FS-047  Herðubreið – Askja – Vatnajökull – Dettifoss

This grand tour focuses on the 4 target destination, listed above.

Ódáðahraun is Iceland's most extensive lava field, a practically continuous desert from Vatnajökull glacier northwards to the mountains in the Mývatn region. The most renowned of those is Herðubreið, a table mountain 1682 metres in height, long referred to as "the queen of Icelandic mountains" and recently elected Iceland's National Mountain by popular vote. Approximately 5 km north of the mountain are Herðubreiðarlindir springs, a green oasis in stark contrast to the bleak surrounding desert. Conspicuous among the lush Herðubreiðarlindir flora are clusters of garden angelica, several willow varieties and colorful aggregations of arctic river beauty.

Dyngjufjöll mountains are located to the north of the glacier Dyngjujökull which extends north from Vatnajökull. This is a barren mountain cluster encircling the 50 km2 Askja caldera. Subsidence in Askja's south-east corner has formed a smaller caldera now filled by Öskjuvatn, Iceland's second deepest lake, with a maximum depth of 220 metres. The crater Víti, next to Öskjuvatn, was formed in a huge explosive volcanic eruption in 1875. The warm water in the crater is suitable for bathing and is popular among visitors.

Kverkfjöll mountains are a huge mountain range at the northern extremity of Vatnajökull glacier. The region is characterised by alternations of ice sheets and clusters of natural hot springs, with the most prominent, Hveradalur, being the among the greatest high temperature geothermal areas in Iceland.

For thousands of years, Jökulsá á Fjöllum, one of Iceland's largest rivers, has continued to flow from under the glacier Vatnajökull (one part from Kverkfjöll) and wound its way through a landscape of diverse aspects for a distance of about 200 km until merging with the sea in Öxarfjörður bay. On its long journey, the river has carved numerous channels into the highland bedrock and to the west of Hólsfjöll it cascades from a tall rocky ledge, forming the huge waterfall Dettifoss, plunging into, magnificent canyons which extend all the way down to lowland.  Dettifoss is Iceland's greatest and most majestic waterfall. It is also rated as Europe's most powerful waterfall, based on its magnitude.

The tour start in Húsavík, or any other nearby area like Mývatn. The first day we drive from Mývatn to the inland and head to Herðubreiðarlindir near Mt. Herðubreið where is one of main stops. In the later part of this day we explore Askja area before heading to Kverkfjöll where we have accommodation for two nights. The second day is planned hiking tour up to Hveradalur which takes most of the day. If weather or other circumstances give not such options we will have another hiking plans ready in this area. One part of this day is to see where the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum starts (visibly) from the edge of the glacier. The third day we mainly follow this river to the ocean. From Kverkfjöll we go to Hvannalindir for looking arround and then through Krepputunga to Möðrudalur. From there we follow main road for while until we leave it on the west bank of the river and head to Dettifoss. From there further to the lowland with stops by Hljóðaklettar and Ásbyrgi. Before leaving this area we will see the river flow through sand flats into Öxarfjörður bay.

Availability:  July - September 10th  - on request, reservation required

Departures optional: Húsavík or Mývatn (with option of pick-up from Akureyri)

Tour duration: 3 days

Included: Fully guided tour and transportation, accommodation for two night and meals

Note: Please note that autumn travel may involve changes in the itinerary because of possibly difficult access to one or more of the sites.

* a super jeep tour, or 4x4 trucks for groups

For further information, please contact info@fjallasyn.is

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