The Icelandic Highlands: A Rugged Wonderland June 11th, 2013 • by Deborah Tobey If you really want to get away from it all, the interior of Iceland is like nothing you have ever experienced before. The mountainous center of the island, with its rocky deserts, jagged mountain peaks, ice caps, volcanoes, hidden valleys, and hot springs, is an awe-inspiring and untouched wilderness. For centuries, the interior of Iceland was all but inaccessible. Legend has it that outlaws hid for years at a time in the highlands, rustling sheep and keeping away from law-abiding folk. Fortunately, access is a lot easier today. The interior is traversed by two mountain roads, which only open in the summer months, after the spring thaw. Much of the route is along (and through) rivers, and therefore unsuitable for 2WD vehicles. On our The Land of Fire & Ice adventure, we take the Fallback Route through a scenic nature reserve to Landmannalaugar (which means “the people’s pools”). Landmannalaugar is a natural gem in the highlands of Iceland with a surprising and memorable landscape. Apart from its geothermal heat and warm rivers, one of the best characteristics of this area is its multicolored rhyolite mountains (a volcanic rock). We immerse ourselves in the other-worldly beauty of this area with a hike through breathtaking scenery, followed by a relaxing soak in a hot spring stream. We may also have the opportunity to hike through moss-covered boulders into the volcanic rift of Eldjá (“fire canyon”), the largest volcanic canyon in the world. Majestic and yet, so beautiful, the Iceland Highlands are vastly different from any other area in the country. Large lava fields, black volcano sands, towering mountains with huge craters, and majestic glaciers dominate this series of unbelievable impressions. For more information, email our Iceland trip specialist at [email protected].