Here follows some pictures of my trip to Iceland in summer 2006. Two weeks with an organised roundtrip (vereniging Kompas), together with a nice group of nature lovers. Excellent guides, beautiful nature and unexpected good weather (only 1.5 days of rain)... Mixed with pictures of a second trip, this time with my wife, three weeks in 2009, including the West fjords and a difficult to reach but beautiful part of the inland.

arrival at Iceland
Arrival in Iceland, waiting for the rented cars at the airport of Keflavik, about 40 km from the capital.

After a ride along the southern coast via the N1 (the circle road around Iceland), we spent the night in the youth hostel of Skoga, near the Skogafoss (waterfall).

Three years later the youth hostel is moved and on the same spot now is a museum of historical buildings...

Seljalandfoss 2
...with grass roof houses, school, church,...

Somewhere back via the N1, the Seljalandfoss...

Seljalandfoss 2
...where one can go behind the fall.

Vatnajokull 1
The first glaciers come out of the low clouds.

the only traffic light in Greenland
The black beach of Durholæy.

strange structures at Durholey
Strange structures at Durholæy.

Dyrholaey 2
Overview from the height of Durholæy. Left a breeding place for puffins and to the right the fog which comes from the ocean.

Puffins in Durholæy. Easy to observe...

durholay 4
At the other side of the bay: nice basaltformation with caves made by the tides.

To remember the last lavastream which destroyed several farms,
those passing by are supposed to make their own pile in remembrance...

After many years, the lava starts to be covered with moss, after that slowly with grass and small plants.

Fjadragljufur kloof
The Fjadragljufur kleft was formed by a sudden flood of meltwater through an ice barrier after the last ice age.

Fjadragljufur kloof 2
The Fjadragljufur kleft, view from the mountain side.

naar Laki

The start of a real dirt "road" F206 to Laki: 3.5 hours driving for 38 km

Laki 2
8 streams to pass: we where already turned back, as we didn't want to take the risk, but at that moment
another 4x4 passed with Icelanders aboard, so we followed them in quite deep waters!

Laki 3
At last, we are at Laki... The start of a steep climb to the top of the Volcano.

Laki 6
Beautiful view of the row of about 100 volcanoes, which via a fault in the earth's crust
each on its turn has caused a lot of deaths and damage in the far neighbourhood a few centuries ago.

Laki 5
In this volcano one can walk into the crater.

Laki 7
You may wonder how these can survive here!

Laki 3
The foult with volcanoes goes further North, with an icefield in the background.

Enormous lavafields, as far as one can see.

waterval Skaftafell
Waterfall in the national park Skaftafell.

gletsjer Skaftafell
Glaciertongue in the national park Skaftafell.

Here a flood caused by a recent volcanic eruption under the Vatnajokull has erased everything:
the only road (N1), bridges and high tension pilars. Lucky, the area was not inhabited.

That is what remains of a bridge after the flood of househigh ice cubes.

 Jokulsarlon 1
Icebergs in the Jökulsarlon lake, broken from a glacier tongue of the Vatnajokull.

Jokulsarlon 1
Also seals on search for fish. In the background the highest mountain of Iceland midst of the glacier.

Jokulsarlon 3
Beuatiful, crystal clear ice...

    bootjevaren op Jökulsarlon
Going on the Jökulsarlon lake with a bus/boat.

Part of the Vatnajökull with sheep in the foreground: not for long...

...because begin September they are gathered for the winter.

Vatnajökull 3
One of the many glacier tongues of the Vatnajökull.

water crossing
Only reachable by driving through water crossings!

Vatnajökull panorama
Last view on the Vatnajökull with the many glacier tongues.

Vatnajökull 4
Via a nice gravel road...

Vatna 7 can drive a snow scooter on the Vatnajökull icefield.

Vatna 8
Near the road, some geologists are charting the movements of the Vatnajökull.

Höfn: nice harbour and good food in the fish restaurant.

Everyware black beaches and rests of basalt rocks.

Oostfjorden 1
That is how the East fjords look like...

Just used a sideway to the Oxi valley.

stones 1
Back on the N1: Some lady started with sampling of special stones as a hobby,...

stones 2
...that is now one of the biggest private collections of stones in the world.

stones 3
Impressive number of stones, nicely arranged in a beautiful garden...

stones 4 you can see here.

oostfjorden 2
Here we are at the other side of the fjord.

Oostfjorden 3
The ultimate ends of the East fjords behind each other...

op weg naar de Hengifoss
On the way to the Hengifoss waterfall, South of Egilstadir, halfway the path, the Litlanesfoss in a basaltbasin.

The Hengifoss waterfall.

Lava at Hengifoss
Near the Hengifoss one can see that the soil is made from layers of lava, with in between layers of (red) soil.

doorsteek breukgebied
The N1 goimg through the lavafield in Eastern Iceland, completely empty, no humans or animals, only a little moss...

brug over Jökulsa
There are only 2 bridges over the Jökulsa, because of the enormous flow, here the one for the N1.

