We had almost 4 days to explore the Iceland's south highlands (basically the area centered around Landmannalaugar). We did two hikes (Blue Peak and one leg of Laugavegur). Otherwise, we were on a four day photo safari that took full advantage of our driver/photo guide's knowledge of the area. We left the South Highlands with more than 2000 photographs to sort and process. Here are some of our favourites.
Landmannalaugar, in Iceland's Highlands, is a popular destination with outdoor enthusiasts including hikers, backpackers and landscape photographers. A highlight of our first day in the area was the short hike to the summit of Blue Peak (Mt. Bláhnjúkur) to enjoy fabulous views across range after range of rhyolite mountains, the "Lord of the Rings" worthy Laugahraun lava field and the colourful Brennisteinsalda volcano.
After a long day hiking the Fimmvörðuháls trail, we opted for a driving day focused on photography between Vik and Jökulsárlón. By the end of the day, we 'd photographed a DC-3 plane wreck, black sand beaches, rock formations, puffins, glacier lagoons, the icy beach and Laki lava flows.
As we planned our Iceland vacation the Fimmvörðuháls trail was at the top of our "must do" list. A few weeks have passed since we made the hike, but we talked about it again today and agree that it's one of the top 4 hikes we've ever done. Although fairly long (at 25 km), the elevation gain is very manageable. There's a tremendous variety to the landscape. And when it comes to waterfalls, Fimmvörðuháls is by far the most impressive waterfall trek we've ever done!
We enjoyed a couple of short hikes in Þórsmörk (Thórsmörk) Nature Reserve, one of the most popular hiking areas in Iceland. The landscape includes glaciers, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, “forests” of low-growing and crooked native birch and wildflowers - so much scope for photography!