Askja -The Highland Day tour

– This is absolutely my favorite day tour, full of wonders and wonderful landscapes.

What is Askja and where is it?

The Primeval landscape of Askja

Askja is a caldera in an untouched wilderness inside the Vatnajökull National Park, located in the volcanic landscape of the center highland of Iceland, in the mountains Dyngjufjöll. Inside the caldera is a deep lake, and the world famous Víti Explosion Crater. It is most often suitable to bathe in the Víti crater due to it’s warm geothermal water.

The trip itself leads us into the highland, through the largest untouched wilderness in Iceland, called Ódáðahraun, along the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum with endless variety of volcanic landscapes, freshwater springs, waterfalls, lava fields and wonders.

The tour to Askja 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

Gáski Waterfall, 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 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 hut 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 often include in this tour, a visit to the new lava field Holuhraun the largest lava flow in 230 years. Here is my video of the eruption: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgcMc92CYIE

Since 2014 I’ve made over 100 trips to Askja, 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 end of June, in some years around middle of June. 

Tour price: ISK 155.000,-  for private tour with maximum of 6 passengers, Comfortable for 4. (The price is total for your group or couples, not per person) – Only available as a private tour –  The tours are available daily on request, reservation required.

  • Departures are optional: Pick up at your selected location near Laugar, or the Mývatn area. 
  • Departure time is on request but I prefer not later than 7:45am since the duration of the tour is is normally around 12 hours.
  • Included is a fully guided tour and transportation.
  • Refreshments are not included in the 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. 
  • No confirmation fees, just full payment after the tour, when I drop you off at your car or hotel. I Accept most credit cards and cash in all currencies. 

Private tours can be tailor made in any way. For more information and booking, please contact me with email at kip@kip.is

Here below are some example pictures from my tours to Askja. 

Here below is an very Interesting Youtube episode of an Icelandic TV show that shows images from Askja. It’s in Icelandic language but the images speak for themselves:

Here another episode from the same area:

At Lake Askja in August 2019

At Lake Askja in August 2019

People swimming in Viti crater

Víti crater in Askja, August 2019.

Famili in warm water in Askja

With my Austrian friends in at and in Lake Askja, August 2019

Víti in Askja

Víti in Askja, July 3rd 2019

My German friends in Askja, July 3rd 2019

herdubreid

Mt. Herðubreið, or “The Queen” as we call it. In the foreground are lava fields, and the path we drive 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. This is the heart of Iceland, in the center highland of Iceland.

inside-askja

Walking iside the caldera, the 2,4km path means 5km walking on snow most of July. In August the snow is gone from the path. 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.

On the way to Askja are paths that lead to various places, for example to to the roots of Mt. Herðubreið. I recommend that you do NOT try this on rental cars. איסלנד

 
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 July 8th 2015