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Nature

Aldeyjarfoss

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is considered the most beautiful one in the river Skjalfandafljot. The waterfall is framed with long, natural basaltic columns. It is located in the uppermost regions of the Bardardalur valley, on the Sprengisandur highland route. It is possible to drive almost all the way up to it..

Ánastaðastapi rock formation

A sign "Ánastaðastapi" on road No. 711 indicates the parking area. Cross the stairs at the fence and take a short walk down the hill along a little creek to the shore. Here you find the beautiful sea stack Ánastaðastapi. Please be aware that this place is closed until July due to lambing season.

Arctic Henge

Set in Raufarhöfn, one of the most remote and northernmost villages in Iceland where the Arctic Circle lies just off the coast, the Arctic Henge (Heimskautsgerðið) is under construction. Similar to its ancient predecessor, Stonehenge, the Arctic Henge is like a huge sundial, aiming to capture the sunrays, cast shadows in precise locations and capture the light between aligned gateways.

History

Heimskautsgerðið (The Arctic-Henge) has it s roots in the innovators Erlingur Thoroddsen's speculations about the possibility to use endless vistas, where nothing obstructs the horizon, and the midnight sun. The idea to use the dwarf names from the eddic poem Völuspá (Prophecy of the Seeress) and modernize some aspects of the old world of the Sagas, soon became a part of these speculations. The first version of the idea is from 1998 but in 2004 it was finalized, with allusions to mythology and folklore, designed to interact with the unique natural light. The designer of the project is Haukur Halldórsson.

No one has been able to explain the dwarfs in the Völuspá, apart from Austri (East), Vestri (West), Norðri (North) and Suðri (South), who carry the sky. By connecting the names of the dwarfs to the season, as for example Bjartur (Bright) Blíður (Sweet) and Svásuður (Gengle) to the summer, it is possible to fit the names of the dwarfs to a yearly circle of 72 weeks. The year-circle of the dwarfs becomes a kind of almanac, where each dwarf controls a five day period. All the dwarfs have been given a role and they have all have their own personalities. This means that the dwarfs can be connected to birthdays and people can connect to their personal dwarf.

Around this made up world rises the Heimskautsgerði (Arctic-Henge) on the Melrakkaás (Foxhill) in Raufarhöfn. The Heimskautsgerði is around 50 meters in diameter, with 6 meter high gates that face the main directions. Between the gates is a high wall with a small opening at the top. Inside the circle stands 10 meter high column on four pillars. The column will be topped with cut prism-glass that splits up the sunlight unto the primary colors. The opening between the pillar look towards the main directions, so example the midnight sun can be seen from the south gate through the middle column and the north gate. The play of light and shadow will follow the time of the day. The openings on the wall will let in the sunrays so when the building is completed a sundial can be set up.

Inside the circle are 68 dwarfs who stand around a circular dwarf trail. Inside the trail is the polar star pointer, and does exactly what its name says. There you can also find the throne of the sun that is meant to be a place where the traveler can sit down to have his picture taken. Also a hall of rays, which is a sort of sanctuary between high columns, with one seat, where the guest can empty his mind an renew his energy. An altar of fire and water, reminds us of the power of the elements, where events can be performed, for example weddings, oath-taking and so forth.

More information available at www.arctichenge.com

Getting There

It´s about 130 km from Húsavík, but good roads all the way, so allow 1.5 hrs.
Follow the road 85 northeast out of Húsavík, past Ásbyrgi, taking the 874 road junction east just before Kópasker. Once in Raufarhöfn, you can´t miss the stones, looming impressively on the hill above the town. There is a short track to drive up, or you can walk if you prefer. Here is the route.

Arnarvatnsheiði

"Eagle Lake moors" is a larg green, lake-studded landscape in the highland, south of Húnaflói. The area extends for 80km or so south to the glaciers of Eiriksjokul and Langjokul. It´s a popular trout fishing venue in a wild, lonely nature. 4WD track.

