Uncategorized Archives - Southcoast Adventure

April

Volcanic eruption in Iceland!

It finally happened!

On Friday, the 19th of March 2021, a volcanic eruption began in the Reykjanes Peninsula, just a short drive from Reykjavík city. It’s the first time in almost 800 years we’ve had an eruption in this area. You’ve likely seen it in the news.  We have more than our fair share of volcanoes in this spectacular country of ours.  It is not hard to see why it is referred to as the land of fire and ice.

The country’s numerous stunning glaciers are where the ice part is derived from, but the fire, quite literally, comes from the many spectacular volcanoes which are dotted around the country.

Visitors flock from across the globe to see these mighty and ancient naturally occurring structures. While people generally think about hot boiling lava spewing from a gigantic mountain when they think of the word ‘volcano’, not all of Iceland’s volcanoes are active (meaning they aren’t going to erupt any time soon – fortunately for us!). In fact, there are many different kinds of volcanoes to see in Iceland, each of which offers its own unique experience.

Picture from Janeks

Sometimes known as “the volcano that caused all the trouble”, Eyjafjallajökull became , (or is that infamous?) in 2010 when a series of powerful eruptions caused absolute chaos, both in the local area and much further afield.

Intense heat generated by the volcanic activity caused the glacier at the top of Eyjafjallajökull to melt. This, in turn, created meltwater which powered through nearby rivers and led to the evacuation of 800 local people. Eyjafjallajökull also managed to spew enough volcanic ash into the air to have a huge area of important European airspace to be closed for over a week. This meant that many inter-European and trans-Atlantic flights were shut down and 5 million travelers were stranded!

Lava types of this Volcanic Eruption

Both types of basaltic lava flow are present in the lava field. These are pahoehoe and a’a lava. Pahoehoe lava has a smooth or ropey surface and is formed by slow effusion of fluid lava. A thin skin forms almost immediately on the surface which is wrinkled and bunched into a ropey texture as the molten lava continues to flow underneath. The flow is slow enough that it does not break up the crust. Pahoehoe lava flows tend to be thin (up to a few 10s of centimeters) and consist of many overlapping thin lava flows. 

A’a lava is formed where the effusion and flow rates of lava are higher. The brittle lava crust becomes fragmented and broken as lava flows beneath, resulting in a rubbly, roughappearance. As the lava front advances, the blocks are rolled along and tumble off the steep front of the lava flow and are then buried as the lava advances further. This produces a thick (up to 10 meters) lava flow, with a rubbly top and bottom. The rubbly top allows the interior of the flow to remain molten and continue to advance.

Picture from Janeks

Can you visit Iceland? Yes. From April 6, 2021, all travelers – regardless of origin – are welcome to visit Iceland if they can show either:

Is there arrival testing and quarantine? Yes. If you hold an appropriate certificate, you are required to undergo one COVID-19 test upon arrival. The test is free of charge. You must wait for the result of this test (usually received within 5-6 hours but may take up to 24 hours) at your accommodation. You do not need to quarantine for 5-6 days and take a second test. Note: this testing requirement is temporary and will be reviewed by May 1.

Read the official government announcement for vaccinated and previously infected travelers to visit.

Passengers not vaccinated against COVID-19 and not previously infected

Can you visit Iceland? All visitors holding a passport (or valid residency) from EU/EFTA countries are welcome to visit Iceland. There are restrictions for other nationalities, including travelers from the UK, US and Canada. See Who can visit Iceland? below for more detailed information.

Do you need a PCR test? Yes. You require a negative PCR test before boarding an aircraft to Iceland, taken within 72 hours of departure. See information under Do I need a negative COVID-19 test to board a flight to Iceland?

Is there arrival testing and quarantine? Yes. Arriving passengers must undergo double screening and 5-6 days quarantine between tests. People are allowed to quarantine at their home or at suitable accommodation if certain requirements are fulfilled. Those who cannot quarantine at home and/or prefer to stay at a quarantine facility may stay there without charge. See information under Do I need to have a COVID-19 test when I enter Iceland? and Do I need to go into quarantine when I enter Iceland?

