Walk in the footsteps of the first men on the moon on the Askja Lunar tour. Leaving from Lake Mývatn, this incredible trip takes you into the desolate, rugged Highlands of Iceland, and incorporates visits to volcanoes, craters, a stunning nature reserve and a geothermally heated lake that you are invited to bask in.
You will be picked up at Reykjahlíð in the Lake Mývatn area in the morning, in a four-wheel-drive bus. Once your group is aboard, you will begin your journey into the Highlands. This wilderness is unimaginably beautiful, and a sight very few are lucky enough to be able to see. It is advised to keep your camera in hand for the duration of your drive, for there will be many striking features en route that you will want to photograph.
On your way to Askja, you will stop in the stretches of lava and black sands where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin prepared for the 1960s moon landing. The appeal of this region to NASA is instantly apparent; its bleak desolation gives you the feeling of walking on a different planet.
The area, however, is not entirely lifeless; you will stop at the nature reserve Herðubreiðarlindir, which is an oasis of plants and birdlife maintained by freshwater springs through the old lava. This beautiful reserve has the incredible backdrop of the subglacial volcano Herðubreið, nicknamed the Queen of Iceland’s Mountains. At 1682 metres (5354 ft) tall, it is Iceland’s fifth tallest peak; covered in the glistening ice of Vatnajökull glacier.
Following your time at the nature reserve, you will head over to the massive Askja Volcano. When it erupted in 1875, the amount of poisonous ash released into the air prompted a large exodus from the country. The force of this eruption blasted a new caldera inside the old one, and after the cooling period, this new basin filled with water. Now, you can see a stunning lake within the crater, 11 km squared and 220 metres (722 ft) deep.
You will walk right up to its rim, then to another nearby crater lake, called Víti, which translates to ‘hell’, but bathing in its milky blue geothermally heated waters is heaven.
Once you are fully recharged from your refreshing bath, you will head back to the bus to return to Lake Mývatn, aiming to be back ten or eleven hours after departing. The incredible, desolate beauty of this tour promises to stay with you for life; you can return knowing you have seen landscapes and features most visitors to Iceland never have the chance to witness.
So don’t hesitate any longer; immerse yourself in the beauty of the Highlands, and visit the mighty Askja Volcano. Check availability by choosing a date.
It is possible to take a swim in the Víti caldera when conditions prove favourable, so pack your swimsuit just in case such a wonderful opportunity arises. Please also remember to pack food and water, since there are no shops in the Highlands of Iceland.