#viti

Often the journey towards a recommended sight seeing spot is just as interesting as the final destination. That is definitely the case for this photo. On the way from the camping area in Drekagil one can drive for about 15 minutes towards the popular Askja and Víti. In good weather conditions this drive can be quite amazing. On one hand there is a huge field of pitch black sand and rocks and on the other there are hills of layered rock formations ranging from brown to gray and black contrasting with the untouched white snow patches.

Between Drekagil and Askja

Drekagil or Dragons Gully bears a rightful name.  It is a dark and narrow place loaded with geological formations that can only remind you of another world with dragons and fairy tails.  Although not exactly difficult to walk from the jaws of the gully to the end where you find a beautiful waterfall, it is a bit of a climb. Along the way you enjoy all the interesting formations.  If you look up, you might see some of the dragons that watch over the canyon as if there is a hidden treasure somewhere. 

Part of the Dyngjufjöll  Mountains.

Drekagil is located on the east side of the famous Dyngjufjöll mountains. The mountains that foster the volcano Askja.  In 1968 the Touring Club of Akureyri built a hut by the Canyon.  Today there are both cabins, a camping site, and an information center at Drekagil.  It is one of eight to ten places in the Icelandic highland that have the kind of basecamp atmosphere where adventures traveler stop for the night, chat and compare their plans. It is a cold hard place that you can visit on a 4X4 vehicle and a place that totally lacks vegetation.  It is all about stones, rocks, harsh lave fields, volcanic ash and mysterious lakes. 

How to go to Drekagil

Visiting Drekagil requires a 4X4 vehicle since you need to drive off road tracks and cross rivers. A modified 4X4 vehicle is recommended.  Although there are a few road options to drive to Drekagil one of the most popular is to drive the mountain road F88 from the Ring Road nr. 1 a few kilometers east of Myvatn and head to Herðubreiðalindir on a road called Öskjuvegur. South of Herðubreiðalindir you take the mountain road F910 to Drekagil or Dragon Gully.     

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
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Below is the location of Drekagil on the map of Iceland

It is a dark and narrow place loaded with geological formations that can only remind you of another world with dragons and fairy tails.

 

One of the contributions to the image of Iceland as an exotic place are the frequent eruptions that occur on a regular basis. If you plan to visit the Highland in Iceland and if you are looking for things to do, one option is to visit Holuhraun lava field.  Holuhraun is the name of our latest eruption originating in a large fissure eruption on the black sands north of the ice cap Vatnajökull or Water Glacier. This eruption occurred at the end of August 2014 and lasted for six winter moths until the end of February 2015. In the end, the eruption had produced 85 square kilometers of a lava field, one of the largest in Iceland's geological history.

A quiet but massive eruption

Since the eruption surfaced on sand deep in the highland of Iceland, it was a quiet eruption.  The only threat were the highly toxic chemicals associated with the eruption, steaming out of the glowing lava, so authorities in Iceland banned visits to the volcanic fissure.  This was the main reason Holuhraun eruption did not develop into a tourist eruption like many recent eruptions in Iceland, like the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

New rocks and stones that recently lived in a thousand degree magma

The result from this massive eruption is a large lava field mids in the Highland in Iceland.  Here you can meet to latest members of the Geological family on planet earth. Newly formed rocks and stones in a lava field that lived for ages in the glowing magma under the surface, and ironically under the ice cap Vatnajökull with more than one thousand degrees between the magma and the ice cap.

How to go to Holuhraun lava field

Visiting the new lava field requires a 4X4 vehicle since you need to drive off road tracks and cross rivers. A modified 4X4 vehicle is recommended.  Although there are a few options to drive to Holuhraun, one of the most popular is to drive the mountain road F88 from the Ring Road nr. 1 a few kilometers east of Myvatn and head to Herðubreiðalindir on a road called Öskjuvegur. South of Herðubreiðalindir you take the mountain road F910 to the mountain huts at Dreki or Dragon as the place is called. At Dreki you also find a visitor center with a wealth of information about the Vatnajokull National Park. From Dreki you continue on Road 910 to the lava field to enter the world of new rocks and stones in the Holuhraun lava.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
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Below is the location of Holuhraun on the map of Iceland

Holuhraun the new lava

There are two lighthouses in the small village Garður placed on the south-west tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula. The older lighthouse was built in 1897. The newer one was constructed in 1944. For many decades, the lighthouses have ben a popular spot to visit and to photograph; both among Icelanders and in recent years a popular tourist attraction. It has become one of many spots in the country that is constantly being viewed and photographed. The area around the lighthouses is also a popular spot for birdwatchers.

There are two lighthouses in the small village Garður

 

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. 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.  

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Askja and Víti on the map of Iceland

Viti and Askja in the Icelandic highland