Picture from Jallen

An overview of some of the incredible tours that we are offering:

Reykjanes Super Jeep Tour with hike to Geldingadalir active volcano
Description
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Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime experience to hike up to Geldingadalir to see an active volcanic eruption. This truly is an experience that you will never forget!
The driver/ guide will drive the group to the beginning of the hiking route towards the volcano in Geldingadalur. The hike begins here and takes approximately 1.5-2 hours each way. The trail is conveniently marked. Roughly 4-5 hours will be spent hiking to and from the volcano as well as ample time to look, explore and take selfies of a lifetime!

The next 5 – 6 hours will be spent exploring all of the other exciting and fascinating aspects of this stunning region of south west Iceland.


The Reykjanes Peninsula provides the perfect combination of excitement and relaxation with an excellent choice of adventurous activities.

Here you will discover a beautiful landscape with volcanic and geothermal wonders and a surf-pounded coast with one of the best sunsets in Iceland. This rugged peninsula of raw natural beauty holds several of the top cultural and recreational attractions, including the world-famous Blue Lagoon.

Geldingadalur’s 2021 Eruption

The Reykjanes Peninsula, in south-west Iceland, is a volcanic area, renowned for its mountains, craters, hot springs, and lava fields. The eruption at Geldingadalur, however, is the first in the region for 800 years.

On March 19th 2021, at 21.30, a 700-meter fissure opened within Fagradalsfjall, the lava flow covered around a square kilometer. However, aside from its release of poisonous gases, it was clear that the volcano would pose little threat to life and infrastructure, as it was occurring in a sheltered valley away from any settlements and had a gentle, effusive flow.

The Reykjanes Peninsula tour allows you to experience the beauty of the south-western part of Iceland in a private vehicle with your own driver-guide. The tour starts with a pickup at your accommodation in Hvolsvöllur area or in Reykjavík. From there we head south towards the Reykjanes Peninsula which is renowned for unearthly landscapes and interesting exhibits.

Highlights:
Seltún
Lake Kleifarvatn
Gunnuhver geyser
Brimketill Lava Pool
Grindavik Fishing Village
Reykjanes
Krísuvík
Bridge between continents


We will stop at Grindavík for lunch.

This active volcano tour at Fagradalsfjall is something you will never forget!

Picture from Janeks

Laugavegur- Highland-Fjallabak Tour

Description

-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? 

Then this is the tour for you! Our main focus is on giving you the time you need by visiting various locations leaving you with a diverse range of stunning sightseeing from the highlands of Iceland.

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! 

As our journey draws to an end, let’s hope we still have some space left on our memory cards as we take our final pictures of Eyjafjallajökull and Þórsmörk valley as seen from the west side of Markarfljótsgljúfur. 


Note: The F roads will lead us directly through the Laugavegur trail itself and in parts a few miles away from it. 

— Tour highlights —
Super jeep
Hekla volcano
Dómadalur
Ljótipollur
Frostastaðavatn
Landmannalaugar
Reykjadalir
Álftavatn
Mælifellssandur
Markarfljót
Emstrur
Eyjafjallajökull glacier
Mýrdalsjökull glacier ( Katla volcano )
Þórsmörk
Tindfjallajökull glacier
and more…

Picture from Janeks

Vestmanneyjar Day Tour- The Wstmann Island

Description

Vestmannaeyjar – The Westman Islands

Vestmannaeyjar are magical and are known for many interesting things. The exciting story of the very first settlers, an Algiers pirate attack, a birth of a new island, a volcanic eruption, and a rebirth from the ashes, a friendly fishermen village which is full of both history and scenic wonders!

Our Westman Island tour allows you to experience the beautiful archipelago, that is located in the south coast of Iceland with a population of approx. 4.300 people.

We will meet you at our Meeting point at Gljúfrabúi, road 249 or pick you up in nearby accommodation.
Drive towards the harbour where the ferry will take us to the beautiful island, (25 minutes)

When we get to the island, you will be taken on a one hour small island tour on rib boats. Rib Safari offers amazing trips on a rib speedboat. You will enjoy riding fast on the waves with stops in between checking out some sea caves, some of which can only be entered by rib boat. During the stops you will hear stories about the islands, their nature and history.

After the rib safari tour, we will go to a local restaurant and have a delicious meal (not included in price). Next you will take a easy hike up the famous Eldfell as well as some sightseeing on the island. Along with this will be a visit to the great Eldheimar museum, an excellent exhibition depicting the story of the eruption on Heimaey in 1973 and how it affected the residents on the island. You also be told the story of Surtsey, an island south of Vestmannaeyjar that formed after an underwater eruption in 1963, making it the youngest land in Europe. 

