- Best time to visit
- 65.01370584886001, -16.75083711249345
- Distance from Reykjavik
- 590km (366mi)
Remote Wilderness of the Icelandic Highlands
The journey to Askja is long but promises a unique and unforgettable adventure. As you traverse the rugged landscapes of the Highlands, you'll witness an ever-changing tapestry of black deserts, multicoloured rhyolite mountains, and the hauntingly barren landscape of Dyngjufjöll (the Desert Mountains). These dramatic vistas are a testament to the powerful geological forces that have shaped this region over the centuries.
The Astonishing Caldera and Víti Crater
The main attraction, of course, is Askja's colossal caldera. The caldera contains Víti, a volcanic crater that has become a geothermal oasis, with a startlingly blue lake that contrasts vividly against the surrounding ash and rocks. The name "Víti" even translates to "Hell," owing to the impression its steaming, sulfurous waters can leave.
A Journey Through Geological History
Hiking along the rim of Askja's caldera, you'll be treated to panoramic views of this otherworldly landscape. There's a profound sense of isolation and tranquility as you stand amidst the volcanic remnants, surrounded by the immense scale of the caldera.
Scientific Exploration and Space Connection
In addition to its natural splendors, Askja is steeped in history and adventure. The volcano played a part in scientific exploration when astronauts visited in the 1960s to prepare for the lunar missions. It's also known for the infamous eruption in 1875, which led to widespread devastation but also paved the way for the now-renowned Víti crater lake.
Askja: Where Nature Unveils Its True Power
Visiting Askja is an expedition into the heart of Iceland's geological heritage. It's an experience that immerses you in the untamed, primeval beauty of this island nation, reminding you of the earth's relentless capacity to create and transform.