
It takes approximately 50 minutes to drive from Hotel Rangá to the carpark. Then, it takes 1 hour to walk from the carpark to the plane wreck.
It takes approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes to drive from Reykjavík to the carpark. From the carpark, it takes 1 hour to walk to the plane wreck.
It takes approximately 10 minutes to drive from Skógafoss waterfall to the Sólheimasandur carpark. From the carpark, it takes 1 hour to walk to the plane wreck.