The Land of Fire and Ice
This tour is truly the trip of a lifetime to a land where volcanoes, glaciers, vast waterfalls, gigantic gorges, steaming geysers all show nature's awesome power.
Our two-week tour aims to visit many of these mighty geological feature most of which are only accessible by four wheel drive vehicles.The main part of our journey to Iceland is from Hirtshals in Denmark aboard the MV Norrana. We’ll be sharing the ferry with other overlanders from small off-road campers to large expedition trucks. It's a two day sailing and we arrive early morning in the harbour of Seydisfjordur on the eastern coast.
After disembarking, we hit the road driving on Highway 1 the perimeter road which circumnavigates Iceland. Howeber, it's not long before we turn off onto the gravel pistes which criss-cross the interior of the island. our first stop is the mighty Hengifoss waterfall, Iceland’s third highest and just a taster of what’s to come. For the first couple of days we’ll skirt the south coast with its huge expanses of black, lava sand beaches and mighty basalt cliffs, home to vast colonies of puffins.
We’ll visit the Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon, where powder blue icebergs calve from the glacier and float through the lagoon before tumbling down the river to the ocean. We’ll visit the volcano centre near Eyjafjallajokul which famously erupted in 2010, severely disrupting air travel.
Continuing along the south coast we’re heading towards the area around Rekjavik and will take a rest day to enable sightseeing in Iceland’s capital city or a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon. Or both!
From here we begin the first of our journeys into the highlands. Here we'll be driving on tracks where a 4x4 is a real necessity. River crossings abound - some mere watersplashes but some far more tricky where deep swirling water can catch out the unwary or unprepared. Thorough vehicle preparation is essential and wading plugs and raised air intakes are strongly recommended as is underbody protection to guard against submerged obstructions. Rivers are best crossed in the morning as water levels rise as the midday sun melts the snow and ice further upstream.
It’s possible that some routes may be closed due to weather conditions so our route will remain flexible. The lanscape in the highlands has a harsh beauty and is a reminder of how geologically young this island is with it’s lava fields and other evidence of fairly recent volcanic activity.
We’ll be staying on serviced campsites during our visit to Iceland. Those near the coast tend to be mid-sized with the possibility of nearby bars and restaurants. In the highlands, accommodation is much simpler but a warm welcome is assured.
Weather-wise, Iceland sits in the North Atlantic. Whilst we have been blessed with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine on previous trips, things can change quickly so a range of good clothing and camping gear is essential to stay comfortable.
There's another rest day at Husavik on the north of the island to provide the opportunity for a whale watching trip on a typical Icelandic fishing boat. Or you might prefer just to chill out beside the harbour and check out the local restaurants. Most things, apart from diesel, on Iceland are expensive but not excessively so. It’s worth having a couple of meals out to sample the superb local cuisine.
Iceland is a destination unlike any other and it's dramatic landscapes ensure that this will be an adventure to remember!