Grimsvotn Extreme Super Jeep Tour - The Tour of All Tours
Glacial adventure to the middle of nowhere
A 6-day extreme super-jeep adventure to one of the most remote locations on the planet. Vatnajokull glacier is Europe's largest glacier and Earth's third largest, about 8300 square kilometers in size so this trip can easily give you the feeling of being in polar region. The Grimsvotn caldera is just one of several sub-glacial volcanic systems in Vatnajokull. Its most recent eruption was 21 May 2011.
Available: upon request for grups
Pick up: 9:00
Duration: 6 days
Included: pick-up, accommodation in mountain huts, super-jeep transport, all food.
Bring with you: swimming suit and towel, polar wear
For any further information, send us an e-mail:
The caldera of Grimsvotn (meaning "The Lakes of Grimur") cannot be accessed by regular vehicles but by super jeeps only and with very experienced drivers who know how to maneuver safely in the snow and on the glacier. And exactly this fact ensures you an extraordinary adventure in the middle of nowhere. Weather and snow conditions can never be fully predicted and as such they also have an important share of the screenplay for us to participate in.
The road takes us along the south coast of Iceland. As soon as our jeeps turn away from the main road, the landscape swiftly changes, becoming rougher and rougher. An impressive landscape of huge lava fields and glacial rivers in which you might still see large amounts of black ashes from the last eruption in Grismvotn in 2011 or from the famous Eyjafjallajokull glacier in 2010.
The last stop for fuel will be at the highland center Hrauneyjar. Standard 4x4 jeeps go no further. Then we pass on to Vatnajokull National Park, and into the endless white of glacial snow. Tungnaa, a huge glacial river marks the entrance to the glacier. We'll cross it right through. Not an easy task but you can trust the drivers who do not hesitate to ford the river, even tied to a rope, in order to locate the best way through it.
If you did not use your camera so far, this will certainly be a photo opportunity for quite some unique shots. You'll be glad to have packed clothes like you had planned to cross the North Pole (skiing clothes also do the job).
This is literally "the end of road" for the next few days. After a few hours deepening out way into the white vastness, snow and sky blend in one. You might feel like you have completely escaped civilization and come to another planet. Nothing but ice, with the possible exception of a display of aurora borealis, the northern lights, dancing in the sky. The last hill takes us up to an older crater of the Grimsvotn caldera and that is where our base will be for the following 5 days.
Once the door to the cabin has been found and some shoveling work is behind, we will find a spacious and comfortable hut with bunk-beds and cooking facilities. The first task will be to melt snow in the huge pot and make the barbecue ready for roasted lamb or similar. If you are lucky the guides might bring some music for the CD player (feel free to bring your own music) and they might also start singing! Next to the hut there are two smaller huts where you surprisingly will find a warm shower and a sauna. If you wonder where the warm steam comes from, just recall that you are now sitting next to an active volcano.
Grimsvotn volcanic system is close to the center of the glacial cap, and it is right where we find one of Earth's mightiest geothermal areas and also Iceland's most active central volcano system. Eruptions have been quite frequent since the island was first settled. The main crater is 35 square kilometers in size. There is a glacial lake in one side of the crater and on top of it floats a 200 meter thick ice cap. Because of the constant geothermal heat rising from beneath, the lake's surface keeps rising and when the lake reaches its limits, it gushes down to the lowlands by way of the Skeidara river that flows from the Skeidararjokull glacier.
A visit to the highest point of Vatnajokull glacier (and Iceland) is an option (Hvannadalshnjukur 2110 m high) or to drive to another volcano at the northern edge of the glacier and, again, have a hot bath and a beer in the middle of nowhere surrounded by snow and ice.
Unfortunately the days will go by just too quickly. "Game over" and we return to civilization. If it were not for the photos, you'll think that it was a dream.