Home in the wilderness - 5 days in thórsmörk in association with volcano huts & northern destinations
I went to Thórsmörk and to Volcano Huts for the first time in 2016. I only had a little less than a day to look around but it was love at first sight. The intact beauty of the mountains, glaciers, wild glacial rivers and narrow valleys showed me something entirely different than the mountains I’ve been to in the past 15 years. I’ve decided right there that I’ll come back to get to know this region soon, and this summer it finally came to reality.
Even the road to Thórsmörk is an adventure on its own. The F249 is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles with a high ground clearance as you’ll have to cross 8-10 rivers to reach the Volcano Huts parking lot before Krossá river. Crossing the rivers require experience, caution and it’s best to wait until another car is around to help you out if anything goes wrong. You also want to avoid crossing the fords after heavy rains. At the beginning of this season a walking bridge was installed on Krossá, so it is super easy to get to the huts by foot from the parking lot or you can take the bus that is coming from Seljalandsfoss. We made it safe and sound to the walking bridge but before packing up with our stuff for our 4 days stay and heading for the bridge, we took a detour and walked to Stakkholtgsja canyon.
Now imagine a place where you step among huge, 50 meters tall walls covered in extremely green moss and below your feet, glacial waters run through. We just pushed further and further deep into the canyon - sometimes on the left sometimes on the right side of the river crossing it by stepping on stones. The canyon got more narrow as we moved forward and the walls got even higher. At one point, it divided in two lines, so we took the right one at first.
This line was straight, pointing towards Eyjafjallajökull with waterfalls sprinkling thick smooth rain on us from both sides. The weather was beautiful that day, still water was coming from all directions, Eyjafjallajökull’s cold breeze swept through our jackets and we got soaking wet in minutes while staring at the raindrops dancing in the sunshine. It was surreal. Once we realized how all are stuff got wet, we headed back quickly for the other line of the canyon.
The weather was beautiful that day, still water was coming from all directions, Eyjafjallajökull’s cold breeze swept through our jackets and we got soaking wet in minutes while staring at the raindrops dancing in the sunshine. It was surreal. Once we realized how all are stuff got wet, we headed back quickly for the other line of the canyon. This other line started out super narrow and everything, really every inch of the walls, the stones under our feet, the surroundings of the waterfalls was covered by thick Icelandic moss. The humidity was extreme and the canyon got so narrow it seemed like the space was closing up around us. We heard the roar of the waterfall inside and we spent an hour admiring it before heading back to the car.
We got everything we need for the following 3 days out of the car and with 4 backpacks we finally took the bridge over Krossá to arrive to the base camp of our next adventures: Volcano Huts. Our private room waited for us warmed up and with crisp clean bedsheets, that was a true treat after spending 6 days in our tent. We even caught dinner in the Hut (perfect lamb soup and salad) and still had the time and energy to climb up to Valahnúkur and watch the sunset.
We woke up the next day for a huge storm, and according to the forecasts, rain was going to stay with us till late afternoon. So we had a nice long breakfast and planned ahead our trip for the days to come. Meanwhile our glamping accomodation got ready, so we took our backpacks to our new “room”, where some real luxury features welcomed us. A king size bed, armchairs, electric stove and some fluffy furry warm carpets and blankets. We settled in and waited under the blankets till the rain stopped.
Meanwhile our glamping accomodation got ready, so we took our backpacks to our new “room”, where some real luxury features welcomed us. A king size bed, armchairs, electric stove and some fluffy furry warm carpets and blankets. We settled in and waited under the blankets till the rain stopped.
It was already 5 in the afternoon when we could hit the road towards the valley of Krossá river. We took the hiking trail through Langidalur, a lovely, unexpected forest in the middle of the Highlands, and once we arrived on the other side of the hill, we started to walk alongside the river, having Myrdalsjökull in front of us. We hiked 2 hours till we got to the entrance of Godaland. We haven’t got much time left after it was raining all day so we turned back and arrived to Volcano Huts just on time to be able to grab some dinner. We were a bit off and disappointed by the weather but we went to sleep thinking today was just a warmup for us.
On the next day, we got up with fantastic weather: sparkling sunshine without a single cloud in the sky, and no wind at all: rarely perfect circumstances for a full day hike in the Highlands. Our goal was to hike up to Eyjafjallajökull, the site of the infamous 2010 eruption, where the legendary Fimmvörduháls trail passes over between Thórsmörk and Skógar.After a decent amount of coffee and muesli, we left Volcano Huts at around 10 am. We reached our first stop, Básar in 1,5 hours after hiking through Langidalur again, walking next to Krossá river and finally walk across over it on a footbridge.
From Básar we continued our hike on the first part of the well-known 30 km long Fimmvörduháls trail: we walked on steep ascends and over endless canyons covered by thick moss, while the sun literally just shined our way. Wearing just a T-shirt with sunscreen on our shoulders - a rare and warm experience, even for the locals.
With every steps, the views were getting better and better as we hiked up on the trail higher and higher. After 2 hours, we finally reached the top of Morinsheidi: a huge mountain plato, where the panorama is just spectacular: on the left side you can see Myrdalsjökull, on the right side you can admire the peaks and canyons of Godaland. And we still had the brilliant sunshine on our skin.
After the plato we faced a pretty steep section. We walked across more and more snow, and the trail started to look like reddish, volcanic soil. Only 2 corners left when we eventually reached the site of the 2010 eruption. Standing on top of 8 years old rocks was one of the most surreal experiences we’ve ever had. Around us everything was covered in snow, two glacial caps, Myrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull throwing cold winds into our face and small craters as tiny cones pointing out from the snow so red as they were on fire.
Finally we got home to Volcano Huts at 10pm. After 41261 steps, 31,15 km, 5542 calories and 347 floors we were exhausted as hell. We had a nice meal that was spared for us by the best staff ever and fell into our glamping bed for our last night here. Thank you all for this unforgettable 4 days Volcano Huts! See you soon ;)