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For the Children

Efra-Hvolshellar caves

The caves in Efra-Hvol (Upper Hvol) have histarically been referred to as "the Irish Caves" which are set into the so-called, "Irish Heath". It was originally thought that many of these man-made or artificial caves were madein the 19th century, but in fact, their histofical names appear to confirm they originated even beforr the settlement period.

More geosites in the neighbourhood: www.katlageopark.com

Fjaðrárgljúfur

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a magnificent and massive canyon, about 100 meters deep and about two kilometres long. The canyon has sheer walls, and is somewhat serpentine and narrow. The bedrock in Fjaðrárgljúfur is mostly palagonite from cold periods of the Ice Age and is thought to be about two million years old. The river Fjaðrá has its source in the mountain Geirlandshraun and falls off the heath edge in this stunning canyon until it makes it down into Skaftá river. Fjaðrá has changed a lot in the course of time. Today Fjaðrá is often rather low in water and therefore hikers can safely choose to walk inside the canyon. However, wading is necessary fairly often. Deep in the canyon there are waterfalls so one needs to walk the same way back. Most people choose to walk along a walking path up on the canyon's edge while simultaneously enjoying the view above the canyon.

Formation of the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

It is believed that Fjaðrárgljúfur formed at the end of the last Ice Age, about nine thousand years ago. When the glacier retreated, a lake formed in the valley behind a hard resistant rock. The run-off from the lake flowed to where Fjaðrárgljúfur is today. Glacial rivers from the glacier's edge carried a lot of sediment into the lake and the river which ran from it dug itself down into the rock and down onto the palagonite in front of it. Because the cascade has been so large, it was powerful in digging out the canyon. Eventually the lake filled with sediments and the river's strength dwindled. When the lake filled up completely, the river began to dig itself into the sediment layers which it had previously left in the valley. Fluvial terraces on both sides in the valley give an indication about the original height and location of the lake while a deep channel in the palagonite serves as a silent reminder to the power of nature.

More geosites in the neighbourhood: www.katlageopark.com

Folk Museum and Museum of Transport in Skogar

Situated next to the stunning Skógafoss waterfall in extraordinarily beautiful natural surroundings, the Skógar Folk Museum preserves the cultural heritage of southern Iceland through its collection of tools and equipment, handicrafts, old buildings, books, manuscripts, and documents. A key part of the Museum's work has been the reconstruction of several old farmhouses, so visitors can see how Icelanders lived in the past. In 2002 the Museum opened a new Museum of Transport. It not only explores the history of transportation, communication, and technology in Iceland in the 19th and 20th centuries but also includes a history of Icelandic postal services and electrification.During the summer the Café Skogar, with its delightful selection of Icelandic soups, sandwiches, and home-baked cakes, is a charming place for lunch or just a snack. (In winter, the Café is available only for group lunches.) The Museum shop, located in the Museum of Transport, offers an excellent selection of books and Icelandic memorabilia, all at reasonable prices.

Hafnarnes lighthouse and viewpoint

Hafnarnes is an area on the edge of the town Thorlákshöfn where you are surrounded by beautiful cliffs and the majestic ocean. A viewpoint is located in the area and from there you have panoramic views over the mountains surrounding the area such as the volcanoes Mt. Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull. This area is also very popular amongst surfers and usually you can spot a few surfing. There is a small lighthouse on the cliffs, it is not open for visitors but is very picturesque with the waves banging against the cliffs.

Iceland Activities

Iceland Activities is a family company that has extensive experience, over 20 years, of the surrounding area of Hveragerði. Our goal is to take you out of the main tourist areas and into Icelands unique nature and show you all the remarkable things that make Iceland so amazing. We offer various tours ranging from two hours up to a day trip, many of our tours are also available in the evening sun.

Iceland Activities is located in Hveragerði, the Icelandic capital of hot springs. Hveragerði is 45 km east of the capital Reykjavík (30 minutes drive).

By selecting our tours, you are guaranteed to get quality tours for the lowest price.
- Selection of food and drinks available for trips.
- Personal service for big and small groups.

Hike and Bike Tours:
Healthy and fun way to explore Hveragerði, Hengill geothermal area and the volcanic surroundings with experienced guides. The area is famous for hot springs and multiple contrast lava formations in untouched nature. You will witness nature's extremes, ranging from small gurgling hot springs to vibrant super heated pools of water and steam. You will see old volcanic craters, historical places and perhaps end the day trip by taking a dip into a geothermal river and enjoy the sounds of nature in magnificent mountain environment.

