ME 10 favourite places

Iceland map

Number 1 Number 2 Number 3 Number 4 Number 5 Number 6 Number 7 Number 8 Number 9 Number 10 Click on the red dots for a description.

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1 Kverkfjöll A difficult to reach spot on the north of the Vatnajökull. There's no place that I know of where earth, water, fire and air come so close together. At the foot of the glacier is a warm river streaming from an icecave. On top are steaming hot springs that create strange "sculptures" in the snow. There is also a glacial lake with icefloes and steaming springs on the site. And you have a devastating view over the glacier, the Askja region and mount Herdubreid. Number 1
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2 Krafla & Mývatn are very much tourist area's in the northeast part of Iceland. Around Mývatn are lots of volcanic curiosities like :
- Namaskard, an area with bubbling hot mudpools
- Grotagjá and Storagjá, caves with hot water
- Dimmuborgir, a lavafield with huge rocks
- Hverfjall, a huge crater
- Höfdi, an unusual green peninsula, with views on strange basalt pillars
Krafla is an area near Mývatn with a fresh 12 years old lavafield. When I was there in 1987, the ground was still steaming. It was like walking in an ashtray. It was very impressing, but I wonder what's left of the fragile structures, now thousands of tourists have passed by.
Number 2
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3 Kerlingarfjöll is a mountain range halfway the Kjölur route. In a setting with the colours of Landmannalaugar you will find one of the biggest thermal areas in Iceland. But the best memory for me was the homelike shelter this former ski resort was, after a difficult 4 days tour on the wetlands. Number 3
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4 Waterfalls I made it myself easy by choosing all waterfalls because I couldn't choose between any of them. Iceland has lots of beautiful waterfalls. Some are big and beautiful like Gullfoss and Skógafoss. Some are small and beautiful like the Aldeyjarfoss. And lots of them are just beautiful and completely unknown like the nameless(?) waterfall at the crossing of road nr 1 and the road to Öxi in east Iceland. On the photo the Dynjandifoss in the Westfjords. Number 4
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5 Thorsmörk is a valley hidden between several glaciers, with bizarre green pointy hills. It's very touristic nowadays, and not only because the long distance walking path from Skogar to Landmannalaugar passes it. But the view from the Morinsheidi plateau, on the valley and the Myrdallsjökull will still be spectacular. Number 5
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6 Landmannalaugar is the heart of a naturepark with colourful hills and steaming hot springs. There is a warm stream in which you can take a bath, and the view from the Bláhnúkur must be one of the most photographed in Iceland. It's the start (or end) of the 5 days walk to Skógar, a must-do for any Icelandhiker, who isn't looking for complete loneliness. Number 6
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7 Veiðivötn Just north of and in striking contrast with Landmannalaugar, you will find Veiðivötn (fish lakes). Instead of mountains you will find here moss grown crater lakes. And fishermen instead of tourists. Number 7
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8 Snæfellsnes is a peninsula in the west of Iceland that is visible from Reykjavik. This not very touristic area has some interesting features like the Snæfell glacier, Arnarstapi (weird rocks) and the coast at Dritvik. But I also like the north shore with its high steep hills, and the Beserkjahraun lava field. Number 8
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9 Lónsoraefi is an area at the east border of the Vatnajökull. The road inlands is spectacular, and from the valley near the mountaincabin you have a great view over the last part of the glacier. But the main reason I like it, is because of the hike I made from Stafafell farm, to discover a valley where almost no tourist will come, and that I consider my own private valley. Number 9
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10 Icelandic heaths Another all-in-one choice. A heath is the reward for a climb of a hill with your bicycle. And luckily Icelandic heaths are often beautiful, with hellgreen moss around deep blue streams, white patches of snow in a colourful scenery and great views over the surrounding area's. The shadowsite is, that they are very unfriendly and even dangerous in bad weather. On the photo a view in the Westfjords. Number 10
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Note : I thought it was rather hard to make a list. There are so many beautiful places in Iceland. And even now I have doubts about the order. Number 1 is fixed, but the others are more or less depending on my mood. And at the moment I like the less known, less spectacular, less touristic areas more. So that's why people who are familiar with Iceland will miss some of their favourite places, like Geysir, Hveravellir and Jökulsarlón. But I would say : do Iceland fanatics a favour, make your own list and put the photo's on the net !