Herdubreidarlindir (Herðubreiðarlindir) Oasis

Herdubreidarlindir (Herðubreiðarlindir) Oasis

Herdubreidarlindir, the springs of Herdubreid, is a small nature reserve located in the middle of Iceland's central lava and ash desert. 

The name comes from the freshwater springs that emerge from under the lava about 6km from the foot of Mt Herdubreid. 

Lush vegetation covers the area and plants such as garden angelica, Arctic river beauty, and various willows are found here.

At 1682m in height, Herðubreid is a hugely impressive mountain. It was formed in an eruption under Ice Age glaciers and has typically steep sides and a flattish top, where the eruption penetrated through the ice forming a hard lava cap.

Seventeenth-century fugitive Fjalla-Eyvindur found refuge here, surviving a whole winter on raw horse-flesh and angelica roots – you can still see his shelter in a crevice in the lava.

Pick up a leaflet on the nature reserve from the warden’s hut on site – it gives details of walks in the area. 

The short stroll around the small lake at the edge of the lava is recommended. To reach Herdubreidarlindir from the north on road F88 you must ford the Graflandaa river, where you will find a small but beautiful waterfall.

Along the river is a marshy area where geese and other birds nest. The Linda river, close to Herdubreidarlindir, must also be forded and can be very deep with an unstable bottom. 

This route is only accessible by large high clearance 4WD vehicles and should not be attempted by small 4WD cars. It is recommended to take the alternative route F905 and F910 to avoid fording these rivers. The alternative route approaches Herdubreidarlindir from the south. Note that no fuel or food is available on either route.