Experince beautiful nature, great food, scenic easy hike, museum and boat tour. A day filled with all kinds of mixed adventure.

Tour highlights:
Vestmannaeyjabær
Eldfell Volcano
Eldheimar Volcano 
Museum
Rib Safari boat tour.
Might be lucky and discover Scenic walking tour through the puffin nesting area Stórhöfði.

Some Fun Facts About the Westman Islands
The islands lie in the Southern Icelandic Volcanic Zone which consists of 70-80 volcanoes both above and below the sea.You can climb two picturesque volcanoes within 2-3 hours of the town.
These islands are one of the puffin capitals of the world.
Heimaey is home to Iceland’s famous Elephant Rock, an elephant-shaped rock formation carved into a cliff.

Picture from Eyjafréttir

We are very excited to be able to offer tours and trips again – it has been far too long since we had our international guests.  So, take a look at what is available, get excited about seeing a volcano live, pack your bags and a mask or 2 and come and visit!


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


December and Christmas

December is absolutely one of our most beautiful months of the year in Iceland. It’s hard to beat icy cold crisp winter days, with snow everywhere you look and only warm Christmas lights to light up the day.  Then, of course, after the lights go out, you might see the dancing Northern Lights above you to keep the night lit up as well.

Weather in Iceland in December

December is when we have our shortest days. In other words, December is the darkest month of the year in Iceland. Since our beautiful northern most capital of the world is located so close to the arctic circle, the days get very short in the winter. And of course, it’s the opposite in the mid summer with 24 hours of daylight!  Normally only a few hours per day. The 21st. of December is our winter solstice. The shortest day of the year – Or the longest night. Normally the amount of actual sunlight hours from rise to set is around 4 hours, from around 12pm to 4pm, although the daylight hours are a little longer as the sun takes a long time to rise and set. 

Now we enter the full winter month. December is one of our coldest months in Iceland and the 21st of December the darkest day throughout the year. The sunrise takes place around 11:30 am and sunset is around 3:30 pm.

Daylight doesn’t change a lot during December, on the 1st of November you will have about 5 hours of daylight but the 30th about 4 hours. This is very important to keep in mind when making your travel plans for December in Iceland.
Temperatures in December in Iceland are usually very cold but as everything concerning the weather in Iceland, it’s quite hard to predict. The average low is about -2°c or about 28 F and the average high is about 4°c or 49 F.

What to do in December

Snowmobile tours

If snowmobiling is on your Icelandic bucket list then why not go zooming across the infamous Eyjafjallajökull glacier? The meeting place for this incredible ride is right by Seljalandsfoss waterfall’s neighbour, the hidden little canyon dweller Gljúfrabúi. 

Southcoast Adventure will take you in their powerful super jeep to the ice cap where you can gear up and jump on a snowmobile to zoom across the glacier.

This tour is a total of 3-4 hours, depending on the season, with an hour on the snowmobile riding across the glacier. However, that’s only a part of the experience as the view from atop Eyjafjallajökull is quite incomparable with the entire south coast with the  Westman Islands on one side and the central Highlands on the other.

Scheduled departure is twice a day at 10:00am & 2:00pm every day. We recommend arriving an hour earlier to check out the waterfalls before meeting SouthCoast Adventure at their Gljúfrabúi base 20-30 minutes before departure. Their groups are small so make sure to book in advance. If you are interested in a private departure this can be booked below with flexible departure times.

Þórsmörk Super Jeep Tour 

“Þórsmörk has a spot in every Icelanders heart. There’s just nothing like it…”
Þórsmörk is an incredibly beautiful nature reserve, situated in the heart of South Iceland nestled among the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull and Tindfjallajökull. 
This tour is one of our most popular ones, with so many spectacular hiking options and adventurous rides over various unbridged glacial rivers. This is the perfect tour to explore the wonders of Þórsmörk while experiencing an adventurous 4×4 Super Jeep drive!

Þórsmörk is magical all year round. Winter can be an incredible experience. When the landscape is covered in ice and snow, the only access to Þórsmörk is by highly-modified super-jeeps, as part of a guided tour.

