February 1, 2021 - Southcoast Adventure

February

There has never been a better time to travel to and around Iceland than right now.  In the last few years, many different opportunities have become available for travellers.

Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world. We have a really strong infrastructure and we’re proud of having established the first parliament in the world.

Gender equality is better in Iceland than anywhere else in the world. We Icelanders are somehow all related and we speak a rather rare and unique language. 

One of the reasons the landscape in Iceland is so raw and beautiful is because it is relatively untouched by human interference. From a geological standpoint, Iceland is a young country in the midst of its own creation.

Many of Iceland’s natural wonders are easily accessible and yet virtually untouched by humans. Route 1, or the Ring Road, runs around the island and is within reach of many of these sites.

The population in Iceland is around 365,000 people. Like many sparsely populated countries, most people live in towns and cities. Iceland has the lowest population density of all European countries.

Unlike water in most countries, Icelandic tap water is free of chlorine, calcium and nitrate and is regularly monitored and tested for high quality results. Our tap water is therefore the cleanest and purest water you can get. It also tastes extremely fresh and delicious. You can drink as much of it as you want and all for free! We are fortunate to drink as much as we like of our pure cold water straight from the tap, and our air is clean and crisp. 

With the clean water comes a number of creative microbreweries. The brewery community in Iceland is in constant growth. Give or take 35 breweries produce world-famous and award-winning beer with pure Icelandic water, which adds a subtle yet distinctive flavor to local brews.

Thorrablot

Thorrablot was a sacrificial midwinter festival offered to the gods in pagan Iceland of the past. It was abolished during the Christianization of Iceland, but resurrected in the 19th century as a midwinter celebration that continues to be celebrated to this day. The timing for the festival coincides with the month of Thorri, according to the old Icelandic calendar, which begins on the first Friday after January 19th (the 13th week of winter). 

Origins of the name “Thorri” are unclear but it is most likely derived from Norwegian king Thorri Snærsson, or Thor the God of Thunder in the old Nordic religion.

On this occasion, locals come together to eat, drink and be merry. Customarily, the menu consists of unusual culinary delicacies, known as traditional Icelandic food. These will include rotten shark’s meat (hákarl), boiled sheep’s head, (svið) and congealed sheep’s blood wrapped in a ram’s stomach (blóðmör)! This is traditionally washed down with some Brennivin – also known as Black Death – a potent schnapps made from potato and caraway.

After the Thorrablot dinner traditional songs, games and story telling are accompanied by dancing and in true Icelandic style continues until the early hours of the morning! If you fail to receive a personal invitation to a family feast, local restaurants will often add Thorrablot colour and taste to their menus.

Picture fromThorrablot.is

Discover this country with our list of the best things to do in Iceland. From walks on black beaches to hikes on Europe’s largest glaciers, this is your ultimate checklist

Here below are some great suggestions of our tours.

Laugavegur photography/Fjallabak tour

Capture the Colours – Laugavegur Fjallabak Super Jeep Tour –

Are you looking for an invigorating Super Jeep drive in the vast highlands of Iceland? 

Do you want to discover Iceland’s magnificent highland nature with a local guide leading you to the highlands most scenic spots? 

We’ll start our Super Jeep Highland tour by driving towards the legendary Hekla volcano or as sometimes called; “The Gateway to Hell”! From there we’ll continue onwards through Dómadalur valley, which leads us to Frostastaðavatn and Ljótipollur lakes. Only a few minutes away is one of our most picturesque stops, Landmannalaugar. This area is one of Iceland’s most reserved gems with its colourful rhyolite mountains and its geothermal bathing pool bordered by steep black lava fields.

After a good stop we jump back into our super jeep and head to the famous Laugavegur trail. We’ll drive down Reykjadalir valley with its interesting geothermal area. Now we start seeing the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers emerge. This is a stunning view that you don´t want to miss! As we get closer to Road 1 we see yet another change in the landscape, big ice caps come into view as we arrive at Emstrur hut. These magnificent ice sheets make the perfect panoramic shot! 

Þórsmörk & Eyafjallajökull super jeep tour

This tour combines our two best sellers; the Þórmörk and the Eyjafjallajökull Super Jeep tours. 

