Although it’s about the same size as Virginia or Kentucky Iceland has a wide range of hiking opportunities be it a short friendly hike, long day hike or 4-5 day backpacking trip. If you are a first-time visitor and want to see and hike the best of Iceland we’ve shortlisted 5 SPOTS for your favorite hikes.
1. The Mount Esja Trail
This hiking trail leads to a volcanic mountain Esjan. It is easy to reach from Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland and makes you enjoy the astonishing view of the city and mountains covered in wildflowers and snow.
After approximately 2.8 kilometers hiking you will arrive at the place named Steinn which is engraved on the rock. Don’t forget to engrave your name as well in a guestbook at this point. If you continue following a steeper path you will reach the top of the mountain range called Tverfellshorn, some 400 meters away from the Steinn.
2. The Laugavegur Trail
It won an international acclaim for being one of the world’s best trails. And for a good reason. Wherever you place your eyes or set your foot the beauty will be yours! While hiking you will dive into a coruscating kaleidoscope of colors embodied in multicolored mountains mirroring in the hot springs, volcanic deserts of black sand, green meadows, crystal ice caves to the glacier valley of Thórsmörk.
The roads to Landmannalaguar are open from late June to September. Again the trail is clearly marked and not too demanding. If you are not used to wind-proof tents book a hut a few weeks in advance.
3. The Fimmvörðuháls Trail
The most appealing one-day hike that fuses the best of Iceland into a single hiking path. The Fimmvörðuháls trail allows you to explore some of the most spectacular Icelandic sceneries, from a myriad of canyon waterfalls to a volcanic moonscape. The place that most resembles the Moon. It’s also one of “Game of Thrones” filming locations.
The outstanding part of this hike is walking through an immense diversity of landscapes within one single day: starting at the ocean, passing near 26 waterfalls to grassy tundra and a volcanic area. Again, the trail ends in Thórsmörk where you can find accommodation and camping spots. If possible, catch the local bus or rent a jeep that plies this route.
4. Skaftafell National Park Trail
Your glacier adventure starts after a 15 minutes bus ride to Falljökull Glacier (Falling Glacier). Your experienced glacier guide will take you through a winding path through a landscape modeled by the glacier. The next stop is the tongue of the glacier where you will gear up for the glacier survey. Soon you’ll be walking from the edge of the glacier to the icefall sightseeing amazing scenery of frozen ice sculptures and surreal blue colors as you make your way to the impressive icefall. The glaciers change shape every day as well as the ice caves.
5. Glymur Waterfall Trail
The Glymur is the only waterfall in Iceland that can be reached by foot. The trail head is about an hour from Reykjavik and the hiking trail is moderately difficult or easily accessible for those more adventurous. Hiking through a cave to reach the bottom of the gorge and cross the river is just amazing. Further on the path runs upwards along the rim of the canyon from where you can see the whole waterfall.