The Portal to Exhilaration
Hvolsvöllur Opens the Door to Thrills to Remember
While the numbers of tourists in Iceland grows with every passing year, it’s not like it gets extremely crowded, even in the middle of July. Once outside of Reykjavik, the numbers thin out considerably and if solitude and wide open spaces are what you are looking for, you don’t have to drive very far to find them.
Drive 106 km out of Reykjavik along the south coast and there lies the town of Hvolsvöllur. Peaceful farmlands suddenly and dramatically give way to almost vertical slopes that reach down to the main road. Kilometre after kilometre of endless black sand beaches hug the shoreline; deserted except for the occasional surfers who come to do battle with the waves.
We take a look at two local adventure companies who are based in Hvolsvöllur.
The advantage is immediately obvious. These are guides who didn’t get their knowledge of the area from a book. Having lived most of their lives around Eyjafjallajökull Volcano they impress with their insight and first-hand accounts that only locals would know. With years of experience behind them, each company is able to combine their talent and passion with safety and skill. Like their Viking forefathers before them, they possess a deeper understanding of the challenges that are to be found and are adept at finding the hidden gems that can really make your holiday outstanding.
South Coast Adventure
Family-run South Coast Adventure is based out of the beautiful Hamragarður Camping Site next to Seljalandsfoss, perfectly situated for tours into the Thorsmörk Nature Reserve and trips to the top of Eyjafjallajökull. This is one place where its good to heed the advice of the experts and not try to make it on your own; hence the need for Super Jeeps which are specially outfitted to ford glacial rivers and get you over some of the worst terrain.
Thorsmörk by Superjeep
The Thorsmörk Nature Reserve is a unique area that is sheltered on three sides by the glaciers Mýrdalsjökull, Eyjafjallajökull and Tindfjallajökull, with its own micro-climate, no less. Getting there in a Superjeep is half the fun, of course. The tour stops at Gigjökull glacial tongue where much of the action of the 2010 volcano action took place. It was here that massive chunks of ice the size of houses and tons and tons of water roared down the side of the mountain, wiping out the small but deep glacial lagoon that was once there.
After a lunch or dinner stop at Húsadalur, the tour continues all the way into the valley, passing the Elf Cathedral and other curious rock formations.
Eyjafjallajökull by Superjeep
For an extraordinary view of the of the whole volcanic system for miles around, the trip to the top of Eyjafjallajökull by Superjeep is a must-do. You will get a chance to peer into the still-warm crater at the summit, and check out the mind-boggling collision course of fire and ice from the 2010 eruption of this now famous volcano.
South Iceland Adventure, edgy and just a little bit daring
South Iceland Adventure is for those of you who want just a tad more excitement and edge to your Icelandic vacation in a way that challenges you to go right to the limit of – but not beyond – your personal comfort zone.
Cover new ground
One of the most popular walking routes in Iceland, the Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail comes alive on this tour called ‘Meet Eyjafjallajökull’. Explore the volcanic fissure and walk across freshly minted lava that exploded from the earth preceding the 2010 eruption on Eyjafjallajökull.
Canyoning in Fljótshlíð
South Iceland Adventure has created a short activity that’s easy to fit into your schedule- Canyoning! Feel of the force in the river, explore the inside of the canyon and challenge yourself with an extreme day tour. South Iceland Adventure has the excitement you are looking for.
Iceland’s southern portal, Hvolsvöllur- where the landscape is alive with change and where the volcanoes follow the whims of the unwritten rules of nature.