#iceland

Mosfellsbær is a community in Iceland located east of Reykjavík with a population of 9.481 in 2016.  When visitors drive from Reykjavík towards the West region or Thingvellir, they drive through Mosfellsbær.  Like many of the towns around the Capital

Álafosskvosin is an interesting place to visit with small shops and restaurants

In the whole Westfjord region you will find around 12 villages.  To visit all of them you need to drive a kind of circle, the Westfjord drive. If you also want to visit the tiny village Djúpavík at Strandir you need to take the Strandir road trip.  Since most of the West Fjords is a large plateau, in an uninhabitable altitude, all of the towns and villages are located on the shore.  The location of the towns and villages is also, because of the enormously fertile fishing grounds in the fjords, out by the shore. All of the towns and villages have convenient accommodation, a camping site, a gas station, a convenience store, a restaurant or a café, a swimming pool and some form of recreational activity, museums, and tours.  In the Westfjords, you will also find some of the most spectacular landscape in Iceland.  High and steep mountains that tower above you when driving the circle on the shoreline. 

The Reykjanes peninsula has five towns, all placed by the shore as each one is a former fishing town and at least two still are. The Reykjanes Peninsula is probably one of the places in Iceland most people visit as it is the home of the international airport and probably the place where most people pick up their rent a car or meet their tour guides. This area is in many ways different from the rest of the country. Tourism has always been a large part of the community since the International airport is located on the Reykjanes peninsula right by Keflavík (Reykjanesbær).  Together all of the towns and villages have convenient accommodations, camping sites, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants or cafés, swimming pools and some form of recreational activity, museums, and adventure tours.  The Reykjanes Peninsula also offers spectacular sights and natural wonders and is one of the most interesting parts of Iceland with its lava, hot springs and of course the famous Blue Lagoon.

Viti, or Hell, is one of the most interesting natural wonders in Iceland.  It is an explosion crater on the northeast shore of Öskjuvatn in the middle of the Icelandic highland.  The crater is around 150 meters in diameter and contains a geothermal lake of mineral-rich warm water.  Although the name isn’t particularly inviting many visitors and tourists visiting the place like to dip into Víti.  The water is not conveniently hot but enough to strip and take a short swim in the strange water floating on a volcano that erupted not so long ago. When you come home you can at least say that you went “skinny-dipping in Hell”. 
There are also many interesting stories connected to Askja. Probably the most interesting is the story of Walther von Knebel, a German geologist that disappeared in 1907 with his associate in a mysterious unresolved accident or some other mishap.   A year later his fiancé Ina von Grumbkow visit Iceland and Askja trying to get to the bottom of her suspicion that her husband to be, had been killed.
This location in the highland of Iceland is not accessible during the wintertime unless your have one of those so-called Super jeeps on huge tiers that every other Icelander seems to drive as a family car. The most secure and convenient way to visit Askja and Víti is to purchase an organized tour or rent a car during the summer season, between July and October.  The rent car needs to be a four-wheel drive capable of crossing some rather serious rivers.  

Viti and Askja in the Icelandic highland

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.

Hit Iceland is an information webpage about Iceland. The web page covers information regarding Iceland, towns and villages, places and people, that might be of interest to people around the world who want to travel to see many of our natural wonders. 

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