Ásbyrgi canyon

Ásbyrgi is one of the wonders of nature, a well forested horse-shoe shaped canyon in Oxarfjordur. Asbyrgi is a part of Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, within the Vatnajökull National Park. The Jökulsárgljúfur site of the National park reaches from highway 85, by Ásbyrgi south to Dettifoss, covering an area of 120 km2. Informative visitor's centre, shop, golf course and camping site are located by Ásbyrgi.
Many hiking tracks are in the vicinity of Ásbyrgi. Ásbyrgi canyon is part of the Diamond Circle explore the Diamond Circle https://www.northiceland.is/diamondcircle.

Askja

Askja is a 50 km2 caldera in the Dyngjufjoll mountains. The mountains emerged in eruptions under an Ice Age glacier cap. Askja itself was formed, for the most part, at the end of the Ice Age in a major ash eruption which caused the roof of the magma chamber at the heart of the central volcano to subside.

Askja is a part of Vatnajökull National Park.

The caldera contains several volcanoes, including Víti (explosive volcanic crater). Water has accumulated in the crater, its temperature is variable - it is around 30°C on average. Víti is a popular bathing site, but if you intend taking a dip, please be aware that the sloping path is very slippery in wet weather.

The road to Askja goes from road 1 to road 901 and onto mountain road F905. Onward to F910 to Drekagil. On this route there are two fords to cross, usually small. From Drekagil goes mountain road F894 (8 km) to the car park at Vikraborgir.
Another option is to go from road 1 to mountain road F88 via Herðubreiðarlindir to Drekagil. On this road ther are fords on the rivers Grafarlandsá and Lindá that need to be crossed. The fords can be difficult or even impassable for small jeeps.

Bárðarbunga

Bárðarbunga, is a stratovolcano located under Vatnajökull, Iceland's most extensive glacier. The second highest mountain in Iceland, 2,009 metres (6,591 ft) above sea level, Bárðarbunga is also part of a volcanic system that is approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) long and 25 kilometres (16 mi) wide.

Borgarsandur Beach

East of the town Sauðarkrókur lays the beautiful black sand beach with dunes and marram grass. It is easy to park the car at the west end of the beach and take a walk to enjoy the view over Skagafjörður.

Borgarvirki

Borgarvirki is a 10-15 metre high ridge of columnar rock. This phenomenon is a volcanic plug, and there is speculation as to whether it was, in ancient times, a district fortress and even, perhaps, a battleground.
From Borgarvirki there is a wide panoramic view over a large part of the region and a viewfinder is in place to help locate some of the important landmarks.
This is truly a unique natural phenomenon, but one which has also seen some improvements by the hand of man in bygone days.

Botnsvatn Lake

Lake Botnsvatn has an area of 1,05 km². It is an oligotrophic lake situated approximately 130 meters above sea level, just southeast of Húsavík town.

Dalvík Beach

In the harbour of Dalvík, at its southern end, is a little wooden bridge over the rock dam and offers access to a beautiful black sandy beach that invites to take a walk until you reach the delta of the river Svarfaðardalsá. Take a rest in the dunes and observe the rich birdlife.

Dettifoss Waterfall

The Dettifoss waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, 500 cubic meters of water per second plunge over the edge. Dettifoss is 45 m high and 100m wide. A nice hiking trail, 34km, goes along the canyon from Dettifoss to Asbyrgi. Camping is possible in Vesturdalur.

Road 864 goes from road 85 past Dettifoss on the east side towards road 1. This is a gravel road and driving speed depends on road conditions each time. Road 864 is closed during wintertime due to snow or wet conditions (muddy road) and does not open until early summer (end of May).

For the biggest part of it, road 862 on the west side of Dettifoss has been paved but the construction of the road is still ongoing and will be finished in the summer of 2020. The parts that have not been completed are gravel. From May-September, the road is passable for normal vehicles from Asbyrgi to Dettifoss, with Vesturdalur (Hljodaklettar) and Holmatungur between. The conditions of gravel roads in Iceland can vary, so travelers are asked to be aware of road conditions at any time and adjust the driving speed to the conditions.

Road 862 is closed during wintertime, due to snow or wet conditions (muddy road) and does not open until late May or early June. This paved part of the road that goes from Dettifoss and to road no. 1 is not in service from January until the beginning of April. Dettifoss Waterfall is part of the Diamond Circle explore the Diamond Circle https://www.northiceland.is/diamondcircle.

