Iceland 2004 (July 3rd – July 22nd)

A 3 week tour into the highlands of Iceland, visiting volcanic and jökull areas (Ice and Fire), natural hot springs and the fantastic nature of Iceland. Using a 4WD car, a lot of walking tours and mainly spending the nights in tents.  

In total 3500 km of driving, of which 1000 km on mountain roads.

Participants: Mats Ljungberg, Camilla Wikström, Anna and Olof Ljungberg (Anna made a 6 day horse tour on the Kjölur route at the end of the tour)

The tour was a result of impressions from a similar 3 week tour, using 4WD buses, 29 years ago. Thorsmörk, Fjallabak sydri, Laugafell, Laki and Kjölur were new areas this time, leaving out Askja and Vestmannaeyjar. Askja, including the Gaesavatnaleid, and Kverkfjöll and more time in the Skaftafell area are wishes for a possible next trip.

Tour agenda (short description of the tour, day-by-day)

Our route, covering nice places like Thorsmörk, Laugafell, Mývatn, Skaftafell, Kerlingarfjöll, Hveravellir. Also covering
the three main mountain routes crossing Sprengisandur, Kjölur and Kaldidalur and nice mountain routes around Mýrdalsjökull.
Seljalandfoss Crossing rivers into Thorsmörk. Icelanders return on Sunday
Basar camp site with view towards Mýrdalsjökull Sea campion (Silene), common in sand and gravel
Mýrdalsjökull (Krossárjökull) and Tungnakvist Coffe break in Godaland, Thorsmörk behind
Hails at 1000 m, close to Fimmvörduhals,
Morinsheidi plateau below
Hole in Hrunajökull
"Mordor" land, from south of Morinsheidi towards Mýrdalsjökull
Canyon in the beginning of Fjallabak sydri route Lava fields before Maelifellssandur
Colourful route to Landmannalaugar from the south Landmannalaugar camp site, gravel
Cold evening at the Landmannalaugar pool Nice bath in the hot spring, flow of water, 70 degress, behind
Climbing Bláhnúkur mountain, old lava field and camp site below View of Landmannalaugar colourful mountains
Graenagil ("green gorge") with Bláhnúkur rhyolit-coloured
mountain to the left and Laugahraun lava field
Entering Sprengisandur vast stone and gravel desert
Laugafell pool, an oasis in the desert Lots of flowers around the pool
Roseroot (Rhodiola) and wood crane´s bill (Geranicum) Arctic riverbeauty (Epilobium)
Road crossing on Sprengisandur
The sign for unbridged rivers View towards Vatnajökull
Aldeyarfoss (at the end of Sprengisandur),
surrounded by basalt columns
Reykjahlíd camp site at Mývatn New lava field at Krafla
Wild thyme (Thymus), common near lava fields Bubbling holes at Námaskard
Dimmuborgir formations Pseudocraters in Mývatn
Old lava pillars (klasar) at Höfdi Lupins for preventing erosion (but enemy to other vegetation),
on the road to Húsavik

Húsavík harbour, with whale spotting boats
(we saw humpbacked whale, minky whale and dolphins)
Húsavik fine whale museum
Puffin at the cliffs of Tjörnes

"Valley of horses" north of Húsavík Ásbyrgi camp site, beneath the strange canyon sides
Hljodaklettar (echoing rocks) at Jökulsá á Fjöllum Basalt, cutoff, columns
Raudholar (red hills) Holmarfossar, side stream to Jökulsá á Fjöllum
Dettifoss dark, mighty, waterfall (from western side) Dettifoss
Selfoss nice waterfall, just north of Dettifoss Akureyri church
South-east coast Parts of old whale at Hvalnes reef
Studying the nice ground (round stones and flowers) at
Hvalnes reef
Passing Skálafjellsjökull, on the steep and curvy mountain
road to Jöklasel
A short walk on Skálafjellsjökull, at Jöklasel Going back, looking out over Sudursveit and the sea
The end of Skálafjellsjökull Pyramidal saxifrage, rare on certain places in the south-east
parts of Iceland
Jökulsarlón, below Breidamerkarjökull, with its nice icebergs Amphibie boat
The oldest icebergs being 7 years old Meeting between the glacier water and the sea, lots of fish
Passing flooded land to Ingolshöfdi Tractor with haywagon
Puffins at Ingholfhöfdi Puffins at Ingolshöfdi
View from Ingolshöfdi Svartifoss, at Skaftafellsheidi
Coffe break with view of Kjós Morsardálur and Morsarjökull in dull weather
The old houses at Núpsstadur The church at Núpsstadur, still used
Crater cones at Laki The road to Landmannalaugar
The road to Landmannalaugar Lunch below Hekla
Gullfoss impressing waterfall Geysir (or its smaller fellow Strokkur)
Going on the Kjölur route The pool at Hveravellir, fed by waterfall on silica ground
Whistle at Hveravellir Volcanic area at Hveravellir
Anna with one of her horses Kerflingarfjöll volcanic area, colours, hot water and steam
Walking in the steep hills in Kerlingarfjöll area
Hraunfossar, water from the lava fields well up into Hvitá river Kaldidalur route to Reykjavík, Thórisjökull behind
Blue Lagoon silica mud water A drink in the sun and heat (17 degrees)
Blue Lagoon Blue Lagoon pool and buildings