Think of Iceland and there are several familiar associations: hip Reykjavík, the beautiful therapeutic Blue Lagoon, or perhaps our musical exports Björk or Sigur Rós. But this land of boiling mud pools, spurting geysers, glaciers and waterfalls is also an adventure playground.
Much of Iceland is still taking shape before your very eyes – raw, dramatic landscapes born from volcanic eruptions and carved out by glaciers. Other parts have hardly changed since the first Viking settlers saw them more than 1,100 years ago. You’ll experience wilderness and wildlife, energy and total calm, within easy reach wherever you stay.
More than half of Iceland is over 400 m above sea level, and a large part of the island is covered by lava, glaciers, lakes and sand. Few places in Iceland have marked walking paths, but hiking is a favourite pastime for Icelanders and tourists alike.
4 GREAT HIKES IN THE HIGHLANDS
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
This uninhabited peninsula in the Northwestern corner of Iceland was established as a Nature Reserve in 1975, and provides an unmatched peek into the natural beauty of Iceland. The area can be difficult to pass through and access to services is limited. Plan accordingly.
Jökulsárgljúfur National Park
Located in the Northern part of Vatnajökull National Park, the largest national park in Europe. Jökulsárgljú-fur canyon was formed by Iceland’s second longest river. The hike provides opportunities to pass Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and the beautiful Ásbyrgi canyon.
Landmannalaugar – Thórsmörk
The incredible Laugavegur trail is a 4-day trek, but the surrounding area is great for shorter excursions. The area is full of unusual geological elements, multicolored mountains and expansive lava fields. Another popular trail close by is Fimmvörðuháls, snaking between two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull.
Skaftafell National Park
In the Southern part of Vatnajökull National Park, Skaftafell offers startling vistas of serrated peaks, shimmering icecaps, and barren flood plains stretching toward the sea. There are many marked routes in the area that you can follow up the glacier, or up to Svartifoss, one of Iceland’s more impressive waterfalls.
Iceland. It is not a destination. It is an adventure
Wallace Travel Group specialise in organising packages direct from Ireland, call Caitriona on 01-8347888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
You can find details of the packages at http://www.wallacetravelgroup.com/holiday-travel/iceland.html