Dimmuborgir

Dimmuborgir or Dark Cities is an area of randomly strewn lava rocks and cliffs, surrounded by vegetation such as low bushes and plants. Dimmuborgir is a place of surprises with its myriad forms and images, small caves and towering volcanic rock, pierced by natural apertures.

The most famous of these formations is the cave "The Church", aptly named for its dome-like ceiling.

It is not only in summer that Dimmuborgir exerts its charm; a winter visit is also an invigorating experience which must include popping in to see the Yule Lads (Santas) who have settled there and made it their home.

Drangey

The rocky island Drangey in the middle of Skagafjordur is a flat topped mass of tuff, rising almost 200 meters out of the ocean. The cliffs serve as nesting sites for around million sea birds and have been used throughout Iceland´s history for egg collection and bird netting.

Grettis Saga recounts that both Grettir and his brother Illugi lived on Drangey, for three years and were slain there. The island can only be ascended at one spot.

Over the summer months, 20.May - 20.August, we offer daily trips to Drangey from Sauðárkrókur at 10:00 am.

There are no scheduled tours during the winter months, but tours can be arranged on request.

Fjallahöfn Beach

The road No.85 leaves the steep cliffs on the east side of Tjörnes peninsula and reaches the flat area of Öxnafjörður. A small parking option left of the road offers the best opportunities to walk to the black sandy beach and enjoy great views along the endless beaches of Öxnafjörður. Please don´t try to access the beach by car!

Fjörður

The peninsula between Eyjafjordur and Skjalfandi Bay is a paradise for hikers. Two 4WD tracks lead to the north of the peninsula, one to Hvalvatnsfjordur and the other to Flateyjardalur. No services, but camping allowed in specific areas.

Flatey Island

Flatey is a beautiful island and an unforgettable experience to visit. You have the feeling time stops here or even goes back in history. Many residents in Húsavík have houses on Flatey, which though uninhabited since 1968, was once a lively village with a church, a schoolhouse, and a lighthouse. Residents slowly left once electricity began to arrive on the mainland. Spread flat, the island is rich in bird fauna, with over 30 different types of bird to watch, including among others Arctic Tern and the Puffins.

Goðafoss waterfall

The Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.

In the year 1000, the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion, Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall. Goðafoss Waterfall is part of the Diamond Circle explore the Diamond Circle

https://www.northiceland.is/diamondcircle.

Grjótagjá

Grjótagjá is a small cave in the Lake Mývatn area, and was a popular bathing place at one time. However, geological activity in the period 1975-1984, caused the temperature of the water to rise to such a degree that it has not been possible to bathe there since. But one can always dream ... a peep into the waters and a fertile imagination can conjure up visions of taking a dip in this cosy little cave, as was the custom in the past.

Hedinsfjordur

Héðinsfjörður is nearly 6 km long deserted northernmost fjord on the Tröllaskagi area. In the fjord is a good lake to catch fish, Héðinsfjarðarvatn, and the outlet from the Héðinsfjarðarós into the fjord. The next settlement to the west is the town Siglufjörður and to the east is Ólafsfjörður.

Into the fjord lays beautiful valley, 5-6 km long. There is a large trout water, 1.7 square miles in size, that splendor the valley, 3 meters above sea level. There is a water trout and large seafish in water, about 1-5 lbs. The fish walks in the late summer.

A lot of wildlife is in the lake. The story says that the fox, who has visited some hunters unafraid and sought for a small fish. This water is not practiced much, yet it has their fans who seek peace and good fishing. Fishing hut is at the northern end of the lake.

Enough entertainment is on Tröllaskagi and nearest area, whether it is winter or summer, for example; skiing, snowmobile, sea angling, golfing, soccer, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, museums and much more.

Herdubreid

Mt. Herdubreid on the Oskjuleið Route is a 1682m high table mountain. It is the national mountain of Iceland and often called the "Queen of Icelandic mountains". There is a hiking trail to the top of the mountain, but due to loose rock it´s difficult and steep.

Hestfall, Hvalsvík rock formations

The gravel road No.870 leads to the peninsula Melrakkaslétta and a short drive north of Kópasker lays a parking area well marked with painted stones. Drop-off your car and take a short walk straight down to the rock formation Hestfall - but be careful as the steep cliff is cut in two pieces by a vertical fissure! On your way back walk to the shore south of the parking and you see the beautiful rocks of Hvalvík in the ocean. Please don´t try to access the beach, the waves are dangerous!

