The Thorsmork Nature Reserve is a top Icelandic destination for both locals and visitors in love with nature and hiking. It is a remote valley with mountain ridge, glaciers and glacial rivers. If you want to hike I recommend it, however if you are short on time I would not call it a must stop.
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - THORSMORK
Thórsmörk is a Natural Reserve in South Iceland popular among locals and visitors for all the hiking possibilities. It is a valley surrounded by rugged mountains, closed by the glaciers of Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull and crossed by impressive glacial rivers.
Its situation gives it a warmer climate and protection, therefore the landscape is greener than in the rest of Iceland. Short and long hiking trail gives you beautiful views of the glaciers, volcanic landscape, sharp rocks and caves.
Its name means the Forest of Thor, the famous Norse god associated with thunder, strength and protection of mankind. The region is not easy to access but well deserve the effort and adventure that comes from getting there.
Thorsmork is included in the Travel guide Experience Iceland that I wrote to help you plan your road trip around Iceland and make the most of your time.
Traces of Eyjafjallajokull eruption
On the way to the Thorsmork valley, you drive by a bare landscape with a tongue of glacier and a huge fissure. This is the evidence of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. This is a very impressive place and I discovered it without anyone around. As you can see in the picture below the area is now black and bare. Before the glacier was flowing down into a lagoon.
Be careful where you drive, my driver explained me that the flooded area has some quick sand and a car has actually disappeared thankfully without its occupant.
A remote location: crossing rivers
As I said there are several glacial rivers to cross to get to the Thorsmork valley. The photo below is an example of a small one. You can have a look at my video on the Icelandic Road Trip Post. However I must admit that during the big and dangerous one at the end, I did not photograph or film, I just hold on to the car and stopped breathing.
The Thorsmork valley
Arriving in the valley you discover beautiful landscapes with interesting shapes of mountain and green moss. Plus, being there at the second half of September, the area started showing beautiful autumn colors
Basahringur walk in Thorsmork
There are many long and short hiking trails leaving from the Volcano Huts. My guide recommended the short hike of Basahringur that I completed in an hour. This was an easy walk although good footwear is needed and there is bit to climb. At the end I had many steps to walk down and those with knee injuries might have some difficulties. Below are the photos of the surrounding landscape including a view of one of the glacier from the top.
ACCOMODATION: VOLCANO HUTS
I stayed the night at the Volcano Huts. Discover Iceland has booked a cabin for me. I enjoyed diner in the common area with soup and a choice of fish or meat.
During the night I was lucky to experience the northern lights!
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Iceland in my online Iceland Destination Guide.
Have you ever crossed crazy rivers in a 4WD?