Kirkjufell mountain in the west of Iceland
Hikes in Iceland
The 10 most beautiful hikes in Iceland
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Iceland's most famous hiking trail: Laugavegur
On the Laugavegur you often feel like on another planet. The rhyolite mountains around Landmannalaugar glow in almost unreal colors, from rich yellow and ocher to deep red and shimmering blue. In between are white snowfields, black lava rock and hills covered with light green moss.
The long distance hiking trail Laugavegur starts here and leads on 4 day stages through the breathtaking Icelandic highlands to the south. Highlights along the way include colorful mountains, the beautifully situated Lake Álftavatn, many steaming hot springs and the glacial rivers, which in some places have to be forded for lack of a bridge. For accommodation along Laugavegur you can choose between small cabins (reservation is mandatory!) or your own tent. In Landmannalaugar you can even bathe in a hot spring.
If you want, you can extend the Laugavegur by 1-2 days and hike over the Fimmvörðuháls to the famous waterfall Skógafoss.
This spectacular multi-day tour takes you about 80 km through nearly the entire range of Icelandic primeval landscapes.
The most beautiful hikes around Iceland's "Golden Circle"
In the hinterland of the capital Reykjavík are some of Iceland's most important sights: Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir are resounding names for Iceland travelers. On the "Golden Circle" route, it is possible to do all three in a single day - from Reykjavík also on an organized bus tour, if you feel comfortable in a group. If you prefer to explore the Golden Circle individually, you can go to Geysir and Gullfoss Waterfall early in the morning or in the evening. In between, there is time for a hike - for example in Þingvellir National Park or to the hot geothermal springs in Reykjadalur. The mountains to the southwest of Lake Þingvallavatn are crisscrossed by several worthwhile hiking trails that are easily accessible from Reykjavík.
Once in a lifetime you should see it: Goðafoss, which means "Gods' Fall" in Icelandic. Here the water drops only about 11 meters into the depth, but with a width of almost 160 meters it is still one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. A short hiking trail leads from the parking lot on both sides of the river to the lookouts with the best view of the natural spectacle.
The Godafoss waterfall can be admired from all sides in just a few minutes from the car park. The indescribable waters of the Skjalfandalfljot ...
Mývatn and Ásbyrgi
The northern part of Iceland is usually less visited than the south. This is despite the fact that there are some great sights here with the gigantic Dettifoss, Mývatn and the legendary Ásbyrgi gorge. Suitable bases are the pretty coastal town of Akureyri or the fishing village of Húsavík, where probably the best whale-watching tours in Iceland are offered. Worthwhile short or long hiking tours can be found, for example, at the impressive lake Mývatn, which is surrounded by numerous geothermal springs, rugged craters and caves. The rock grotto Grjótagjá in the west of the lake is accessible by foot. Here, the 43°C warm water steams directly under the ground. The crater Hverfjall, which lies a little further south, is also worth a visit. The hiking trail leads in an almost circular ring around the crater. For a change, there are no traces of lava here, because it was formed differently than other craters: a huge steam explosion 2500 years ago created this peculiar place.
The lovely nature in the Ásbyrgi gorge with its wind-protected, for Icelandic conditions dense forest, then appears almost completely contrary. A hiking trail runs along the eastern upper edge of the gorge and onto the large rocky island of Eyjan in the middle. If you have the time, you can also head on a two-day trekking tour from Ásbyrgi through the wild landscape to Dettifoss.
Ásbyrgi is a horseshoe-shaped, legendary gorge in the north of Iceland. It is part of the ...
The sparsely populated Westfjords are considered Iceland's most remote region. But the rather tedious, long journey over gravel roads is worth it. One of the most famous destinations here are the cliffs of Látrabjarg, where thousands of puffins breed in summer. The hiking trail along the coast offers the best views and is an absolute highlight for birdwatchers. For hardy hikers seeking absolute solitude in Iceland, a trekking tour of several days in the Hornstrandir nature reserve is ideal. In the very north of the Westfjords you hike far away from civilization. You can only get to Hornstrandir by boat, there is no road here.
Hike along the cliffs of Látrabjarg in Iceland's Westfjords, where millions of puffins and other seabirds gather during the summer.
In the Highlands
Less lonely, but just as remote are hikes in the geothermal area of Hveravellir. In the middle of nowhere in the Icelandic highlands, surrounded by two huge glaciers, it steams and bubbles out of the earth at this place. The area can be safely explored on wooden walkways, and various hiking trails are marked all around. Hveravellir can be reached by off-road vehicles via the Kjölur highland road.
Short hike with exploration of the Hveravellir geothermal area and the Eyvindarhellir lava cave, marked path
Tips for your hiking trip to Iceland
- The best time to go hiking in Iceland are the summer months between June and August. Then the days are the longest and the average temperatures of 12 ° C the most pleasant. With a little luck, it can sometimes be over 20 ° C.
- The country is known for its erratic weather. An Icelandic proverb says: If you don't like the weather in Iceland, just wait five minutes. Wind- and waterproof clothing in multiple layers is of course mandatory when hiking.
- Iceland is becoming more and more popular as a travel destination, with more and more nature lovers coming to the country on the Arctic Circle every year. Two major hiking clubs take care of several refuges and huts in Iceland. In the summer, they are quickly booked up, so you should definitely book your place in advance.
- Hikers bring their own food in Iceland, usually only the towns offer shopping and refreshment options.
- Camping is possible and popular almost everywhere, many campsites are available. You can also camp next to all refuges.
- The hiking trails in Iceland are beautiful, but often not very well developed and signposted. Especially in the highlands or in the Westfjords only wooden stakes or cairns show the way, sometimes glacier rivers have to be forded. Especially when trekking, good maps and GPS tracks help with orientation and navigation.