Highland

  • The Highland in Iceland is only open from the beginning of July until the end of September

The Icelandic Highland is a huge uninhabited area of Iceland basically covering the center and sometimes stretching to places near the shore.  The whole area is loaded with natural wonders, hiking trails, places to visit, fascinating geology, mountains, geothermal pools, waterfalls and much more. It is characterized and defined by altitude as the term Highland implies. It is mostly above 900 meters and thus usually rather cold and seldom specifically warm.  In any sense of the word, it is extremely sensitive. The soil, the lava, the vegetation, the roads, the hiking trails. 

Most of the time the whole area is under snow.  Almost nine months of the year.  Only in the summer does the Highland reveal itself and starts blooming and exposing its vegetation, crystal clear creeks and beautiful mountains with thousands of colors.  In large areas, it consists of vast black sands, dark lava, suspiciously looking rocks, powerful rivers flooding from under glaciers and long horizons. If there is one message or one thing an Icelander would tell you about the Highland it would be to understand the sensitivity of this harsh landscape.

Like many Icelanders, it looks harsh and tough but under the surface is a very sensitive soul.  It is a place where people need to drive carefully on a good 4X4 vehicle with good preparation on marked tracks only.  Anyone trying to drive the Highland in a vehicle not fit for the task is both irresponsible and possibly compromising a wonderful experience.  If you decide to travel in the Icelandic Highland, please take care and understand the sensitivity of the whole are. And remember that most of the Highland is only open from the beginning of July until the end of September.

  • Sigöldufoss waterfall is one of those strange beasts in the Icelandic landscape that has been transformed by an enormous engineering project in the process of building a hydroelectric power plant. For hundreds and thousands of years, it was part of the glacial river Tungná where a large volume of glacial water forced its way downstream with all its mud, ashes, dirt, small rocks and load of other substances being transported to the shore by the river. When Sigalda Powerplant was built some...
  • At some point in your life, you want to fill you head with peace. You want a peace of mind. There are places in the Icelandic Highland that are still calm and quiet, and few people visit. The only sound is a small stream and songs from birds; places that put you in a relaxed mode. One such place is the wonderful world of unusual lava formation at Skælingar.  A place where everything is calm and quiet but yet a place that looks strange and exotic.  It is a place where you can easily come to the...
  • Stakkholtsgjá or Stakkholts Canyon is a beautiful natural wonder, a canyon in Þórsmörk in the Icelandic Highland. From the entrance of the canyon, it is surrounded by high and straight one hundred meters high palagonite cliffs.  Hiking the two kilometers to the end of the canyon is one of the most rewarding short hiking trails in Iceland.  Inside the canyon is a small creek that runs on a bed of pebbles, enhancing the landscape within the canyon. The track is not smooth and crossing the river,...
  • Hólmsárgljúfur is a small but beautiful canyon in the river Hólmsá.  The river originates in the small glacier Torfajökull in the Highland and finds its way through a large lagoon in the Syðri Fjallabak area, Hólmsárlón, flowing through the beautiful landscape of Brytalækir all the way to the river Kúðafljót near the Ring Road.  About 20 kilometers before merging with Kúðafljót the river enters the canyon by the small mountain Atlaey or Atlis Island, an island on dry land. A spectacular...
  • The crater Tjarnargígur or Pond Crater is one of many craters created in the infamous 1783 - 1784 eruption Skaftáreldar in Iceland. The row of craters stretches over an area of 25 kilometers. Because of the young geological age of Tjarnargígur, the whole area around the crater is very sensitive consisting mostly of lava and moss.  Although there are many craters at Lakagígar, Tjarnargígur is one of the most impressive. One of the reasons is the water that forms a small pond within the crater. ...
  • If you ask an Icelander about the most beautiful place in the country, many would reply Þórsmörk. For many Icelanders, Þórsmörk is their favorite place for camping and visiting during summer and the number one place if they had to set up a list of favorite locations in  Icelandic nature.  It is almost romantic and comparable to our sacred place Þingvellir except in the Highland. It is an oasis surrounded and protected by mighty rivers, mountains, mountain ridges, cliffs, and glaciers.  Although...

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