“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Gaze upon breathtaking panoramic views. Adventure through diverse landscapes. Explore hidden waterfalls. Spot an Arctic fox. Listen for whispers of Iceland’s lesser known stories.
In this post we will highlight the many reasons why Þórsmörk should be a must do on your Iceland itinerary!


Nestled in Iceland’s South highlands region, abundant in natural wonder and folklore, is the pristine nature preserve, Þórsmörk.
 Named after the Norse god Þor, Þórsmörk ( Thorsmork in English) is a valley and a mountain range bordered by the Krossá, Þröngá, and Markarfljót rivers.

It is located not too far from the charming town of Hvolsvöllur (Hvolsvollur), which is conveniently located on the Ring Road.
 This secluded oasis is home to some of the most unique landscapes found in Iceland. Stand anywhere in the preserve and have your mind blown by its natural beauty.

• Majestic snow capped mountain peaks frame picturesque views.
• Rivers snake through black sand lava fields, fringed with birch groves.
• Secluded waterfalls tucked within caves delight visitors.
• Canyons and mysterious rock formations steeped in folklore tempt the imagination.
• The valley is also home to three glacier volcanoes, Myrdalsjökull, Tindfjallajökull, and the infamous Eyjafjallajökull.

Whether you desire to be awed by scenery, discover hidden gems, embark on an unforgettable adventure, or intrigued by mysterious tales, Þórsmörk has it all! Let’s take a closer look at what makes this natural paradise a must on your Iceland itinerary.

Thorsmork Iceland
Þórsmörk map Midgard

Mystery and Myth

A valley fit for the gods

Not only is Þórsmörk a natural wonder, but also the location of some of Iceland’s most mysterious folk tales. Just one look at its striking rivulets or imposing glaciers and you may be convinced this place was crafted by the Norse god himself.

Thor’s Valley is named after the Norse thunder god Þór (Thor). As the god of thunder, fertility, and the common man, Þór played an important role in the lives of Iceland’s first settlers. It was believed the sky god could control storms and conjure life giving rain with his hammer, Mjölnir.

His adversaries were the giants, mythical beings of Norse mythology who were associated with destructive forces. As the assigned protector of Midgard (Earth), Þór dutifully protected the land from giants and other harmful beings.

He was often depicted raising his hammer above his head while traveling across the sky in a chariot pulled by two goats.

So why is the valley named after the thunder god?

According to the myth, the valley was formed when Þór struck the earth with his hammer which resulted in a gigantic depression. Perhaps the god was striking down a giant!

Another nearby point of interest are twin volcanoes named after Thor’s sons, Módi and Magni, which mean “wrath” and “mighty” in Old Norse.

The valley is also the stage of many other peculiar stories, such as the tale of Snorraríki cave, Tröllakirkja (troll church), and Álfakirkja (elf church). On your way into the valley keep your eyes peeled for the “dragon,” a gigantic rock formation which guards the Gígjökull glacier.

Pay close attention when exploring Þórsmörk and you may just discover something new or hear whispers of Iceland’s lesser known past. No matter where your travels take you in the valley, be sure to treat the land with respect- you never know who may be watching!

Þórsmörk’s Ever Changing Landscape

Exploring what makes this secluded oasis a natural wonder.

No matter where you are in the Þórsmörk, something of interest will grab you. The preserve’s untouched landscape offers any visitor a true “oneness with nature” feeling.

As mentioned, Þórsmörk is bordered by three rivers, the Þrönga, Markarfljót, and the Krossá. Due to glacial melt, the rivers are always changing. The result is a rugged and dynamic landscape!

The valley is also home to three glacier volcanoes, Tindfjallajökull, Myrdalsjökull, and the infamous Eyjafjallajökull.

Eyjafjallajökull made the news when it erupted in 2010 causing mass delays for European flights. Its name which means “island”, (eyja) “mountain” (fjalla), “glacier” (jökull), stumped news anchors as they struggled to pronounce it. The eruption was referred to simply as “E- volcano.”

• If you desire some practice, here is the phonetic pronunciation- hey-Iforgot-myyorgurt! Nail that down and you may just impress a local!

Tindfjallajökull is a stratovolcano. A stratovolcano is a cone shaped volcano with steep sides.

• What lies beneath the Myrdalsjökull glacier is the powerful Katla volcano. Katla is derived from the Icelandic word “ketill” which means “kettle.” Katla last erupted in 1918 and is one of the largest volcanoes in Iceland. In fact, the most active volcanoes in Iceland have feminine names; Katla, Krafla, Hekla, and Askja!

What season is best to visit Þórsmörk?

Answer: All of them!

Unlike the rest of the highlands, Þórsmörk is accessible any season by way of Super Jeep tours. This unique opportunity offers adventurers a chance to see the seasonal beauty the Icelandic highlands have to offer.

In the summer months Þórsmörk is a scene of brilliant contrast. White glaciers shine among emerald green fauna and a black sand valley. Lively rivers fringed with birch groves snake across the valley floor. In August, expect to find ripened blueberries and Arctic thyme along the trails in perfusion.

