In the East of Iceland a view to die for
As we have covered before the least visited part of Iceland is the East of the country. Which is both a good thing and bad. The good is that unlike popular places elsewhere great sites here are not overwhelmed with people and noise and whatnot. The bad is that visitors to this island miss out on some fantastic stuff.
For instance, not too many know that the highest mountain in the country apart from glacier mountains is located here. Snaefell, Snæfell, mountain is a lot easier to get to know than before but still demands attention from anyone willing to try. The rewards for the hardships is, on a nice clear day, probably the most breathtaking view you can find in Iceland from the height of 1883 meters. Bear in mind that although not part of any glacier the mountain most often has a thick ice-cap on top and people sometimes mistake the real summit as there are a couple of false summits nearby.
When we say breathtaking we mean breathtaking. Look east from the summit and you see the beautiful and long valley of Fljotsdalsherað along which flows the glacial Lagarfljot river which, some say, is the home of Iceland´s only lake monster. You will also see the river flow gently into the Atlantic sea.Look North and you´ll see in the distance the oddly beautiful Herdubreid mountain standing all by its lonesome. At the very best of moments you can see all the way to Myvatn area. Now turn your head to West and here before you rises, for as long as the eyes can see, the largest glacier in Europe. Vatnajokull is not just big but a stunning natural phenomena and from Snaefell you can trace the flow of quite a number of rivers flowing from this beast of a glacier. Then look South and see rows after rows of mountains and ridges competing for attention.
There are many ways to hike Snaefell mountain but the most easiest one is from a small government-run shelter/guesthouse at the roots of the mountain. From the cabin expect the hike to take between three and four hours depending on ability of hikers. On-route there are a few steep and difficult parts but on the whole this is very accessible for most people.
Before you head there do check out Snaefell visitor center located at the beautiful Skriduklaustur building. There you can get detailed information about the landscape, geology of the area and all other needful info before taking on the mountain.