Inspired by Icelanders, we set off on a real journey of adventure to Iceland's Landmannalaugar, in wintertime. We leave the city behind and head into the unpredictable Icelandic Highlands on an expedition of unforeseen challenges and fun adventures. There will be no street lamps to guide us and no traffic, but there will be plenty of new experiences and an amazing encounter with Iceland's spellbinding nature and wilderness in its boundless beauty. Weather and road conditions will dictate the travelling. If you're an explorer at heart, this is the tour for you!
- Super Jeep and mountain expert driverguide
- Guided tour
- Transportation, hotel pickup in Reykjavik
- Accommodation in a mountain lodge for 2 nights
- Sleeping bags and overalls for the snowmobile ride
- 2 x breakfast, 2 x dinner and 1 x lunch
- Weather permitting, a snowmobile ride
- Season: 01 September 2013 - 18 April 2014
- Duration: 3 days
- Pickup: Approximately 9 am at your hotel in Reykjavik
- Departure days: Fridays
- Special departures: (Saturday) Dec 28th 2013; (Thursday) Jan 2nd 2014, (Sunday) March 30th 2014
What to bring with you
Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots - a must
Warm layers of clothing: wind & rainproof outer shells
Warm wool socks, hats & gloves; thermal or woollen middle layer and inner layer
Good to have: slippers for the lodge, travel pillows, ear plugs, pyjamas
Don't forget your bathing suit and a towel
Child (aged 8-16): ISK 70000
Please note: minimum age: 8 years old
When Icelanders want adventure, they jump aboard a Super Jeep and head for Landmannalaugar during winter on a journey with unforeseen challenges. When they reach their destination, they bathe in the natural geothermal pool and enjoy being alone with nature, surrounded by the stars and, sometimes, the dancing Northern Lights.
Icelandic Highlands offer tranquillity and a chance to relax and unwind, as well as opportunities for hiking in the colourful rhyolite mountains formed by centuries of volcanic activity in the area. You can go snowmobiling when the snow conditions are good, or let your guide take you in the Super Jeep for a spin. In the evenings we enjoy candle-lit dinners inside the lodge, or under the starlight outdoors. When we are lucky the Northern Lights appear cascading across the skies in a breathtakingly beautiful display. With no artificial lighting around, the spectacle is unforgettable.
Day 1 - Friday: the journey
We pick you up at your hotel in the morning and drive towards Thjorsardalur valley where we get a view to the fabled Hekla volcano. We continue along the river Thjorsa, the longest river in Iceland, and into the valley of Thjorsardalur featuring the beautiful Hjalparfoss – "Helping Waterfall", where horses used to graze in the last lush area before heading across the sandy desert of Sprengisandur in older times.
We have a lunch break in Hrauneyjar Highland Centre, the last outpost before we enter the real Highlands at Fjallabak Nature Reserve. We drive through vast lava fields, probably covered by snow, pass Hnausapollur and Ljotipollur crater lakes and have a stop at the Frostastadavatn Lake. In calm weather, you can see a mirror-like reflection of the surrounding mountains and strange rock formations in the water.
When we get to Landmannalaugar, we will probably find the landscape snow covered. But, the steep rhyolite mountains and rough lava fields are visible, showing the geothermal activity in hot springs and naturally heated rivers crisscrossing the land at every turn. After the drive you'll be able to relax in the natural geothermally heated pool while your driver-guide prepares dinner with premium Icelandic ingredients. In the evening, the Northern Lights might show up if the sky is clear. Even if they don't, it's wonderful being able to enjoy the peacefulness of the surroundings and watch the extra bright stars this far away from man-made light pollution.
Day 2 - Saturday: Landmannalaugar
You can start your day by bathing in the geothermal pool before breakfast. The mountains encircling the area are mostly made from sour magma that was cooked in the magma chamber of a volcano located by Torfajokull glacier south of Landmannalaugar. The Torfajokull area is the country´s second largest high temperature geothermal area. The sour-magma and the geothermal heat are located within a huge chamber which is the largest of its kind in Iceland.
We plan the day over breakfast, according to snow conditions, weather and your own preferences. You could take a snowmobile tour in the area, hike to the numerous interesting locations nearby, or take a trip with your guide in the modified Super Jeep to the lakes and curious sites in the vicinity. (Or, you can just relax in the hot pool outside and enjoy the glorious landscape.) In the evening, we prepare a delicious barbecue dinner, and you can spend the evening according to your own wishes.
Day 3 - Sunday: the Golden Circle route
After breakfast we leave the tranquillity of Landmannalaugar and head for Hrauneyjar dam where we stop for lunch. From there we drive through Thjorsardalur valley on to the Golden Circle route which takes us first to the majestic Gullfoss - Golden Waterfall. The waterfall is in the icy river Hvita that comes from the glacier lake Hvitarvatn. Most of the water flows from Langjokull glacier, the second biggest glacier in Iceland. Gullfoss waterfall is considered one of the most beautiful in Iceland; it is 32 m high in total and plunges in two stages (11 m and 21 m).
Next we come to Geysir geothermal field which has hundreds of hot springs of all types, most of them with boiling water – and a few of them are geysers. Geysir, one of the most famous hot springs in the world, sometimes known as The Great Geysir, was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first geyser known to Europeans. The English word geyser (a spouting hot spring) derives from the Icelandic "Geysir".
We then head on to Thingvellir, via Laugarvatn village. Due to its enormous historical and cultural significance, Thingvellir is sometimes called the heart of Iceland. Thingvellir, "a protected national shrine for all Icelanders", was declared a national park in 1930. In 2004 Thingvellir was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as a cultural site of outstanding universal value, and for its unique natural environment.
Weather circumstances, snow and road conditions all play a big role on our tour so the travelling time can vary greatly. Estimated time of arrival back to Reykjavik is in the early evening at dinner time.
The lodge is a two-floor building. Downstairs, there’s a spacious sleeping area with bunk beds, a large and spacious kitchen, a cosy sitting area and a mud room. Upstairs, there are three separate sleeping areas. The lodge is heated with geothermal energy all year round and the kitchen is equipped with gas. The house is lit by warm lighting generated by solar energy and there are several sources of pure drinking water just footsteps away from the lodge.
● All Northern Lights tours are subject to favourable weather conditions as well as solar wind activity; therefore, sightings cannot be guaranteed.
● You might like to check the auroral forecast on the Icelandic Met Office site and also find out more about auroral activity.
● Article on the Highlands of Iceland
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