• Þórsmörk’s summer starts in May and ends in September.

• Average hours of daylight are 15- 22 hours

Average temperature peaks at 54 degrees F/ 12 degrees C. However it is not uncommon to encounter ice and snow in late spring/early summer so come prepared with moisture wicking layers to keep you warm!

In the winter season Þórsmörk transforms into a snowy wonderland. The glaciers sparkle even more in the daylight and the mountain peaks are breathtaking against a backdrop of the pastel colored sky. This creates the picture perfect postcard scene.

• Winter in Þórsmörk runs from October to April.

Average temperature in December is 40 degrees Fahrenheit/ 4 degrees Celsius.

Average daylight of 4-6 hours allows for plenty of time to tour the preserve in its wintry splendor.

• The park can see a fair amount of snow in the winter months so it is always good to come prepared with proper clothing, and a good pair of waterproof boots to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

Þórsmörk is also home to several species of wildlife such as the ptarmigan, gyrfalcon, and Arctic fox.
 Arctic foxes are one of the few land mammals indigenous to Iceland. In the summer months you can expect to see them in a gray, brown, tan, or blue color. In the winter, their coats turn white to blend in with their environment.

Arctic foxes are opportunists, as well as keen hunters whose diets consist mostly of smaller mammals such as the lemming. 
Despite their cute appearance, they are tough little creatures, having to adapt and survive in one of the world’s most rugged landscapes and harshest climates.
 Pay a visit to Þórsmörk and you may just spot our resident Arctic fox like this one pictured!

No matter what season you visit you will be awed by the natural beauty the valley has to offer. Next we will highlight what to do in the preserve.

Thorsmork Iceland Valahnúkur

What To Do in Þórsmörk

From Super Jeep adventures to hiking- there are many options to explore Þórsmörk

Þórsmörk is a delight for hikers, nature enthusiasts, photographers, and travelers who desire a one-of-a-kind experience in Iceland’s highlands region. The preserve offers adventurers endless options to explore where you will traverse unmatched landscapes by foot or Super Jeep.

Þórsmörk Super Jeep Adventure During this tour you will be whisked away by specially adapted Super Jeep designed to handle the rugged terrain. A common stop on this tour is by Gígjökull, where powerful glacial floods escaped during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption.
 Along the way, multiple short hikes are an option, such as Stakkholtsgjá canyon, a hidden gem where a scene of Game of Thrones was filmed! The hike takes you through an enormous canyon that ends at a secluded waterfall hidden inside a cave. You will feel like you stepped into a real life fairy tale! You can book your Super Jeep tour here. 
If you prefer a longer hike, check out the next option, Þórsmörk Day Hike.

Þórsmörk Day Hike Spend a day adventuring across outstanding terrain as you admire the breathtaking scenery in the valley of the Thunder god. This day hike includes multiple stops along the way to enjoy the scenery. Refresh your soul as you gaze upon the breathtaking view at Tindfjallahringur or tempt your curiosity exploring Tröllakirkja (Troll church).
You can expect a hike of 8-10 km in length or 3-4 hours. Be prepared to see some of the preserve’s mysterious landmarks and hear the local folklore associated with each of them. You can book your Þórsmörk Day hike here. 
For a longer day hike check out the next option, Fimmvörðuháls Day Hike.

Fimmvörðuháls Day Hike This demanding 24 km day hike starts at the famous Skógafoss waterfall in Southern Iceland and ends in Þórsmörk. It begins with a trek through emerald green hillsides rich with mystical waterfalls. Next you will journey across black sand lava fields to the foothills of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano. Beyond that you will then pass by twin volcanoes Móði and Magni, before descending into Þórsmörk, revived by panoramic views. Your reward at the end is a traditional Icelandic barbecue with sunset views.
This hike can take 10-14 hours to complete and is performed in the summer months when sunlight is plentiful.

The preserve is home to many lesser known hikes, affording the visitor a true “oneness with nature” experience. Local guides are always enthusiastic to share the hidden gems and the stories that go with them.
 You will just have to join in on a tour to see them all!

Thorsmork Super Jeep Iceland

Recommendations for Your Visit

Know before you go
The caveat to Þórsmörk is accessing it. To reach Þórsmörk, one must traverse a rough F -road, which includes several challenging unabridged river crossings. The Krossá is the final river to cross before entering the park, and the most dangerous. Crossing it safely demands both advanced skills and local knowledge.

River crossings in Þórsmörk should only be attempted by an experienced driver in a 4 x 4 under good conditions. It is important to note rental vehicles, regardless of class, are not insured for water damage caused by river crossings.

This is why it is highly recommended to go on a guided super jeep tour. Not only can you sit back and leave the driving to a professional, but you will also be treated to the secret spots and lesser known stories about the valley!

There is a saying in Iceland, if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes. Þórsmörk is no exception to this. However, the weather is calmer compared to the rest of the southern parts of the country.

