Vík is a beautiful little hamlet on the south coast, a short distance from the continuously pounding surf and ocean waves.
Vík is very picturesquely situated, below the east facing slopes of Mt. Reynisfjall with rich bird life in summer which is a nesting colony of a large number of Puffins every summer. A large colony of Arctic terns nest on the gravelly ground, a little east of the village.
Vík town is also the southernmost village in Iceland. It is an important service centre for inhabitants and visitors to the southern coastal strip between Skógar and western edge of Mýrdalssandur Plains, since Vík is the largest settlement for a distance of approximately 70 km around the area, where about 500 people live. Like vast majority of villages in Iceland, Vík is situated by the coast not far from the sea, however Vik sets it self apart from other towns in Iceland due to the fact that it doesn't have a harbor. This is due to the vast black sandy beaches on the south coast, formed by the sediment rich glacial rivers running from the neighboring big glaciers, towering above the lowland coast. If you look at a map you will notice that there are no harbors from Þorlákshöfn in the West to Höfn in the East.
Beneath the ice cap of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier towering the mountains to the north of Vík is Katla, one of Icelands largest and most dangerous volcanos. From the time of settlement of Iceland about 1100 years ago, Katla has erupted on about 20 occasions and done a lot of damage in the course of centuries. The most devastating eruption was in the year 1918 but since then, there have been several minor eruptions in Katla. In the eruption of 1918, which lasted for about a month, the south coast of Iceland extended about 5 kilometers to the south due to the deposits of sand and gravel carried along with the catastrophic flood from the glacier, but eruptions in Katla are always accompanied by massive floods caused by melting of ice in the large caldera. According to recent studies, Katla is considered like to strike again soon with a large eruption.
Vík is a progressive little trading centre with diversified small industries, including a wool factory, but the largest industries in the town are tourism related services. The Icelandic Lava Show is in Vík, where one can safely experience molten lava close up but the show recreates a volcanic eruption. It is certainly worth a visit. In Vík you will find several hotels, guesthouses and restaurants, gas stations, liquor and grocery store and more, so Vík is a good place to stop to fill up the tank of your car and have something to eat.