• Exploring Sólheimasandur’s DC-3 Plane Wreckage

    exploring the plane wreckage

    Not a tourist attraction I would normally find myself running towards. But there is something strangely eary about this plane wreckage. Located on the Sólheimasandur black sand beach in Iceland. It was a sort of random pick of an attraction for us to visit but it was definitely worth it.

    Here is some basic history on the plane that crashed. On Saturday 24th November in 1973, a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane was forced to land on Sólheimasandur. The black sand beach in the south of Iceland. All crew members survived the crash landing. But the airplane has since been abandoned on the beach. It has become an icon of the area and dream photography location. It is believed that the plane suffered from a lack of fuel but the true story isn’t known yet. The missing wing of this plane is seen somewhere else in Iceland. But no one knows it’s location now as it’s always being moved about.

    exploring the plane wreckage


    You’ll find the plane wreckage on Iceland’s southern coast between Skógafoss waterfall and the town of Vik. Heading east on route 1 you’ll come across a sign for Sólheimajökull glacier walk. It’s just a short distance on past this. From here it will be clear to see a small car park off to the right hand side. As the road down to the plane has since been closed off, because the land owner got fed up of people driving on his land – which is now privately owned. You’ll need to park up and start your walk. I would make sure you get there at a decent time – although this may be difficult to predict it did get very annoying with people standing in the way of your shots. You’ll be best to fit this into your road trip along the Ring Road.

    As the plane wreck is on the coast at the end of a long beach, you’ll need to be prepared to dedicate some time to this. It was quite cold and windy even in June but it had the sun beaming down which was quite nice for a little bit of warmth but you still need to wrap up warm. I honestly can’t stress enough how much you need to wrap up against the elements. Be sure to take a cover for your camera or keep it safe in your bag to prevent any sand blasting it’s way in. It is quite a hike to the plane so make sure you are wearing your comfiest shoes.


    It takes about a 45 minute walk to get there – which also depends on how fast you walk. And make sure you spend enough time there getting the shots you want because it’s a very long walk there and back and worse if you don’t get the shots you would like. We spent a good 30-60 minutes there taking pictures and looking around and make sure you have plenty of time to explore it and the surrounding areas so don’t visit it if you are short on time. We combined it into our journey on the way back to our homestay on the final day of our trip when coming back from Jokulsarlon and Skogafoss.


    Believe it or not it’s a completely free attraction that you don’t need to pay a penny – or krona for!


    I’d wrap up super warm and take your gloves, hat, scarf with you for sure. I would definitely take your camera or best photo taking equipment, I have also seen lots of amazing footage taken with drones so if you have one of those I’d definitely recommend taking one as well. If you think you’ll get hungry/thirsty I’d take a snack and drink with you as well just in case as it’s such a long walk from the car park and anywhere to get food. I’d definitely take anything with you that you might need for the next 30 mins – 1 hour or so.

    Do you fancy visiting this plane wreckage? Or have you seen something similar?