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Þórsmörk and the South Coast in a 4×4 Jeep

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Viktória is the “new girl” – here at What’s On and in Iceland. She comes from Hungary, studies Viking Stuff at the University and loves photography, so we’re sending her on ALL the tours to get a fresh perspective on what they’re like. As the old Icelandic saying goes “perceptive is the eye of the visitor.”

Photos by Ágnes Viktória Jávorszky

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This time, I was off to see Þórsmörk and the south coast in a 4×4 jeep. Þórsmörk is a hiking paradise between two glaciers at one end of the popular Laugavegur hiking trail, with a bonus stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. I was excited for the tour, even if I once more had an early pick up with a super jeep. Scratch that – this time,  it was a super-truck, a super jeep on steroids, usually for groups of 8-10 people. Our group consisted of only four people, driver included, which means we each had plenty of leg space in the truck. Our trip started out with me getting a coffee from our driver Þorkell (who kept trying to get me to practice my non-existent Icelandic skills) which meant we were already off to a good start.

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Our first stop was at Seljalandsfoss. I had been there before on one of my tours, but I hadn’t yet seen it in daylight. This time, finally, I was able to see the path that you can take to walk behind the waterfall. You can walk all the way to the other side which I hadn’t realised when I was there in the dark. I also learned, however, and be warned; you will be dripping wet by the time you reach the other side so do bring either a dry set of clothing or any and every type of water-resistant clothing that you might possess. That said, walking behind a waterfall is pretty epic!

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After our walk behind the waterfall, we took to the road again and soon found ourselves at Gígjökull, a very interesting glacier that’s actually a part of Eyjafjallajökull, the site of the 2010 volcanic eruption. It was partly melted away by the eruption in 2010 and now you can walk in the crater that used to be a lake, prior to the eruption. Sadly, we did not manage to cross the river to see the cave underneath the glacier (as the stones in the river were too far apart to use them as stepping stones) but the view was still great, even from far away.

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We got back in the car and after driving over some bumps and glacial rivers we arrived at Básar in Þórsmörk, where we decided to take the Básahringur, supposedly the shortest and easiest walking path in the area. It didn’t turn out to be that easy as the landscape can change quickly up there and the rivers decided to block the path. We ended up having to half-fight our way through this jungle that is the amazing Básar area. We got a bit wet and muddy on the way but I can assure you, it was much more fun than it sounds!

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Our last stop was Stakkholtsgjá canyon in Þórsmörk where we stopped briefly to walk into the river valley and admire the view from within the canyon. After that, we passed again over the rivers and bumps on the way back, had some rain, some sunshine, and saw some rainbows on the Ring Road. Before we knew it, we were back in Reykjavík.

After visiting the area, I must say, it’s no wonder it’s Iceland’s most popular hiking spot. Þórsmörk has the kind of striking beauty that can only be called sublime. I highly recommend visiting, if you have the time.

Photos by Ágnes Viktória Jávorszky