Skógar and Skógafoss
Skógafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland at 25 metres wide and a 60 meter drop. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is usually visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend also says that local people found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.
Heading onward in the direction of Vik, take time to stop at Dyrhólaey – a 510 acre promontory south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier and the southernmost point of the country. Dyrhólaey was formed about one hundred thousand years ago during the warm-up period of the last ice age, in an underwater eruption similar to the formation of Surtsey, a famous volcanic island southwest of the Westman Islands.
One of the most mesmerizing landmarks of the south; Reynisfjara is a black sand beach just outside of the town Vík and features amazing cliffs of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, called Garðar. Further on, you can see the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar.
The area has rich bird-life, including fulmars and guillemots but your attention should be focused on the ocean. At Reynisfjara beach you need to be very careful because of the strong and unpredictable waves.
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On arriving at Vík you will find a few shops stocking handcrafted Icelandic products and also several places to eat. Remember to refuel your car before your return journey. Vík is Iceland’s southernmost village. Although this community of about 450 inhabitants faces the open and unforgiving Atlantic, Vík is the only seaside settlement in Iceland left without a harbor.
The tale of Skógarfoss and the trolls at Reynisfjara are among the many Icelandic folklore’s featured in the Hotel Rangá Coloring Book.