After our scenic drive, you will see Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall is breathtaking enough from the front, but it gets better. You’ll have the chance to follow a path behind the cascade and see this natural beauty from a unique angle. Make sure that you bring a raincoat, though, because you are definitely going to get wet.

The next stop is Þórsmörk, which is the “valley of Thor” in Icelandic. This beautiful valley is surrounded by glaciers and mountains, among which is Gígjökull, a glacier tongue. You’ll also get the chance to approach the edge of the famous Eyjafjallajökull that you were able to see from the vehicle earlier. The eruption of this glacier-volcano in 2010 interfered with air traffic all over Europe, making itself and Iceland famous at the same time.

Stakkholtsgjá canyon is next on our tour. The cliffs in this breathtaking canyon tower 100 meters (328 feet) above all that lies beneath them. For the Game of Thrones fans out there, this canyon was one of the filming locations for the HBO show, so come and check it out for yourself!

Driving further into Þórsmörk valley, we’ll have to cross through some rivers in our jeep to arrive at the campsite. Here we’ll stop to give you the chance to go enjoy some short hikes, relishing the fantastic views of the glacial river beds along with the backdrop of the surrounding glaciers and mountains.

There will be some additional stops, depending on the time remaining as well as the weather conditions on the day of the tour, of course. One possibility is a visit to Nauthúsagil, a beautiful ravine with a waterfall at the end.

We are sure when the time is right that the restrictions will be eased slightly to allow travel to be easier, for instance a ‘softer’ quarantine between the two tests.

If you’re looking for a tiny bit of reassurance before you start putting plans in place. Iceland is one of the safest and least polluted countries in the world.

Icelandic Christmas

The eve before December 12, everyone who believes in the Yule Lads will put a shoe on the window sill and keep it there for 13 days. This very specific number has to do with the number of Icelandic Jólasveinar.

Every night until Christmas, a new Yule Lad will visit the window and place a small gift in the shoe. For many, the Yule Lads are the best part of the days leading up to Christmas Day.

The family actually consists of the 13 Yule Lads (who are all brothers), their mother Grýla, their father, Leppalúði, and then there is the cat.

And it’s no extraordinary cat

The Mother of the Yule Lads. A scary troll-like mother, you know the type. She has the uncanny ability to detect when children are not behaving all year around!

During Christmas, she leaves her home in the mountains to hunt the naughty children and makes stew out of them. According to legend, there’s never a shortage of food for this feisty troll-ess.

From a relatively young age Icelandic children are told the story of Grýla the ogress living in the Icelandic mountains. She is a dreadful character, described as part troll and part animal and the mother of 13 precocious boys (the Yule Lads). Grýla lives in the mountains with her third husband, her thirteen children and a black cat. Every Christmas, Grýla and her sons come down from the mountains: Grýla in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron and the boys in search of mischief. She can only capture children who misbehave but those who repent must be released.

Grýla’s husband and father to the Yule Lads. Known for not doing much around the house. But not much else is known about this big-nosed man. He’s never been seen kidnapping or cooking children, but he does eat what Grýla cooks.

The Christmas Cat

A vicious black hairy animal that hunts children who don’t receive something new to wear for Christmas – and then EATS them!

Make sure you get at least a brand-new sock this merry eve.

On to brighter things….

Now as this extraordinary and strange year comes to a close, we would like to extend our gratitude and thanks to all of you for your support this year in what has been tumultuous at times with circumstances challenging.  However, we have a very positive feeling and are sure of better times in the future.

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.

We would like to thank you all for a really enjoyable partnership in the past year. We appreciate your confidence in the company and hope that our co-operation will remain beneficial  and faithful. We wish you a merry Christmas and look  forward to a successful new year!

Christmas greetings

Southcoast Adventure Team


“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!”

Arctic Fox in Þórsmörk valley/ Picture taken by Jallen.

November is here –referred to Ýlir according to the old Norse traditions.  It is the second so called month of winter and traditionally begins in the fifth week or around about the 20th to the 27th of November.  This is then taken over by Mörsugu in late December.  To quote Snorri-Edda´s saga, : „From the equinox of autumn until the sun sets when it rises, winter will be the same day.  It continues into the spring months and until summer arrives and back to autumn again.”  From the middle of November until the end of January the daylight is only about 4 – 6 hours.

