A Guide to Hiking in Iceland

The world is full of beautiful places with breathtaking sceneries that will blow your mind. One of those places is Iceland; the country’s landscape offers some of the world’s best-hiking spots. The hiking trails in Iceland are so diverse and versatile that they offer different levels of difficulty and length, giving hikers an experience to remember while also improving their fitness levels.

When choosing accommodation, keep in mind that most hiking trails are scattered all over the country but some of the best trails are near the famous Blue Lagoon spa. You can check out all of the opportunities to go hiking near Blue Lagoon Iceland on their website.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Iceland

Here is a list of some of the most loved hiking trails in Iceland:

Mount Esja

Duration: 2-4 hours

Distance: 7-15 km

Time to hike: open all year long except after a heavy snowfall

Difficulty level: moderate

Location: 25 km northeast of Reykjavik

Mt. Esja or Esjan is a perfect hiking trail if you are passing by Iceland. Standing majestically at 914 meters (2998 feet), Mt. Esja offers several hiking options from the foot of the mountain to the top. The first viewpoint in this trail is Steinn, though the trial is very challenging since there are parts that are very steep and exposed. While at the top, the view of the fjords with the tiny islands and Reykjavik is stunning. The paths towards Steinn are well-signed, making it safe that you can also bring your family along. Other viewing sites include Varða or Hábunga.

Landmannalaugar Highland Route

Duration: 4-6 hours

Distance: 10 km

Time to hike: mid-June to early-September

Difficulty level: moderate

Location: Landmannalaugar

The trail is relatively easy to navigate through since its mostly covered with solid lava. Some sights along the trail include hot springs, rhyolite mountains, and lava fields. You can get to Landmannalaugar by bus, or you can drive, but it’s recommended that you use a 4×4 that is authorized to be driven on F-roads.

Glymur waterfall

Duration: 3-6 hours

Distance:6-7 km

Difficulty level: moderate

Location: Hvalfjörður

Time to hike: June to September

Standing at 198 meters, the Glymur waterfall is the second tallest waterfall in Iceland. To get to the trail, you must reach the bottom of the Hvalfjörður fjord. The trail goes through a cave (Þvottahellir) and then across two rivers before hiking the steep part of the trail. The river is crossable on foot or by a log bridge. You can get to the top of the waterfall from either side of the river.

Skogafoss Waterfall Trail

Duration: 4-6 hours

Distance: 16 km

Time to hike: June to September

Difficulty level: easy

Location: Skogafoss

This trail is part of the Fimmvörðuháls hike. This trail is best for inexperienced hikers since it doesn’t include paths that require you to be experienced. That doesn’t mean that this trail lacks beauty, though it is considered the most underrated hiking trail in the country. The trail begins at the Skogafoss waterfall as you hike upstream the Skoga river. Some of the sites along this trail include glacier-capped volcanos, waterfalls, and several canyons.

Laugavegurinn Trail

Duration: 4 days

Distance:55 km

Difficulty level: moderate

Location: Landmannalaugar to Thorsmor

Time to hike: late June to early September

This is Iceland’s most famous trail. The sights along the trail include steaming hot springs, rhyolite mountains, black deserts, black lava fields, and moss-painted oases. With the hike being quite long, there are accommodations along the trail in the form of huts. These huts are usually open all year round.

Glacier Hikes

While in Iceland, one thing you’ll discover is that the country is covered by snow for most of the year, creating beautiful glaciers and crevasses that offer an exhilarating hiking opportunity. Some of the best glacier hikes include Hvannadalshnukur Hike in Vatnajokull National Park, Svinafellsjoukull Glacier Hike, Falljokull Glacier Hike, and Solheimajokull Glacier Hike.

For a memorable hiking experience, you should visit Iceland during the summer months, from early June to late September. If it’s your first time hiking, it is recommended that you always be part of a group, and whether you are an experienced hiker or not, it is advised that you always have a guide with you.


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