The Dettifoss waterfall with the gray, basalt dust loaded water of the Jökulsa.

dettifoss 2
Dettifoss from nearby.

dettifoss 3
The canyon near Dettifoss to the North.

The Selfoss, some kilometer upstream of the Dettifoss. Not many come here, but it is impressively wide...

Downstreams the Jökulsa canyon, the Hafragilsfoss.

start wandeling Jökulsagljúfur
The start of a hike in the national park Jökulsagljúfur.

Island in the sky...
Het valley has a horseshoe form, with in the centre an "island", as high as the surrounding heights.
Then it started to rain...

Einde van het hoefijzer
The end of the "horseshoe": perpendicular sides end the valley.

How to find a picknickplace near the Jökulsa canyon in the rain...

terugweg langs de JÖkulsa canyon
The way back along the Jökulsa canyon, it is raining harder and harder...

The next day: a hike to the Hljódaklettar (echorock), again near the Jökulsa.
Strangly formed lavablocks...

The lava is solified as basaltcolumns in all directions.

Jokulsa 3
Basaltblocks everywhere.

A good climb to have a look at the Raudhólar (red mountain)...

de rode berg
...and there it is!

zee in Noord-IJsland
View to the ocean in Northern Iceland. Here one can spot whales.

The harbourtown Húsavík. Base for whale safaris.

The little church of Húsavík.

Husavik fjord
The mountains along the fjord where Húsavík is.

Thermisch veld
In the neighbourhood of the Mývatn: overview of the thermic field Námafjall.

Namafjall 2
Steamspots and...

...boiling mudholes everywhere....

Viti krater
The nearby Viti crater in panorama.

Kalfa 1
A new lavafield (1984), still with steamplumes and sulfur vapors...

Kalfa 2
Through the lavafield, along steaming (and stinking) crevasses.

Sometimes you are in the middle of the steamclouds.

Kalfa 3
Partly overview of the lavafield.

Kalfa 4
The steam gives some gosthy pictures...

power generation
The underground heat is used for power generation.

After the hikes: a relaxing bath in one of the local warm water sources.
Less commercial (until now) than the more renown "Blue Lagoon" near Reykyavik

Next day: the Stóragjá kleft.

After that the steep hike to the top of the Hverfjall ashvolcano...

Hverfjall 1
...with a splendid view around.

Hverfjell 2
The inside of the volcano, about 1 km diameter!

Hverfjall 3
The steep descend in the direction of Dummiborgir.

Dummiborgir 1
Through the eye of the needle (but a little bigger), Dummiborgir.

Dummiborgir 2
Lava with the strangest forms in Dummiborgir.

Kirkja, the "church" formed in lava.

Mývatn 1
A part of the Mývatn, again with strange lavaforms...

Myvatn 2
...can be reached via a path with clouds of (non-biting!) mosquitos.

Myvatn 3
Overview of (a part) of the Mývatn.

Myvatn 4
Sunset over the pseudocraters near Mývatn.

Askja 1
The start of the sideway to the Askja volcano.

Askja 2
On the road, crossing of a few rivers...

Askja 3 this one here.

Askja 4
We can see the winter shelter of a fugitive prisoner...

Askja 5
...who survived thanks to the roots of the angelica plant (family of celery).

Askja 6
Nowadays a camping and picknikplace.

Askja 7
We drive along the wild Jökulsa.

Askja 8
Craters, ash and lava everywhere.

Askja 9
 The "devilskleft", a sidekleft of the Askja volcano.

Askja 10
The start of a path to the Askja crater...

Askja 11
...unfortunately completely in the fog, nothing to see!

Further to the West, along the N1, the Godafoss, the waterfall of the (false) gods...

The mountain range of the fjord where the town Akureyri can be found.

Akureyri 1
Near Akureyri, old grass roof houses

Akureyri 2
View of Akureyri from the other side of the fjord.

Akureyri 3
The church of Akureyri

Akureyri 5
The old town centre of Akureyri.

botanische tuin
The botanic garden of Akureyri (free entrance!) is worth a visit.

Statue of Jón Sveinsson, the writer of children's books.

At the start of the road through the inland (F35),
a road singn which tells everything: every house is on the map!
In general, the road signs (even for hikes) are excellent.

Glaciertongues of the Langjökul along the F35 inland road.

Something of earlier days: a monument for convicted people who were banned to the inland
If they survived that 20 years, their punishment was over. Only a few returned...

thermisch veld
Again a thermic field, near the F35 inland road.

But we go on to the North-West of Iceland. Here the very modern church of Blönduós.

Sunset in the neighbourhood of Drangsnes.

The only glacier of the West fjords, the Drangajökull.

