A Hawaiian-type volcanic eruption started from a fissure Aug 31, 2014 and ended Feb 27, just 10 km north of glacier Vatnajökull in Iceland. The magma source belongs to the depths of central volcano Bardarbunga, one of the largest on earth.
Durée: 3 days
Minimum: 4 persons
Included: Pick up & drop off, transport in a super jeep, sleeping bag accommodation in a mountain lodge (sleeping bag included) and meals.
Meals included: Dinner on day 1 and 2, breakfast on day 2 and 3 and lunch on day 2.
Bring with you: Warm clothes, sturdy shoes, bathing suit, towel, and hiking shoes.
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For groups only (not scheduled tour)
Accomodation in mountain lodge
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Description du circuit
The new lava field was formed during the 6-month eruption and has become 85 square km and 1.4 cubic km, which makes it the largest lava field formed on earth since Eldhraun, south-west of Vatnajokull, in 1783-1784. Its highest elevation is 70 m.
This new lava field is named Nornahraun (Witch Lava Field) and the larger crater is named Baugur (Ring).
This tour takes you to this immense and still warm lava field, which is truly a new creation on Earth. We will hike around the largest crater, explore the area and search for lava tubes.
Day 1: Landmannalaugar
On our first day we will explore the geothermal and hiking area of Landmannalaugar, with its colorful mountains. We'll have the chance to bathe in the natural thermal pool before we continue into the highlands of Sprengisandur. We'll be accommodated in a mountain hut in Nyidalur.
We head eastwards from Reykjavik and pass Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant where the steam billows around. There geothermal heat from the central volcano is harnessed by drilling into the earth to release the heat in the form of steam or hot water.
On a clear day the view up to the central volcano Hekla opens up and we see this rather traditional cone shaped volcano is made up of a series of ridges. Another known volcano is also in sight: Eyjafjallajokull with its white glacier hood and looking incredibly innocent.
In the magnificent Thjorsardalur, the valley through which Iceland's longest river Thjorsa flows we take a look at Hjalparfoss Falls (Helping Falls).
On our way to Landmannalaugar we stop to explore the inactive explosion crater Ljotipollur (Ugly pit), filled with a cobalt blue lake where the rust-red crater walls glisten and sparkle. Once in Lanmannalaugar it is ideal to take the opportunity to bathe in the naturally heated water and even take a walk on ash through the extensive lava fields that lead to the mountain slopes.
The colourful rhyolite mountains fill the views and reveal the evidence that geothermal activity is everywhere where lava flows, hot springs and naturally heated rivers crisscross the land at every turn.
After a good time in Landmannalaugar we drive north the Sprengisandur road, into the largest desert in Europe with glaciers all around: Hofsjokull, Vatnajokull and Tungnafellsjokull.
Our accommodation and dinner will be at the mountain lodge in Nyidalur.
Day 2: Holuhraun Eruption Site
Today is a volcano day. The Icelandic nature is full of surprises, and this tour is all about them. There are "old" and brand new craters on our route. The imposing craters of Askja and Víti are on our route.
The forces of nature have been redecorating the area during the winter. This is a new surface for our old planet. We will feel like Mars explorers as we drive around and discover the new grounds.
After breakfast we drive over glacial rivers and north of the central volcano Tungnafellsjokull glacier into an area called Gaesavatnaleid or Dyngjufjallaleid.
We spend good time driving on lava fields that are mostly formed from the huge shield volcano Trolladyngja, which is located between Vatnajokull glacier and the Askja central volcano. In between we have endless black sand formed by the glaciers. When we stop to stretch out or take pictures don’t forget to enjoy the few green straws you might see.
Then we reach Holuhraun lava field and the new Nornahraun lava field which we will explore. We hike up to its highest point, look into the crater, and hopefully into some brand new lava tube caves. We drive as close as is allowed and see the effects of nature's forceful power from there.
Then we shall visit the remarkable huge crater of Askja with an elevation of 1,516 m (4,974 ft) and Víti next to it.
After having enjoyed this new, huge lava field we travel back to Nyidalur for dinner and accommodation.
Day 3: Golden Cicle
We travel back to Reykjavik with stops at great scenic sites, both in the highland and on the lowland. On a good day we can savour the sight of having glaciers all around us and the view to the central volcano Bardarbunga.
Among the stops we take are the canyon of Bruarhlod with its staggering rock formation in the glacial waters and the impressive Gullfoss waterfall. The canyon of Brúarhlöð and Gullfoss was created at the end of the Ice Age by catastrophic flood waves and is lengthened by 25 cm a year by the constant erosion.
Geysir geothermal field and Thingvellir National Park will be the icing on the cake of this exciting tour.
We reach Reykjavik late in the evening.