Like the rest of Iceland, the weather in the valley can be unpredictable, so it is always a good idea to prepare for anything for your visit
Here are some recommendations on what to pack for your visit:

• It is recommended to dress in layers, preferably something moisture wicking and wool. Jeans or cotton materials are not recommended due to their inability to wick moisture.
• Gloves, hat, buff, as well as waterproof Gore Tex pants, and outer shell jacket and boots. Thick warm socks and good waterproof boots with adequate ankle support.
• A medium layer such as a wool sweater or down jacket beneath the waterproof shell. Extra layer in pack.
• Sunglasses and sunscreen.
• Camera and waterproof case for phone or rain jacket for professional lens.
• Water and high energy snacks/ packable meals to keep you fueled during your adventure.

Icelanders pride themselves in treating the land with the utmost respect and dignity. They are passionate about our home and want visitors to feel welcomed. Midgard asks guests to abide by the same ethos by demonstrating respect and kindness for the land and nature. As the saying goes, take only memories, leave only footprints.
You can read about Midgard’s Environmental and Sustainability Policy here.

Thorsmörk Þórsmörk Iceland Stakkholtsgjá

Ready to plan your visit? Let’s Go!

Accommodations and food for your adventure

Þórsmörk is located in Iceland’s southern region near the charming town of Hvolsvöllur. Hvolsvöllur is conveniently located near the Ring Road and is where Midgard Adventure calls home.

Midgard Adventure was founded in 2010 by a young man from Hvolsvöllur and a few friends. They began by driving guests around in a rental jeep. Since then it has evolved into Midgard Adventure, Midgard Basecamp, and Midgard Restaurant!

Midgard Adventure prides itself on sustainable tourism. All tours are led by knowledgeable, passionate, and personable local guides who are eager to show you our beautiful home and share stories of our customs. Each tour is one of a kind, designed to create an unforgettable experience. Click here for 14 reasons to book a tour with Midgard.

After a day out exploring, Midgard Restaurant invites you to relax and share your adventures over a meal inspired by worldly travel and Iceland. Expect fresh, locally sourced fish, free-roaming lamb, and beautiful plant based dishes; all focused on offering produce from the local community and dishes made from scratch. The vibe is always inviting, cheerful, and laid back. It’s the ultimate spot to toast a local craft beer or Midgard cocktail with new and old friends.

Midgard Base Camp is the perfect accommodation to begin and end your Þórsmörk adventure. Base Camp believes in maintaining the “nordic vibe” providing guests with a cozy, lighthearted atmosphere and is a meet point for all of their tours.

Base Camp offers hospitable and convenient nightly accommodations for solo travelers, couples, and families to start and end their tours, all while creating lasting memories. Base Camp aims to make you feel like part of the extended Midgard family.

Your day can look like this:

-Fill up with a satisfying high energy breakfast before embarking on your tour.
-Embark on a Super Jeep tour to adventure through Þórsmörk. Enjoy a packed lunch as you admire the stunning scenery.
-Savor a delicious dinner at Midgard Restaurant post tour followed by a relaxing soak in the rooftop sauna and hot tub.
-Enjoy a drink at the bar as you swap stories with fellow travelers.

Midgard believes traveling is all about the journey and wants to help you create one you will never forget!
If you are seeking an off the beaten path adventure in Iceland with local guides, one of a kind landscapes, and intriguing stories, consider Þórsmörk as part of your Iceland itinerary!

Book your tour today and prepare to make some memories! Hope to see you in Iceland!

Accommodation South Iceland Midgard Base Camp

About The Author

Arielle Lokadóttir is an American writer who fell hopelessly in love with Iceland during her first visit back in 2021. Since then, she has returned to the land of fire and ice six times, (soon to be seven!) with no end in sight of her Iceland obsession. Her fascination with Iceland began while researching Icelandic mysticism and magic for her books featuring the gods and goddesses of Norse mythology. During her second visit, she desired to explore Thor’s Valley, so she booked her first tour with Midgard Adventure. She chose Midgard because of their impeccable reputation, commitment to sustainability, “runes on their logo,” and the strong presence of “girl power.” Little did she know Midgard would become her home away from home. Since then, every visit has included a tour with Midgard, and she states Midgard gifted her the best souvenirs, lasting friendships, and unforgettable memories.

Her favorite place in Iceland is Þorsmòrk (she just can’t get enough of that striking valley!) and although she is a vegetarian, admits to always enjoying an Icelandic hot dog when visiting. She is the author of the blog site, “An Owl an Iceland,” which features musings about her travels to Iceland, as well as photographs and travel advice.

When she is not writing or planning her next trip, you can find her pouring candles for her candle company, practicing photography, training for a running race, or volunteering at a raptor center. When people ask her why she loves Iceland so much, she says she cannot describe what she feels besides that the land itself has touched her soul and won’t let go. Her favorite quote is by a fellow Iceland-influenced author, JRR Tolkien, “All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.

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