Surfing:
Battle the waves and watch the curious seals swim by in the North Atlantic ocean. 10 km long black sandy beach with great waves, it is a fantastic chilling experience.
- for beginners and experienced surfers

Bike rental:
Explore Hveragerði and its near surroundings on your own time and pace around south Iceland. We have prepared a map with preferred places to visit and stay over night from one to several days trip. This is a unique way to travel Icelands south coast.
- witness more for less!

Group Activities:
We offer fun games for small and big groups. Where the group is divided up to work together and solve challenges to defeat the opponent. The day will end by swinging over a waterfall in a monkey swing or some rock gliding/climbing.

Knarrarósviti - lighthous

Built in 1938-1939, the lighthouse was the first one in Iceland to be built out of reinforced concrete. The lighthouse is the tallest building in South Iceland, 26,2 metres (86 feet) high. It was designed by the engineer Axel Sveinsson as a blend of functionalism and art nouveau (jugendstil).

LÁ Art Museum

LÁ Art Museum (Listasafn Árnesinga) welcomes you. It runs ambitious and various shows of contemporary as well as modern art in its four spacious exhibitions rooms. The exhibitions reflect our cultural heritage and our contemporary change.

The bright seating area offers visitors the chance to relax in a peaceful setting whilst browsing through art related reading material supplied. The Museum also houses a small café and the children´s corner gives the museum´s younger visitors a chance to enjoy themselves.

The Museum is owned by the eight Municipalities in Árnesinga County and supported by the Museum Council of Iceland.

LÁ Art Museum on Facebook

Merkjárfoss / Gluggafoss

The Merkjá River has several beautiful waterfalls, but the most outstanding is Gluggafoss or Window Falls. (also known as Merkjárfoss) The upper half of the cliff is palagonite or tuff rock and the lower ledge is basalt. The river has formed tunnels and grooves through the soft rock and a series of 'windows' in the tunnels, thereby earning the name 'Gluggafoss'. At the very top of the falls, the river passes under a stone arch. As the rock is rather soft, the waterfall has changed over time. Around 1947 the upper half of the waterfall could hardly be seen, as the water flowed into a vertical tunnel behind the cliff. It was only visible through three different openings or 'windows' one above the other. The water came out through the bottom 'window', forming a beautiful arch, except when the water rose in the river, forcing it through all three windows. Further changes occurred when Hekla erupted in 1947, causing a 20 cm thick layer of volcanic ash to be carried downstream by the river. The vertical tunnel formation nearly disappeared as it filled with ash. It has taken nearly 50 years for the falls to return to its former glory.


More geosites in the neighbourhood: www.katlageopark.com

Ölfus black sand beach

Ölfus has a black sand beach that stretches from Thorlákshöfn to Ölfusa river. A long walk on the beach surrounded by black sand and lyme grass is the perfect way to unwind from the day to day stress.
The beach is also a popular surfing spot and the waves are suitable for those taking their first steps at surfing. For more advanced surfers the waves by the lighthouse in Thorlákshöfn are superb.

Raufarholshellir

There are many caves in the lava fields in Ölfus and the largest being Raufarhólshellir by road no. 39. A journey into Raufarhólshellir is a unique experience and a great opportunity to witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption as one walks in the path of lava that flowed during the Leitahraun eruption, which occurred east of the Bláfjöll mountains about 5200 years ago. Daily tours are available in Raufarhólshellir.

Reykjadalur valley

Reykjadalur valley is the most popular and arguably the most beautiful hiking area in Ölfus. Hot springs and colourful areas full of geothermal activity entertain along a hiking trail which leads to a hot river. For some of the length of the river the temperature in it is perfect for bathing and that's a wonderful natural experience.

Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui Waterfalls

A unique waterfall in the river Seljalandsá, about 30 km west from Skógar. It is 60 meters high with a foot path behind it at the bottom of the cliff, but with a thin cascade. It is the only known waterfall of its kind, where it is possible to walk behind it. The waterfall is very picturesque and therefore its photo can be found in many books and calendars.

Access to the waterfall is from the farm of Seljaland along the Ring Road, Iceland's main highway. A little further to the west there are several other falls, among them the interesting Gljúfrabúi which is partially masked by its own canyon. Access to it is from Hamragarðar farm along the road, east of Markarfljót.

Both of these "do-not-miss" attractions lie very close to the main Ring Road at the base of the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier, on the road leading in to Thorsmörk.

