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Highlands: an uninhabited wilderness area in the middle
of the country with many mountains, glaciers and their moraines
as well as lava fields and geothermal sites.
This is a true wilderness area and as such travel can be difficult
so most is done with local guides and in groups.
There are bogs here which will swallow you and your backpack whole
so do not go here alone.
If in a small group let people know your route, and make sure your
navigation skills are adequate.
Weather in the region is particularly changeable.
Routes and paths alone are not to be relied upon or are non existent,
so highly detailed maps, and a quality compass with polar deviation
tables are essential items. Also consider a GPS system.
sites of interest in the Highlands
Icecap in Vatnajokull National Park - the largest in Europe with the country's highest
mountain - Mt Oraefajokull - near the centre. This icecap dominates
the south east highlands.
Of interest to tourists are skidoo tours for much of the year including June, hiking various 'tongues' of the massive glacier, walking along the shore or taking amphibious tours of the iceberg strewn Jokulsarlon Lake, the ice caves in the Kverkjoll
section, formed by warm underground rivers, but you cannot do serious
and Langjokull Icecaps
- the second and third largest icecaps in Iceland respectively,
the former is near the western edge of the highlands, the latter
thirty five miles further east.
'Hot Spring Fields'
- a geothermal area with coloured pools and hot springs. You can
soak in the natural warm waters here.
- a hill where some unfortunate 18th C sheep left some mementos
as they and their shepherds perished in the snow.
'Witch Mountains' - an attractive and rather pointy mountain range, less volcanic
looking than others in Iceland.
'White River Lake' - lumps of the Langjokull ice cap fall into this, the source of
the Hvita river.
Aldeyjarfoss - an attractive waterfall over columnar basalt formations, part
of the Skjalfandafljot 'Shivering River'.
Dynkur - another pretty waterfall, this time in a barren area.
Veidivotn - lots of small lakes in the bare volcanic basin.
Herdubreid - a volcano with a glacier on top blew, resulting in a cylindrical
flat topped mountain. Nearby is its namesake green oasis, considered
the most beautiful in Iceland. The impressive Kolltandyngja volcano
Range - an old volcanic range, the Drekagil 'Dragon Ravine' is so called
due to its likeness to great winged creatures, and the Askja caldera
is a monstrous, must see basin with accompanying Viti crater lake
(picture above left) - good for a swim. Also the deep blue Oskjuvatn
lake in Porvaidsfell crater.
'Behind Mountains' Nature Reserve - contains the Torfajokull volcano and glacier, one of the most
scenic glacial regions in Iceland with good views of the beautiful
Markaflot gorge and surrounding mountains, including the Landmannalaugar.
also: the Ljotipollur 'Red Crater Lake'; Eyjabakka,
a boggy area which is the main breeding ground for Pink Footed Geese;
Hrafntinnusker 'Obsidian Skerry', a mountain with a well known Obsidian
lava field; and Emstrur, a black desert-like place.
West Fjords & North | Europe Travel Guides