Fostinn & Stella in Þórsmörk Valley. Picture taken by Tomas Tonon

A very popular topic in Iceland is the weather – understandably as it affects our daily lives with great fanfare in the forms of blizzards in winter and 24 hours of sunshine in the winter.  There are many instances of snow in May and June!  We therefore have many words to describe snow …. snjór, snær, hjarn, mjöll, fönn, lausamjöll, nýsnævi, krap, snjókoma, bylur, drífa, él, fannkoma, fjúk, hraglandi, hríð, kafald, kóf, ofanbylur, skafrenningur, snjómugga, hundslappadrífa  to name a few 😉

November in Iceland is a special and wonderous time.  Winter has arrived and so manynew activities are waiting to be enjoyed and partaken in.  The “busy-ness” of Christmas is still a month away.  Many of the lowlands are still snow-free and the mountains and glaciers thick with fresh new snow and so it makes an ideal time to still travel relatively easily around Iceland.   Care still needs to be taken as roads will be slippery at times – the air is crisper and winter coats, hats, gloves and warm woolly scarves become best friends!

In November the amount of daylight really starts to become noticeable – at the beginning of the month, we have about 8 hours of good daylight. By month end, we are down to about 5 – something that travellers need to keep in mind when planning trips.  The temperatures drop rapidly as well, often adding a very “fresh” wind chill as we get more storms and winds from the cold Arctic.  The average temperature is 4°C /40 F – our advice to you is dress warm friends, dress warm!  Layers are also a good idea as we often get snow, rain and fog in the same hour – as the famous saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!”

Winter time activities and the new adventures awaiting you are very broad: super jeep tours, hiking, relaxing in geothermal pools cocooned in warmth.  There are many activities that are possible throughout the year leaving you with unforgettable memories and your adrenaline coursing through your body.  Glacier hiking and ice climbing gets you up close and personal with the majestic Icelandic nature.  Glacier hiking has really become popular in the last few years.  All hiking tours are operated by very experienced mountain guides whose top priority is your safety.  No experience is needed and you can choose a tour depending on difficulty levels….so strap on your crampons and be ready for anything!  This activity is a lot of fun, suitable for all levels of experience with our guides.  Glacier hiking and ice climbing is available all year round and is based out of Sólheimajökull, a tongue of the massive Mýrdalsjökull- glacier.

Of course then there is snowmobiling  Iceland has many glaciers and  snowmobiling is a breathtaking way of seeing their vast beauty – an opportunity not to be missed! It is weather dependent but we provide all the right gear. Difficult to find a better way to experience the tranquility of Icelandic nature and to escape the hustle and bustle of busy lives….swopping instead for a snowmobile ride on a glacier! The only thing required for these tours is a valid drivers license and a desire for adventure. We will provide snowsuits, gloves, helmets and boots.  During the winter months, we advise that you dress for the weather.  Each tour is anything from 1 to 3 hours depending on what you are looking for.

Snowmobiling tour on Eyjafjallajökull / Picture taken by Magnus Thoroddsen

Now for some very exciting news….

It is always a cause for celebration for a company to achieve it´s projected goals and make a profit…especially in 2020 which has been a year of extreme hardship for companies around the entire globe.

To be successful and achieve these goals, many strict conditions need to be met. A vital part of the success is linked to high achieving staff that the company feels will help them attain the success they are looking for.  The company including the staff, needs to be able to withstand the extra pressures and stresses when the market itself is under extra pressure and stress.

Creditinfo conducts annual analyses of Icelandic companies and their operations and based on the outcome, awards are offered to those companies who have met their criteria.  These awards also help towards building a stronger credit foundation in the companies and it is therefore a very desirable goal to strive towards and achieve.

Companies therefore need to be stable and show a progressive and steady profit and above all conduct themselves in a professional manner. To be considered an outstanding company, many standards need to be met.

Southcoast Adventure ehf has recently received recognition for their operations in 2020 from Viðskiptablaðið and Keldun here in Iceland.  A notable achievement as only 2% of companies achieve that list annually. The conditions that needed to be met are similar to those of Creditinfo. 

As mentioned before, staff play a vital role in the success of a company.  Southcoast Adventure ehf are very proud of our achievements and our growth in satisfaction, experience as well as providing an excellent service to our clients.

We hope that you are enjoying our monthly blog posts….we wish you all well and look forward to welcoming you back again in the future.

Our warmest regards

Southcoast Adventure team


Kornskurðamánuður senn á enda. / Harvest time is coming to a close.

