South Iceland is the region of Iceland along the North Atlantic Ocean. South Iceland's charm lies in its many large and impressive waterfalls and glaciers, unique geology and fascinating medieval history. The area is the setting of of some of Iceland's most popular sagas and home to many of their heroes. Njáll's saga, one of the most famous sagas, is largely set in South Iceland with the title character Njáll living at Bergþórshvoll and the hero Gunnar hailing from Hlíðarendi in Fljótshlíð near Hvolsvöllur. These farms still exist today, but don't expect to see medieval ruins. Icelandic building materials were not made to last, and the farms you see today are twentieth century constructions. However, the nature and the scenery remain as impressive!
The region also contains two of the most important seats of power of medieval Iceland: Skálholt was the location of the bishop of Iceland from 1056 until 1106, when north Iceland received a bishop of its own but Skálholt remained the seat of a diocese covering east, south and west Iceland until 1801. Þingvellir was the meeting place of the Alþingi, the joint parliament and court founded in 930. Alþingi lost its legislative functions in 1662 but remained a court held at Þingvellir until 1800. Alþingi was later revived (in 1845) as advisory and later legislative assembly in Reykjavík. It was also at Þingvellir that, on the 17th of June 1944, Iceland was declared a republic.
Volcanoes and mountains
Katla is a large volcano in southern Iceland. It is very active; twenty eruptions have been documented between 930 and 1918, at intervals of 13–95 years. It has not erupted violently for 95 years, although there may have been small eruptions that did not break the ice cover, including ones in 1955 and 1999. Prior eruptions have had a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of between 4 and 6 on a scale of 0 to 8. In comparison, the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption had a VEI4. The bigger VEI6 eruptions are comparable to Mount Pinatubo's 1991 eruption. - Location Map
Hekla is a stratovolcano in the south of Iceland with a height of 1,491 metres (4,892 ft). Hekla is one of Iceland's most active volcanoes; over 20 eruptions have occurred in and around the volcano since 874. During the Middle Ages, Europeans called the volcano the "Gateway to Hell." - Location Map
Þingvellir ( Thingvellir ) is a place in Bláskógabyggð in southwestern Iceland, near the peninsula of Reykjanes and the Hengill volcanic area. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. It is the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is also home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Thingvellir National Park
Islands south of the coast
Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) is a town and archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The largest island, Heimaey, has a population of 4,135. The other islands are uninhabited, though six have single hunting cabins. Vestmannaeyjar came to international attention in 1973 with the eruption of Eldfell volcano, which destroyed many buildings, and forced a months-long evacuation of the entire population to mainland Iceland. - Location Map
Surtsey is a volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland. At 63.303°N 20.6047°W Coordinates: 63.303°N 20.6047°W Surtsey is the southernmost point of Iceland. It was formed in a volcanic eruption which began 130 metres (426 ft) below sea level, and reached the surface on 14 November 1963. The eruption lasted until 5 June 1967, when the island reached its maximum size of 2.7 km2 (1.0 sq mi). Since then, wind and wave erosion have caused the island to steadily diminish in size: as of 2002, its surface area was 1.4 km2 (0.54 sq mi). - Location Map
Webcam feed: Surtsey island - View to the North East
Villages in South Iceland
Hella is a small town in the southern part of Iceland at the shores of the river Ytri-Rangá and has, as of 2011, 781 inhabitants. Hella is situated 94 kilometres (58 mi) to the east of Reykjavík on the hringvegur (Road no.1) between Selfoss and Hvolsvöllur. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Hella village
Flúðir is a small village located in the Hrunamannahreppur municipality in the region of Suðurland, Iceland. It is not far from Geysir (the oldest known geyser) and the Gullfoss waterfall. It has a population of 394. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Fludir village - Picture every 5 minutes
Laugarvatn is a lake and small town in the south of Iceland. It is a bit smaller than the neighbouring Apavatn. It is situated at a popular touristical round-trip, the Golden Circle and acts as a popular staging post in the area. There is a small but popular hostel situated in the town. If somebody wants to go from Þingvellir to Haukadalur, it is possible to follow a track through an interesting volcanic landscape and along Laugarvatn. The lake contains some geothermal springs under the surface, making it a popular swimming spot with some warm patches along the shoreline year-round. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Laugarvatn - village and lake
Landmannalaugar (the people's pools) is a region near the volcano Hekla in southern section of Iceland's highlands. The Landmannalaugar area is a popular tourist destination and hiking hub in Iceland's highlands. The area displays a number of unusual geological elements, like the multicolored rhyolite mountains and expansive lava fields, not far from the service center. The many mountains in the surrounding area display a wide spectrum of colors including pink, brown, green, yellow, blue, purple, black, and white. Two of the most popular mountains among hikers are Bláhnjúkur (meaning "blue peak") and Brennisteinsalda (meaning "sulphur wave").
Tourists visit the area from June through late September, after which time the road is closed. A mountain lodge, in operation since 1951, can accommodate 78 people and has basic amenities. It is located centrally near natural geothermal hot springs, also popular with tourists. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Landmannalaugar - Nature reserve
Húsafell is a sprawling farm and church estate and the former site of a rectory. It is the innermost farm in Borgarfjörður in the west county of Iceland, not far from Reykholt and Reykholtsdalur. Húsafell farm now serves as a hub of service for various types of tourists visiting and residing in its surrounding area. The Húsafell surrounding area thus includes a wide array of second homes, tent sites, holiday housing and short term lodgings. Among its amenities are a swimming pool and a golf course. The wider Borgarfjörður region is also renowned for its multitude of lakes where there is trout to be had and salmon to be lured in the many rivers where it is possible to go fishing. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Husafell - Pearl of Nature
Mosaskard is a gorge in South Iceland. It lies between the two mountains Mosaskardsfjall mountain and Fagradalsfjall mountain. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Mosaskard gorge
Mulakot is a small airstrip in South Iceland. It lies close to Hvolsvollur village. - Location Map
Webcam feed: Mulakot - Fljotshlid - Airstrip
Here below you can find a direct feed from selected roads in South Iceland.