WORK/PROJECT: In this project SEEDS volunteers will work on diverse environmental tasks, including repairing walking paths and making steps in steep parts of the paths, landscaping around the huts in the area as well as some painting. Volunteers will also help with revegetation in some areas around, clearing litter on the walking paths, and general preparations of the area before the summer.
The host of this project is a group of locals developing the area with alternative tourism services, including running a series of huts in this isolated area and offering services to travellers and hikers.
As the landscape is raw, the work is physically demanding but also rewarding.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be hosted in a local mountain hut; sleeping in shared rooms on mattresses on the floor; please bring your own sleeping bag. The facilities are very basic and volunteers are expected to show consideration for their companions.
Volunteers will receive food ingredients and be in charge of cooking and cleaning. Please do not forget some traditional food from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: The Icelandic highlands, or “the interior”, are a true pearl to all nature lovers and outdoor people. It is accessible on 4WD cars and most routes involve crossing un-bridged rivers.
If you really want to get away from it all, the interior of Iceland is like nothing you have ever experienced. The mountainous centre of the island, with its rocky deserts, craggy mountain peaks, ice caps, volcanoes, hidden valleys and hot springs, is an awesome and untouched wilderness.
The interior was almost totally inaccessible until recently. However outlaws managed to hide out for years at a time in the highlands, rustling sheep and keeping away from law-abiding citizens. Folklore stories tell of both natural and supernatural beings that lay in wait for unwary highland travellers. Travellers going between the north and south of Iceland sometimes had to cross the highlands. To get to the assembly of Alþingi (parliament) each summer, delegates had to ride from every corner of the country to Þingvellir in the southwest.
Journeys across the interior were never undertaken lightly; such travel was risky and lives were often lost. Today the interior is crossed by two mountain roads, via Kjölur and Sprengisandur, which are only open in summer, after the snow has melted in spring.
Volunteers will be staying close to the glacier Hofsjökull and near to the rivers Hvítá and Þjórsá. The mountains in the area that reach up to 1500 m were formed during a volcanic eruption in the later part of the ice age. The area is still dynamic and great geothermal activity takes place in the surroundings. The environment is very diverse, both in shape and colour. The mountains are weathered and have very little continuous growth, as the forces of nature, like glaciers, water flow, ice bursts etc. have been fast working in these mountain highlands.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language of the camp; high proficiency is not required.
TERMINAL: Closest international Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 250 (Euros). Please note that these fees are to be paid to SEEDS on arrival in either Euros or Icelandic krónas.
The fee includes the domestic transportation from Reykjavík to the camp site and back (on the first and last day of the camp). Departure time will be at 7:00 in the morning.
The location of the camp is remote and very isolated. Free time activities are mostly hiking and trekking in the area as there is no transportation available or possibility to organise transport to different sites.
Volunteers need to be prepared for physical and demanding work.
Bring warm winter clothes as the project takes place outside and the weather can be very cold.