We depart from Reykjavik and head to the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar often referred to as “The Pearl of the Central Highlands”.
We will drive through the town of Selfoss and the beautiful countryside of Southern Iceland, with its thriving farms, and proceed to Mount Hekla not far from the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Hekla is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes and has erupte...)
We will drive through the town of Selfoss and the beautiful countryside of Southern Iceland, with its thriving farms, and proceed to Mount Hekla not far from the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Hekla is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes and has erupted 20 times in the last thousand years. The volcano rises around 1500 metres above sea level. For many centuries the people of Iceland feared the volcano tremendously and during the Middle Ages Hekla was believed to be the gateway to hell.
Less than 20 kilometres east of Mount Hekla is the location of Landmannalaugar. The Landmannalaugar environment is literally a wonderland. The rich colours of the mountains surrounding the area and the outstanding contrasts appearing in the raven black and glittering rhyolite lava fields are truly amazing. From the edge of Laugahraun lava field, several hot-water streams spring up as well as sources of cold water that mix together to form a little warm river. The naturally warm water pool here is quite unique and an ideal place for bathing all year around, with a temperature of around 36-40 degrees centigrade even in the middle of a snowy winter.
We will drive to Lake Frostadarvatn and Ljotipollur Pool, a volcanic crater, now filled with a cobalt blue lake. It is an inactive explosion crater close to Landmannalaugar where the rust-red crater walls glisten and sparkle. From there we will head to Kylingavatn Lake.
When we arrive at Landmannalaugar we will be able to do some light hiking and sightseeing. Be sure to bring a swimsuit and to take the opportunity to bath and relax in the naturally heated water. We will spend the night at Landmannalaugar in a lodge, or if you prefer you could use the camping site. In the evening your guide will prepare dinner for you whilst you relax in the hot pools and enjoy the amazing nature around Landmannalaugar.
After breakfast, our adventure continues. We will start our trip back by driving to Hrauneyjar and we will stop at the second-highest waterfall in Iceland, Haifoss, which is 122 metres tall. Haifoss waterfall is accompanied by a similar waterfall cal...)
After breakfast, our adventure continues. We will start our trip back by driving to Hrauneyjar and we will stop at the second-highest waterfall in Iceland, Haifoss, which is 122 metres tall. Haifoss waterfall is accompanied by a similar waterfall called Granni (the Neighbour) in an adjacent gorge. After a short drive from Hrauneyjar, we will stop at another waterfall, Hjalparfoss, meaning the Helping Falls. This name comes from historical times when people travelled south over the desolate Sprengisandur in the highlands it was very helpful to arrive at this lush area where their horses could graze and recover. We continue our drive to the magnificent Thjorsardalur, the valley through which Iceland's longest river Thjorsa flows.
We then continue to Gullfoss waterfall, in the river Hvita which originates from Lake Hvitarvatn on the south-east side of Langjokull glacier. Gullfoss is one of Europe’s largest waterfalls. Here we will take a short lunch break in the cafeteria at Gullfoss.
After enjoying Gullfoss we visit the active geothermal hot spring valley of Haukadalur which contains the super Geysir which very rarely spouts now, however, when it erupts steaming water is projected 200 feet upwards. The hot spring Strokkur is more active and spouts hot water about 60-100 feet upwards every 5 minutes.
Our final stop before returning to Reykjavik is Thingvellir National Park where the Great Atlantic rift is clearly visible and is slowly pulling Iceland apart. The Icelandic Parliament Althingi was established here in 930 AD. In 2004 Thingvellir National Park was added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.