Please note this is a summer destination.

Hljóðaklettar

Hljóðaklettar in the canyon Jökulsárgljúfur is a distinctive cluster of columnar rock formations standing at the entrance to Vesturdalur, down by the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River. The columns lie at all angles and it's an entertaining exercise for one's imagination to interpret their patterns.

The road to Hljóðaklettar (862) is closed over the winter months.

Höfði

Höfði is a rocky promontory which reaches into the waters of Lake Mývatn. The view from here is good, giving a vista of the lake's coves and inlets, besides being an excellent site for bird watching. Kálfastrandarvogur bay laps the shores of Höfði and is famous for its unusual lava formations both off and onshore and these rocky outcrops, named Klasar and Kálfastrandarstrípar, have done much to earn Kálfastrandarvogur and Höfði their reputation for being among the most beautiful areas around Mývatn.

Hólmatungur

Hólmatungur is an expanse of rich vegetation in the Jökulsárgljúfur area, and there are many beautiful columnar rock formations to be found there.

The footpath between Hljóðaklettar and Hólmatungur, alongside Jökulsá á Fjöllum, is among the most beautiful in Iceland. The waters of countless streams bubble up in Hólmatungur, which then tumble over ledges into Jökla. Here you will also find Gloppuhellir cave in Gloppa, which is a very special natural creation.

Hraunahafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi and Rifstangi are the northernmost points of Iceland, at the edge of the arctic circle. Hraunhafnartangi derives its name from the natural harbor which is mentioned in 13th century literature. Þorgeirsdys, a stone mound found on Hraunhafnartangi, is believed the burial mound of Þorgeir Hávarsson who was slain there in an epic 11th century battle chronicled in Fóstbræðrasaga.

Visitors who bring pictures of themselves by Hraunhafnartangi lighthouse can receive a certificate from local service providers of having been to the northernmost point of the Icelandic mainland.

Hringsbjarg cliff

From Hringsbjarg cliff you have a breath-taking view over the mountain range in Öxarfjörður fjord and the black sand beach close by.

This place is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs, breathe in the fresh sea air and enjoy the view and tranquillity.

At Hringsbjarg cliff is an observation deck as well as tables and information signs.

Great birdlife.

Hrútey

Hrútey Island is the real feather in the cap of Blönduós town, which is almost encircled by the river Blanda. Hrútey is blessed with a wide variety of vegetation and birdlife is abundant, being the habitat of geese and many other species. It is easily accessible and lies just off Highway 1.

There is a good parking area by the river bank and a trusty pedestrian bridge over to the island. Hrútey is an excellent place for outdoor exercise, or just to stop and take a break. There are good footpaths and a clearing with benches and picnic tables.

Hveravellir

The "hub" of the Kjolur Route, is a geothermal area of fumaroles, and multicoloured hot pools. There are two mountain huts with kitchen facilities and a nice hot pool just outside the hut.

Hverfjall

Hverfjall has a large, circular explosion crater, about 140 metres deep and with a diameter of 1,000 metres. Hverfjall is one of Iceland's most beautiful and symmetrical explosion craters, besides being one of the largest of its kind in the world. It is estimated that the crater was created during a volcanic explosion and its likely around 2800 - 2900 years old.

Hvítserkur

Hvítserkur is a 15 m-high sea stack just off shore on the eastern side of Vatnsnes. Good seal spotting place at the estuary of the Sigridarstadir lake, south from the stack.

Jokulsargljufur

This dramatic canyon, Jökulsárgljúfur, was formed by the actions of water, fire and ice. Enormous, catastrophic glacial bursts are believed to have carved out the deep ravines and rocky basins, the most famous of which is Ásbyrgi.
The Hljóðaklettar outcrops are the cores of ancient volcanoes, revealed when the river swept away all the loose volcanic material.
The waterfalls on the River Jökulsá á Fjöllum, Selfoss, Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss and Réttarfoss are powerful and impressive.
The Hólmatungur district is an area of contrasts: crystal clear streams and bubbling brooks cross the land before emptying into the raging, chocolate-coloured torrent. A delicate balance of flora and fauna thrives under the protection of cliffs and scree slopes.

