Þjórsárdalur (Thjorsardalur) valley in the south of Iceland lies along the river Þjórsá, between the mountains Burfell in the east and Skriðufell in the west, about 140 kilometers from Reykjavík. From Selfoss, take Route 30 towards Flúðir, then take Highway 32 toward Árnes and Þjórsárdalur. The road caters for classic vehicles during the summer months but the track is quite chaotic and full of holes and pebbles, and so, a 4×4 vehicle proves to be a more suitable choice and is much safer. From May to September, it’s possible to camp in Þjórsárdalur for a little over 1,000 kroner per person; camping takes place in the middle of a small forest (forests are rare in Iceland).
There are only two farms Ásólfsstaðir and Skriðufell in the valley. In the region, you can see the ruins of twenty abandoned farms, which were evacuated when the volcano Hekla erupted in the twelfth century. The Icelandic conservation department was responsible for replanting vegetation in the valley, and today it’s a beautiful place. A pretty birch forest near the valley grows around the two farms mentioned above.
Þjórsárdalur is home to scenic places like Gjáin and Kjóaflöt, where you can enjoy a dense and lush vegetation. Don’t miss visiting the historical farmhouse, Þjóðveldisbærinn Stöng (64 ° 19 ° 7.12.N 49.13.W). The farm was once covered by ash from the volcano Hekla during an eruption in 1104 and was later extracted from the ground in 1939, moved ten kilometers from its original place and then converted into a museum. Near this historical farmhouse is Hjálparfoss waterfall, located in one of the volcano Hekla’s lava fields. Nearly five kilometers south of Hjálparfoss you can admire Þjófafoss and Háifoss and Tangafoss in the east.
From Stöng, you can walk about a half hour to get to Gjáin, a beautiful place full of rivers, waterfalls, and plants that form a fabulous landscape. You can also go by car from the farm Stöng to Gjáin, but walking is easy and enjoyable. If you go late August, you can pick Icelandic blueberries -a delightful treat! North of Gjáin you can admire the waterfall Gjárfoss, and many other waterfalls in the area, such as Háifoss.
There is also a hot spring in the middle of Þjórsárdalur (N64 ° 09 650 W19 ° 48.715). You can also get close to Hekla volcano, probably the best-known volcano and most active in Iceland. Located in the northeast of the small town of Hella. Hekla erupts about every ten years since 1970, but its last eruption was in 2000.
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