Þórsmörk – The Journey is the Destination
Although most Icelanders already live in close proximity to stunning nature (even the city mice in the capital region), there is something in the DNA of Icelanders that compels us to venture out into the countryside whenever we have free time. And one of the most beloved destinations is certainly the valley of Þórsmörk.
God’s Own Country
Drawing its name from one of the old gods, Þórsmörk, or “Thor’s Domain”, is a somewhat sacred place for locals. It’s not an easy place to reach, and that’s certainly part of its charm. Off the beaten path of the ring road, the journey to Þórsmörk means fording rivers and traversing scree and marshlands. But the prize is a nearly mythical landscape: nestled between two massive glaciers, a verdant valley of ferns, birch trees and moss bounded by white-capped mountains.
A Misty State of Mind
Adding to the sense of myth and mystery is a peculiarly Icelandic weather phenomenon called the dalalæða, or “valley lurker”, which is a veil of mist that creeps up the mountainsides after a warm, sunny day. Cresting the dalalæða is an unexpectedly rousing experience, peeking your head up through the cloud cover to take in the expanse of the sky—an experience normally reserved for birds and airplane pilots.
Calling All Wanderers
While many come to Þórsmörk to spend the day, this epic landscape is also home to two of the country’s most beloved trails, Fimmvörðuháls and Laugavegur, both multi-day hikes through dramatically diverse scenery: craggy mountains, lush valleys, geothermal fields. This is the place Icelanders come to lose themselves in the wilderness and reconnect with the great wide open.
Discover a Hidden World
Having a guide to this vast area unlocks the secrets of Þórsmörk: the thrill of crossing a glacial river, the first glimpse of Stakkholtsgjá canyon and its palatial cliffsides, the extraordinary silence of an ancient birch forest. The true magic of Þórmörk is that there is no single destination, only a journey through a surreal landscape that leaves visitors transported to another world.
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