Iceland’s Ring Road – Day 4

Geothermal energy plant at Námaskarð - Iceland
Geothermal energy plant at Námaskarð

It was my fourth day on the Iceland’s Ring Road and I already was completely in love with this country. On this day we continued to explore around the Lake Mývatn area. This volcanic area has many interesting places to see. I would have stayed another day but the clock was ticking and the road was calling.

Námaskarð Pass

The Námaskarð Pass is an area of geothermal activity with boiling mud pools and steaming fumaroles. The most popular place to visit is the Hveraröndor Hverir, a hot spring area located at the base of Mt. Námafjall. This geothermal area has one of the highest temperatures in Iceland. Be careful to stay on the marked trails. Do not cross the security ropes or you might get some serious burns. In some places the ground can be as hot as 80-100 °C. This place is magnificent to see, but the smell is not so great. The sulfur vapors that rise up are so strong that made my eyes watered.

Hveraröndor Hverir - Iceland

Hveraröndor Hverir

Fumarole at Hveraröndor Hverir - Iceland

Fumarole at Hveraröndor Hverir

Hveraröndor Hverir - Iceland

Hveraröndor Hverir

Krafla Volcano

The Krafla volcano is an active volcano in the Lake Mývatn area. It has erupted 29 times. Its last eruption was in 1984, and it left a total area of 36 square km covered by the lava flow.

During a massive volcanic eruption in 1724 called the Mývatn Fires, Krafla formed a huge explosion crater (Víti). The diameter of the crater is around 300 meters. The eruption continued for 5 years, and Víti’s bubbling cauldron of mud boiled for more than a century after that. Nowadays, inside the crater lays a beautiful green lake.

Víti means “Hell”.  This specific Víti is one of the two most famous Víti craters in Iceland. The other one is Víti at Askja.

Víti crater at Krafla volcano - Iceland

Víti crater at Krafla volcano

Turquoise pool at Krafla lava field - Iceland

Turquoise pool at Krafla lava field

Path through Krafla lava field - Iceland

Path through Krafla lava field

Krafla lava field - Iceland

Krafla lava field

Dettifoss Waterfall

Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It’s located in the Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland. Dettifoss is often referred as “The Beast” in comparison to “The Beauty” of Goðafoss. This monstrous waterfall is so strong, that the mist from the falls are visible from several miles away. The mist produces beautiful rainbows on sunny days.

The Dettifoss waters come from the Vatnajökull glacier, dropping into the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon with all its power. This extraordinary river canyon was formed by the actions of water, fire and ice.

Approaching the waterfall is a bit scary. It took me a minute or two before I took the courage to come close. Be carefull when approaching the edge. The rocks are wet and slippery, and it’s a terrifying 45 m fall.

Dettifoss Waterfall - Iceland

Dettifoss Waterfall

Dettifoss Waterfall - Iceland

Dettifoss Waterfall

Hotel Hallormsstaður

We spent the night at Hotel Hallormsstaður. This was the most beautiful hotel we have stayed so far, but it’s very isolated. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, spa center, sauna, bikes, hiking trails, horse riding and more. Of course we didn’t have the time to enjoy any of that. But we did enjoyed the cosy hotel bar. The view of the breakfast room is really something.

For more information about the tour go to http://www.tour.is/longer-tours/country_life_-_7_days

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