The "main" raod in the West fjords, mainly not asphalted, narrow, lots of curbes,...

zeehonden - seals
Seals let them dry in a meager sunshine.

Statue for the fishermen in Ísafjörður.

Through the mountain, via a kilometers long tunnel from Su
ðureyri to Ísafjörður.

View to the other side of the icefjord: a large natural preserve without access roads.

  The West fjords enter deeply in the inland.

Deep valleys carved by glaciers in the ice ages.

Dynjandi, Icelands nicest waterfal.

The "main" road through the moon landscape of the West fjords.

  The hotel of Ólafsvik

Ólafsvik 2
Nearby the most Western bird rock of Europe, Látrabjarg.
The previous day, two attempts to reach the rock, but impossible by a severe storm.

The last puffin of the season poses for the photographers.

The most Western pizza sales of Europe, the commercials were destroyed by the storm of yesterday.

With the ferry over the Brei

Here it goes.

The modern church of Stykkishólmur.

Stykkishólmur 2
Statue of fisherfamily in the harbour of Stykkishólmur.

At the soutside of Snæfellsnes, lava blocks which serve as bird rocks.

Snaefellsness 2
A nice hike through a lava labyrinth.

Snaefellsness 3
Those who wanted to sail with the fisherships were tested for their force:
the stone they could lift determined how much they would be paid.

The road to the Sn
æfellsjökull is not really smooth.

Snæfellsjökull 2
But the view on the glacier is worth the shaking.

Snæfellsjökull 2
And the view towards the whole Sn
æfellsnes peninsula is beuatiful.

Monument in Borgarnes.

paarden - horses
The Icelandic horses are brought to the stables for winter.

The largest hot water source of Iceland near Reykholt...

Reykholt 2
...makes for the central heating of the whole town of Reykjavik.

Reykholt 3
Here in bath
of the saga writer Snorri Sturluson in Reykholt they talked about politics.

Reykholt 4
The waters of the Hraunfossar flows 46 kilometer under the lava until the Hvítá river.

Upstreams the "childrens" waterfals.

Further South, in the "golden triangel", the impressive, fantastic Gullfoss, the "golden" waterfall.

Incredible natural forces...

Gullfoss 3
...disappear in the canyon.

The Stokkur erupts steam and water, according to the bochures, every 15 minutes,
but especially for us, it does it every 2-3 minutes...

...while its neighbour Geysir (which name is used for all geysers) only erupts after an earthquake.

Geysir 2
Until the incredible happens: we have seen the eruption of the Geysir on 4 September 2009, 09:10 AM!
It happened unexpected, so that we hadn't our camera's ready, too late to have the best picture of the happening.

On the road to Landmannalaugar we pass the Hekla, one of the most active volcano's of Europe...

...and we need to pass a few rivers.

Lanfmannalaugar 1
The desolate landscape on the road to Landmannalaugar.

Landmannalaugar 2
Green, near fluorescent moss on the basaltmountains. Unique!

The last crossing to reach Landmannalaugar.

landmannalaugar 3
The coloured mountains at Landmannalaugar.

Landmannalaugar 4
Via a kleft, we go higher and higher...

Landmannlaugar 5
The view on the coloured mountains gets nicer and nicer.

Landmannalaugar 6
Higher and higher, you are rewarded with a splendid panorama.

Landmannlaugar 7
It still is ascending to the top (525 m above the valley floor).

landmannalaugar 8
But the reward is the splendid panorama, more than worth the effort!

Landmannalaugar 9
One can't have enough of it... That view!

Again a crater, on the road to the endpoint: Reykjavik.

But first, we made a visit to the separation line between the European and the American tectonic plate, near þingvellir.

þingvellir was the place where the first Icelandic parliament gathered.

Tingvellir 2
The old houses and church of þingvellir.

The flight of the wild goose near þingvellir.

The cathedral of Reykjavik.

Beeld 1 Beeld 2 Beeld 3 Beeld 4
Statues in a park of Reykjavik...

Reykjavik 5 the house of sculpturer Ásmundur Sveinsson.

Perlan (de perl), the waterstorage of Reykjavik, with panorama terrasse and (expensive) rotating restaurant.

Panoramic view of the town from the Perlan.

Reykjavik 8
Statues besides the Perlan.

 The "viking ship" besides the bay.

  The Höfdi house, where Reagan and Gorbatchov had a meeting to end the cold war.

Interesting statues in Reykjavik.

If you don't know how to knot your tie...

The last evening in Iceland we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

This was the end of two unforgettable trips to Iceland. Beautiful country, very varying landscape!

More information about trips to Iceland and other countries (in Dutch - guided sleepingbag tourism):

Kompas reizen
Kapelsestraat 148
B-2950 Kapellen
Tel +32 (0)3 664 98 22
Fax +32 (0)3 664 98 22
Web site: 

The official guide to Iceland:

On the net: 28 September, 2006.
Last update: 28 Januari, 2010.

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