Set amid a maze of ash hills, Kverkfjöll is an active thermal zone right up against the icy skirt of Vatnajökull’s northern edge. Low white clouds hover overhead during the long hard slog up the dormant volcano, which erupted to devastating effect in the fifteenth century, and once at the top these are revealed to be steam issuing from deep fissures in the ice. Nearby sulphur springs, hissing like boiling kettles, prevent ice from forming in their immediate area and the bare yellow earth is in stark contrast to the surroundings. The outstanding views north from the glacier take in the entire expanse of Ódáðahraun lavafield, the Dyngjufjöll mountains, Herðubreið mountains, and even the jagged peaks that mark the distant northern coast.

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