The Icelandic highlands cover the major part of the country and many of Iceland’s main natural attractions can be found there.
The central highlands cover a vast area, all at an altitude above 500 meters high, with numerous mountains reaching a height between 1000 and 2000 meters. Most of these higher mountains are covered by glaciers. Two of the highest mountains in the country (over 2000 m high) are located in Vatnajokull, namely Hvannadalshnjukur (2109 m, located in the southskirts of Vatnajokull) and Bardarbunga, a subglacial volcano northwest of Vatnajokull (2000 m).
Three of the largest glaciers in Iceland are located in the central highlands. These are Vatnajokull in the southeast (Europe’s largest glacier), Hofsjokull in the center of Iceland and Langjokull, west of Hofsjokull.
Various highlands paths lie between the glaciers, open for cars around June/July. One of the major ones are Kjolur, connecting South and North Iceland (the road is located between Hofsjokull and Langjokull). Sprengisandur, is another important path, connecting South and North, and located between Hofsjokull and Vatnajokull (Tungnafellsjokull, to be exact).
Kaldidalur is a highland path stretching west of Langjokull, from Thingvellir towards the Borgarfjordur district. It then continues further north as Storisandur.
Geologically, almost all the mountains south of the glaciers are tuff mountains. They were formed during the Ice Age, as well as the area north of Vatnajokull. Volcanic activity is confined to tuff areas of the country and in the south highlands are some of its most active and famous volcanoes, Hekla, Eyjafjallajokull and Katla in Myrdalsjokull (Iceland’s fourth largest glacier).
The northwest and central-north highlands consist of ancient basalt formations and it is the same for the mountains of the Eastfjords.
There are a few oases in the highlands that have unique vegetation and wildlife. The most important of these are Thjorsarver, Nyidalur/Jokuldalur, Herdubreidarlindir and Eyjabakkar. The pink-footed goose has its main nesting places at Thjorsarver and Eyjabakkar. Thjorsarver was designated as a Ramsar site in 1990. Reindeers reside in the east highlands.
Having described the landscape and wildlife, we have yet to mention one last important thing: Away from crowds, noise and bustle, the highlands offer unique silence, serenity, peace and extreme natural beauty.
The Landmannalaugar are geothermal nature baths and a popular attraction one should not miss. Located in the South Highlands of Iceland, the area is renowned for its stunning beauty.
Along with its vegetation and baths, the area is notable for its spectacular rock formations, multicolored rhyolite mountains and expansive lava fields; two popular mountains being Blahnjukur (‘Blue Peak’) and Brennisteinsalda (‘Sulphur wave’).
It is also the usual starting point for the four day long hiking trail Laugavegur (not to be confused with Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main shopping street), which leads to Thorsmork valley.
The Laugavegur trail is the most popular hiking trail in Iceland.
The stratovolcano Hekla in the south of Iceland is undoubtedly one of the island's most famous and active volcanoes, with over 20 eruptions since settlement.
Hekla is part of a 40 kilometers long volcanic ridge but the most active part is the fissure Heklugja, considered the volcano proper. Hekla has produced one of the largest amounts of lava of any volcano in the world. Last time Hekla erupted was in 2000.
In the Middle Ages Hekla was considered to be the gateway to Hell, and it continues to inspire. It’s referenced in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, poet and artist William Blake banishes Winter to Hekla in his poem Winter and Icelandic composer Jon Leifs, inspired by Hekla’s power, composed one of the loudest pieces of classical music ever, Hekla Op 52.
Travelers from all over seek out Hekla and it is a popular hiking place. In addition to hiking you can ski there in the spring, summer offers easy mountaineering routes and you can snowmobile to the top in winter.
Thjorsardalur is the easternmost valley of Arnessysla in South Iceland. The valley is lush and contains amazing natural and cultural attractions.
Thjorsardalur is rather flat and has much pumice, due to volcanic eruptions from Hekla.The rivers Sanda and Fossa run through the valley, which has wide areas of birchwood and is listed as a National Forest.
Among popular attractions are the beautiful waterfalls Hjalparfoss and Haifoss, one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland. The small valley Gjain features small waterfalls, ponds and volcanic formations. Vegghamrar are impressive rock cliffs, popular for rock climbing and the reconstructed viking-era farmstead Thjodveldisbaerinn, showcasing life in the Saga Age, is also highly recommended.
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冰岛内陆地区与其他地区风光截然不同， 非常特别， 徒步路线也非常简单， 徒步完还有温泉泡简直太棒了， 还要再去几次 ！