If you’re travelling around Iceland via route 1, you will pass by the small city of Vik. Even though it’s known to be Iceland’s rainiest place, you must definitely stop there for at least one night, so you’ll have the time to explore Dyrholaey, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and cliffs that overlook the city.
I followed a trail, accessible to 4×4 vehicles or hikers, to go to the top of the cliffs that overlook the city. The path starts from the top of the city, on the left (leaving Vik towards the west).
It takes about 1 hour to reach the edge of the precipice by foot. Be careful, it’s really windy up there. The panorama is great, with Dyrholaey to your right and Vik to your left. According to my travel book, I was supposed to see puffins on the cliffs, which I didn’t. I have to admit a was a little disappointed because I thought I’d missed my only chance to see these pretty birds during my trip (don’t worry, it’s not the only place to see them). But I was lucky enough to witness some wildlife up there (several sheeps and mountain goats).
Dyrholaey is usually close from May 1st to the end of June because of the nesting period.
Please be careful on Reynisfjara Beach, as the waves can be very unpredictable and the undertow is extremely strong there. The consequences can be serious.
The first hostel I stayed in was Vik HI hostel, which cost me 2,600 ISK for one night in June 2010 for sleeping bag accomodation in a 6-bed dorm (with HI member discount; 3,200 ISK without). Breakfast was 1,000 ISK.
I hadn’t book a second night there, and the hostel was full, so I went to Arsalir, where I paid 3,500 ISK for the same thing (one night, sleeping bag accomodation in a 6-bed dorm in the basement).