Skógar, Take A Hike On Some Hot Lava

Skógar, Take A Hike On Some Hot Lava

Haukur S. Magnússon
Photos by
Julia Staples

While travelling in the south of Iceland, Skógar, right by The Ring Road, is a must-visit destination. The majestic waterfall Skógafoss is a sight to behold and is positively awe-inspiring in its sheer size and volume (it is also really loud, which is nice). A stairway up the mountain has been constructed next to the waterfall, and the short hike up there will provide splendid views of the fall and the surrounding scenery (seen from above, the herd of tourists cavorting around there is reduced to bevy of fluorescent dots, which is nice).

Many visitors to Skógar might not realise that it also marks the starting point of one of Iceland’s most popular hikes, which takes you from Skógar through the Fimmvörðuháls mountain pass all the way to beautiful Þórsmörk. The well-marked path is 26 km long and can be done in a single day if one is packed lightly, but the Útivist travel association also operates a comfortable mountain hut on the way, which may be booked in advance for a more leisurely jaunt through the pass.

The hiking trail will take you over a newly formed lava field, which was created by the Fimmvörðuháls/Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010, and it is reportedly an interesting sensation to walk over the still-warm lava.

As we hiked the beginnings of the trail on our short stop at Skógar, we had to use all our willpower not to carry on the entire way. If you go there, you’ll understand. And when you get to Þórsmörk, you’ll know. You just will.

NOTE: Hiking the Fimmvörðuháls path should be done with extreme caution, and only after heavy research. If you plan on doing it, play it safe at all times, and make sure someone knows of your whereabouts and plans.

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