Covering almost 100 square kilometres, Kerlingarfjöll, a protected nature reserve, is a circular mountain range that formed over 10,000 years ago with a series of subglacial volcanic eruptions.
The Blue Lagoon Family, a collection of sustainable destinations, resorts, spas, and skincare lines, announce the summer 2023 opening of its newest development, Highland Base – Kerlingarfjöll. Debuting in the Ásgarður Valley, at the edge of a remote mountain range deep in Iceland’s central highlands, the multi-faceted Highland Base – Kerlingarfjöll will be the first of its kind in this untouched, adventure-driven paradise. The year-round destination will feature the Highland Base Hotel, complete with rooms, suites, and luxury lodges; a series of Highland Base Huts designed for private or shared accommodations; the Highland Base Camp, a summer-only, riverside campsite; the 80-seat Highland Base Restaurant and Lounge; the Highland Base Baths; and a wide range of adventure activities.
“Kerlingarfjöll has been beloved by Icelanders for decades, and we’re pleased to introduce the destination in an entirely new way,” says Grímur Sæmundsen, founder & CEO of Blue Lagoon Iceland. “Full of adventure – from the journey to the experiences while there – Highland Base – Kerlingarfjöll will be unmatched for those looking to explore the remote, central highlands of Iceland.”
Nature-Driven and Sustainable Accommodations
Ideated and developed by the design teams at Blue Lagoon Iceland, Basalt Architects, and Design Group Italia, Highland Base – Kerlingarfjöll is being constructed to exist in harmony with nature. The development process has been conducted in accordance with the standards developed by BREEAM—the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for building—and the cosy, minimalist interior designs produce a sense of place, warmth, and comfort felt throughout the entire complex. In addition to syncing with nature, Highland Base – Kerlingarfjöll has been designed to cater to a wide range of travellers and will be comprised of three distinct accommodations types including:
- Highland Base Hotel: composed of multiple structures encompassing 46 rooms, two suites, and six luxurious lodges. The 46 rooms range in size from 18 square metres to 30 square metres and are designed for everyone from families to solo travellers. The two Highland Suites are 44 square metres and feature a terrace with a private, geothermal hot tub and breathtaking views of the mountains. The six Highland Lodges are luxurious, stand-alone, private accommodations.
- Highland Base Huts: Highland Base Huts: a range of seasonal accommodations in A-frame buildings including bunk beds with shared facilities as well as private huts designed for families or small groups travelling together.
- Highland Base Camp: a seasonal, riverside campsite located at the base of Kerlingarfjöll mountain range with access to the same communal facilities used by the guests staying in the huts.
A Paradise for Adventure Travellers
Covering almost 100 square kilometres, Kerlingarfjöll, a protected nature reserve, is a circular mountain range that formed over 10,000 years ago with a series of subglacial volcanic eruptions. The range includes peaks reaching more than 1,500 kilometres, and panoramic vistas punctuated by the grand glaciers Hofsjökull and Langjökull, making it an adventure lover’s dream. For guests of Highland Base – Kerlingarfjöll, a selection of seasonal activities could include hiking the vast network of trails, ranging from one kilometre to 50 kilometres; access to a fleet of electric mountain bikes to traverse the raw and colourful mountain scape; backcountry and cross-country skiing; snowshoeing through the geothermal valleys; and exploring the breathtaking panoramas via snowmobiles.
A Destination Rich in History
Unexplored for centuries, Kerlingarfjöll remained an untamed wilderness until the 1930s when a pioneering naturalist and entrepreneur—Guðmundur Einarsson—initiated mountaineering classes. Inspired by Einarsson’s efforts, Ferðafélag Íslands (Iceland Touring Association) launched hiking tours of the region, constructing a cabin in 1937. Beginning in 1961, the area became the prime vacation destination for summer skiers, and the cabin accommodations grew to include a dormitory and a dining facility for ski students. Each year, from June to August, Icelanders flocked to these mountains, with thousands learning how to ski at Kerlingarfjöll’s seasonal ski school. At the turn of the millennium, the ski school ceased operations, but accommodations were refurbished and expanded, becoming the Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort, a base camp for hikers and adventurers.
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