Enjoy an exciting Super Jeep drive up the infamous glacier; Eyjafjallajökull! We closely observe the volcanic glacier and enjoy breathtaking views over the south coast of Iceland. 

…There’s just something about riding a big truck on an active volcano..!

When down from the glacier we continue our journey crossing various glacial rivers into Þórsmörk valley. Þórsmörk offers some of Iceland’s best hiking trails with it’s beautiful landscape and mighty mountain ridges. We drive deep into Þórsmörk, stopping at various opportunities to snap photos, enjoy a short hike or just to appreciate the grand view.

On this tour we invite you for a lunch at the Volcano Huts, located in Húsadalur valley. The Volcano Huts is famous for it’s cozy atmosphere, great food and friendly staff.

**Lunch is included**

Explore the wonders of Eyjafjallajökull from above and below and experience Icelandic nature up close, in one of Iceland’s most exquisite valley. If you’re looking for a combination of snow and preserved Icelandic nature, then this is the perfect tour for you!


– Tour highlights –
Eyjafjallajökull glacier
Þórsmörk valley
Gígjökull glacier
Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Mýrdalsjökull ( Katla volcano )
South coast and Vestmannaeyjar view

Laugavegur hiking tour-3 days

The best way to experience nature is by mans most original way of travel – by foot.

Our Laugavegur hiking tour is an all inclusive 3 days (2 nights) guided tour, through one of Europe’s most exciting and fascinating landscapes. Full board, overnight stay in the mountain huts, an experienced Icelandic trekking guide, along with transportation of luggage – which means you only have to carry what you need for each day.

The hike starts at Landmannalaugar, an area of colorful mountains tinted by rhyolite minerals, and it ends in Þórsmörk, a fascinating destination with a series of deep valleys, crisscrossed by numerous fast flowing rivers and glaciers on three sides.

Description

Day 1: Gljúfrabúi base – Landmannalaugar – Álftavatn 

We start our day early from Gljúfrabúi base and head straight to Landmannalaugar and set out on our hike as soon as we get there. Through the geothermal landscape we set our aim for Álftavatn, on the way we’ll pass Hrafntinnusker the obsidian desert where the place takes its name after. From there we head on towards our overnight stay, Álftavatn Lake, passing Mt. Reykjafjöll and the picturesque Jökultungur (glacier tongue) area. 

This is a long and demanding day, but filled with exciting highland adventure.


Gljúfrabúi base – Landmannalaugar: Driving time 2- 3 hours

Landmannalaugar – Álftavatn: Distance: 24km (15mi). Walking time: 7- 9 hours. Ascent: 470m (1540´). Descent: 490m (1610´).

Meals included: Lunch, refreshments and dinner.

Day 2: Álftavatn – Emstur

We leave the hut after a decent breakfast and a worthy night’s rest. We continue on the Laugavegur trail heading towards Emstur. This part of the trail is easier than the day before and it will take us through black sand deserts with fantastic contrast mountains, like Stórasúla and Hattfell. We then reach the hut in Emstrur (Botnar) where the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull lie extended before us. 
When dinner is finished, there is an optional evening hike towards the magnificent 200 meter canyon, Markarfljótsgljúfur. An evening hike that you don´t want to miss!

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, refreshments and dinner

Álftavatn – Emstur: Distance: 15km (9.5 mi). Walking time: 5-6 hrs. Descent: 40 m (130′).

Day 3: Emstrur – Þórsmörk – Seljalandsfoss / Gljúfrabúi base 

Iceland Is Europe’s Only Country Classified as Green

Iceland is the only country in Europe with a green status when in comes to COVID-19, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), mbl.is reports.

Based on the combined indicator – a 14-day notification rate, testing rate and test positive rate – updated yesterday, Iceland is the only country in Europe classified as green, but the islands of Greece are green as well.

We are eagerly looking forward to brighter times and a continued good working relationship. If you have any questions regarding the situation in Iceland or want to start planning your trip to Iceland  2021, you can get in touch today. Our team of local guides cannot wait to show you our country’s unforgettable natural beauty and adventures.

Southcoast Adventure Team