Lost places all around the world create a mystic atmosphere. The Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck is a surreal place, where an old US plane has crashed into the black sand.
Wrecks and ruins are contemporary witnesses of incidents which influenced the lives of people decades of hundreds of years ago. The titanic went down in history as a failed project of human power. Ghost towns in the US remind us of horrific stories of former generations.
Iceland however is famous for locations which remind us of the beauty of the earth, but also the wilderness and the loneliness which can be experienced in real nature. In one spot, these to worlds combine to a haunting lost place which gained fame as a mix of history and the now, of nature and mankind: The Sólheimasandur plane wreck.
A Plane Wreck in Iceland – The Story behind it
Iceland is known for rough nature and lonely wilderness. This one special place is not less rough, but it contains human elements. In the year of 1973, US pilots have had troubles to direct their plane. A few minutes later, the air vehicle crashed into the black sand beach at Sólheimar, which is part of the black sand beach at the south coast of Iceland. Without the help of two Icelandic inhabitants, risking their lives on a cold winter evening, the crew of the US-plane might have died after this accident due to a lack of knowledge of this rough region.
But thanks to the couple, the crew survived. Only the plane stayed where it is today, becoming the Plane Wreckage, being exposed to wind and weather for over four decades now. Slowly, the plane wreck started to demolish and to develop to its present day form. The core of the plane and parts of the wings are still recognisable, but the rest just looks devastated. You would not guess that the crew has survived in this plane.
Visiting the Wreck in Iceland
To visit the crash site, you need to travel to the south coast of Iceland. As part of the black sand beach, which truly lives up to its name, the crashed plane is embedded perfectly into the surrounding landscape. The place itself looks rough, wild and lonely, and so does the plane, adding another landmark to the scenery. This combination makes it definitely worth a visit.
A Tour to Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck
Located in the south, you can visit the plane best by car. We advise you to take a Jeep, for example with our Iceland Jeep Tour to the south coast. This way, you can have the most freedom in finding the perfect route for you. A visit of the plane wreck in Iceland can best be connected with a tour to the notorious Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano which caused the air traffic in Europe to stop for a few days in 2010.
But also other destinations, like Thórsmörk for hikers or a combination with the Golden Circle Tour are perfect opportunities to get to know the beauty of Iceland. Jeep Tours are especially great as you can decide to drive off-road, an adventure in the plain areas located at the south coast. With our experience, we are sure that we can help you find the best tour for you and your wishes!
Other attractions nearby
There are many great attractions near the plane wreck, such as the majestic waterfall Skogafoss. Also, enroute to the wreck you might want to stop by Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the one you can actually walk behind. By driving a little further you will find Dyrholaey promontory and the Black Sand Beach by the village Vik.
You can also stop by Solheimajokull glacier and take a walk on the glacier itself. It is incredibly beautiful, at any time of year, and offers spectacular view of the surrounding area, not the mention the glacier itself.
What to expect
The plane wreck is a popular tourist attraction. However, you can’t drive all the way to the wreck, and you have to hike for about 40 minutes or so to reach it, since driving on the beach has been prohibited by the land owners. The parking lot is just by the Ring Road, you’ll spot it soon enough when you see where the cars are parked. The wreck itself is starting to deteriorate, of course.
However, the hike is more than worth it, it’s not a long walk and in great weather it will offer you a splendid view of the surroundings. Especially if you like strange and alien settings for a photograph, since the wreck and the black sand make the setting seem surreal and alien.