I have not been out of the United States for over a year now, so I was getting anxious for some international travel, so we started looking into possible trips. Andy and I had been itching to go to Iceland for a couple years now. We had found a deal a while back, but after looking into rental car prices, we decided to wait.
Super Jeep Tour: Volcano and Glacier Walk
Christian, our guide, picked us up for the Super Jeep Tour: Volcano and Glacier Walk. We rode in a Toyota that had a high lift and big tires to traverse some rocky, uneven terrain. There was snow in the city today, which was how I thought Iceland’s climate would be in March.
We drove Ring Road to Selfoss to pick up the other tour members in our group. On the other side of the pass out of Reykjavik, there was little snow except out in the mountains. We got down to roughly sea level and followed the coastline to the southeast. The other tourists were French and spoke little English. They used an iPad to take photos and video, which at times was quite comical. We then had one more stop at a gas station to meet up with another group that we would be with for the rest of the day. This vehicle included Rob and Neil, along with Wesley and Eric (all from Seattle).
Off-Roading to Stakkolts River Canyon
We then headed down a road and passed Seljalandsfoss to Þórsmörk to Stakkholts River Canyon. We came to a sign on the road that said Impassable, where Christian pulled off the road to deflate air from his tires before continuing on. We drove through braided rivers and glacier runoff from Eyjafjallajökull, which was bumpy at times because this area was washed out when the volcano erupted. It was raining, so I only took a few pictures. We were only here for a few minutes and then headed back to the vehicles.
Glacier and Snow
We then stopped at Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall with a path to walk behind it. I took a couple of pictures here, but it was still raining making the lighting dull. We had about 15 minutes here before heading to Hotel Anna for lunch. The lunch was included in our tour. We stopped here to have some Icelandic lamb soup, which was delicious. They also provided a vegetarian option, which I did not try. After a nice long lunch of getting to know our group, we continued onto our tour.
Glacier Walk on Mýrdalsjökull
Next stop: the glacier walk on Mýrdalsjökull on the Katla volcano. We drove a little further down the road to the parking lot. There were some other groups already on the glacier learning to ice climb, but were finishing up when we started our tour. We got set up and met three more members of the tour that joined us for lunch and the glacier walk. We got fitted for crampons and started walking out towards the glacier from the parking lot. The landscape had a frozen lake at the end of it with the glacier jetting up to a snow field. It was snowing heavily during some parts of the tour, but I preferred it to the rain we were having earlier.
Mýrdalsjökull Glacier Walk
Once at the foot of the glacier, we all were instructed on how to put on crampons and use ice axes. Margaret was now the tour leader for this part, but Christian and the other driver walked with us to make sure everyone stayed together.
It was slow hiking in our group of 14 with little stops along the way for some fun facts of the history of Iceland, glaciers, and this particular glacier. We had the option to walk through a formation of a tunnel that went through the glacier and would probably change in the next few months to no longer exist. We came to a Moulin, which is where water enters the glacier from its surface down through the glacier. This was the turnaround point of the tour, so we took pictures and headed back down.
Mýrdalsjökull Glacier Walk
We took off our crampons once we were off the glacier and carried them with our ice axes back to the parking lot.
Skógafoss and Black Sand Beaches
We then left the glacier and headed to Skógafoss, which was a larger waterfall than the one prior. We did not stay here long either because we only had a little time to drive on the black sand beach across the road from the waterfall.
Christian got creative on the way out and was having fun trying to get up a small sand dune. We now had a few hours’ drive back to Reykjavik with planned stops at the gas station for coffee in Hvolsvollur and to drop off the others in Selfoss. We got back to Reykjavik around 7:30 or 8 pm, which made the tour last roughly 11 hours.
Where was your favorite tour when traveling?
More in this series:
- Iceland – Skaftafell National Park & Jökulsárlón
- Iceland – Golden Circle Route and Reykjavík
- What Happens When a Country Does Not Have Enemies
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