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Heli hiking: Explore Iceland’s hidden gems

From caves to volcanic craters, the best parts of the country are off the beaten track, and heli skiing is the ideal way to discover this hidden Iceland

Heli hiking: Explore Iceland’s hidden gems

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There’s a lot more to Iceland than Route 1, and Discover Truenorth wants to take you there. Whether by helicopter, superjeep, or both, a heli hiking tour can take you almost anywhere. Starting from Mývatn Lake, you’ll get to pick where you stop and what you see. Some of these stops include the following:

Volcanic crater:
Holuhraun is an immense lava field north of Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland’s Highlands. The most recent major eruption in Iceland occurred here in 2014 to 2015, creating a vast lava field of more than 30sq miles, the largest to be produced in the country since 1783.

Crater lake swimming:
Víti (which means ‘hell’) is a geothermal crater lake found in Askja Caldera in the central Highlands. The water there is approximately 25C, perfect for a swim surrounded by stunning nature. Askja was created in the last Ice Age, and contains fantastic scenery, craters, lakes and large amounts of tephra, the coloured ash that gives the region its unique look.

Geothermal valley on a glacier:
One of the most powerful geothermal spots in Iceland is Kverkfjöll, a subglacial mountain range on the northern side of the Vatnajökull glacier. The mountains here are volcanically active; they cover an enormous magma chamber, the heat of which has led to glacial melting and thus the creation of ice caves.

Glacier hiking and glacier lagoons:
Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe, covering 8% of Iceland. It’ s a popular spot for activities such as glacier hiking from Skaftafell, boat tours in the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, and ice caving tours in the winter. Explore the formations. Drink from the glacier streams. Now this is living.

Geothermal rift bathing:
Bathe in a lava fissure — in 39C crystal clear water — exclusively on  private land at Vogagjá and Grjótagjá in Mývatnssveit, north Iceland. The hot water is the result of three volcanic eruptions in Krafla from 1975 to 1980. The temperatures are known to fluctuate, however, so make sure to stay in the cooler part and be careful.

Lava cave exploring:
Lofthellir Cave in northern Iceland boasts the greatest natural ice sculptures in an Icelandic lava cave. Visitors must trek across a craggy lava field but the surreal ice formations are well worth the effort. Don’t forget waterproof clothes, wool socks, and mittens — the cave is cold and icy.

For further information, visit discovertruenorth.is