You probably passed right by the trailhead to Sólheimasandur, while on your way to Vik, without thinking twice, but this is definitely a place you don’t want to skip. If you’re heading East, the Sólheimasandur Parking lot is on the right side of the road and about 2km past Sólheimajökulsvegur 221.
In 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur in the South Coast of Iceland. Fortunately, everyone in the plane survived the crash. It turned out that the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank. The remains of the plane still lie on an isolated beach, completely exposed to the elements.
The 5 mile round trip hike to the abandoned plane is bleak. The landscape does not change and the only thing to really admire is the pretty volcanic rock and the vast openness of the land until your eyes meet the mountains in the distance. Towards the end of the trail, the gravel turns to black sand, you weave around sand dunes until the plane is in sight. If you love epic photos, the plane crash site is the spot! You are free to climb and explore the outside and inside of the plane. It’s been gutted but wires still hang from the cockpit and artists have tagged the plane with graffiti.
*Be sure to get started early to avoid crowds. We started the hike at 8:00am and only saw about 6 other people while we were at the site.