Dear friends

We hope that you are well during these unprecedented times. 

Southcoast Adventure follow all guidelines and instructions, imposed by Directorate of Health and The Icelandic Tourist Board. All of our vehicles are sterilized with a steam machine after every tour. We put the safety of our guest first!  

This has proved to be an unfamiliar and uncertain time for the world as we face this global pandemic. Our thoughts and support are with anyone that has been affected by the virus. We are monitoring the situation closely and making our best efforts to keep our visitors and staff safe.

We warmly welcome guests travelling during these unusual circumstances and are eager to offer them a comfortable stay and a pleasurable trip.

Tvímánuður/ Twin months 

In traditional Viking times, the months were named according to the seasons and festivals and not as we know them now….so as you can see from the title of this blog, we are now ending the autumn harvest, sheep and horse round ups and the farmers are readying their stock and supplies ahead of the long, harsh winter.

The “twin months” is the fifth so called summer month according to the old Norse calendar.  This time always begins on the Tuesday of the 18thweek of summer around about 22 – 28thof August.  In Snorra-Eddu (manuscripts from the Prose Edda), the months following are known as Kornskurðarmánuður or Harvest months.

The Viking or Norse calendar was recorded in 2 manuscripts.  A manuscript called Bókarbót written in 1220 and another one known as Snorra-Edda and the months were named in accordance to Skáldskaparmálum (Prose or manuscript scribe).  The time frames for the months of the Viking and Norse calendar are not the same in both manuscripts.  In Bókarbót the fifth summer month falls between the 4thand 7thmonth of summer.  The name kornskurðarmánuður (Harvest months) is self explanatory as it is the time, as explained above, when the farmers bring the harvest in and do the livestock round ups. Páll Vidalin one of the writers of the manuscript, called them the “twin months” as there were 2 months left of the summer months as opposed to “one month” which marks the time when there is one month left of winter.

Gormánuður was the first month of winter and always began on the first day of winter which traditionally fell on a Saturday between 21stand 27thof October .  The name is loosely based on the slaughter time of livestock which were grass fed.  

Once the slaughter was done and the first winter nights and the actual official first day of winter had arrived then it was time to celebrate and good food and homemade alcoholic drinks were consumed in vast quantities.

So, a little history and some interesting facts for you!

Southcoast Adventure specializes in day trips as well as multiple day travels throughout Iceland.  Many options are available combining both the southern coast and the interior highlands.  Our superbly experienced guides are mostly based here in Hvolsvöllur and have an incredible amount of knowledge of the area as for many of them this is where they were born and raised and know the land very well.

We use specially upgraded and designed super jeeps for most of our trips and have all the equipment on board to tackle even the most challenging landscapes both in the summer and winter months. We are up for most anything – the more exhilarating the better! 

The trips we offer or tailor make are very often based on trips that we ourselves love to do or have interest in – places that we love and activities that thrill us as locals.  Taking our guests to both popular areas as well as hidden gems.  Our trips and itineraries are therefore both enjoyable for us and we are proud to offer them to friends, family and new guests.

Summer 2020 started off quieter than normally due to Covid 19, but then took off to a flying start once the borders were opened in mid June.  Our guests this summer also changed as many Icelanders were encouraged to travel “home” this year and this was also an exciting change for us.  These trips with locals put us in a good stead for the coming autumn and winter months and especially so when the country´s borders were tightened again and extra restrictions were put into place in late August. 

Onwards and upwards as the saying goes and we are preparing for our winter guests.

Winter is often considered to be the best time of year to catch a glance of the magnificent Northern Lights. 

We never get bored of the Northern Lights!  They are a must see whilst in Iceland and is one of the top reasons why people make a visit to Iceland in winter. However, please be aware that this natural phenomenal cannot be controlled or guaranteed. 

This time of the year is always a fantastic time to go on a glacier hike or visit a ice cave . This early in the winter the glaciers are transforming with the changing season. They begin to show their incredible bright blue colors again with the approaching cold weather.October- November is when the ice caves become accessible, but our great Katla ice cave is open all year around. The blues, textures and colors will leave you in awe. 

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


We look forward to meet you all again when times gets better.

On behalf of Southcoast Adventure

Ársæll Hauksson (Sæli)-Owner

Hvolsvöllur- 01.10.20