Askja, Reykjahlid

#2 of 6 in Things to do in Reykjahlid
Askja is a caldera situated in a remote part of the central highlands of Iceland. The name Askja refers to a complex of nested calderas within the surrounding Dyngjufjöll mountains, which rise to 1510m, askja meaning box or caldera in IcelandicLocationThe region is only accessible for a few months of the year. Being situated in the rain shadow to the northeast of the Vatnajökull glacier, the area receives only about 450 mm of rainfall annually. The area was used during training for the Apollo program to prepare astronauts for the lunar missions. Their main objective in Askja was to study geology.EruptionsAskja was virtually unknown until the tremendous eruption which started on March 29, 1875. Especially in the eastern fjords of Iceland, the ashfall was heavy enough to poison the land and kill livestock. Ash, or tephra from this eruption was wind-blown to Norway and Sweden. The eruption triggered a substantial wave of emigration from Iceland. Another less well-known eruption occurred in the early Holocene, ca 11,000 years ago. Tephra from this eruption has been found in south-east Sweden, Northern Ireland and north Norway. The last eruption of Askja was in 1961.
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111 reviews
  • We took the trip to Askja with the Super Jeep from Geotravel. That was definitely the right decision. The nearly 12-hour day tour may cost almost €300 per person, but due to the fantastic weather that day we blurred that. In the morning we started at 8 o 'clock in Reykjahlícomo on National Road 1 up to the branch on the F 88, from which we moved only on gravel. The approximately 100 km long gravel road was easily navigated by the Jeep, it passed the table volcano Herðubreikok to the parking lot and then on an easy-to-cope route on foot of about 2.5 km to the crater Vidi and the lake behind it, the Öskjuvatn. The looks from the crater rim were simply indescribable in the madcap weather we had. The path down into the crater to the lake where you can swim, while relatively steep, is good to manage, at least in dry weather. Then we drove even further to the lava field Holuhraun, about a 30-minute drive away, which was only created in 2014/2015. There we were able to cross the cold lava on a defined path. The trip to Askja was the absolute highlight of our Icelandic trip. Thank you to the weather god!
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  • Those F-roads are gnarly. We went to Iceland just as they were opening up. Unfortunately, the Askja F-roads were not open yet, so we opted for a tour through Geo-Travel (ask for Hannes). The tour was ...  more »
  • The most magnificent place on earth. Been there over 100 times and it's always the same feeling. Best regards,
  • Very nice area with stunning views. Even in the summer it can be cold and windy
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