Day 1: Valley of Þórsmörk
Our first stop is the valley of Þórsmörk, a beautiful valley hidden behind the glaciers of the south coast. This fantastic landscape of volcanic tuff has been carved out by the numerous rivers originating from the surrounding glaciers. Its valley floor is covered with small forests of arctic birch. Going to Þórsmörk is an adventure as you need to ford a dozen glacial rivers. From here we stand at the foot of a large volcano covered with the glacier Eyjafjallajökull (1666 m). Its eruption in April 2010 released into the atmosphere huge amounts of ash that paralyzed air traffic all over Europe for several days. A hike in the afternoon in this exceptional place offers several opportunities: up to a viewpoint overlooking the valley, Stakkholtsgjá whose gorge is cut like a razor in the tuff, caves and other strange shapes taken by the tuff. Sleeping bag accommodation in a mountain hut.
Driving: 3 - 4 hrs Walking: 4-5 hrs (accumulated)
Day 2: Þórsmörk – Waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss – Vík – Skaftafell
From Þórsmörk we return to the main road and continue east. Along the way we stop at the beautiful waterfall Seljalandsfoss, which you can walk behind, and the impressive waterfall of Skógafoss. We continue eastward through the village of Vík, where in May and June we can discover the country's largest arctic tern colony. A walk to the black sand beach is dominated by coastal cliffs and rocky needles protruding from the ocean. After a stop on the major flood plains of Mýrdalssandur the road crosses the vast lava fields of Eldhraun, which was one of the greatest lava flows in historic times. Arrival in Skaftafell, a national park at the foot of the country’s highest peak Hvannadalshnúkur, is set for the late afternoon. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel.
Driving: 4 hrs Walking: 4 hrs. (accumulated)
Day 3: Skaftafell National Park – Jökulsárlón
We head to Jökulsárlón, a glacial lake dotted with icebergs that calve from the massive Breiðamerkurjökull and is one of the wonders of this region. Optional boat tour among the icebergs (Price: 5000 ISK). Back in Skaftafell by the early afternoon, we explore Skaftafell’s beautiful nature at the foot of the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. It is a green oasis of arctic birch surrounded by mountains and powerful glacier tongues. Decorated with colorful valleys, rivers, waterfalls and flowers it overlooks the vast black flood plains of Skeiðarársandur. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel.
Driving: 1,5 hrs Walking: 5-6 hrs
Day 4: Waterfall Ófærufoss – Landmannalaugar
Heading west past the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur, we walk along the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. Afterwards we plunge into the interior of Iceland towards Eldgjá or the “Canyon of Fire,” which was established in the year 934. This eruption was as powerful as the Laki eruption in 1783. Eldgjá is only a small section of the long mid-Atlantic rift, which for the last 200 million years has been slowly pulling America and Europe apart. Under the pressure of the lava, the rift diverges here at an average speed of about 1.8 cm per year. Within the canyon is Ófærufoss, a waterfall which waters plunge in two majestic leaps into the depths of the Eldgjá fault. We continue our journey to Landmannalaugar by traveling in a colorful landscape of ochre yellow to reddish or blueish inclusions and geothermal plume vapors. Sleeping bag accommodation a mountain hut.
Driving: 4 - 5 hrs Walking: 4 hrs .(accumulated)
Day 5: Volcano of Hekla – Þjórsárdalur : Stöng – Gjáin gorge – Waterfalls of Háifoss and Granni
Journey to the foot of the Hekla volcano, one of the country’s most active. It last erupted in February 2000! Walking in the recent lava fields, we can admire the various forms created by this natural phenomenon. Continuing to the Þjórsárdalur Valley we visit the gorge Gjáin, where a walk takes us to the archaeological site of Stöng. It is a perfectly preserved Viking farm, which was buried under the ashes of Hekla’s early twelfth century eruptions. This site allows us to see what the Viking houses of old Iceland looked like. To close the day we visit the waterfalls of Háifoss and Granni that offer a majestic view, but Háifoss is 122m high and is the third highest waterfall in Iceland! Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
Driving: 2 - 3 hrs Walking: 4-5 hrs (accumulated)
Day 6: Geysir – Gullfoss – Þingvellir – Reykjavík
Our last day takes us to Gullfoss or the “Golden Waterfall,” which flows into an impressive canyon of the river Hvítá or “White river.” Then we have a short transfer to Geysir, which is where the international name geyser derives from, a rare phenomenon of water violently and intermittently discharging from the ground. After that we head to the national park of Þingvellir, the site of Iceland’s original Alþingi annual parliamentary gatherings. These meetings are known as one of the oldest institutions of democracy in the world. Þingvellir offered a superb location with Iceland’s largest natural lake lying adjacent and the continental drift running through the park. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. At the end of the day, we drive back to Reykjavík.
Driving: 3 - 4 hrs Walking: 3 – 4 hrs. (accumulated)