The South and East of Iceland

  

The South and East of Iceland

While the south-east is home to the powerful Eyjafjallajökull volcano in the midst of waterfalls, glaciers and lava beds, the south coast is paved by black sand, Europe's largest icecap and the iceberg lagoon. For top-class mount hiking and fjord scenery, head east.

Heimaey
Located in the Westman Islands, this steaming crater was ravaged by pirates in 1627, and was the epicentre of a volcanic fissure that opened up yards from the town in 1973. The volcanic fissure prompted 5,000 islanders to fleed on trawlers. Upon their return, they found that a third of their homes lay buried under lava and ash, while a new crater named Eldfell was now overlooking their island.
Don't miss out on climbing the steaming crater and from its 221m summit, marvel at how lava engulfed the town while feeling the heat from the rock up close. A project called the “Pompeii of the North” allows you to walk among the ruins of houses dug from the rubble.
This adventure paired with a tour of the town takes about half a day to complete.
Another exciting activity in the area is walking behind a 60m waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, which flows into a former sea cliff. Behind the falls, there's a cavity sprinkled with moss, ferns and saxifrages.
It takes half an hour to explore Seljalandsfoss, but you'll need an hour to see this fall and Gljúfurárfoss. Just be cautious as the steps that lead behind the falls are quite slippery.
Vatnajökull
Comprising one twelfth of Iceland, Vatnajökull is Europe's largest national park. This national park is home to a 8,100 sq km dome of ice which is up to 800m thick. The eponymous national park is the perfect place for an ice-hike to explore the glaciers. Hire a guide who'll provide the gear and will take you safely through crevasse and pinnacles.
Then head for a glacial lagoon, Jökulsárlón, brimming with thousands of giant icebergs that originated from a glacier. There you can watch the icebergs as they drift by and out to sea.
You can also book a boat trip around the Glacier lagoon with www.jokulsarlon.is. The Glacier lagoon is told to be one of the greatest wonders of nature in Iceland. There you'll be able to marvel at huge blocks of ice breaking off the glacier, and large icebergs floating on the lagoon.
With 25 years of experience under their belt, this tour operator offers “exciting boat trips on the lagoon in one of our four amphibian boats. During the excursion you sail among the huge icebergs in the picturesque scenery” of the area. “We also offer Zodiac tours where we are able to cover large areas of the lagoon and get closer to the icebergs than on the amphibian. When possible the Zodiac goes almost all the way up to the glacier (as close as safe).”
If you head to Borgarfjörður Eystri, you'll get to explore the realm of the elves. Legend tells that the Queen of the elves inhabits a rocky outcrop in this fishing hamlet. Whether you let yourself be enchanted by the legend or not, the mountains will surely impress you. You can either take a stroll which takes about day, or submerge yourself in the mountain for a week, this will be an adventure to remember.

 

up Top