Kálfshamarsvík

Kálfshamarsvík is a small cove in the northern part of Skagi, with unusual, beautifully formed sea cliffs of columnar rock, created about 2 million years ago. At the beginning of the 20th century, fishing boats plied the waters and there was a small community of about 100 inhabitants at Kálfshamarsvík. However, by around 1940 the village had become deserted.

Kjarnaskógur woods

Kjarnaskógur Woods

South of Akureyri is one of the towns most popular outdoor area
- the woodland Kjarnaskógur. The recreational area is approx 800
hectars with more than 1.5 million trees, of many species planted within the
last 50 years. The area has diverse selection of trees and along the creek
Brunná one can find a tree sample track. For bird lovers, the area
is rich of birds and by the marshland in the north of the area (by Hundatjörn
in Naustaborgir) there is a bird watching shelter. A campsite is nearby,
Hamrar, with easy access to the forest.

In the forest you find:

* Three playgrounds

* Volleyball courts and outdoor gym


* Grill houses and pick-nick areas for both individuals and groups


* Aprox. 12 km of gravel-tracks for hiking, running and biking, of which 6 km
are lighted during dark hours. Also plenty of forest tracks and other vast
network of back country trails. For more details view the maps further down the
page.


* Restrooms and water fountain


* 4 carparks


* Mountain bike trails are in the woods and are also connected to the mountain
bike trails in Mt. Hlíðarfjall - These combined create the longest mountain
bike trail in Iceland with a total of 21.6 km.


* During winter - the largest organized cross country tracks area (in a
woodland area in Iceland) with around 20 km of groomed trails and 6
km are lighted. The grooming statues can be
viewed here. The colors on
the map indicate the time since they were groomed last (green, orange and pink
are from a couple of hours up to 48 hours, while light blue, dark blue and grey
are from 2 days or up to 14 days or more). Areas for sledding are also groomed
during winter, by the statue of the Einar wood-ranger and below the sun-clock.

How to get there:

Head south from the town along the road no. 823, pass the airport and turn
right by the sign "Kjarnaskogur" and follow the bending road up to
the parking area. Aprox 5 min drive from town center and 30 minutes walk.


It is possible to take bus number 1, 2 or 5 from town square,
Ráðhústorg, and go out at Kjarnagata/Vallatún, by the golf course. From there
is about two km. walk to Kjarnaskógur area.

Contact info:

Skógræktarfélag Eyfirðinga


Sími: (+354) 462 4047


Email: ingi@kjarnaskogur.is


Webpage:
www.skog.is/skograektarfelag-eyfirdinga/

Map of the area: Kjarnaskógur - Easy and shorter walks
https://www.visitakureyri.is/static/files/2012-VISIT/pdf/kjarnasogur-lettleidir-1-.pdf

Kjarnaskógur - All tails - overview map
https://www.visitakureyri.is/static/files/2012-VISIT/pdf/kort-2018-stora-kortid-a-orva-a2.pdf

Hamrar - the campingsite and surrounding
trails

https://www.visitakureyri.is/static/files/2012-VISIT/pdf/kort-2018-hamrar-lett-an-orva.pdf

Naustaborgir - Naturereserve area -
trails

https://www.visitakureyri.is/static/files/2012-VISIT/pdf/kort-2018-naustaborgir-lett-an-orva.pdf

Gönguskíðabrautir - Crosscountrytrails
https://www.visitakureyri.is/static/files/2012-VISIT/pdf/gonguskidi.pdf

Kolugjúfur

As you drive along Víðidalur, you will come to Kolugil Farm which stands beside the Víðidalsá river. Just below the farm, the waters flow peacefully downwards to plunge into the deep, rugged gorge called Kolugljúfur. Their journey then sends them cascading over many waterfalls which bear the name Kolufossar Falls in honour of the giantess, Kola.

It is a breathtaking sight to walk on the the viewing platform and watch the calm waters of the river suddenly leap and tumble onwards over so many impressive falls - a sight which will leave no one unmoved.
Kverkfjoll

The Kverkfjöll mountain range, Iceland's third highest mountain group, is a cluster of peaks formed by a large central volcano on the northern edge of the ice cap.One of Iceland's most active high-temperature geothermal areas is located in the western Kverkfjöll Mountains. Its existence is due to a fault scarp. An area of hot springs 3 km long and nearly 1km wide can be found at an altitude of 1600-1700 m.

