Nature & Environment Aug 24, 2016

A Guide to Five of Iceland’s Most Exciting Hikes

See which Icelandic hiking trail is the perfect fit for your next adventure!

Whether you’re an expert hiker or just beginning to venture into the great outdoors, Iceland has a hiking trail for you. Explore Iceland’s beauty on foot through some of the country’s most alluring landscapes.  

What are the best hiking trails in Iceland?

Mt. Esja

Mt. Esja can be seen dominating the Reykjavik skyline. The mountain is located right outside the city, and the hiking trail is easily accessible by a bus stop located at the trailhead. Before taking on the 4.5-mile trail, stop by Esjustofa, a cozy cafe that serves hot coffee and lamb stew year round.

Laugavegur Trek

If you’re a more experienced hiker looking for a multi-day adventure, the Laugavegur 33-mile trek is for you. The trail begins in the highlands at Landmannalaugar and ends in Thórsmörk, which is a four-day, three-night hike. Buses run from Reykjavik to the trail when the roads are open from June to September. If you’re not the most experienced camper, you can book your overnight stays at one of the many huts located along the trail. Click here to secure your spot!


For an extra day added to your Laugavegur trek, or as a nice day hike on its own, the Fimmvörðuháls pass is a thrilling passage between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull icecaps. The 15-mile hike can be done between eight and 10 hours. Be prepared with a GPS, though, because the trail can be tricky with its jagged cliffs and canyons.


Known as the “hot spring capital of the world,” Hveragerði is home to the Hot Spring River Trail in the Reykjadalur Valley. This short, 4.3-mile round-trip hike will take you through the valley’s geothermal landscape where you can also visit some of the area’s greenhouses. At the end of your journey, stop by the Laugaskarð thermal swimming pool to reward yourself for a hike well done.

Gylmur Waterfall

Gylmur is Iceland’s second tallest waterfall and can only be reached by foot. The trail to the fall is located an hour north of Reykjavik near Hvalfjörður. The approximately 5-mile hike can take up to four hours and is a moderately difficult trail. The hike may be grueling at times, but your eyes will not be disappointed by the trail’s mossy green canyons and beautiful wildflowers.

Have you successfully hiked one of these trails? Let us know about your experience by tweeting us at @IcelandNatural.