Foreign Tourists Complete Trek Across Iceland Skip to content

Foreign Tourists Complete Trek Across Iceland

The most difficult and longest trek available for tourists at the Icelandic Mountain Guides took place for the third time this year. The 30-day trek takes hikers almost 500 kilometers across the country from the north to the south. Of the seven tourists who embarked on the journey, five completed it this week.

Reynisdrangar by Vík where the trek ended. The photo is not directly related to the story. By Páll Stefánsson.

The trek begins at the canyon Ásbyrgi in northeast Iceland. From there hikers walk to lake Mývatn, over the highlands to the Askja volcano and then take the Gaesavatnaleid path to Vonarskard between the glaciers Tungnafellsjökull and Vatnajökull, Morgunbladid reports.

Then hikers have to wade the rivers Svedja and Tungnaá, walk along the lake Langisjór and along the eastern ridge of Mýrdalsjökull glacier. The journey ends at the beach by Vík with a view of the Reynisdrangar rock formations.

“Wading these rivers went well […]. However Leirá came as a surprise. It was very difficult; we haven’t waded it before but we had to in order to finish the trip,” said mountain guide Róbert Thór Haraldsson.

“What happened is that we weren’t able to walk down from the glacier by Sandfell because of changes in the glacier; it has retreated significantly,” Haraldsson explained. “Glaciers change a lot between years and paths down them are different and more difficult.”

The guide said the second-last day had been the most difficult when the group walked across Kötlujökull, an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull.

“The day ended with a 15-hour battle in heavy rain through very difficult circumstances and the group had become rather cold. But we didn’t give up,” Haraldsson described.

The group encountered various adventures, such as a dust storm in Vonarskard when one of the tents blew away. There was also significant drought to the north of Vatnajökull and lack of water.

In spite of wet and windy weather for most of the trip, the group was satisfied with their journey. The adventurous hikers come from the US, Canada and France.

Click here to read about another hike across the country.

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