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The Highlands of Iceland

The Tungnaá is a river in the southern Highlands of Iceland. It flows from the western edge of Vatnajökull to the reservoir Sultartangalón, where it joins the Þjórsá.The river has been used extensively for hydroelectricity, with power stations at Vatnsfell, Sigalda, Hrauneyjafoss,and Sultartangi

The Tungnaá is a river in the southern Highlands of Iceland. It flows from the western edge of Vatnajökull to the reservoir Sultartangalón, where it joins the Þjórsá.The river has been used extensively for hydroelectricity, with power stations at Vatnsfell, Sigalda, Hrauneyjafoss,and Sultartangi

Enjoying the beautiful scenery in one of our natural hot tubs in the highlands - Hveravellir - Iceland

Enjoying the beautiful scenery in one of our natural hot tubs in the highlands – Hveravellir – Iceland

Nothing in Iceland prepares you for the stark, desolate, raw beauty of the barren upland plateau called the Highlands. An uninhabited area, The Highlands are completely without towns or villages, just infinite plains, glacial rivers and lava fields punctuated by ice caps, volcanoes and jagged mountains. The isolation is the reason why people visit and travellers are humbled by the sublime sight of nature in its rawest, barest form.

Gjallandi waterfall in river Skjalfandafljot. Highlands of Iceland.

Gjallandi waterfall in river Skjalfandafljot. Highlands of Iceland.

Laki or Lakagígar (Craters of Laki) is a volcanic fissure in the south highlands of Iceland,. Lakagígar is the correct name, as Laki mountain itself did not erupt, as fissures opened up on each side of it. Lakagígar is part of a volcanic system centered on the Grímsvötn volcano and including the Þórðarhyrna volcano. It lies between the glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull, in an area of fissures that run in a southwest to northeast direction.

Laki or Lakagígar (Craters of Laki) is a volcanic fissure in the south highlands of Iceland,. Lakagígar is the correct name, as Laki mountain itself did not erupt, as fissures opened up on each side of it. Lakagígar is part of a volcanic system centered on the Grímsvötn volcano and including the Þórðarhyrna volcano. It lies between the glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull, in an area of fissures that run in a southwest to northeast direction.

Historically, trails in the highlands were used as summer short cuts between north and south and myths of ghosts and fearsome outlaws spurred travellers along the tracks with all speed. Today, it is probably wiser to worry about the weather, as conditions can be fickle and snow is not uncommon, even in mid-summer. The solitude is exhilarating, the views are vast and it is immensely tough but equally rewarding to hike or bike these cross-country routes. Any self-driving, cycling or hiking trip must be carefully planned. There are no roads in the area, just tracks and hardly any bridges across the rivers. Of the entire various track, only two routes actually cross the whole way between north and south:  Sprengisandur (F26) and Kjölur F35). The region is fully accessible only by four wheel drives. It is also possible to get a taste of this utter isolation in safety on bus tours where you will discover amazing landscapes, similar to lunar landscapes. Which is the reason why the Apollo astronauts came there to train for moon landing!

Back packers walking in the Highland’s of Landmannalaugar towards Brennisteinsalda, Iceland

Back packers walking in the Highland’s of Landmannalaugar towards Brennisteinsalda, Iceland

Sprengisandur, Highlands of Iceland

Sprengisandur, Highlands of Iceland

Back packers walking in the Highland’s of Landmannalaugar towards Brennisteinsalda, Iceland

Back packers walking in the Highland’s of Landmannalaugar towards Brennisteinsalda, Iceland

The falls plunge 33 feet in a horseshoe-shaped recess, breaking into as many as six distinct segments depending on how much water is present in the artificially reduced river. During periods of heavier discharge the whole ledge may become covered in water, stretching out to nearly 200 unbroken feet in width

The falls plunge 33 feet in a horseshoe-shaped recess, breaking into as many as six distinct segments depending on how much water is present in the artificially reduced river. During periods of heavier discharge the whole ledge may become covered in water, stretching out to nearly 200 unbroken feet in width

Breiðamerkurjökull is part of the big Glacier Vatnajkull

Breiðamerkurjökull is part of the big Glacier Vatnajökull

Glacier Sólheimajökull - Iceland

Glacier Sólheimajökull – Iceland

Lónsöræfi ( Lonsoraefi ) in the East highlands of Iceland

Lónsöræfi ( Lonsoraefi ) in the East highlands of Iceland

Taken in south-Iceland

Taken in south-Iceland

Landmannalaugar is a region near the volcano Hekla in southern section of Iceland's highlands

Landmannalaugar is a region near the volcano Hekla in southern section of Iceland’s highlands

Landmannalaugar area - Highland - Iceland

Landmannalaugar area – Highland – Iceland

The Highlands of Iceland

Photo: Rafn Sig