Day 1: Þingvellir National Park-Deildartunguhver Hot Spring- Barnafoss- Hraunfossar
Our day begins with a hike in Þingvellir National Park, the site of the old viking parliament and a place of great historic importance. The birth place of democracy in Iceland, it is a symbol and an emblem of Democracy with a capital “D”. The park is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a magnificent location with a beautiful lake skirted by a small canyon, a fissure that is in fact part of the Mid-Atlantic Rift. Next, a visit to Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring in Iceland, followed by the waterfalls of Barnafoss and Hraunfossar, a row of waterfalls that over a few hundred meters emerge from underneath a lava field. From there we visit one of the numerous lava caves in the region. In winter the caves are decorated with ice stalactites. We stay the night in a hut in the area where a bath in the “hot pots” of a local swimming pool is optional.
Hiking: 2-3 hrs. total divided into numerous shorter walks.
Day 2: Hveravellir
We set course for Hveravellir! Depending on weather and snow conditions, we go north of Langjökull glacier either by route 1 and the mountain road Kjölur (a road that crosses the island from north to south between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull), or by crossing the lava fields of Hallmundarhraun. Hveravellir is above all known for intense geothermal activity, fumaroles, hot springs and colorful ponds filled with boiling water. We visit the site’s famous hot springs before putting on our snow shoes for a walk to the volcano Strýtur, and majestic views of the icecaps of Langjökull and Hofsjökull. In the evening we relax, soaking in the Hveravellir natural geothermal pool, where on a clear night we might see the Aurora Borealis light up the dark winter sky! Night in a mountain hut.
Hiking: 3 hrs.
Day 3: Gullfoss-Geysir-Háifoss waterfall- Þjórsárdalur –Hekla
From the plateau we descend towards Gullfoss (the powerful “Golden waterfall”) where the turbulent waters of the river Hvítá plunge into a fault (canyon). Then we head to Geysir, which gives his name to all other spouting hot springs in the world! We come to the valley of Þjórsárdalur, which borders the lava field created by the volcano Hekla. We visit the grand waterfall of Háifoss where the water drops down a 122m high cliff, and the small valley Gjáin, before arriving at a hut near Hekla one of the Iceland’s most active volcano. When the Danes ruled the country they believed that its crater was a gateway to the Nether world. The local farmers, clever as they were, told them it was all true, and for that matter, one could hear Danish being spoken down there. The last eruption goes back to… February 2000!
Hiking: 3-4 hrs total, numerous small walks interspersed with transfer in vehicles.
Day 4: Landmannalaugar
We head south-west in to Landmannalaugar, a route that in certain conditions will put the capacity of our vehicles to the test! If weather and snow conditions allow, we visit the immense crater of Ljótipollur before arriving at the mountain hut in Landmannalaugar at the foot of a lava field from an eruption in 1480. After a hike in snowshoes through this extraordinary landscape, of colorful rhyolite mountains, a bath in the warm waters of river that runs next to the mountain hut is an ideal way to end our day.
Hiking: 3-4 hrs.
Day 5: Landmannalaugar-Tungná river- Hjálparfoss waterfall-Reykjvík
The day begins with a visit to the hot springs that lie at the foot of the hill Reykjarkollur before retracing our steps from the day before in our vehicles. We pass by the crater of Hnausapollar and come down into the great valley of the river Tungná. There, in the past farmers used to cross this vast river on boats with their sheep at the ford of Hófsvað. On the road to Reykjavík we stop at the Hjálparfoss waterfall where one stream splits into a twin waterfall that comes together in a circular basin surrounded by twisted basalt columns that form beautiful asymmetric wall. Arrival in Reykjavík in the late afternoon.
Hiking: 2 hrs.
This intinerary may change due to weather and conditions.