You know it’s windy when the asphalt blows away
Iceland is a windy place. On a normal day, hats and umbrellas blow away. On windy days people fall over and on properly windy days the roads blow away. My friend Stefán Jóhannes took this photo of the road being torn up by the wind in Skaftafell. He had a van full of tourists, headed for the glacier, stopped to snap this photo and then the windshield blew out. Oddly enough there was almost no wind at the glacier, only a couple of kilometers away (glacier tongue in the middle of the picture).
This area is actually known for extreme wind and sandstorms. The local rescue team has an old German riot vehicle to batter against the wind in the worst conditions. The ten tonne bulletproof truck is the only thing that can power through on the most windy days in the area.

You know it’s windy when the asphalt blows away

Iceland is a windy place. On a normal day, hats and umbrellas blow away. On windy days people fall over and on properly windy days the roads blow away. My friend Stefán Jóhannes took this photo of the road being torn up by the wind in Skaftafell. He had a van full of tourists, headed for the glacier, stopped to snap this photo and then the windshield blew out. Oddly enough there was almost no wind at the glacier, only a couple of kilometers away (glacier tongue in the middle of the picture).

German riot vehicle used for windy days in SkaftafellThis area is actually known for extreme wind and sandstorms. The local rescue team has an old German riot vehicle to batter against the wind in the worst conditions. The ten tonne bulletproof truck is the only thing that can power through on the most windy days in the area.

A couple of fixie riding, sneaker wearing hipsters visited Iceland and made this cool video.

Waterfalls: Gullfoss, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Goðafoss, Dettifoss, waterfalls Lakahraun lava fieldMývatn lake, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoonSnæfellsnes peninsula, Geysir geothermal area, Krafla geothermal area, Blue Lagoon, Kjós farm area and Skaftafellsjökull glacier.

(Source: donbell)

Iceland’s Svartifoss National Geographic’s photo of the week
The Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland is one of Iceland’s iconic postcard images. Currently this Svartifoss photo by Giacomo Ciangottini (who has many more great Iceland photos) is NG’s photo of the week.
It is very easy for you to get to Svartifoss and take your own picture. The waterfall is only a 40 minute hike between two glaciers from the service center in Skaftafell (right here to be precise). It is one of the must sees in Skaftafell and Skaftafell is one of the must visit areas in Iceland.
You can find basalt column formations such as this all over Iceland.

Iceland’s Svartifoss National Geographic’s photo of the week

The Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland is one of Iceland’s iconic postcard images. Currently this Svartifoss photo by Giacomo Ciangottini (who has many more great Iceland photos) is NG’s photo of the week.

It is very easy for you to get to Svartifoss and take your own picture. The waterfall is only a 40 minute hike between two glaciers from the service center in Skaftafell (right here to be precise). It is one of the must sees in Skaftafell and Skaftafell is one of the must visit areas in Iceland.

You can find basalt column formations such as this all over Iceland.

Anonymous said: I will be traveling to Iceland in June 2012. I will have about a week and a half in the country, and hope to do some day hikes and at least one backpacking trip. I am considering the Laugavegruinn trail, but am open to suggestions. I also plan to do some day hiking. Do you have any recommendations, either for backpacking destinations or day hikes in Iceland? If you could not see it all, and had to choose just one or two parts of the country to spend time, where would you choose? Thank you!

Laugavegurinn hiking routeLaugavegurinn is the most popular trek in Iceland. Here’s a previous post I wrote about Laugavegurinn. Around 10.000 people do the hike each summer. The reason for its popularity apart from the amazing and ever changing landscape is its accessibility. There is a reasonably well marked trail the whole way (still, bring a map, compass and gps) and there are several huts along the way and scheduled buses go to both ends of the trail. Although there are countless other great hikes available, there aren’t any this long with such accessibility. So if you are looking for a 3-5 day hike and you don’t have the experience to navigate unmarked land, then I wouldn’t recommend many other hikes.

ÞórsmörkFor day hikes, you have many more options. If you don’t do the Laugavegur trek, then you should at least do the Fimmvörðuháls trek between the Þórsmörk valley and Skógar and look at the new volcano from 2010. This trek can be done in one day or you can stay in the hut at the top. Once you are in Þórsmörk you also have dozens of wonderful day hikes to choose from.

If you are willing to head off into the highlands, either in a rental 4x4 (one big river crossing) or by taking the bus, you can go to Kerlingarfjöll. This volcanic mountain range has a bunch of great day hikes in valleys full of geothermal steam and glacial ice. The place has a serviced camp site and accommodation but almost no people.

Þumall peak in SkaftafellSkaftafell is the Mecca of hiking in Iceland. The park offers countless trails for day hikes and lots of possibilities for longer hikes along unmarked trails for the more experienced. Along with Þórsmörk it is also my favorite place in the country and the place where I sometimes work.

You could also take a look at guided backpacking tours or get inspirations for your own tours (if you have serious experience).

Other locations with lots of day hikes would include Ásbyrgi, Kverkfjöll, Askja and Herðubreiðarlindir, Mývatn and Borgarfjörður Eystri.

Iceland features in commercial for flickr sessions. Pretty cool social media ad for a feature I don’t really think will be a hit. However since it involves my favorite things, Iceland and glaciers, I’ll post it here. A lot of the pictures are from a trip on the Svínafellsjökull glacier and I see a glimpse of my friend guiding the tour. You can see a promo video I once made for the same tour.

