Lónsöræfi is a Nature Reserve in southeast Iceland, located at the eastern end of the Vatnajökull glacier. This area is characterized by diverse geological formations that are the result of the Kollumúlaeldstöðvar volcano's activity, about a million to 5 million years ago. The area is rich colorful hills and valleys, mostly rhyolite, mineral-rich rock formed from volcanoes.

Lónsöræfi

During the period of activity, the area was a focal thermal region, which led to repeated eruptions, but today there is no activity.

East of the town Hoppen, there is a bay called "Lagoon Bay" -Lonoike, this bay is actually the waters that flow from the Jökulsá ái Lonoie, the icy river lagoon. The inland area named Lonsrfi means "wilderness of the lagoon."

The most beautiful part of the region is undeveloped; sources of water that wind down the hills and valleys of yellow rhyolite rocks. There is only one unpaved road leading to the area, and a cabin with basic accommodation facilities.

Despite the region's rocky landscape, it is rich in vegetation and farmers like to lead their herds to graze here in the rich grazing areas. There is a fantastic view from here of Iceland's highest mountain, Snæfell, which is not covered by a glacier and reaches a height of 1833 meters and inside the reserve are two peaks that reach 1300 m. The reserve was officially declared in 1977 and spreads out over an area of ​​320 square kilometers, one of the largest reserves in Iceland.

This is an area with relatively high rainfall and is a favorite amongst hikers. The region is perfect for trips from a few hours long up to several days and can be accessed from the ring road.

Sites of interest nearby:

Day Trip

Stapafell Farm area, accessible from Route 1, this route is also suitable for regular vehicles and there are several day trips, which allow you to explore the beauty of the area. A particularly beautiful track leads through the Seldalur Valley to Hvannagilshnúta, a stunning wadi surrounded by rhyolite. From Stapafell Farm you can take a day trip to cabin Múlaskáli. The bus leaves Stapafell at 9:30, and takes about two hours. On arrival, a hike to the cabin takes about 45 minutes. The bus leaves at 14:00.

Tours with Accommodation

A three-day tour enables you to explore and enjoy less accessible but beautiful places. , including driving in the morning from Stapafell to Illikambur, which is the end of the road and from there, a walk to the cabin and from there hike around the area. The next day is a 5 to 6 hours hike to Egilsel. The night is spent at the cabin and then back to Illikambur to catch the afternoon bus back to Stapafell. The distance between the cabins 8 km, but this track is not simple, and the trail is steep and entails crossing over several rivers. From Egilsel cabin, you can walk towards the "Trolls Pillars" Tröllakrók, a two and a half hour walk, and see the valley of the Jökulsá River and surrounding glaciers.

Trek

A 5-day trek from Snæfell to Lónsöræfi, which leads hikers through magnificent views of the colorful mountains, and through the Eyjabakkajökull glacier tongue. Along the route, there are four cabins that you can sleep in. Part of trail is unmarked well, includes crossing rivers, steep passages and hiking on ice. This trek is recommended for more experienced and fit hikers equipped with navigation equipment and detailed maps. The Icelandic Travelers Clubs organizes trips to the region during the summer. For further information, utivist.is | fi.is

Accommodation in Lónsöræfi Reserve

Múlaskáli Cabin

(GPS location: 64 ° 33.200 - 15 ° 09.077) in the summer there is a bus from Höfn to Illikambur, located about 40 minutes' walk from the cabin. The cabin has sleeping facilities for thirty people in two separate rooms. The place is equipped with a bathroom, kitchen and cooking facilities. Hikers must bring their own food, sleeping bag or bedding. The cabin is located in the area with a beautiful view of the region, and there are various hiking trails in the surrounding area. For reservations and further information: gonguferdir@gonguferdir.is

Egilsel Cabin

This cabin can only be reached by foot. The cabin has a room for 22 travelers. There is a kitchen with cooking facilities. For further information and reservations: ferdafelag@egilsstadir.is

How to get there?

The area is accessible by 4 X 4 only via the F980 that connects to Route 1, about 30 km north of Höfn. The road is 25 km and entails crossing rivers. Another option is to take the shuttle service from Höfn to Stapafell. For more information on transportation and itineraries in the region - eldhorn.is

Map of Lónsöræfi