This book takes you through the region south of Vatnajökull. It is Iceland’s most dynamic part and here its natural contrasts are particularly well displayed: lush vegetation and barren deserts, wide plains and high mountains, green grasslands, black sands and white glacier ice.

This book is designed as a road guide pointing to important siteson the highway, including interesting detours and short hikes, and covering glaciology, geology and biology and explaining the processes behind the spectacular landscapes. It also relates the region’s dramatic history. Its small and isolated farming communities lived in closer proximity to glaciers and endured greater hardship from volcanic eruptions than any other documented human settlements on Earth.

The authors are Helgi Björnsson, a world-renowned glaciologist and emeritus research professor at the University of Iceland, and Þóra Ellen Þórhallsdóttir, professor of botany at the University of Iceland. Through decades of research and personal interest, they have a wide knowledge of the region. Both have been recipients of Iceland’s Literary Award for academic work and both have been awarded the Order of the Falcon for their scientific contribution to Icelandic society.