The heart of Iceland

In September 2019, I was back in Iceland for the 6th time (who said "monomaniac" ?). This time, it was a bit special for me, because I was the guide for a group of photographers. According to their review, I was not bad as a guide, and they liked this photographer's paradise. I was so happy to share with them my experience and love for Iceland. They were happy to discover waterfalls, multicolored volcanoes, black sand beaches and other geological wonders. Here is "part II" of the trip.

I really love that part of Iceland: Reykjanesfólkvangur. It's a nature reserve with lava formations, crater lakes, bird cliffs & bubbling geothermic fields. Usually tourists don't go there, so it's a perfect place to enjoy tranquillity.

This is Gullfoss area, one of the most crowded place in Iceland. Happily, since a lot of tourists just go directly to the main waterfall there without exploring the surrunding areas, you have a lot of desert sports to take pictures ;-)

Quote of the day: "The problem with driving around Iceland is that you’re basically confronted by a new soul-enriching, breath-taking, life-affirming natural sight every five goddamn minutes. It’s totally exhausting." Stephen Markley

Need a good place to stay near Geysir area? Don't hesitate to contact me, I have a very nice guesthouse in mind with a hot tube in the garden.

Somewhere in Thingvellir National Park. In the last few decades, research has made it clear that Þingvellir is a natural wonder on a international scale, with the geologic history and the biosystem of Lake Þingvallavatn forming a unique entity, a magnificent showcase. Being able to witness the evolution and formation of new species in a place like Lake Þingvallavatn is of immense value. The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area make evident the rifting of the earth's crust.

This scenic lake occupies a volcanic crater ~3,000 years old. Kerið (occasionally Anglicized as Kerith or Kerid) is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area in south Iceland, along the Golden Circle. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the Langjökull Glacier, created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, but it is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact. The caldera, like the other volcanic rock in the area, is composed of a red (rather than black) volcanic rock. The caldera itself is approximately 55 m (180 ft) deep, 170 m (560 ft) wide, and 270 m (890 ft) across. Kerið's caldera is one of the three most recognizable volcanic craters because at approximately 3,000 years old, it is only half the age of most of the surrounding volcanic features. The other two are Seyðishólar and Kerhóll. While most of the crater is steep-walled with little vegetation, one wall is sloped more gently and blanketed with a deep moss, and can be descended fairly easily. The lake itself is fairly shallow (7–14 metres, depending on rainfall and other factors), but due to minerals from the soil, is an opaque and strikingly vivid aquamarine.

Nested by the highland route Kjalvegur connecting the north and the south,between the two big glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull, Hveravellir Nature Reserve is one of the last great wilderness areas of Europe. Extending up to the foothills of Langjökull glacier Hveravellir is a geothermal hotspot with smoking fumaroles and bubbling water holes. It is a special experience to have a look around, whether it is in the summer or winter. The surroundings are spectacular. Fenced in by glaciers mountains craters and lava fields wherever you look the scenery is breathtaking. Hveravellir is one of Iceland’s most popular Oasis in the highlands whether your drive hike or ride the Icelandic horse. The area offers various hiking trails through the wonders of the lava field or nearby spectacular mountain slope.

The Highlands of Iceland are a sparsely inhabited plateau that covers most of the interior of Iceland. They are situated above 400–500 metres and are mostly an uninhabitable volcanic desert, because the water precipitating as rain or snow infiltrates so quickly into the ground that it is unavailable for plant growth. One of the largest unpopulated areas in Europe, the desolate landscapes have long drawn comparisons with the moon, but you’ll also find vast nature reserves, awesome mountains, and budding geothermal areas across the vast expanse. The isolation is what many come here to experience, and there are no services across the entire area so you’re truly on your own, which means you must be prepared. But for those who are, the rewards are truly great.⁠

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© 2018-2020 by Emilien Gigandet - Switzerland -