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Landmannalaugar: Pearl of the Highlands, a wonderful area with stunning geological curiosities. Discover the iconic Landmannalaugar rhyolite mountains with an explosion of colors….
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Þjórsárdalur is one of the hidden treasures of Iceland, a beautiful valley full of amazing natural attractions. Traversed by Þjórsá river – the longest one in Iceland, the area is lush with vegetation and offers a landscape of sharp contrasts such as flourishing birch woods, sandy lava fields, surprising rock formations, rivers and numerous picturesque waterfalls. The valley is quite flattened and covered by pumice after the repeated eruptions of the famous volcano Mt. Hekla which is nearby. Landgræðsla Ríkisins (the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland) continue to conduct extensive soil reclamation (with trees, lupins and other plants) and the place is now listed as a National Forest. You will be amazed by the unforgettable scenery of this green valley with the Mt. Hekla in the background.
We continue our journey to the astonishing waterfall Hjálparfoss. The name of this place can be roughly translated “Help” and comes from the earlier times when travelers, who crossed Sprengisandur highlands road, found great aid in reaching the water and lush vegetated area to graze their horses after their long journey over the desert. Hjálparfoss is a two-stepped waterfall, split over two separate flumes that joins at its base into a large plunge pool. You can take an easy descending walking path with long steps to join viewing platforms and get close to the shore of the wide pool. The waterfall is framed by beautiful basalt formations and lava structures which are a remnant of various eruptions from Mt. Hekla. It creates a nice contrast to the white water stream.
Also called Bláhylur “The Blue Pool”, this charming lake is located inside a crater. Hnausapollur is around 30 hectare and has been formed around 1130 years ago after an explosive volcanic eruption. The deep blue of the water and the color of the mountains around are surreal. When you stand on the hill above the crater, the view is amazing and it is like looking over landscapes painted on canvas.
It is another wonderful lake, full of colors, close to Landmannalaugar. A place not to be missed. The volcanic activity of the area has created a unique dream landscape, with lava flows who plunge directly into the blue and green deep water of the lake.
Landmannalaugar is a wonderful place with stunning geological curiosities known all over the world, a superb summary of mind-blowing landscapes, full of extraordinary wonders. This is a key layover for any traveler : real calm in full communion with nature. Volcanic activity has given way to a mountainous area that offers an exceptional range of contrasting colors. These cryolite mountains are among the most spectacular ones in Iceland. Lava flows, very visible, form chambers of a black raven color which enhance other orange shades. We will enjoy an easy trekking through the multicolored mountains. The walking path leads us to the volcano Brennisteinsfjöll “Sulfuric Mountain” which is probably the most colorful of Iceland : the yellow of sulfide superposes itself with the blue and black of lava fields, dotted of the green from lichens. It is magical to reach this place and see remarkable geothermal features. Panoramic views over Landmannalaugar Valley are unforgettable. This hiking of several hours is accessible to all, even to casual hikers. After this walk, you can enjoy a relaxing bath in the natural hot pool nestled at the foot of Laugahraun lava field. The hot springs has a combination of hot and cold waters because of the boiling hot flows from the volcanic activity and the freezing waters of the surrounding glaciers. A perfect temperature at around 40 degrees for relaxing the body.
The crater lake Ljótipollur was formed in an explosion in 1477 along the Torfajökull Volcanic System. The name means literally “Ugly Pool”. When you see this stunning place it is really hard to understand this name. It could be explained by the geothermal activity and murky water who appear shortly after an eruption, of which there is no indication today… Ljótipollur is a beautiful lake surrounded by dark-red crater walls. A surprising contrast of the nature…
On the way back, we will discover this dazzling waterfall. Haifoss “tall fall” deserves its name and is held to be the third-highest waterfall in Iceland, with a height of 122 meters. Just east of Háifoss you’ll find another waterfall, just marginally smaller, named Granni “Neighbor”. From the road it is hard to believe that a such massive show of nature takes place in the area. But as soon you will stand close to the fall, you will letting yourself taken away with those powerful waterfalls and you will never forget this incredible vision on the valley.