With spring thaw and sunny weather comes that urge to go outside and exercise, enjoy the good weather and get moving again after winter slumber.
Last weekend I traveled with the extended family to a summer house area in Grímsnes to celebrate my aunt’s 60th birthday.
Apart from having delicious BBQ meals, playing board games and relaxing in the hot tubs, we also played a very competitive orienteering game and went hiking.
Our route of choice was up Búrfell, a 536-meter palagonite mountain that’s flat on top. Amazingly there’s a lake with fish near the summit, inside an ancient crater.
Búrfell. Source: ffar.is.
According to legend, there’s a tunnel between the lake on Búrfell and Kerið, a much-visited crater lake in Grímsnes, which is often included in the Golden Circle tour.
A mysterious creature called nykur, a mean gray horse with reverse hooves and ears, is said to inhabit the connected lakes.
The still frozen crater lake on top of Búrfell.
If anyone were to mount it, the horse would jump into either lake and drown the person on its back, or so it says on the website of the Árnes Travel Association.
The panoramic view from Búrfell is spectacular. The taller mountain Ingólfsfjall stands opposite it to the south, Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands) can be seen in the far southeast and in clear weather, the infamous Eyjafjallajökull glacier-volcano can be spotted to the east.
To the west is Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, which lies in Þingvellir National Park, and to the north the lake Laugarvatn can be seen, Hekla volcano to the northeast and other mountains which I cannot name.
The total hiking distance of six kilometers can be covered in approximately three hours. The hike is fairly easy—the slopes are steep and gentle in exchange—and should be suitable for most.
Not all of my family members made it to the top but everyone enjoyed the hike, especially after the sun came out, although conditions were rather muddy as is inevitable at this time of year.
Ladies in red near the top. I’m holding my trekking pole in the air.
There’s a sign pointing out Búrfell from the main road between Selfoss and Laugarvatn. Start walking near the electric transmission lines by the farm of the same name as the mountain. Here is a map of the route.
May the first hike of the season be followed by many more this summer.
Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir – firstname.lastname@example.org