More information about the National Park is at the webpage: www.vatnajokullnationalpark.is

Lake Mývatn

Mývatn is the 4th largest lake in Iceland, 37 km2 in area. Its shores are indented with many coves and inlets and its surface is dotted with around 50 small islets and skerries. Midges (Chironomidae) are abundant and the ubiquitous swarms of these tiny flies give the Lake its name.
The lake itself is very shallow, and the rays of the sun reach the lake bed over its entire surface. The ecology of the lake area is extremely diverse and interesting; one important characteristic of Mývatn, being the prolific growth and abundance of freshwater seaweed. On the bed of the lake are great quantities of diatoms, while, nearer the surface, Mývatn's famous arctic char weave their way between aquatic plants and little islets topped with fertile vegetation.

On and around the lake there is a teeming and varied birdlife, and Mývatn is the habitat of many kinds of lake and marsh birds. However, much of Mývatn's fame is due to the fact that, during summer, there are more different species of duck gathered on and around the lake than anywhere else in the world. Mývatn is a legally protected conservation area and appears on the register of internationally important wetlands, along with the Laxá river which flows out of the lake.

Lambanes Beach

The gravel road 869 discovers the peninsula Langanes. A beautiful beach near the farm sign to Ýtra-Lón Guesthouse is one of the rare sandy beaches which are not black in Iceland. A small birding house gives opportunities to observe the rich birdlife. But don´t miss to walk this beautiful beach!

Lambanes beach is a summer destination.

Langanes

Langanes is a narrow peninsula between Þistilfjordur and Bakkafloi shaped like a goose with a very large head. This area is about as wild as coastal Iceland gets, perfect for exploring off the beaten track. A rough road goes to the tip named Fontur. On the north and south of the tip there are steep sea cliffs, Skoruvikurbjarg and Skalavikurbjarg. The Langanes peninsula is know for its rich birdlife, and a very good birdwatching spots where it is possible to watch the Gannet and Brünnichs Guillermot from land.

Laugafell

An oasis in the barren land between the glacier Hofsjokull and Vatnajokull. The site is about 25km to the west of the best known highland route "Sprengisandur". On the north-western slopes of the mountain Laugafell, there are geothermal hot springs bubbling and three mountain huts open in summer, with kitchen facilities and a nice geothermal nature pool outside.

Melrakkasletta peninsula

The "Sléttan", as the Melrakkaslétta is often called, is the
peninsula reaching from Kópasker in the west to Raufarhöfn in
the east. The coastline is indented with creeks and lagoons
and has grassy heathlands and dozens of lakes teeming with
fish. This area offers shelter and is a temporary stopping
place for thousands and thousands of birds that come here for
the summer or rest here for their further flights to the north
or to the south. Seals can also be seen resting on skerries
and whales are spotted off the coast as well as foxes and mink
on the heaths close to rivers and lakes.

The richly varied vegetation has few parallels. No one place attracts the traveller more than some other place. Nature in its entirety
does. A veritable mecca for lowers of nature. This is infact
one of the best places in Iceland to see the midnight sun and
from late August to April the famous northern lights.

Möðrudalur

At an altitude of 469 m, Möðrudalur farm lies higher than any other Icelandic farm. The remarkable, tiny church was built by the farmer himself, Jón Stefánsson, in 1949. The tourist services here operate year-round. Various trails have been marked through the area, which prides itself on wide panoramas and amazing silence. The majestic Mount Herðubreið, looming in the near distance, has long been referred to as the Queen of Icelandic Mountains, but its image was further cultivated in the last century by a self-made painter from Möðrudalur farm, Stefán Jónsson (Stórval).

Mt. Húsavíkurfjall

Húsavíkurfjall is a unique landmark located just behind Húsavik. Measuring 417 mt above sea level.
Easy hike.

