Any adventure that calls me to Iceland is one that I’ll always take. I recently visited Thorsmork (Thórsmörk) and the trip to just get there was an adventure in itself.
Why Thorsmork? Mr. TSG decided he wanted to run the Laugavegur Ultra Marathon, which ends in Thorsmork and there was no way I’d pass up a trip to Iceland. Thorsmork is also located between two glaciers, Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull and I love glaciers. Glaciers also top volcanoes in Iceland, which is why the latter is also the name of the volcano that erupted in 2010.
Mr. TSG needed to board his coach at 4:30 am to arrive at the start line so I didn’t leave with him. Instead, I chose a later coach and so I needed to walk to BSI Terminal in order to get to Thórsmörk, Húsadalur.
TSG Tip: Why not drive? I’ve driven in Iceland before but this is different. Since there are river crossings, it’s recommended that you not drive. There are a few companies that offer trips up toThórsmörk – Húsadalur and in the end it was easiest to skip a rental car altogether and take a coach.
I gave myself enough time to walk to BSI Terminal and since it was early, I knew I needed to get coffee if I was going to sit in the terminal and wait.
TSG Tip: Inside BSI Terminal is a restaurant, but I also knew that nearby was a gas station. I popped in for a quick beverage before walking over and although it’s gas station coffee, it served its purpose, which was to a) wake me up and b) keep me warm.
It’s only a short walk over to BSI Terminal from the gas station and then I had about 30 minutes to wait for the coach. Be aware that they won’t call out anything over the PA system so my advice is to go outside and start looking for your destination in any of the waiting coaches. They start boarding about 15 minutes before departure and I waited a little too long and ended up all the way in the back.
TSG Tip: The coach toThórsmörk – Húsaladur isn’t a straight shot to your final destination. There are several stops at gas stations and campsites and I needed to change to bus #9 in Hvolsvöllur at the gas station. Yes, I said gas station and there’s more than one so pay attention to avoid problems.
The 8 am coach took off on schedule and while I felt a little cramped with a big backpack on my lap, that didn’t prevent me from taking pics of the beautiful Icelandic scenery. No matter what time I visit, I’m always in awe of the landscape.
The four hour long coach ride along the southwest coast of Iceland gives you plenty of time to nap or to peer out the window like I did and take in the expansive view.
Around 2 1/2 hours into our journey, we were now close to Seljalandsfoss, one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland. The coach driver stopped and let people off and let others get out to take pictures. It was raining so I chose to stay on the bus instead.
People take the bus to get to various places around Iceland on their own and this is one of them. However, because it’s so wildly popular, don’t expect to have it all to yourself. I’ve previously visited both Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, another popular waterfall nearby and as Iceland’s popularity increases, so do these destinations.
TSG Tip: Try to arrive early in the day for the best chance of avoiding scores of other tourists.
Shortly thereafter, we made our first river crossing, which was small and shallow and of course, I was thinking why did they make such a big deal about it.
We then came upon this area where the coach driver let us out to take pictures. Do you know where we are? Little did I know that we had driven to the valley below the infamous Eyjafjallajökull.
This massive valley had everything I could possibly want in my pics from moss covered lava rocks to low hanging puffy clouds to snow to black dirt all around.
Did you know that Iceland has 130 volcanoes? We were told more than once that the country is waiting for another eruption, which they feel could happen at any time and is actually overdue.
These delicate and tiny yellow flowers popped up intermittently all around the valley.
Now it was time to take on a more serious river crossing over Krossá. Shortly after taking this pic, the coach driver got out to give instruction to the two cars that were behind us. Better them than me. Krossá may not be terribly wide, but there’s strong currents and some areas are quite deep, which is why it’s best not to attempt this crossing on your own if you don’t have experience.
Four hours after I left Reykjavik from BSI Terminal, I arrived safely right at the doorstep of the Volcano Huts in Thorsmork. Not all services will drop you off here so you definitely need to make sure your final destination is Thorsmork – Húsadalur.
TSG Tip: There’s more than one stop in Thorsmork: Húsadalur, Stakkholtsgjá Canyon, Básar, and Langidalur. If you’re going to the Volcano Huts, then you definitely want to get off at Húsadalur.
After the ultra marathon, we boarding our coach to return to Reykjavik. The 8 am coach was waiting for us and this time there were fewer riders on board and plenty of room in which to stretch out. With less rain and clearer skies, we had a much better view of everything, including the river crossings of the River Krossá.
On the way back to Reykjavik, once again the coach stopped at Seljalandsfoss, but this time I got out and took some quick pics. Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss were the first waterfalls I ever saw in Iceland so they always hold a special place in my heart. I know, silly, but I do love these waterfalls.
For my trip to Thorsmork to Reykjavik, I used Reykjavik Excursions and my ticket cost 14.000 ISK or about $132 USD, which isn’t cheap. However, if that’s the only way you can go, then you really don’t have a choice.
TSG Tip: You can always pick up the coach from Seljalandsfoss for 9.000 ISK or about $85 USD although you’d still have to get there somehow on your own. There’s a huge parking lot, but you’d have to leave your car at your own risk, but it’s a thought.
Thorsmork is one of the most popular hiking areas in all of Iceland so if you’re planning a visit to Thorsmork for a few days of hiking, plan wisely, dress accordingly, and enjoy yourself. Taking a coach to Thorsmork is easy, despite the long trip and expense and I highly recommend trying it at least once.