Touching the polar circle, Iceland is the strange home of a barren ice and fire inhabited land, where Nature shows signs of presence and power in the most spectacular ways. Volcanic and tectonic episodes create a extraordinary, mineral and lunar landscape. Green and peaceful pastures contrast with black ash-covered desert; lush grazing pastures stand out against the petrified lava fields, solfatares, wisps of smoke, and surface geysers...
Contrasts in the landscape are striking! Iceland mountains are like a kaleidoscope: You just need to turn around to suddenly notice you've travelled even further away.
Iceland is photographers' heaven. Some say the famous film from Jean-Jacques Annaud "La guerre du feu" (war for fire)could have been staged there. Landscapes look like the premises of life on our planet. However locals refused the idea of bringing elephants into Iceland and the film maker had to find another destination to bring his art to life .
" A landscape is not a country. It embodies a country waiting for dreams to settle in."
Organisor : François Eric Cormier, Mountain Leader.
No departure for 2015 - NEXT DEPARTURE IN AUGUST 2016
The Öraefi region: both strange and fabulous volcanic rifts and arctic tundra landscapes are the highlights of this remote trek. We start in an amazing natural environment at the base of the Helka volcano. The old lava flows impressively spread around millions of tons of black scories and white porous stones . Like little ants we hike by the huge Helka mountain, formerly thought to be the entrance to hell during the middle ages. In fact, this is the entrance door to the still active higher grounds of Iceland.
The balck ashes of the volcanoes contrast with the turquoise blue color of lakes and rivers, the green lush pastures of the Landmannahellir and the south-west Helka region, and the pastel colour of the acid rock layers of the Landmannalaugar. The world largest multicoloured obsidian Hrafntinnusker mountain is also one of the largest geothermal active areas in Iceland, with uncountable sulfuric gaz volatiles and bubbling pools.
Program :Being moderatly demanding, this trek mainly follows unmarked hiking terrain. River crossing, soft sandy surfaces, terrain profile and weather changing conditions may increase difficulty and therefore fatigue. We hike 9 and a half days in a row around the Helka volcano. On Day 11 we do a sightseeing tour of the famous local geological sites: Geysir (geysers, ho-water pools, boiling springs), Gullfoss, a large and amazingly beautiful 100-foot waterfall, and Thingvellir , a unique place where one can actually walk on the European-American tectonic devide.
During the trip, a private 4-wheel drive vehicle transports luggage, cooking equipment and food in a trailor. It is also available to transport tired hikers who may need a day of rest. We hike on average 6 hours each day, carrying a light back pack. Due to remoteness and varied terrain conditions, we recommend hikers to use and carry top of the range equipment, which should be as complete as possible. We stay in catered and uncatered huts (with one night under a tent eventually, to counterweigh the limited accommodation options) in the middle of some of the most incredible natural sites of the region. Let's not forget about local food: salmon, cod, trout, lamb roast...
This trek is the perfect adventure for anyone who is in search of very unfamiliar, or even unimaginable landscapes. The mountain leader in charge of this expedition with Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix has hiked and paced up and down the region over 15 times.
Price : 2750 € per person .
Group size ranges from 8 to 12, in order to provide the best quality and service during the trip.
Trip price was based on the 10/20/2013 currency rates, airfares and local prices for services and logistics . Prices may have to be adjusted before trip starts.
Price includes :
- Regular flight with ICELANDAIR Paris to Reykjavik and back
- Airport taxes(around 130€)
- Accommodation in auberges, huts or a very comfortable guest house in Reykjavik town center
- Entrance fee to Blue Lagoon
- Trekking logistics and services (guide, driver, 4-wheel drive vehicle, quality food)
- All transportation and transfers in private 4-wheel drive vehicles
- Charged showers in huts (around 30€ per person)
- Group first aid kit
- Radio contact with the driver
- Satellite phone to ensure safety and eventually reach relatives.
Not included :
- Dinner in Reykjavik
- Tips eventually
- Travelling Insurance