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Solheimasandur Plane Wreck In Iceland – A Complete Guide

Located on the south coast, Solheimasandur Plane Wreck in Iceland is a unique and popular tourist attraction. Here’s a guide to visiting.

How To Get To Solheimasandur Plane Wreck

Sitting on Solheimasandur beach, the plane wreck is located about 2 miles off Route 1, the well known ring road that circles the country of Iceland.

Car

If you’re based in the capital city of Reykjavik, one option is to hire a car to visit the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck.

Just follow the Route 1 ring road east from Reykjavik for just over 2 hours and you will come to a large designated car park just by the side of road.

This is as close as you can drive to the plane and there is a charge of 750 ISK to park for the day. This can be paid online at Park.is or via the Parka app.

From here you have a 2 mile walk across flat terrain to reach the plane. This can take from 45 minutes to 1 hour and there are markers to point the way. (Not advised during the winter months without a guide.)

Alternatively, there is a shuttle bus that runs from the car park to the plane and back. It operates seven days a week, every 30 minutes, between 10am and 5pm with prices starting at 2900 ISK for adults.

Tour

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

For example, From Reykjavik: South Coast Tour & DC-3 Plane Wreck takes in all the popular attractions along this coast.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Entrance Fee

It is free to visit the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck.

There is a charge of 750 ISK to park for the day in the designated car park.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Opening Times

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck is open all day, every day.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland

Best Time To Visit Solheimasandur Plane Wreck

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck is a popular, year round destination that is busiest during the summer months of June, July and August.

However, although the summer months are busy, there are lots of daylight hours and, of course, the weather conditions are better.

So, if you want to avoid the crowds during the summer, early morning or later in the day would give you a good chance of having the site to yourself.

You would have to walk to the plane if you went before the shuttle bus started running but you would definitely have the opportunity to get some awesome photos.

Visiting during the winter months, especially when there is snow on the ground, also makes for a great and visually spectacular experience. However, the window of daylight is much smaller during these months.

Furthermore, it is not advisable to attempt the walk to the plane without a guide during the winter months. The winter storms in Iceland are renowned for being unpredictable and dangerous.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

GoPro

Lifeproof Phone Case

Beanie Hat

Knit Gloves

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck History

In 1973 the United States Navy Douglas C-117D (based on the Super DC-3) was flying back to Naval Air Station Keflavik after delivering equipment for a US Radar Base.

The accounts of why the plane crashed vary, with mechanical failure, human error, a severe storm, or a combination of all of these amongst the theories.

Whatever the reason, the plane crash-landed onto the black sandy beach of Sólheimasandur with all seven crew members fortunately surviving.

Following the crash, the US Navy salvaged what they could from the plane and then left the shell on the beach. Possibly due to it being quite a remote and difficult area to reach.

Over the years the plane has been pretty much stripped bare, so that all that remains now is the fuselage and the engine mounts.

This plane was one of four Douglas Dakota planes based at the US Navy Base in Keflavík Airport, all having previously served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland

What To Expect At Solheimasandur Plane Wreck

You are pretty exposed to the elements if walking to, and at the site of, the wreck. In fact, this area is particularly renowned for being windy, so appropriate clothing is essential, even in the summer.

However, once the plane comes into view, you can’t help but be excited and captivated by the ‘otherworldly’ scene that greets you.

Sitting forlornly on the black sand beach, with just the ocean in the background and mountains in the distance, it is certainly a unique setting. As such, it undoubtedly offers up some stunning photo opportunities!

Due to its dramatic setting, the plane has actually featured in a number of music videos. Including, in 2015, Justin Bieber’s ‘I’ll show you’, where he is seen skateboarding on the roof of the plane.

This publicity has fuelled the interest that has made Solheimasandur Plane Wreck such a popular tourist attraction in Iceland. Unquestionably a ‘must see’ unique destination for your Iceland itinerary.

Additionally, for any adrenaline junkies, the South Coast: ATV Quad Bike Safari is recommended as a fun way to visit the plane.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck Iceland

Where To Stay In Reykjavik

Luxury

The Reykjavik EDITION

Set in Reykjavík, 600 metres from Solfar Sun Voyager, The Reykjavik EDITION offers accommodation with a fitness centre, private parking, a terrace and a restaurant. This 5-star hotel also offers a bar. 

The accommodation provides room service, a 24-hour front desk and currency exchange for guests. 

The units at the hotel come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box. With a private bathroom equipped with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at The Reykjavik EDITION also have free WiFi, while selected rooms will provide you with a city view. 

At the accommodation all rooms come with bed linen and towels. Guests at The Reykjavik EDITION can enjoy a continental breakfast.

Mid-Budget

Exeter Hotel

This contemporary design hotel is located in Reykjavík’s Old Harbour area, 500 metres from Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Centre. 

It features free WiFi, an in-house restaurant and a bakery, as well as a sauna and fitness room. 

Each room at Exeter Hotel comes with industrial décor, modern furnishings and wooden floors. Every room has a smart TV, refrigerator and Nespresso coffee machine. Some also feature a sea/mountain, or city and/or garden view. 

Staff can help organise tours and activities for guests. Solfar Sun Voyager and Hallgrímskirkja Church are both within 1 km. 

Budget

Igdlo Guesthouse

This family-run guest house, 500 metres from Reykjavik Bus Terminal, is a 45-minute bus ride from Keflavik International Airport. 

It offers free in-room WiFi and access to a communal kitchen and dining room. The bright and airy rooms at Igdlo Guesthouse feature wooden furnishings and floors. Some rooms also have a washbasin. Shared bathroom facilities are available on each floor. 

Guests can make use of barbecue facilities in the summer and self-service laundry services are available in the evenings. Free public parking is also available on site.

For more places to stay in Reykjavik, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.