A deep glacial valley framed by snowy mountain peaks and set between the Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull glaciers, Þórsmörk (Valley of Thor) is one of Iceland’s most dramatic and popular hiking and off-roading destinations. Millennia of glacial and volcanic activity has created a lush and scenic valley where mineral-rich rivers meet black desert plains under the glare of jagged mountain ridges. This full-day tour with a local guide can be tailored to your interests and takes you deep into the valley to see its most impressive sights and vistas as you hike, drive or explore as you wish.
You’ll be picked up at your hotel in Reykjavík or on the south coast by your private guide on the morning of the tour. Your transport for the day will be a ‘Superjeep’, a specially modified vehicle able to navigate Iceland’s more rugged trails.
On arrival at Þórsmörk, you’ll turn off the paved road and onto a path formed of volcanic rock and ash, winding through a barren valley dotted by waterfalls and braided with rivers. The waters shift depending on conditions, but your vehicle is equipped to pass over them, though it may get bumpy at times.
Your itinerary in the valley is flexible and can be tailored to focus on hiking (trails vary in difficulty), photography or geology as you observe the harsh landscape with its sheer cliffs and towering river canyons.
The valley's climate is warmer and wetter than surrounding areas, giving it a lush quality in places, with patches of birchwood, moss and fern among the black sands. On certain days, warm air from the valley ascends to meet the cold wind off the glaciers, causing an ethereal mist to hang over its length.
As you travel through the glacial rivers that weave through the volcanic ash and rock, you can also expect to see massive boulders worn smooth by the Gigjökull glacier and deposited on the valley floor. The glacier
dramatically reduced in size following Eyjafjallajökull's eruption in 2010, and in its wake, has left a landscape strewn with glacial deposits.
Whatever you decide to do in the valley, you’ll take a break in the middle of the day to enjoy a barbecue lunch cooked by your guide in Þórsmörk’s sweeping valley. This includes Icelandic lamb chops (and/or a vegetarian option), salad, grilled potatoes and soft drinks. Beer, wine and champagne can also be included, just speak to your specialist.
When you’ve had enough time to enjoy the valley and see the sights, you’ll leave Þórsmörk behind and be driven back towards the coast, stopping off at Seljalandsfoss, a 60-m (200-ft) waterfall. A wide path runs directly behind the falls so you can walk behind the cascading water (weather dependent), but bring a raincoat as it’s still pretty wet.
At the end of the day, your driver will take you back to your hotel, roughly eight to ten hours after the tour started.