NATURE is full of contrasts, and what is more surreal than GLACIERS ATOP VOLCANOES!
Mt. Hekla (elev. 4,500 ft, 1400 m), is Iceland's best-known volcano, erupting on an interval of about every 10 years, so it lacks a glacier cover. In medieval times it was considered the entrance to hell, and the saying, “To heck with it,” derives from this mountain. Mt. Hekla is often seen on GOLDEN CIRCLE TOUR and the summer OASIS TOUR approaches nearly to its base. Snæfellsjökull, featured on the WEST ICELAND TOUR is the beautiful, glacier-topped volcanic cone, which Jules Verne made the entrance to the underworld in his “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. On the SOUTH SHORE, the volcano, Katla, lies hidden under the glacier, Mýrdalsjökull. These are just a few of over 20 high intensity volcanic centres in Iceland.
Not surprisingly Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur (elev. 6,858 ft., 2.110 m) is glacier-topped and volcanic in origin, but more astonishing is the fact that glaciers are also responsible for Iceland’s lowest point. The bottom of the glacial lagoon, Jökulsárlón is 300 ft. (100m) below sea level, and was carved by the Vatnajökull glacier, before it retreated. We can arrange a spectacular 2-3 day tour to enjoy these sites and Skaftafell National Park, a division of Europe's largest national park, Vatnajökull Þjóðgarður.
Being on the North Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is entirely volcanic in nature. During its prehistoric origin, periods of frigid cold climate generated thick layers of ice, parts of which persist today as glaciers. About 10% of the country is glacier-covered, including Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull (8,000 sq. km. or 3,120 sq. mi.). Glaciers are a vital part of Iceland’s ecology. Besides influencing our local climate, they add to the water table that is vital to all life, and they impact the distribution of plants and animals, while being important indicators of global conditions.
We at f-stop can’t promise any waking volcanoes, but we CAN show you several napping! And if you really want to ‘chill out', we can certainly show you the spectacular meaning of this phrase!