WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers in this project will be taking part in various outdoors tasks such as marking, building and maintaining walking paths. Work may be physically demanding and involve hikes to reach the sites. Well maintained paths enable people to visit these amazing areas without damaging them and this important work also helps to improve their safety.
Hot water is abundant in the area and our host is building a stone-pool around a natural hot spring, we will assist in the constructions and the work around the pool.
We will also do some painting work and beautifying of the area, as it is very popular among local and foreign visitors and very busy during the summer months. The camping site in the area has to be maintained and taken care of to prevent unnecessary damage to the nature. Additionally we will take care of some turf laying and cleaning around the playground for children.
We will work with a family run organisation developing tourism in the area and alternative ways of income for the local population. Tourism in Iceland is providing opportunities and options of work for many locals after the harsh economic crisis that hit the country in 2008.
ACCOMMODATION: We will stay in cabins with common kitchen facilities and bathrooms. Each cabin can house two people. Please bring your own sleeping bag. We will be responsible for sharing the cooking and cleaning activities.
LOCATION: The project takes place in the Western part of Iceland, in a unique natural pearl with breathtaking landscape, between glaciers and lava fields. The place is like an oasis in the desert, as the weather is often better than in the surroundings.
The place is a dream for hikers, walking paths and trails spread around in all directions, beautiful waterfalls and one of the best known caves in Iceland is nearby. Every weekend there is a bon-fire in the nearby camping area where visitors meet, sing, play games and enjoy the company. Among the natural wonders around are the Hraunfossar waterfalls, where water comes out from a lava field over a length of 1 km, placed in a setting of birch-wood and Surtshellir (Surt's Cave) is in the Hallmundarhraun lava field, which is among the best known and deepest in Iceland.
According to some of the oldest Icelandic sagas, this area is said to be inhabited since the very early settlement of the island. In the old days, farmers were expected to offer travellers something to eat and a place to stay if needed and as the location was in a busy trail, the locals had many guests they had to take care of: In that way it can be said that tourism started few hundred years ago in this beautiful location. Dense forests, lava, water springs and torrential glacier rivers, mixed with a diverse fauna and flora makes this area a delightful place to stay at.
There are small local services, a convenience store, swimming pool with Jacuzzis, a pit-stop joint with a gas station and a small restaurant.
The project is next to Langjökull (Long Glacier), the second largest glacier in Iceland, it is 950 km2 and its highest point is 1355 m above sea level. Agencies organize snow mobile trips and snow truck trips. Langjökull is surrounded by other small glaciers, Eiríksjökull, Þórisjökull, Hrútafell and Ok.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. SEEDS organises the “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík to both the camps and vice-versa, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 160.
Volunteers applying for this project should have a motivation for working outdoors and do physical work. We will have access to the geothermal swimming pools and have great opportunities to discover this beautiful area hiking and waling in the surroundings.