Kerlingarfjöll

 

How to get there

From Akureyri (distance 220 km, of which 100 km are gravel road). Follow the main road from Akureyri (ring no 1) towards west through Skagafjörður, towards Blönduós. In Blöndudalur, approx 16 Km after the petrol station Varmahlíð, you take a left turn at the sign to Kjölur for road 35. Road 35 goes through Blöndudalur Valley, towards Blanda Hydro power plant and from there to Hveravellir geothermal area. 40 Km south of Hveravellir you see the Kerlingarfjöll sign on your left, take the road, F347, which will lead you to the resort.

From Blönduós (140 Km, of which 100 are on gravel road) follow road number 1 from Blönduós, towards Varmahlid/Akureyri, after approx 25 KM, there is a crossroad with a right turn towards road 35, after that see description for the travel from Akureyri.

From Reykjavík there are two options, to drive to Gullfoss, either through Þingvellir national Park or along road no 1 towards Selfoss. Before Selfoss there is a sign towards Kjölur road and Gullfoss to be followed

From Gullfoss there travel is along Kjölur road, 75 KM north of Gullfoss theres is a sign towards Kerlingarföll along road F347.


The resort

Nestled in Ásgarður valley, the resort consists of 12 houses with accommodation, a bath-house, campsite and fence for horses

  • A large main building houses the reception, a restaurant and sleeping bag accommodation.
  • Two huts are dedicated to sleeping bag accommodations
  • 9 huts have been refurbished and offer smaller rooms with double beds, WC and made-up beds.
  • In a separate building warm showers and warm water basin for bathing are available to guests.
  • A man made natural bathing facility is in the area, in 25 min walking distance from the resort.

The Kjölur area

The Kjölur area, is situated in the western part of the Icelandic central highlands, nested between major natural elements on all sides - Langjökull glacier in the west and Hofsjökull glacier in the east, glacial river Hvítá in the south and fresh water river Seyðisá in the north. It ranges in altitude between 400 and 600 above sea level.

Kjölur road, appr. 200 km long, is one of the two major roads crossing the country from coast to coast through the interior. It provides exellent panoramic views on a clear day, as the virtual absence of vegetation and platau-like landscape gives way to open views in all directions.

In the east and south, where the barren remnants of the last ice age, are decorated with gray moraines and low mountains it is an area ideal for shorter or longer hikes between huts. In addition to the Kerlingarfjöll resort, there are several huts along the route, most of which belong the Icelandic Touring Association.


Kerlingarfjöll mountain cluster

The mountain cluster of Kerlingarfjöll is Formed during a volcanic eruption in the last part of the ice age, ranging in age from 70.000 to 300.000 years. Kerlingarfjöll differ sharply from the surrounding environment, both in shape and colour. Mostly made out of rhyolite and tuff stone, both dark and bright, they pose a stark contrast to the dominating black colour of the surrounding Kjölur area. Volcanic glass also abounds.

Kerlingarffjöll are defined as active volcanic area and they have three different geothermal areas, the best known of those is the Hveradalir valley , a site of both steam and clay geysers with emissions mixed with sulphur.

By the geysers there is creation of clay and the earth is boiled asunder. Where the glacier streams reach down into the valleys, the geysers have melted the ice and created impressive arches, caves and ice rocks.

As the entire central highlands were covered with glacier, at the time of formation, in certain places it seems that pillars of tuff stone reached out of the melting glacier ice. Due to that fact there are tuff stone pillars with a lava top.

During the course of their life span, Kerlingarfjöll have become weathered and have very little continuous vegetation, as the forces of nature - glaciers, water flow, ice bursts etc. - have been hard at work in the rough mountain weather.

Due to the unusual combination of heat and cold, the flora around the hot spring area is also highly unusual. The multi colored geyser clay, the dense clouds of steam, the rhyolite mountains and the glaciers, all add to the diversity and beauty of this unique site.


Gear, equipment and safety

We recommend that all our clients to study the advices given by Safe Travel of Iceland to those intending to travel on the Highlands. See www.safetravel.is


Climate and weather

Iceland enjoys a much milder climate than its name and location adjacent to the Arctic circle would imply. A branch of the Gulf Stream flows along the southern and the western coast greatly moderating the climate. However, this brings mild Atlantic air in contact with colder Arctic air resulting in a climate that is marked by frequent changes in weather and storminess. Furthermore this leads to more rainfall in the southern and western part than in the northern part of the island.

The summer tourist season is from late May to early September. During the first half of this period the sun stays above the horizon for almost 24 hours and the interplay of light and shadows on mountains, lava fields and glaciers yield an ever changing landscape. However, even during the middle of summer the sky is frequently cloudy or overcast and the sunshine does not warm the air much. Hence, during daytime, the air is usually cool ("refreshing" is the local euphemism) and cold during nighttime. (see : http://en.vedur.is/weather/climate_in_iceland/)

As Kerlingarfjöll are at an altitude of 700 – 1500 meters above sea level, the wheather is generally harsher than at the lower altitudes and along the coast of the island and tourists are advised to be aware of that.

Information on weather and climate in Iceland can be found on the website of the Icelandic meterological office, see www.vedur.is.


Our guides

All our guides are highly experienced guides, with experience from guiding and have knowledge on the area.