Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir

  • Adventurer
  • Polar Explorer
  • Summiteer

Vilborg is an adventurer from Iceland who is the first Icelandic woman to have made a solo expedition from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole.

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My 24 Hours in Iceland South

A perfect day for me is spent hiking in the outdoors all day long. If you want to experience Iceland’s nature to the fullest, you have to start early enough though. There is just too much to see!

So take your breakfast with you and get going. The drive from Reykjavík to Reykjadalur will not take you more than 40 minutes. Once you arrive, walk up to the hot springs for a bath. On the way you are able to witness a lot of geothermal activity. It is still always fascinating to me what nature is capable of. This whole tour should take you about three hours in total.

Afterwards drive to Sólheimajökull for a glacier walk/climb. The estimated time for that is about 3.5 hours. It is definitely doable for kids as well (starting at the age of ten) since the walk is not that hard.  You will get the necessary gear for the ice at the parking lot station. I highly recommend this tour since it is a really special hiking experience you won’t get to do in a lot of places. There are two waterfalls nearby as well, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The rough beauty of this area is just stunning!

At last, visit the Seljavallalaug pool. This is an old pool which is located in a valley underneath the volcano Eyjafjallajökull. It’s built around a cliff and it takes about 30 minutes to reach from the place where the road ends. This is your well-deserved wellness moment after a long day full of action.

Back in the car, go to Thórsmörk. If you don’t want to drive yourself, hop on the mountain bus which will take you to the mountain ridge where the so called Volcano Huts are located. Sleeping there gives you the opportunity to start hiking right away in the morning, without losing time. This route is very scenic and includes some fun river crossings.

Have a good night’s sleep and start your second day of hiking all fresh and well-rested!

On to another day full of adventures! Magni and Móði are two new craters formed in an eruption in 2010. The scenery on the way is mesmerising and the route passes between two glaciers. Or you could hike a route called Tindfjallahringur to the top of the mountain Rjúpnafell. The views you get throughout the whole tour are just amazing. If the weather is bad, the Stakkholtsgjá canyon is a good option.

Locations



ReykjadalurReykjadalur, Island

Make your way to the hot springs from here. Up and down again is about three hours max.
SólheimajökullSólheimajökulsvegur, Island

This is where you start the glacier walk. How exciting!
SkógafossSkogafoss Waterfall, Island

One of two waterfalls you will come across during your glacier walk.
SeljalandsfossSeljalandsfoss Waterfall, Island

One of two waterfalls you will come across during your glacier walk.
Seljavallalaug poolSeljavallalaug, Island

Located underneath the vulcano Eyjafjallajökull, this old pool invites you to take a relaxing swim after hiking all day long.
ThórsmörkÞórsmörk, Island

A rather bumpy road will take you to the middle of nowhere where cosy huts for staying overnight will await you.
Magni and MóðiMagni, Iceland

The hike along the young craters Magni and Móði is a very scenic tour, starting from Thorsmörk.
RjúpnafellÞórsmörk, Island

The Tindfjallahringur tour leads you all the way up to the top of mount Rjúpnafell.
Stakkholtsgjá canyon Stakkholtsgjá, Island

This is a beautiful little tour, no longer than two hours there and back. The mystical walk through the canyon leads you to a spectacular waterfall at the end.
‘If you want to experience Iceland’s nature to the fullest, you have to start early enough though. There is just too much to see!’
  • The rough beauty of Skógafoss is just stunning.
  • Sólheimajökull is about 2 hrs from Reykjavík and great for a glacier walk/climb.
  • I love swimming in the natural hot springs after an outdoor adventure.
  • Seljavallalaug pool is over 100 years old and located underneath the volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
  • If you explore nature by car, be sure you rent a vehicle with four-wheel drive to cross rivers if necessary.
  • The precious Icelandic horses.
  • Sólheimajökull is definitely doable for kids as well (starting at the age of 10) since the walk is not that hard. You can rent your gear at the parking lot.
  • Icelandic sunsets will leave you open-mouthed in awe!
  • Go to Thórsmörk and sleep at the Volcano Huts. Start hiking right away in the morning.
  • The Icelandic midnight sun. Stunning!
  • I highly recommend the Sólheimajökull glacier tour since it really is a special hiking experience you simply won’t get in a lot of other places.
  • If you are lucky you will get to see, and subsequently never forget, the Northern Lights.
  • The great landscape offers endless possibilities to stop and watch the magnificent scenery.

My thoughts about Iceland South

Adventure, here we come!
The waterfall Skógafoss.
Hiking around Thórsmörk.

Take a vacation into My life

What’s your background?

My biggest passion is definitely taking on challenges out in nature, whether it’s skiing or climbing mountains. When I was 18 I had already been kicked out of school three times. People thought I wouldn’t have any future at all, but one day I climbed Iceland’s highest mountain and I just knew that this was something that I would like to do in the future—and basically I haven’t stopped since then.

My solo trip to the South Pole is definitely my biggest expedition so far, and it was a great experience!

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