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The south is both densely and sparsely populated. In general, the further you go from Reykjavik the less populated is the area. In the eastern part, between Jokulsarlon and the river Markarfljot are vast alluvial or outwash plains, black sanded beaches and lava fields with only narrow strips of lowlands, which limit agricultural activities and therefore the area is less populated. The western part however contains the largest and best agricultural area in Iceland and a few towns. The landscape, both the lowland and highland areas, contains many of the most interesting and beautiful sights in Iceland, including two national parks; Thingvellir and Skaftafell. The southern central highlands boast of the largest glaciers, most active and largest volcanoes as well as beautiful mountain ranges with some of the most popular hiking routes. One of the best known hiking-paths in Iceland, the Laugavegur (road to Laugar) is in the southern highlands, starting from Landmannalaugar going into Thorsmork and from there you can continue over Fimmvorduhals to Skogar on the south shore. There are three glaciers almost litterally on the south shore; Vatnajokull in the east which is Europe´s largest glacier and Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull a bit further west. The most famous volcanoes include Hekla, Katla, Vestmannaeyjar (Westmann islands), Surtsey and Lakagigar (Laki craters). The Lakagigar crater series, a few miles inland from Kirkjubæjarklaustur, it produced the largest lava flow ever witnessed in historical times anywhere in the world, during the Skaftareldar eruption of 1783. Another large lava field is the Thjorsa river lava field which flowed from the Veidivotn crater area all the way into the sea about 8.000 years ago.
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