Askja – the Caldera daytour

– This is absolutely my favorite daytour…

What is Askja and where is it?

Askja and Víti

Lake Askja and the crater Víti, both inside the caldera in the center highland of Iceland.

Askja is a caldera located in the center highland of Iceland, in the mountains Dyngjufjöll. Inside the caldera is a deep lake, and a crater with geothermal water. It is sometimes suitable to bathe in it although the path down to the crater is often impassable due to how steep it is.

The trip it self to the Caldera is through the biggest desert of Iceland, called Ódáðahraun, along the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.

The tour starts early in the morning since normally the tours to Askja are about 12 hours long. Pickup is on request, most often from the guesthouses and hotels in the Laugar areaor Mývatn area. From Laugar we drive along Lake Mývatn and head to the east through lava fields. At the crater Hrossaborg, we make our turn to the south on the gravel road F88. We will cross rivers on the way, fords, and the river Grafarlandaá is the first one. There we take our first stop on enjoy the pureness and beauty of the this spring fed river that comes from under the Lava field and forms a small waterfall where the ford is.

Grafarlandaá

River Grafarlandaá, here we stop after crossing a river

After that our tour leads us through lava fields with great contrasts until we reach the ford at river Lindaá, another spring fed river. Next stop is the nature reserve Herðubreiðarlindir oasis (nearby mt. Herðubreið). Here we take another stop where my guests can use the washrooms (toilets) and take a look at the special nature of this place. In Herðurbreiðarlindir, I guide my guests in a few minutes walk through the place and take you the the location where our most famous outlaw hid during the winter of 1774-1775.
Next on our way is the magnificent place and waterfall called Gljúfrasmiður, a waterfall in the glacier river Jökulsá fjöllum. It has shaped the landscape over time into forms that are hard to imagine.

We then head to Dyngjufjöll, where the Askja caldera is, but first we stop at Dreki to have lunch (there are no shops in the highland so please bring a lunch with you). After our lunch, we drive to Vikraborgir craters where we start our 2,4km walk to the crater Víti and the Lake of Askja. Vikraborgir are the craters where the NASA Apollo mission astronauts’ training took place in 1965 and 1967.

I went on up to 40 trips to Askja on a super jeep with guests July and August 201gljufrasmidur4  and it always brings me great joy and happiness to be able to show this unique area to my guests. The summer 2015 I went more than 30 times and was still going until the first snowstorm of the winter closed the highland roads to Askja. Normally the highland roads open in the start of July.

Tour price: ISK 140.000,- for private tour with maximum of 6 passengers. (departure from your location in Laugar or Mývatn area. Akureyri also for added fee)
Tour price: ISK 45.000,- per person in a group tour with minimum of 4 passengers, maximum of 6 passengers. Departure from Laugar or Mývatn (free pickup from guesthouses and hotels in Laugar area, Reykjadalur Valley)  *Now only available as a private tour

Holuhraun

Holuhraun lava field, weights about the same as 600 million African male elephants 🙂 It’s about 85km2 and the 10-14m thick on average. This eruption started in august 2014 and ended in the end of February 2015. It is the largest lava eruption in 230 years.

The private and group tours are available daily on request, reservation required.

  • Departures are optional for private tour: Pick up at your selected location near Laugar, or the Mývatn area.
  • Departure time is on request but I prefer not later than 8:00 since the duration of the tour is is normally around 12 hours.
  • Included is fully guided tour and transportation.
  • Refreshments are not included in price. Please note that there are no shops in the highlands so please bring a lunch package and drinking water along with warm clothes and hiking boots. The summer 2014 and 2015 had unusually lot of snow inside the Askja caldera so the walking is on snow.

Private tours can be tailor made in any way.

For more information and booking, contact me with email at kip@kip.is or by phone +354 6505252

herdubreid

Herðubreið – the queen of the Icelandic mountains, our national mountain.

herdubreidarlindir

Herðubreiðarlindir, a nature reserve on our route to Askja

Askja - Víti - crater - caldera

At the edge of Víti crater in Askja 🙂 A great day.

viti crater

Group on a daytour with me to Askja 🙂

DSC_0167

The area north of Vatnajokull glacier is the biggest desert in Iceland. It’s our route to Askja the Caldera

This is a picture of myself at the edge of the Víti crater in Askja in July 2015. This is absolutely my favorite place in Iceland. The summer of 2014 I went almost every day to this place with my guests in daytours and will continue doing so hopefully for the rest of my life. This is the heart of Iceland, in the center highland of Iceland.

 

My super jeep, Nissan Patrol

My Super Jeep is a reliable Nissan Patrol, specially modified for Icelandic conditions.

inside-askja

Walking iside the caldera, the 2,4km path means 5km walking on snow most of July and September. Usually the snow is compressed as seen on this picture. Proper hiking boots are essential.

 

holuhraunid

Above: The Holuhraun Lava from the volcanic eruption that ended 2015 was still heating up springs and was a popular bathing place summer 2015.

mysuperjeep

My Super-Jeep is a Nissan Patrol, specially modified for Icelandic conditions.

From one of my many tours to Askja (summer 2015)

From one of my many tours to Askja (summer 2015)

Askja 8. July 2015

Askja 8. July 2015