Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Suzy
On our previous visit to Iceland, we kept driving past a sign for a plane wreck beach. We didn’t have the time to investigate so before our most recent holiday there I decided to do a bit of research. At first, I was a bit put off as most of the information I found said it was around a 45-60 minute walk to the wreck and the same back again. Our time was precious and I didn’t want to take my son and my Mum on a long walk just to look at a plane wreck, especially as it was forecast to have a windchill factor of -4oC.
Then I came across a website advertising a shuttle service to the plane wreck. It goes from the same car park where you have to walk from which incidentally there is a small charge of around £5 to park there for the day. Plus you could book your timeslot online. I booked at 10 am and there were only a few others but when we drove by later in the day the car park was heaving so I’d recommend booking in advance.
The car park is Sólheimasandur / Plane Wreck parking lot (P), by the ring road. The parking lot has GPS co-ordinates of 63°29’28.4″N 19°21’48.2″W. It is relatively obvious from the main road.
We were a little unsure about where we should wait, so long as you are near this sign located next to the car park you will be OK. The shuttle is a bit like a bus on massive wheels. It follows a 30-minute schedule from 10 a.m. every day as long as conditions allow. Adults are priced at around £17, children aged 0-7 are free and ages 8-17 are around £12. This is vastly overpriced and perhaps understandable why people walk. Iceland is an expensive country to visit and so long as you accept this you can just about accept the price. I’m glad we went and I’m glad we had the experience. I’m sure my son will remember it for a long time.
The landscape here is incredibly harsh. If you do decide to walk it’s not a scenic one. It’s just a flat expanse of nothingness. It is beautiful but honestly, I’d take the shuttle. It took around 12 minutes to reach the crash site and it was an incredibly bumpy ride. The website does state that you can relax on the comfy shuttle, I’m not too sure about that one!
When you arrive there is a short walk down to the wreckage of the DC-3. You have half an hour at the wreck before the shuttle comes back again. Kids will love the ambiance of this place plus you can tell them that luckily nobody died. A lot of people visit here for photos for TikTok and Instagram, while we were there we saw a couple with a drone who were taking a great number of photos. We were there for photos but also to do something a bit different. Because let’s face it where do you get this kind of opportunity?
Plane Wreck in Iceland
There are signs saying not to climb as the plane structure left behind is pretty sharp and dangerous. Needless to say, not everyone paid attention to that.
It is also recommended that you walk to the beach/sea. You can just about make it out in the photo below. We decided against it as we really didn’t want to miss the shuttle back plus it didn’t really look that great.
So why is there even the wreckage of a plane on a beach in Iceland? “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 that plane survived. Later it turned out that the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank.”
Looking for other days out inspiration in Iceland with Kids? We have a number of great ideas.
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Plus this post has ideas for other things to do in the area – South Iceland Top Points of Interest | One Day Itinerary