Day 7, July 31th – Hvannadalshnjúkur

Hvannadalshnúkur or Hvannadalshnjúkur is a peak in the northwestern rim of the Öræfajökull volcano in Iceland, and the highest point of the island. An official measurement completed in August 2005 established its height as 2,109.6 metres (previously set as 2,119 m).

The peak is part of the Skaftafell National Park. The route to the top is a popular climb though numerous and frequently hidden crevasses call for experienced mountain guides. As you can imagine the scenic views totally depends on a clear sky which is a rather rare event!

Skaftafell National Park was a national park, situated between Kirkjubæjarklaustur, typically referred to as Klaustur, and Höfn in the south of Iceland. On 7 June 2008, it became a part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park.

It was founded on September 15, 1967, and enlarged twice afterwards. Today, the park measures about 4807 km2, making it Iceland's second largest national park. It is home to the valley Morsárdalur, the mountain Kristínartindar and the glacier Skaftafellsjökull (a spur of the Vatnajökull ice cap).

The landscape is very similar to some of the Alps. The sandy wasteland between the glacier and the sea, caused by jökulhlaup, is called the Sandur. The last jökulhlaup occurred in 1996. Skaftafell is renowned in Iceland for its agreeable climate and the sunny days in summer, uncommon in the south of Iceland. There is a natural birch wood, Bæjarstaðarskógur, as well as many species of birds and arctic foxes.