Eldgjá and Langisjór

Eldgjá is a part of a volcanic fissure that stretches from Mýrdalsjökull almost to Vatnajökull. Eldgjá is about 8 km long, 600 m wide and up to 150 m deep. It was formed in the year 939 during one of the largest volcanic eruptions in Iceland in historical times. Eldgjá‘s main attraction is the waterfall Ófærufoss, located a short walking distance from the area‘s car park.

Langisjór is a lake located at the margin of Vatnajökull glacier. The lake is 20 km long, up to 2 km wide and has been measured 73,5 m deep. Farmers from the lowland region discovered Langisjór in 1878 while searching for sheep.

 

Hólaskjól ranger station:

GPS co-ordinates: N65° 09,700' W21° 35,460'
Mobile phone: +354 842 4379

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Eldgjá and Langisjór are reached by the mountain road Fjallabaksleið nyrðri (F 208) which runs from Hrauneyjar (on road F26), to just east of the farm Búland (on road 208, west of Kirkjubæjarklaustur). The road to Langisjór (F235) turns off from Fjallabaksleið nyrðri (F 208) about 3 km west of Eldgjá. 

All roads in the western part of the national park are mountain tracks, only navigable for vehicles with four wheel-drive; some only for large jeeps. Some sections of road are rocky and full of potholes, and loose gravel is common. It is sometimes necessary to ford (drive through) mountain streams or even glacial rivers which can become suddenly swollen, making them difficult, or even impossible, to cross.

The area is open to visitors all year round, but it is dependent on the weather when the roads are opened. Usually they are open from early June, through to the autumn. Driving is only allowed on the roads which are marked on the accompanying map. All other roads or tracks are closed to the public. Here, as elsewhere, driving off-road is totally banned by law.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

In summer, Reykjavik Excursions (www.re.is) offers daily bus tours between Skaftafell and Landmannalaugar (see company‘s website for details). The bus makes a short stop in Eldgjá, giving the passengers an option to hike to Ófærufoss waterfall.

There is no scheduled transport to Langisjór.

 

SERVICES

No year-round services lie within the western part of the Vatnajökull National Park. There is an information office at Kirkjubæjarklaustur (tel. +354 4700400) and a visitor centre is planned.

During the summer, park rangers are present to manage the area and provide information. The rangers arrive when the mountain roads are first opened in the beginning of June, and they leave at the beginning of September.

There are campsites and hut accommodation at Blágil (klaustur at vjp.is), and Hólaskjól (www.holaskjol.com). Hot showers are available at Hólaskjól, and both places have toilet (WC) facilities. Toilets (WC) are also available at the car parks in Eldgjá, Langisjór, Laki, and Tjarnargígur. Mountain huts and toilets can be found at Sveinstindur, and at Skælingar (http://www.utivist.is/english) and also at Jökulheimar (jorfiskalar at gmail.com).

Please note that accommodation in the huts must be reserved in advance.