20°C (68°F) in Iceland
An unusually warm day in Skaftafell, part of Vatnajökull National Park, made the headlines today. A strong Foehn wind from the Öræfajökull glacier raised the temperatures for a part of the day. Soon after the wind ended, temperatures dropped back down to 11°C.

20°C (68°F) in Iceland

An unusually warm day in Skaftafell, part of Vatnajökull National Park, made the headlines today. A strong Foehn wind from the Öræfajökull glacier raised the temperatures for a part of the day. Soon after the wind ended, temperatures dropped back down to 11°C.

Fun to reblog a good friend. This is Siggi chopping steps while guiding on the Svínafellsjökull glacier. Best job in the world by the way. Great view from the “office”. When passing by in Skaftafell, be sure to take a trip on the glacier.
myicelandic:

Our ”private” guide, Siggi for Glacier Walking

Fun to reblog a good friend. This is Siggi chopping steps while guiding on the Svínafellsjökull glacier. Best job in the world by the way. Great view from the “office”. When passing by in Skaftafell, be sure to take a trip on the glacier.

myicelandic:

Our ”private” guide, Siggi for Glacier Walking

BON IVER “Holocene”

Beautiful shortfilm by Nabil Elderkin. All of the scenes are filmed in Iceland. I’ll help you figure out where the locations are if you are interested. Young Hilke wakes up in a traditional Icelandic turfhouse. Notice how short the beds are. That’s because we were smaller a century ago. He puts on classic rubber shoes and an Icelandic wool sweater. He then walks out on the Skeiðarársandur sand and towards the Skeiðarárjökull glacier close to Skaftafell. The lava field is probably Lakahraun close to the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur as well as the grassy shot. He then walks through a mountain valley, probably the Dómadalur valley between the Hekla mountain and Landmannalaugar hot springs. The rocky moss slope could be just about anywhere. The hilly landscape in which he can “see for miles” is tough, but probably somewhere in the Fjallabak area. He then skips stones in between ice bergs on the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in front of the expansive Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, part of the Vatnajökull glacier. He then admires the Svartifoss waterfall which falls off of the basalt columns up on the Skaftafellsheiði plateau in the Skaftafell National Park. He then plays around a lake which I’m pretty sure is the lake you see just before arriving in Landmannalaugar. He then hikes along a moraine at the edge of the Svínafellsjökull glacier (my glacier) in Skaftafell. He stays in Skaftafell a little longer and admires the views over Skeiðarársandur from a spot in between the trees by the Bölti guesthouse. He then walks around the Sólheimasandur sand just south of the Sólheimajökull glacier (my other glacier) and plays with the Skúmur (Arctic Skua). The beautiful basalt columns that he climbs on are at the beach on the western side of the Reynisfjall mountain in Reynishverfi, close to the town of Vík. That beach also gives him a sunset view of Dyrhólaey, the mountain/island with the big hole through it. Finally he falls asleep, the end.

Heading to the Vatnajökull!

I spent my day walking around on top of the Vatnajökull glacier today, so thanks look look for this submission.

Hey I know that crevasse! Taken on the Blue Ice Experience tour in Skaftafell.

Hey I know that crevasse! Taken on the Blue Ice Experience tour in Skaftafell.

(Source: cosmicfriendsforever)

An ice cave in Skaftafell by Christian Klepp. Going into an ice cave such as this can be risky so unless you are knowledgeable of ice caves don’t go inside. However these caves have magnificent colors and the ice can be so pure. As this is heavily compressed ice that the sun has never touched you can take a flash light and shine it into the ice. You will then see your beam of light reaching far into the blue colored ice.

An ice cave in Skaftafell by Christian Klepp. Going into an ice cave such as this can be risky so unless you are knowledgeable of ice caves don’t go inside. However these caves have magnificent colors and the ice can be so pure. As this is heavily compressed ice that the sun has never touched you can take a flash light and shine it into the ice. You will then see your beam of light reaching far into the blue colored ice.

(Source: ourfacessplitthecoast)

A video of travels around Iceland and what appears to be the making of the famous Eyjafjallajökull eruption video.

(via alisondelaney-deactivated201103)

Batman Begins - Iceland part

The training scene in the movie Batman Begins was filmed on the Svínafellsjökull Glacier in Iceland. The shot is filmed precisely where Icelandic Mountainguides Blue Ice Experience Tour begins.

I mentioned Þumall in my last post. It is a peak shaped like a thumb in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park and is an interesting climbing route. This picture is taken by Guðmundur Tómasson on a tour to nearby Miðfellstindur. You can check out more great pictures from the same tour. The text is in Icelandic but the pictures tell the story.

I mentioned Þumall in my last post. It is a peak shaped like a thumb in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park and is an interesting climbing route. This picture is taken by Guðmundur Tómasson on a tour to nearby Miðfellstindur. You can check out more great pictures from the same tour. The text is in Icelandic but the pictures tell the story.

Don’t you just love how Iceland can have all these differently colored rocks in one place? This is Skaftafellsfjöll in the Skaftafell area of Skaftafell National Park. The little peak that looks like a thumb is named Þumall (Thumb) and is one of the most interesting rock climbs in Iceland.
This picture is taken on the route between Núpstaðaskógar and Skaftafell. The picture is taken by Jón Gauti Jónsson.

Don’t you just love how Iceland can have all these differently colored rocks in one place? This is Skaftafellsfjöll in the Skaftafell area of Skaftafell National Park. The little peak that looks like a thumb is named Þumall (Thumb) and is one of the most interesting rock climbs in Iceland.

This picture is taken on the route between Núpstaðaskógar and Skaftafell. The picture is taken by Jón Gauti Jónsson.