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.
On the same day that Fagradalsfjall in Iceland subsided, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma cracked open a new crater and roared into life on 19 September 2021. But this is no friendly flowing volcano like the gentle Fagradalsfjall. Cumbre Vieja Natural Park offers stunning hiking routes amongst volcanic cones and giant craters. Now that this fierce volcano has settled down again, the Cumbre Vieja Ruta de los Volcanes (Volcano Route) is one of the finest walks you can do on La Palma.
Mount Taranaki looms majestically over New Plymouth, on its own peninsula on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The mythical mountain is obscured from view most days of the year, shrouded by its low-hanging clouds. But now it stood there, clearly visible and beckoning in all its glory. I literally skidded to a halt when I saw it, and changed my direction there & then. It was calling me and I had to go. Mount Taranaki draws you in to explore its lofty top and many hiking tracks.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Fimmvörðuháls hike between Skógar and Thórsmörk is nothing short of epic. This 26 kilometer walking route takes you over the fiery pass across Eyjafjallajökull and into the fabled valley of Thórsmörk. On the top of the pass you can see the giant lava flows and new craters from the 2010 eruption. But is it possible to do all this in one day? Read all about Fimmvörðuháls the easy way, the hard way, and an unexpected grand encore on that ridiculously steep (but utterly beautiful) Útigönguhöfði mountain.
The epic trial & tribulation that is the Vierdaagse of Nijmegen. This long distance walk is internationally known as the Walk of the World. Four days of walking 40 kilometers per day. Why do people even want to do this? It’s hard to explain, or even understand, if you haven’t experienced it for yourself. As you crawl along the Via Gladiola on the final stretch of the last day, the euphoria that comes over you causes a natural high that may well turn into a recurring virus. You get itchy feet, and you’ll want to do it again. The Vierdaagse virus is real.
An overview of the best walking tracks around Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar. With its incredible density of spectacular sights and features, this stunning island just off the south coast is a must-see if you’re visiting Iceland. There are steep and craggy mountain ridges, dramatic sea cliffs, hidden beaches, a couple of volcanoes, mossy lava flows and a magical valley. Vestmannaeyjar is also home to the biggest puffin colony in the world. Find out more in this article.