South Iceland – Vatnajökull, Landmannalaugar, Porsmörk Trip Report

Aftre finsihing the visit of Myvatn area we continued driving on the ring road to Eglistadir and then to Höfn.


Close to Höfn on the glacier Lagoon Jökulsarlon Icebregs ddrifts slowly through the lagoon before floating out to the sea. The ice calves come from the Vatnajökull glacier. The lagoon boat trips are nice but you can get almost as close to those cool-blue masterpieces by walking along the shore. Close to the lagoon on Diamond beach  pieces of cristall ice are spread  photogenically over the black sand beach

Skaftafell is a popular walking area in the Vatnajökull National Park. Lots of waterfalls, birch woods, rivers and mountains and glaciers. In the middle Svartifoss (black falls) is a waterfall flanked by geometric black basalt columns.

From the Hella town we started to two daily trips. One to Landmanalaugur and the other one to Porsmark.

On both trips (as for Askja in the Myvatn area) you need high clearnce 4 WD because you have to cross dangerous rivers. This is not possible with ‘normal’ 4 WD.


Huge multicoloured mounatains that you think the painter just finished the work. The colourful rhyolite mountains here really look like a watercolour painting.The peaks are made of ryholite – a mineral-filled lkava that cooled very slowly causing the pigments. On the other side, there is the view of the lava fields. There are so many lava fields in the area and the ruggedness of it all really feels like you’re on another planet.

We walked a path that passed through green, yellow, red, blue mountains. It was a rainbow on earth. Ok, now you don’t believe me, but look at the photos and you will.


Named after the god Thor (por) this is a hiker’s paradise. Thorsmork is a mountain range nestled between major glaciers Tindfjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. The ridge, named “Thor’s Valley” in Icelandic, is a dramatic landscape of towering peaks, glacier rivers, and black deserts. Craggy mountains and ice-topped peaks slope down to lush birch forests and mossy gulches. To get there you need a high clearensce 4 WD because you have to cross the  dangerous Krossa river. Thath why I took a one day trip by bus.

Valahnukur is essentially an ancient volcanic ash mountain located in the heart of Thorsmork. Once you hike to the top, you are standing at the very peak of the small mountain and have incredible 360-degree views of Thorsmork and even all the way into nearby Landmannalaugar.

From this Thorsmork hike, you can see down into the valley where you came from, all the way out to the Ring Road/south Iceland coast, over glaciers, and through canyons. The view is incredible and well worth the hike up.

Close to Vik town is the beautiful black basalt beach and lots of cliffs populated by puffins.

Parts of the movie ‘Game of Thrones’ have been made here. Be aware of the so rolling roaring waves called sneaker waves as they are particular  violent and often pushing far further up the beach than you would expect.

Vik was the last stop on our wonderful trip through iceland. After the two hikes we drove to Reykjavik and the other day we flew from Keflavik to Germany.