Mývatn area

Grjótagjá is a small cave in the Lake Mývatn area, and was a popular bathing place at one time. However, geological activity in the period 1975-1984, caused the temperature of the water in the cave's pool to rise to such a degree that it has not been possible to bathe there since. But one can always dream ... a peep into the waters and a fertile imagination could conjure up visions of taking a dip in this cosy little cave, as was the custom in the past.

Námafjall

At the foothills of this spectacular volcanic mountain is an expanse of hot springs called Hverir that are known for their variety. You will also discover fumaroles, mud pools and mud pots that all seem to be boil with relentless energy. The pass Námaskarð is strategically located at a short distance from the Krafla volcano system as well as other interesting geological spots like Búrfellshraun lava field and the desert Mývatnsöræfi.

Námaskarð earns its notoriety chiefly because of its sulphurous mud springs called solfataras and steam springs called fumaroles. Though you will scarcely find any pure water spring in this wonderful geothermal site of Iceland, the beauty of the colourful minerals defies all comparison. The gigantic size of the mud craters is what makes you go 'wow' at the sight of them.

The other thing that is sure to strike you about Námaskarð is the sheer lack of vegetation. The constant emission of the fumes has made the ground utterly sterile and acidic, unfit to sustain any floras and faunas. You must bear in mind that the fumes can be harmful for humans as well.

Ólafsfjörður Beach

Leave the village of Ólafsfjörður on its north end in direction "Kleifar" and you will reach the beautiful black sandy beach with invites to take a stop and walk the beach. Park your car carefully in a designated parking area or in the village and take a walk.

Raudanes peninsula

Rauðanes peninsula in Þistilfjörður is another example of exceptional natural beauty. There is a marked path which takes you along a circular route of about 7 km of easy walking. Heather moorland is the predominant type of vegetation, although there is also a fair amount of grassland. At the start of the walk, you will pass Háabjarg, a rocky outcrop 60 metres in height, whose layers of rock, built up over the centuries, are easily apparent. The extensive views from the peninsula are not to be missed.

Reykjafoss

Reykjafoss waterfall is one of Skagafjörður's hidden treasures. It is the most beautiful waterfalls in Skagafjörður, located about 7 km from Varmahlíð at Vindheimamelar, along road 752.

Directions to Reykjafoss:

Reykjafoss is located about 7 kilometers south east of Varmahlíð. Off road nr. 1 turn to road nr. 752 and then turn to road nr. 753. Cross the bridge, then turn right and reach a small parking lot. Reykjafoss is about 5-minute walk from the parking lot.

Skútustaðagígar

Skútustaðagígar pseudo craters were formed by gas explosions, when boiling lava flowed over the wetlands. The craters are a popular site for birdwatchers and are protected as a natural wetland conservation area.

Spakanufellshofdi headland

Spákonufellshöfði headland is popular among those interested in walking and other outdoor recreations, and is a short way from the harbour in Skagaströnd.

Marked footpaths have been laid out and signboards erected telling the visitor about the area's flora and fauna. On a bright, clear summer evening, one can witness the setting of the midnight sun as it dips to touch the horizon in the north. Indeed, the inhabitants of the area make use of the headland all year round and enjoy all that it has to offer.

Spakonufell

Spákonufell is an impressive and dignified mountain towering above Skagaströnd and is looked upon as a kind of emblem of the village. It is frequented in all seasons by those who want to indulge in a variety of outdoor activities.

In summer, there is a choice of good walking and hiking trails, and many highly valued places of interest. And when winter lays an icy hold on the slopes, the townspeople change over to cross-country skiing - making their way round and, in some cases, up the mountain. Booklets about walks on and around Spákonufell and Spákonufellshöfði have been published in Icelandic, English and German, and these can be obtained in many places within the town itself, as well as in tourist information bureaux all over the north of Iceland. They also contain excellent photographs, detailed maps and other items of interest and information.

Staðarbjargarvík

Not to be missed on the coast just below Hofsós are the amazing basalt formations at Staðarbjargavík. It is said to have been the capital of the Skagafjörður elf population. Good access to the area is from just below The Hofsós Swimming Pool.

Stórikarl

Langanes is a veritable outdoor paradise teeming with birdlife, great for nature study and hiking.

