The village of Vík (or Vík í Mýrdal in full) is the southernmost village in Iceland, located on the main ring road around the island, around 180 km (110 mi) by road SSE of Reykjavík.
Despite its small size (291 inhabitants as of January 2011) it is the largest settlement for some 70 km (43 mi) around and is an important staging post, thus it is indicated on road signs from a long distance away. It is an important service center for the inhabitants and visitors to the coastal strip between Skógar and the west edge of the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plain.
In 1991, the American journal Islands Magazine counted this beach as one of the ten most beautiful beaches on Earth. Its stretch of black basalt sand is one of the wettest places in Iceland. The cliffs west of the beach are home to many seabirds, most notably puffins which burrow into the shallow soils during the nesting season. Offshore lie fingers of basalt rock (stacks) remnants of a once more extensive cliffline Reynisfjall now battered by the sea. There is no landmass between here and Antarctica and the Atlantic rollers can attack with full force. Folklore tells us that they are former trolls who tried to drag their boats out to sea only to be caught by the rising dawn. The sea around them is rather wild and stormy, so travelers will not be surprised to discover a monument to the memory of drowned seamen on the beach.
Near Vík in 1964 and in 1965 two French sounding rockets of the "Dragon" type were launched from a transportable launch pad.
Vík is the site of the fictional Hanso Foundation's Vik Institute in the TV series Lost.
The village has been affected by volcanic ash during the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull.
Danger from Katla
Vík lies directly beneath the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which itself is on top of the Katla volcano. Katla has not erupted since 1918, and this longer than typical repose period has led to speculation that an eruption may occur soon. An eruption of Katla could melt enough ice to trigger an enormous flash flood, potentially large enough to obliterate the entire town. The town's church, located high on a hill, is believed to be the only building that would survive such a flood . Thus, the people of Vík practice periodic drills and are trained to rush to the church at the first sign of an eruption