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Askja, Iceland

4.6
#55 of 145 in Nature in Iceland
Askja is a caldera situated in a remote part of the central highlands of Iceland. The name Askja refers to a complex of nested calderas within the surrounding Dyngjufjöll mountains, which rise to 1510m, askja meaning box or caldera in IcelandicLocationThe region is only accessible for a few months of the year. Being situated in the rain shadow to the northeast of the Vatnajökull glacier, the area receives only about 450 mm of rainfall annually. The area was used during training for the Apollo program to prepare astronauts for the lunar missions. Their main objective in Askja was to study geology.EruptionsAskja was virtually unknown until the tremendous eruption which started on March 29, 1875. Especially in the eastern fjords of Iceland, the ashfall was heavy enough to poison the land and kill livestock. Ash, or tephra from this eruption was wind-blown to Norway and Sweden. The eruption triggered a substantial wave of emigration from Iceland. Another less well-known eruption occurred in the early Holocene, ca 11,000 years ago. Tephra from this eruption has been found in south-east Sweden, Northern Ireland and north Norway. The last eruption of Askja was in 1961.
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(Vatnajokull National Park is the nearest city to Askja)

Askja Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
86 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We had an amazing route to Askja. We drove from the south of Myvatn to Askja via a really tough road. The road itself is not on Google but is is on the map of Iceland (it has no number). You will driv...  more »
  • We did the excursion in 4 x 4 bus with Mývatn tours. Reykjahlíð petrol station we left at 7:45. The way there is already an adventure... you have to cross several rivers and is completely away from everything it takes to get enough (3 h and a half bus more stops, four to go, and two when viewing a waterfall, a canyon with its river, some lava fields,...). Once there, you have about 3 hours of free time. That must be about 3 km in plane and you arrive at the volcano... is really beautiful. You can walk through the top or down to bathe in the crater lake (should be prepared as it slides pretty and was a quagmire...). Once there, the landscape and silence speak for themselves... Long trip (about 12 hours), highway F quite complicated in several sections (much more than Landmannalaugar) but well all this is worth to visit this place in the interior of the island 100% recommended.
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  • During our trip we had ruled out actually Askja because we had only a Dacia Duster car rental. We have requested then but in the short term from the Lake Myvatn in the information whether it would be possible. They said yes, but not about the F88. We drove over the F905. What an adventure! The landscape changes all the time and the road requires high concentration. It's a long way then but once you are on the crater rim more than only worth! that many km away is one of the civilization makes it even more exciting. In the crater itself, you can even swim at a pleasant temperature! A visit to in Askja in a day is possible but really tiring because you are almost never faster than 40kmh. To make! :-)
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