How to Find Iceland’s Famous Solheimasandur Plane Crash


I’m sure you’ve seen pictures before. The twisted wreckage of an old plane crashed on the black sand beach of Solheimasandur, Iceland. Here are instructions for finding it.

It is one of the most iconic and haunting photography locations in Iceland. If you’re looking for some great travel inspiration, you’ve found it in this cool place!

On Saturday 24/3/1973 a US Navy Douglas Super DC-<> aircraft was forced to land on the black sand beach of Solheimasandur in southern Iceland after experiencing some severe icing.

Fortunately, all crew members survived the crash, but the fuselage of the plane was abandoned. Now, it has become a dream location for travel photography.

It can be hard to spot yourself if you don’t know where to look. Below you will find driving directions to the plane.

plane wreckage in Iceland

The 40-year-old weather-beaten plane has become one of Iceland’s most striking photography spots because of its location on a deserted black-sand beach. It looks like a scene from some post-apocalyptic zombie movie!

The wings and tail were gone, holes were everywhere, and the rickety fuselage was covered in windblown black sand. You can view photos of the plane before it crashed here .

I spent the night at this plane crash site in my joy camper, taking pictures of the Northern Lights. Fortunately, the auroral activity was very intense that night and the skies were clear, which is rare in Iceland.

Photographers traveling through Iceland should not miss this place!

To catch the Northern Lights above the wreckage, face north (inland), dress warmly, and stare at the sky all night. Check out my guide to photographing the Northern Lights in Iceland .

Directions to the crash site

The Sólheimasandur plane wreckage is located on the south coast of Iceland, between Skogafoss and the town of Vik. After driving east on Highway 1 past Skogafoss, you will cross a bridge with flashing yellow lights and a dirt road to Solheima Glacier on the left.

It should be the only opening in the fence behind the bridge. If you end up driving over the second bridge, you’ve gone too far.

drive on the beach

After passing the wicket, you’ll see a yellow sign indicating that the track is only recommended for 4×4 vehicles. However, unless the roads are covered in fresh snow, you should be fine without it.

The beach road is well-packed (more gravel than sand) and if driven slowly, a 2WD will do the trick. There are some big potholes, so be careful and take it easy.

left at the fork in the road

There is a fork in the dirt road where you will want to stay. Just a few hundred yards from the gate. Afterward, the road leads straight to the barren black sand beach, towards the sea.

Someone actually installed signposts on each side of the track so it was easy to follow even at night. Continue driving until you see the crashed plane, about 4 km.

You won’t find the wreck until the last moment, as it’s hidden behind a dune near the edge of the ocean. Happy Airplane Hunting!

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