#geothermal

There are not many places on the planet where you can put boiling clay surrounded wit hot steam from the ground and a melting snowdrift into the same motive. A place where heat meets cold. There aren't many places where you can see and view such rare natural wonders, at least not side by side. Especially during summer.

Hveradalir in the Icelandic highland

 

Kerlingarfjöll “The old woman's mountains, ” is an exciting place to visit in Iceland and a must, if you are planning to travel in the Highland and looking for things to do in the Highland. Positioned in the middle of the Icelandic Highland Kerlingarfjöll is a cluster of rugged mountains.  Most of the mountains are steep and around 800 to 1500 meters high. Although all of the mountains in the cluster have their individual names they are usually referred to by their common name, which is rare in Icelandic landscape, as most mountains have their own strong identity. This is probably due to the fact that the mountains were barely visited and feared for centuries, as they were believed to be the hiding place of outlaws.

A feast for photographers and a joy for hikers

The mountain cluster Kerlingarfjöll is a paradise for both hikers and photographers.  There are many convenient and scenic hiking trails leading from the camping ground and accommodation at Ásgarður.  Most of the mountains are rhyolite and this the colors vary along the track depending on the weather, mostly the sun, to a point where it almost comes unreal in Hveradalir, and you can quickly feel like nature hypnotizes you. Although the altitude of most of the trails is about 1000 meters there is a surprising amount and variety of vegetation.

How to find and go to Kerlingafjöll

For years the road to Kerlingafjöll was a 4X4 trail with two to three rivers to pass. You could only drive there on a modified 4WD vehicle.  Today the rivers have bridges, and you can turn to Ásgarður the camping site on a small 4WD vehicle. The best way to drive to Kerlingafjöll is to take the F35 Kjalvegur Highland Road from Gullfoss and drive the approximately 55 kilometers to the highland road to Kerlingafjöll. You turn to the east on F347 and the distance to Kerlingarfjöll is only 10 kilometers.  We recommend an overnight for at least one night and an early morning hike for a few hours.  Here you must keep in mind that the Highland roads are only open from early June until late September.  So the window to enjoy this magnificent landscape is only about three to four months each year. 

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 Kerlingarfjöll on the map of Iceland

Kerlingarfjöll “The old woman's mountains, ” is an exciting place to visit in Iceland and a must, if you are planning to travel in the Highland and looking for things to do in the Highland.

 

Just a few kilometers south of the Geothermal area Seltún at Krísuvík is a small lake, Grænavatn (Greenlake). The lake is a volcanic crater that got its name from its unusual green color. The color is due to a high level of sulphur in the water and its depth.  The lake is only about few hundred meters in diameter and offers a perfect trail for a refreshing walk, as it only takes about 20 minutes to walk around the lake.  For a small lake it is quite deep, though, or 45 meters.  This is visible as you stand by the brim, and you can see how the color changes by the shoreline where the lake gets deeper. Grænavatn is considered by geologists to be one of the most noteworthy geological phenomena of its kind in Iceland.

A failed venture that almost destroyed the lake

Many visitors wonder what the deal is with the two silage towers and the decaying cowhouse right by the lake.  This is one of those unfortunate projects initiated at a time when understanding of nature was limited, and respect for natural wonders easily gave way for economic ventures. Although this was not such a long time ago, in the fifties, the whole project almost ruined the lake as some of its surroundings were altered in the process.  Needless to say, the whole venture failed, and the people and the Hafnarfjörður municipality behind it have not yet had the decency to remove this horrible building and heal the area around the lake.

Grænavatn and folklore

Due to its unusual nature and color, the lake has been a source of folklore stories throughout the centuries.  Only as recently as the middle of the 16th century an odd creature was spotted coming from the lake.  The lake is almost on the main road Krísuvíkurvegur (42) and can be seen as you pass by it only a few hundred meters from Seltún the geothermal area. 

 

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

Below is the location of Grænavatn lake on the map of Iceland

Just a few kilometers south of the Geothermal area Seltún at Krísuvík is a small lake, Grænavatn (Greenlake).

The world famous hot spring Geysir in Iceland is a tired old geyser that only lives on old fame and doesn’t erupt anymore. Eruption in Geysir stopped many years ago and even at the end Geysir only erupted with additional help. One of the methods for starting an eruption in Geysir in the eighties and nineties was to fill it with soft soap. A huge amount of soft soap piled into the hot spring worked like a good dose of Viagra.

It is a fantastic natural wonder that no one visiting Iceland should miss, even though the area looks overcrowded.