The journey will start from Reykjavik and we will head towards the beautiful Hvalfjordur Fjord. The name “Hvalfjordur” means “Whale Fjord” in Icelandic and the fjord was called that because of the large number of whales in the surrounding waters.
Driving to the Glacier
As we head towards the glacier, we will make a few stops at some awesome locations. The first one is at Sturlureyki, a farm located in a geothermal area. We will also stop by at the hot spring Deildatunguhver as well as the village of Reykholt where we will visit the Snorralaug Bathing Pool.
In 1907 Sturlureyki became the first dwelling in Iceland to use geothermal steam for cooking and heating. Since then, geothermal energy has become very popular and natural steam provided by geothermal facilities in Iceland is used not only by households but also in greenhouses, fish farming and for industrial purposes amongst others.
We continue our trip to the Deildatunguhver hot spring. Deildatunguhver is the most powerful hot spring in Europe with a churn 180 l/sec of 100°C water. Some of the water from it is piped to the nearby towns of Borgarnes and Akranes and used for space heating.
The next stop we’ll make is at the impressive historical site of Reykholt. It was at one time the home of the medieval scholar and author Snorri Sturluson, who lived there from 1206 until his assassination in 1241. Reykholt is also where the medieval bathing pool Snorralaug is located. Snorralaug is the oldest man-made structure in the whole of Iceland, and also one of the oldest pools in the world.
Our journey continues to the stunning Hraunfossar, which constitutes a series of waterfalls that stream across a distance of around 900 meters. Hraunfossar is located in the Hallmundarhraun lava field, which was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption around the year 930. The Hraunfossar waterfalls flow into Hvita River from ledges of less porous rock in the lava.
Barely a stone's throw upstream from Hraunfossar there is another waterfall called Barnafoss, which translates into “Waterfall of the Children”. It was named after an accident which is said to have taken place here in times gone by. It’s safe now, as there is a new bridge built over it which we’ll use to walk over to the Hallmundarhraun lava field.
The Hallmundarhraun lava field was formed around 930 by a giant eruption near the Langjokull glacier. It is very likely that the first viking settlers in the area witnessed the molten lava flow during the formation of the field with its giant lava caves. The Hallmundarhraun lava field is spread over a territory of around 242 sq. kilometers and its volume is about 9 cubic kilometers. It is more than 52 km in length which makes it one of the biggest lava fields on earth. It is formed by several large tubes, some of them bing the longest lava tubes in Iceland.
We will have our lunch in the beautiful area of Husafell which is a lovely wooded lava field, with many summer houses all around. After that we pay a visit to one of the shattered collapsed lava pits of Hallmundarhraun. The lava you’ll see here has more numerous and more sizable shatter rings than anywhere else on earth.
Ice Tunnel & Monster Truck
From Hallmundarhraun we will travel to the Langjokull glacier, one of the largest glaciers on our planet. At the edge of the glacier you will board a giant monster truck that will take you up to the ice cave almost at the summit of the glacier. Here, inside the breathtaking depths of the glacier, you will be transported to another world.
Being inside the ice tunnel is a unique opportunity to follow the formation of a glacier. Snow that has formed into layers over time turns into crusts which are slowly compounded into glacial ice. It just like capturing a freeze frame of Mother Nature’s work. All of this subglacial level winter world is buried deep down inside the immense 953 km2 glacier.
We will explore the elaborate crevasses, tunnels, waterways, moulins (glacier mills) and all that’s between them for about 50 minutes. You will experience first-hand all the different types of ice and snow, as well as the evolution of the glacier by going through it. This is a superb and truly unforgettable experience.
On our way back to Reykjavik, we will see the a snapshot of the best of the Icelandic highlands. The drive will take you through mountains, glacier, black deserts and volcanoes. At the end of the trip our guide will drop you off at your accommodation, and we hope that you would’ve genuinely enjoyed this amazing journey through of historical, cultural and geological importance.
Details about the Return Trip
On our return from the glacier, we will travel along the Kaldidalur Highland Track. The Kaldidalur area is a great example of the beautiful and barren highlands of Iceland; black deserts where the short summers allow only the hardiest vegetation to survive. You will be able to admire the stunning glaciers and mountains in every direction.
On our drive back to Reykjavik our view will enfold the Langjokull and Thorisjokull glaciers, the Geitlandsjokull mountain and the shield volcano “OK”. Once we are closer to Thingvellir National Park we will be able to see the shield volcano Skjaldbreidur formed in a huge eruption 9000 years ago. The Name means “Broad Shield” and the volcano was called that because it really resembles a Viking shield lying on the ground.
Note: The route of this tour varies from one season to another due to road conditions in the highlands. Every season has it´s own points of interest and your guide will inform you of the route we will take on the day of your tour.