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Category: Iceland

Iceland

Fascinating landscapes full of steaming fields, surreal rugged mountains, countless waterfalls and glaciers with volcanoes underneath. And sometimes even an erupting volcano!

Iceland is the love child of powerful geological forces. When the Mid-Atlantic Ridge mantle plume and tectonic plates collided 25 million years ago, they created an insane landscape. It’s the geological laboratory of the Earth itself.

The overwhelming beauty of Iceland.

The spectacular island of Vestmannaeyjar and its festival.

The Fimmvörðuháls hiking route across Eyjafjallajökull – the easy way, the hard way and a grand encore!

Fagradalsfjall – The spectacular Iceland volcano

Fagradalsfjall – The spectacular Iceland volcano

The greatest show on Earth started in Iceland in March 2021. Reykjanes kicked into action and coughed up a new volcano in Geldingadalur, a secluded valley below Fagradalsfjall. What followed is a series of breathtaking events so incredible it has blown the minds of people around the world. Multiple craters appeared, erupting simultaneously, until one of them took over and turned into a giant lava geyser. Fagradalsfjall is one of the most versatile eruptions the world has ever witnessed. Read all about this extraordinary volcano (and how to get there) in this extensive article.

Reykjanes – Hidden treasures beyond the barren landscape

Reykjanes – Hidden treasures beyond the barren landscape

Reykjanes Peninsula is smoking hot. It may look desolate on first sight, but there are a lot of hidden treasures in its rugged interior. Including active (and sometimes erupting!) volcanoes. You will also find a myriad of steaming vents, bubbling mudpools, colourful rocks & mountains, tranquil lakes, faulty fissures and lava flows covered in thick fluffy moss. It’s a volcanic playground well worth exploring.

The coastal track to Stórhöfði – Puffin colony and geological beach

The coastal track to Stórhöfði – Puffin colony and geological beach

Stórhöfði peninsula is the southernmost point of Heimaey, and home to the biggest puffin colony in Iceland. Beneath Stórhöfði there’s also the surreal geological beach of Klauf, formed by volcanic eruptions from several directions. On the coastal track to Stórhöfði you can see incredible views, wild cliff formations and lots of puffins along the way.

Northern lights – Energy from out of space pouring in

Northern lights – Energy from out of space pouring in

There are few natural phenomena as awe-inspiring as the magical northern lights. When the skies open up and flares of charged particles & energy from out of space come pouring in, it creates a display of light so magnificient it takes your breath away. Massive green curtains dropping down with purple tips on their edges, shifting and changing in all directions. It is literally out of this world. The northern lights will completely overwhelm you, to an extend where you can only utter sounds of sheer admiration, with a fading voice due to being blown away. But when can you see northern lights? Read about hunting the elusive Aurora Borealis in Iceland in this story.

Vestmannaeyjar – A force of nature that can’t be denied

Vestmannaeyjar – A force of nature that can’t be denied

When I saw the volcanic island shapes of Vestmannaeyjar shimmering on the horizon, I felt immediately drawn to them. It was like a force of nature that couldn’t be denied. I just had to go there. Sailing into Heimaey harbour, through a narrow opening between a jumbled chain of steep cliffs and a huge field of lava flows, is mind-blowing. Vestmannaeyjar – also known as the Westman Islands – contains the youngest volcanic island and (until recently) the newest volcano in Iceland.

Vestmannaeyjar – Þar sem hjartað slær…!

Vestmannaeyjar – Þar sem hjartað slær…!

This title may look a bit bewildering… It’s Icelandic for ‘Where the heart beats’, the anthemic song of Vestmannaeyjar. I was drawn to the Vestmannaeyjar islands at first sight, when I saw their mysterious shapes shimmering on the horizon. It was as if there’s an unexplained energy emanating out of it. I just had to go there. Heimaey is a spectacular island of volcanic peaks and jumbled rocks and the landscape is out of this world. Vestmannaeyjar is also home of the Þjóðhátíð festival in August. ‘Þar sem hjartað slær’ is the ultimate Þjóðhátíð song that captures the atmosphere of the Iceland National Festival like no other.

Thórsmörk – Rjúpnafell and the hidden valley

Thórsmörk – Rjúpnafell and the hidden valley

Mount Rjúpnafell is one of the steepest mountains in the valley of Thórsmörk. It sits on the north side of the Krossá river, and the walking track to the top is quite challenging. But you will be rewarded with sweeping views of glaciers and colourful folded mountain ranges all around. There’s also a sweet litte river valley hidden along the track below its slopes.

Thórsmörk – The fabled valley

Thórsmörk – The fabled valley

The fabled valley of Thórsmörk is the stuff of fairytales and epic sagas. It’s so beautiful that it almost seems unreal. Thórsmörk is full of folded valleys and convoluted gorges, glaciers with volcanoes underneath and bizarrely shaped mountains. You have to see it for yourself to believe it’s real. These spectacular hikes are a great way to do so.

Thórsmörk – Útigönguhöfði and Hvannárgil canyon

Thórsmörk – Útigönguhöfði and Hvannárgil canyon

Útigönguhöfði is that ridiculously steep mountain you see looming everywhere in Thórsmörk and on the way down from Fimmvörðuháls. Climbing it is as challenging as pronouncing its name… The impressive Hvannárgil canyon runs below its slopes and together they form a beautiful circuit, with jaw-dropping views from one end to the other. See how to get there, and combine this walk with Hvannárgil canyon or the lower part of the Fimmvörðuháls route. Be prepared for some serious crawling up the rocks on either side!

Kerlingarfjöll – Steaming valleys and surreal landscapes

Kerlingarfjöll – Steaming valleys and surreal landscapes

The hot spring valley of Hveradalir in the Kerlingarfjöll mountains is something out of this world. Breathtaking views unfold into a steaming geothermal valley padded with snowfields clinging to the slopes, and shapes and colours so magnificient that you wonder if it’s even real. It’s like you’ve stepped into a surrealistic painting. Find out how to get to this otherworldly landscape and hike around the steaming valleys in the Icelandic highlands.