Iceland is well-known for its picturesque waterfalls, mountains and natural phenomenons, making it the perfect hiking destination! From short hikes to long hikes (one of the longest being North Iceland to South Iceland which spans about 18-20 days!), hikers from all skill levels can find trails to suit them. With an abundance of challenging, yet rewarding, trails in each of Iceland’s eight regions, we’ve narrowed down the top hiking areas that hikers from all of the world travel to Iceland to conquer.
Landmannalaugar, also known as “Pools of the People,” is highly regarded in Iceland and beyond as an extraordinary hiking destination. The area surrounding Landmannalaugar has highly active geothermal energy, producing warm-water rivers and streams, which tired hikers can relax and unwind in after a long day of trekking!
The Rhyolite mountainous area within Landmannalaugar is marveled as a photographer’s dream, as the mountain range’s colors hit shades of orange, green, purple and red. Within this range there are three major trails hikers can embark upon, Mount Brennisteinsalda, Mount Bláhnjúkur and Ljótipollur crater lake. All three of these trails are relatively short, spanning 2-4 hours.
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is located in Iceland’s Westfjords and is one of the most isolated areas in the world, giving hikers an intimate experience in nature. The nature reserve is completely underdeveloped and features towering cliffs, which is home to an inquisitive population of arctic foxes. Since travelers are completely immersed in nature, it’s highly encouraged to prepare more than normal, since shops and roads are miles away.
Most travelers embark on the 9 mile hike towards Hlöðuvík, a scenic bay surrounded by cabins for travelers to set up camp for the night. From there, hikers venture up the steep slope of Skálarkambur, a coastal mountain that provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The winding trail finishes out at Veiðileysufjörðu after stops through the Hornvík and Hornbjarg.
Due to its vast amount of trails, the Víknaslóðir area, located in East Iceland, is considered one of Iceland’s best hiking destinations! Since the area is so large, it’s split up between the North and South area. One of its longest hikes, called Víknaslóðir or ‘The Trails of the Inlets,’ recommends travelers to spend from 5 up to 10 days in the area.
In all of these trails, travelers will experience stunning mountain views, spectacular ocean and beach perspectives, beautiful fjords, colorful mountains and lush green valleys. Due to heavy winter snowfall, these ranges are only recommended for summer travel.
Have you hiked your way through Iceland? Let us know which peaks you’ve conquered by commenting below!