Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 31. Nature reserve of Þórsmörk * - The forest of Þór (7)
Highlands / Interior
SEEDS Iceland
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From 26.08.2009 to 09.09.2009
Type: Environmental / Construction
Number of volunteers: 5
Language: English - high proficiency is not required
Accomodation: Ranger's huts
Participation fee: 150 EUR
Extra: Participation fee EUR 150,-. Remote places located in natural reserved areas of extreme beauty. Hikes and free time activities in the area will be arranged for the volunteers. Please bring your swimwear to enjoy the geothermal pool and the sauna!

WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS will work this year again with our groups of volunteers in the natural protected area of Þórsmörk. SEEDS has been working in the reserve since 2006 and this year marks the 4th in a row of collaboration with the administration of the site.

SEEDS’ volunteer groups will support the administration of the reserve running the visitors’ area, the mountain huts, the housing facilities and the surrounding areas in the vicinity.

Volunteers will support the rangers in all different types of activities in order to ensure the proper running of the visitors’ area including the services in the accommodation huts, the camping site, the geothermal pool, the sauna, the canteen and reception building.

Additional tasks may be related to maintenance and marking of walking paths and hiking trails, as of the mountain huts, painting and renovation works on the cabins, along with forestry works.

Tasks will be diverse, therefore flexibility and open-mind is expected from the volunteers. The work is to be planned with the rangers and SEEDS coordinator depending on the needs; volunteers may work on short shifts every day/night for a total of 35 hours/week. Weekends are usually busy as this is one of the most beautiful sites of the country and therefore very popular among local and foreign visitors, hikers and nature lovers.

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will stay in the ranger’s huts and will sleep either in bunk beds or mattresses on the floor. A warm sleeping bag is strongly recommended. Volunteers will receive food provided and be in charge of the different cooking and cleaning activities.

LOCATION: Þórsmörk is situated in the south of Iceland, about 160 km from Reykjavík, between 3 glaciers in a place of surreal beauty. The only access to this wondrous place is by a powerful or altered jeep/truck to cross the treacherous rivers.

The Þórsmörk natural reserve is one of the most beautiful places in Iceland, surrounded by natural boundaries like mountains, ice caps and Glacier Rivers & lagoons. The area is bounded by Krossá River to the south, Markarfljót River to the west, Ljósá River to the north and the ice cap Mýrdalsjökull to the east; it is one of Iceland’s pearls, surrounded by rugged and beautiful mountains, glaciers and glacial rivers, decorated with small birch woods and silver lined with humming brooks. Þórsmörk is an idyllic place of exceptional meteorological conditions hidden in the embrace of glaciers and mountains and was a fjord from the ocean 12.000 years ago. The weather here is known to be better and less windy than in the surrounding areas - making it a great destination to go to when it is lousy elsewhere. The glacier lagoon is very popular as well.

Þórsmörk is a place of breathtaking landscapes and a fauna of great variety. It is the home of 170 seminiferous plants as well as a variety of trees, moss and fern. The main reason for the variety of plants and trees is probably attributed to the fact that the area has been exempt from sheep and horsegrazing for over 100 years - sheltering them from their apparent negative impact on the flora.

Þórsmörk is famous for spectacular nature and is very popular to visit and go hiking. There are many hiking trails in Þórsmörk, one can hike inside the area or hike over the unique trail “Laugavegur” to Landmannalaugar. During summer many people come to Þórsmörk to begin the journey/trail/hiking or to relax after the 2-3 days journey/trail/hiking from Landmannalaugar. There is also a special trail from Skógar to Þórsmörk “Fimmvörðuháls” so it is a perfect place for nature lovers and those who enjoy being outdoors.

LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.

TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. Closest bus stop is Hvolsvöllur.

SPECIAL REMARKS / EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 150,-. Remote places located in natural reserved areas of extreme beauty. Hikes and free time activities in the area will be arranged for the volunteers. Please bring your swimwear to enjoy the geothermal pool and the sauna!

* The name Þórsmörk means “the forest of Þór” or " Þór’s woods"

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