I went on an awesome trip last summer to Eyjafjallajökull volcano and Þórsmörk with Highland Adventures and got to ride on a super jeep.
We started early in the morning and our first stop was at the beautiful waterfall Seljalandsfoss.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland, 60 meters high. One can walk behind Seljalandfoss which is an awesome experience, standing so close to and behind this majestic waterfall is fantastic. Bring a raincoat as you will get wet from the drizzle.
From Seljalandsfoss we drove up to Eyjafjallajökull glacier and volcano.
Remember Eyjafjallajökull volcano which erupted in 2010 and spew so much ash in the air that air traffic was affected, along with thousands of travellers being stranded on airports around the world?
Eyjafjallajökull peaks at 1.651 metres above sea level, but we didn't drive all the way to the top. The name of the glacier means Island Mountain Glacier :)
We drove up on a gravel road which then turned into a path. Before we drove up on the glacier the driver of the truck let out some air from the tires so that the journey would go smoother. That is a well known method here in Iceland before driving on glaciers, it will make the tires float on the snow.
It was so much fun being in such a big truck being able to drive in such rough terrain. The truck just plowed through it. I thought the trip was worth it if only to be able to drive through this terrain so smoothly. But there was so much more in store for us on this trip.
We were let out of the truck and hiked up on the glacier. There was fantastic view from there. We had encountered some fog on the way and were afraid that it would ruin the trip for us, but up on the glacier there was sunshine and so warm! Well, at least it was warm for the Icelanders in the group ;)
We spent some time on the glacier enjoying the view and the fact that we were actually standing on the dreaded Eyjafjallajökull volcano - and then returned back down to the truck. There is some hiking required, but it is an easy hike and so worth it.
Þórsmörk is a beautiful nature reserve named after the Norse god, Þór, the God of Thunder. The valley is a popular camping area, but also well known for its hiking, both short and long, as from Þórsmörk it is possible to go trekking up to Landmannalaugar, the pearl of the central highlands, and up to Fimmvörðuháls pass where the Eyjafjallajökull eruption started in 2010.
To get to Þórsmörk we had to cross several small rivers and one of the most notorious rivers in Iceland, Krossá river.
Krossá river is an ice-cold glacial river, which changes its course frequently, which makes crossing it very difficult. Crossing it on the Procar truck was not that difficult though.
I must say, being an Icelander and having listened to news all my life on accidents at Krossá river, some of them fatal, that I crossed the river with trepidation.
We had lunch in Þórsmörk and wondered around this beautiful valley surrounded by rugged mountains, Þórsmörk is for sure one of the gems of Iceland. After the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 Þórsmörk was covered in thick layers of ash, but now it is as beautiful as ever.
On the way back from Þórsmörk we visited Eyjafjallajökull glacier again, this time Gígjökull glacier which is one of the outlets from Eyjafjallajökull. The volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull was very close to Gígjökull.
Water which flows from Gígjökull runs into Markarfljót river and before the eruption there was a glacial lagoon in front of the glacier. The sheer force of the eruption caused a massive glacier burst with incredible forceful flooding, which tore down the wall of the lagoon and filled it with eruption material, leaving the landscape there very different from what it was before the eruption.
This is a very rugged area. Being there is just out of this world and one feels very small against such extreme forces of nature, thinking about what actually happened here during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. I almost felt insecure being in this area.
We crossed a small ice-cold river and had to jump on some rocks to be able to cross it. Two of the people in the group opted out. This way we were able to walk straight up to the glacier and visit an ice-cave at the root of the glacier. Even though it was not secure enough to enter the ice-cave just standing in front of it peeking in was so worth the trip up there.
It was now time to head back home. This had been a fantastic 5 hour tour and I left uplifted albeit a bit tired after an awesome day in Iceland's beautiful and rugged nature.
This was the first guided tour I joined back in 2013 and it is no longer operating. But there are several other similar guided tours, f.ex. Eyjafjallajökull Super Jeep Tour, Reykjavík - Landmannalaugar, Þórsmörk, Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjallajökull & South Coast Tour and Helicopter Tour | Eyjafjallajökull Glacier & Fimmvörðuhálsâ.