Skoruvíkurbjarg, located mid-way out on its northern shore, is a great place to view and photograph sea birds such as auks. A viewing platform extending some 10m out from the cliff offers a close range view of a colony of the magnificent Northern Gannets on the sea stack Stórikarl. It´s Iceland's second largest Gannet colony, while nearby are colonies of auks, including guillemots and puffins in the bird-filled cliffs at Skoruvíkurbjarg.

The Gannet is the largest seabird in the North Atlantic and has earned the nickname Queen of the Atlantic.

Langanes peninsula is a treat for birdwatchers.

Svalbarð Beach

A sign "Svalbarð" on the gravel road 711 indicates the beach that offers a good opportunity to observe seals. Please respect wildlife and keep a distance from the animals!

Tjörnes

Tjörnes is a stubby peninsula between Skjalfandi and Oxarfjord. Layers of fossil shells and lignite can be found on the coastal cliffs down from Ytri-Tunga farm on the western side of Tjornes. Colonies of puffins and other sea birds nest on the cliffs along the eastern coast.

Trollaskagi

Tröllaskagi is a rugged peninsula, which lies between Skagafjordur and Eyjafjordur. It´s a maze of mountains, rivers and number of miniature glaciers. Ideal hiking country, maps available.

Vatnajökull National Park - north part

Vatnajökull National Park is vast in size and covers more than 13% of Iceland. Despite a large part of the national park being underneath the icecap of the glacier Vatnajökull its landscape is diverse, predominantly due to the interplay of volcanic activity and glaciers.

Jökulsárgljúfur is an area that takes its name from a canyon carved out by river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Within this area is Ásbyrgi; surrounded by horseshoe-shaped cliffs and also the location of Ásbyrgi visitor centre and a large camp site. Also within Jökulsárgljúfur are waterfall Dettifoss and crater plugs Hljóðaklettar, both a must see for every visitor in the north.

Central volcano Askja and highland oasis Herðubreiðarlindir are further up in the highlands. To get there requires a 4x4 transport. They are best accessed by road 901 and then F905. Two small fords need to be crossed on this way. Alternative route is through road F88 but then two fords that need extreme caution need to be crossed.
More information about the National park is at the webpage: www.vatnajokullnationalpark.is

Vatnsdalshólar

Vatnsdalshólar are a cluster of hills of all sizes across the mouth of Vatnsdalur valley. Thought to have been formed by a catastrophic landslide. These hills are considered to be one of the three "innumerables" things in Iceland along with the lakes in Arnarvatnsheidi and the islands on Breidarfjord in the west.

Vatnsnes

Vatnsnes is an area of varied animal life, and it is here that we find the largest and most accessible seal sanctuary in Iceland, where the common seal (Phoca vitulina) can be seen at quite close range. Facilities for seal watching can also be found at Illugastaðir, Svalbarð and Ósar, but please note that the Hindisvík station has now closed.

The area offers a beautiful environment endowed with many pearls of nature such as Hvítserkur and Borgarvirki, as well as some famous historical trails and sites.

The ring road round Vatnsnes is about 90 km and is mostly dirt road, passable all year round.

Víti

Víti is a huge explosion crater, about 300 metres in diameter. The crater was formed during a massive volcanic eruption at the start of the famous Mývatn Fires in 1724. The eruption continued more or less non-stop for 5 years and Víti's bubbling cauldron of mud boiled for more than a century after that. Víti is situated near Krafla and there is a tarmacked road leading up to it from highway 1.

North Iceland

Towns & Villages

Society and the economy have many faces. Whereas agriculture is the mainstay of rural areas, the towns depend upon fishing, industry, trade and a range of services, with each village having its own characteristics though they all prove hospitable hosts. 
The availability of food and accommodation and the possibilities at every location for recreation and entertainment make hopping between the villages informative as well as fun.   
In every case, the residents are lively and ready to celebrate.

Explore map with pictures

Map Akureyri Hrafnagil Grímsey Raufarhöfn Kópasker Þórshöfn Bakkafjörður Húsavík Mývatn Laugar Svalbarðseyri Grenivík Hjalteyri Hauganes Árskógssandur Dalvík Hrísey Ólafsfjörður Siglufjörður Hofsós Hólar Varmahlíð Sauðárkrókur Skagaströnd Blöndós Hvammstangi Laugarbakki Borðeyri