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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Thorsmork Tour, Southern Iceland

Thorsmork Tour, Southern Iceland

As I had visited Iceland three years previously and seen the "must-see" tourist attractions, (The Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon & Whale Watching) I wanted to try something different and see a different part of the country; therefore I chose the Thorsmork & South Coast tour with Greyline.

Epic scenery and Glacier in Thorsmork

Bus Transfer - Included in the tour price is a pickup from your hotel. Simply select which hotel you are stopping at when booking, and it will tell you a collection time on your confirmation receipt. You will then be taken to Greyline's main terminal where you exchange your confirmation for the actual ticket, and get on the tour bus.

Our super bus!

What is Thorsmork - Thorsmork or Thor's Valley is a large valley that runs between several mountain ranges and volcanoes. It has an amazing landscape ranging from fast flowing rivers surrounded by black sands, to lush green forests and multicoloured rock formations. These rocks hide many secrets including hidden caves and waterfalls - It really is a fascinating part of Iceland.

The lunar landscape of Thorsmork

The Tour - There was only four people on our tour including myself so it had a more personal feel and we didn't have to wait ages at each sight for everyone to catch up, or for the guide to explain it in multiple languages. Speaking of the guide, our was a German called Matthias and he really knew his history and geology - A very knowledagble man who have me great understanding of the things we were seeing.

Stunning unearthly landscape of Thorsmork

The drive through the base of the Thorsmork valley was amazing - our off-road super bus bounced and careered along the rough gravel paths and plummeted into streams and rivers. The mountainous unearthly scenery rolled by, there were hardly any other people in the valley which made it feel quite surreal.

Endangered forests of Thorsmork Sign post on the hiking trails of Thorsmork Green and lush landscape of Thorsmork The epic valley of Thorsmork Me standing next to the trolls fingers Looking down onto the valley of Thorsmork

First Hike and Troll Rock - Our first stop was in a lovely vibrant forested area with some great hiking opportunities. We hiked through one of the trails while Matthias explained to us about the deforestation in Iceland and how only 2.3% of the country now has forests left. The hike was fairly demanding due to the steep climbs but we were rewarded with stunning views of Thorsmork beneath us - you could see the beautiful valley stretched out in front and surrounded by majestic mountains. It was a wonderful sight and the photos I took do not convey the size and scale of the valley. There was also a large rock formation that resembled a troll and Matthias explained to us some of the folklore behind Icelandic Troll mythology.

Looking out from the canyon in Thorsmork

Second Hike and Secret Waterfall - After a short drive we arrived at our second hike. This was less strenuous and took us through a secluded canyon surrounded by immense green cliffs. We trudged along the remains of the riverbed and followed the canyon right to its source. At the end we were treated to a surprise and entered a cave that held a gorgeous cascading waterfall. The water spilt over the rock ledge gracefully into a pool below, and the noise of the falls was serene. It was really special to see and marvellous to witness how nature works.

Walking through the secret canyon

Third Hike and Treacherous Climb - A final small hike we took was through a small canyon cut by a stream - We had to walk over the wet rocks and clamber round to get to yet another stunning waterfall. I thought walking on the rocks was bad enough, however at the end we literally had to climb across the rock face using chains pegged into the walls and then traverse to a rope climb to get up to the base of the waterfall - It was really exhilarating! The waterfall was again amazing and the dangerous climb made me appreciate it more!

Inside the secret cave at Thorsmork Valley

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall - On the return we got to stop at this famous waterfall, one of the best known in Iceland. This mighty fall explodes over the cliffs and hurtles down into the pool below at great speeds. It was hard to take a decent photo without the other tourists being in the shot but I got some decent ones. I even braved walking round the back of this waterfall and taking a light soaking! You can see why Seljalandsfoss is so popular; its so grand, dramatic and beautiful.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Lava Cave and Beach - A final couple of sights we stopped at were a delightful Lava Cave that stretched underground for over 1km (we didn't explore it all!) and one of the south coast's strange volcanic black beaches. The sand was a rich black colour and contrasted greatly to the light blue waters.

Epic volcanic beaches in Southern Iceland

After 10+ hours of sight-seeing and exploration I felt that this tour was exceptional value for money and a great way to see a different area of Iceland. If you want to get away from the tourists and experience a raw part of the country, Thorsmork really is a beautiful and exciting place!

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