Skagaás grove

Skagás is a beautiful grove in serene surroundings. It's easily accessible and open for everyone but please take care not to leave any litter behind. Barbequing is allowed only in a specially designated area due to fire hazard.

Stakkholtsgja

Fantastic canyon, very narrow around 2 km. long and ends in a beatiful waterfall. Easy hike where you can enjoy nature, birdlife and of course cold, clean mountain water.

The Great Geysir
One of the greatest natural attractions of Iceland and part of the famous "Golden Circle Tour", The Great Geysir, or Stori-Geysir, has been dormant since 1916 when it suddenly ceased to spout. It came to life only once in 1935, and as quickly went back to sleep. Since then its repose has sporadically been disturbed by the dumping of tons of carbolic soap powder into its seething orifice in order to tickle it to spout. It is not exactly known when Geysir was created. It is believed that it came into existence around the end of the 13th century when a series of strong earthquakes, accompanied by a devastating eruption of Mt. Hekla, hit Haukadalur, the geothermal valley where Geysir is located. What is known is that it spouted regularly every third hour or so up to the beginning of the 19th century and thereafter progressively at much longer intervals until it completely stopped in 1916. Whether its silence is eternal or temporary no one knows. When it was alive and shooting, it could thunderously blast a spectacular jet of superheated water and steam into the air as high as 60 to 80 meters according to different sources. Its opening is 18 meters wide and its chamber 20 meters deep. One reason for cessation is believed to be the accumulated rocks and foreign objects thrown into it by thousands of tourists throughout the years. Though definitely damaging, this however could not be the only reason for its dormancy. The Great Geysir was among the most notable geysers in the world, such as those in Yellowstone Park, New Zealand and North Iceland. The English word "geyser" is derived from the Icelandic word "geysir" which means gusher. Though the Great Geysir itself is now more or less inactive, the area surrounding it is geothermically very active with many smaller hot springs. The attraction of the area is now Strokkur (The Churn), another geyser 100 meters south of the Great Geysir, which erupts at regular intervals every 10 minutes or so and its white column of boiling water can reach as high as 30 meters. The whole area is a geothermal park sitting on top of a vast boiling cauldron. Belching sulphurous mud pots of unusual colors, hissing steam vents, hot and cold springs, warm streams, and primitive plants can all be found here. A short distance away to the west stands the small Laugarfjall Mountain with a panoramic view overlooking the Geysir area. King Christian IX of Denmark visited the area in 1874 and by the foot of the mountain are the rocks where he leaned while his hosts tried to impress and amuse him by boiling eggs in the hot springs. The rocks are now called Konungssteinar ("The King's Stones").
Thingvallavatn Lake

Lake Thingvallavatn lies in a rift valley that extends south from the Langjokull glacier to mount Hengill, and from Botnssulur mountains in the west to Lyngdalsheidi heath in the east. The lake is the largest natural lake in Iceland, about 84 square kilometres, at an altitude of about 100 metres above sea level. The deepest part of the lake measures 114 metres, which means that it reaches below sea level.The catchment area of Lake Thingvallavatn, about 1300 square kilometres, lies in the same directions as the fissure in the area and its existence is closely connected with the geological history.The water in the lake is very cold and therefore very pure so snorkling and diving are popular in it. Silfra, one of the fissures in the northern part of the lake is one of the most popular diving spots in Iceland due to this.

Thorsmork

The Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Peaceland between the mountains
The pearl of the central highlands, Landmannalaugar, and its surroundings are too colorful and magnificent to describe with words.

Timburhóll - Grove

Timburhóll is a beautiful grove where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. You could even barbecue using the barbecue facilities provided but use caution with the fire and make sure not to leave any litter. This is also a memorial site of the great Icelandic artist and painter Ásgrímur Jónsson as well as the farmers Guðfinna Guðmundsdóttir and Stefán Jasonarson.

South Iceland

Towns & Villages

The south of Iceland has several towns and villages, each with its own style, charm and points of interest. Selfoss is the largest town and has a variety of shops, services, many restaurants and fast food places. Most towns are close to the main route, making them accessible and enjoyable.

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Map Höfn Kirkjubæjarklaustur Vík Vestmannaeyjar Hvolsvöllur Flúðir Laugarvatn Reykholt Laugarás Borg Brautarholt Hveragerði Árnes Selfoss Hella Stokkseyri Eyrarbakki Þykkvibær Þórlákshöfn