This trip takes us to the centre of Iceland. The unique Kerlingarfjöll mountain range is one of the most magnificent, and least known, geothermal areas in Iceland, surrounded by high colourful rhyolite mountains. We will hike through valleys abounding with hot springs and fumaroles, up through mountain passes and into an entirely different world south of Hofsjökull glacier.
In Thjórsárver Nature Reserve, the glacial water forks endlessly. The flora in this fertile area is one of the largest nesting sites in the world for the pink-footed goose. This area is far away from the tourist hubs – but getting popular among locals, normally around half of the group is Icelandic.
Price: 119.000 ISK*
- Pick up at lodgings
- Transfer into the highland
- Guided tour in English, German or French (two guides from 8 pax)
- Yoga morning stretches (optional)
- Transportation of luggage
Tents, mattress and sleeping bag can be rented upon request.
„This is a retreat in the wilderness which the notorious outlaw Eyvindur of the fells and his wife Halla found a place to hide in the 18th century. It is believed that they lived as outlaws in the highlands for 20 years”
Group size: 6-14
Day 1: Pick up at lodgings at 7:00 a.m. Short stop at Thingvellir National Park, Geysir area and Gullfoss river. Arrival at Kerlingarfjöll mountains at noon. In the afternoon we inspect the geothermal areas in Kerlingarfjöll. We hike in Hveradalir (Hot Spring Valley), to inspect the amazing variety of hot springs and fumaroles. Camp for two nights at the border of Thjórsárver Nature Reserve.
Day 2: Now it is important to be well prepared to wade. We cross river Blautukvísl to get into the green oasis Thjorsarver. The hike with a full backpack takes around one hour. At Nautalda, highland flowers are blooming and clear spring water flows out of the ground. That is where we will camp for the next 3 nights and we spend the next days exploring the nature reserve with light backpack. Today we explore the remains of folds where pink footed geese were hunted long time ago. We also explore the wetland Oddkelsver.
Day 3: Today we head for the grown hillocks by Múlajökull glacier, where we will examine plants, ancient riding paths and tread in the paths of pink-footed geese along the riverbanks through the fertile and grown wetlands. In the afternoon we head back to our camp in 600 meters above see level where colourful plants blossom in the short Icelandic highland summer.
Day 4: Expedition towards the glacier. We should pack our towels and swimsuit because we might find a warm stream up there. Weather depending it is also possible to hike on top of Mt. Ólafsfell to enjoy a breathtaking view over the highland landscape. We return to our campsite and prepare our last dinner in the highlands.
Day 5: Time to leave our home in the highlands. We pack our gear, cross the rivers and meet with our driver at the riverbank. We drive along the powerful river Thjórsá on our way back. Arrival in Reykjavík in late afternoon.
A good physical condition is desirable
Hiking boots, backpack (60-70 L), tent (3 seasons)*, Insulation mattress, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner (optional), water bottle, thermos, sandals or neoprene socks to cross rivers.
Trousers and jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable if possible (Gore-Tex f.ex), thermal underwear (wool, silk or synthetic), trousers (wind resistant), sweater (wool or fleece), gloves (wool or synthetic), hat (wool or synthetic), 3-4 pairs of socks (wool or synthetic), swimsuit.
Toothbrush, sunglasses, sun hat, towel, pocket knife, lamp.
*possible to rent tent, mattress and sleeping bag.
We had a wonderful time in Iceland last August (2014) of which the highlight was a four day tour in Kerlingarfjöll and Þjórsárver with Wanderlust. Despite challenging weather the tour was a complete success. We particularly enjoyed the amazing colors of Hveradalir and the subtle beauty of Þjórsárver. Nothing compares to the experience of traversing the land by foot, and, in fact, hiking is the only way of exploring Þjórsárver since no vehicles are permitted. The tour guide, Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir, took great care of us, helping when our gear was not sufficient and cooking delicious food for us. She is clearly extremely knowledgeable about the area with lots of interesting anecdotes to impart.
We thank Wanderlust for the opportunity to get to know the highlights of the highlands.
*price with VATEyvindur & Lauren