Best Hikes In Iceland
Along with the health benefits of taking a hike, the parts of nature you come across during the hike makes the experience worthwhile. So whenever you think about taking a hike, the first thing you think about is the scenery, if the scenery is worth you taking that long walk, the sweats in-between, the breathlessness and the small bits of fatigue that seeps in during the trek.
Thankfully, the scenery is not something you have to worry about when taking a hike in Iceland, because Iceland on its own is the definition of all that is beautiful about nature and the scenery it gives. A simply breathtaking landscape, hills, and mountains that leave your jaw on the floor- these and many more are things you are bound to encounter when you take a hike in the nature-blessed Iceland.
From one end to the other, you are blessed with the sights of tall and beautiful mountains, steep valleys covered with beautiful green leaves from trees that grow from the floor below, and flowers that have found ways to survive somewhere in-between green grasses and tall trees. You get to climb small and large mountains, small and large hills, learn the names of these mountains if you are blessed with a tour guide.
Hiking in Iceland is truly a beautiful experience. However, because of the nature of Iceland, being a place that is filled with all the best hiking spots, it might be difficult to pick out the best from this long list of bests. So you might end up planning to hike and deciding on which spot to go hiking for so long that you might up not even hiking at all.
The choosing process can be a tad tiring, especially if you are hiking in the company of friends, and all of you each have your definition of what a good time is and where it could be had.
Well, if you are planning to get out of the car while watching from the window, and putting on your hiking shoes and taking that hike, here is a list of some of the best hikes in Iceland.
Þakgil: If you are a fan of short hikes, apart from the Mount Esja trail, this is yet another short yet breathtaking hike you should most certainly try out. If you want to stay close to a hiking trail and take a hike to and fro on some days, just to get in tune with nature and all the beauty it holds, then the Thakgil is the perfect option for you.
Thakgil is not just as hiking trail but a campsite, so you can stay at the campsite while you take a hike the Thakgil trail. While hiking on the thakgil trail, you are greeted with beautiful sites like Remundargil canyon, and a creek that leads to a waterfall.
What to expect:
This is a 2 hours tops hike, and because of the flat and soft trail, it is a perfect option for families, especially if you are hiking with teenagers. Generally, the hike starts from the campsite, so you do not have to drive up to or take transport to the trail before you begin the hike. You are with nature from the beginning to the end.
It is a pretty easy hike, there are absolutely no challenges except you are hiking in the winter, then you may have to deal with snow while hiking.
If you intend to stay at the campsite, from June 1 to August 31, the campsite will be open.
You sincerely do not want to miss out on this.
The Mount Esja Trail: If you have ever wanted to see a whole city from the top of a mountain, then this is the hiking trail for you. From the top of this mountain, you are greeted with the view of the beautiful capital city where you will see humans in the smallest they can come, and you can simply just enjoy the view while you rest from the long trek you just took to reach that place. And, yes, it will be worth it.
Here is the thing about the Mount Esja, it is not just one mountain, it is a collection of volcanic mountains, which is usually called the Esjan range. It is truly a beautiful sight.
What to expect:
The path is steep, so, of course, you will need to be careful. Different paths are leading up to the mountain and all the paths are marked so you do not get confused.
It takes about 3 hours to get up to Mount Esja, and about 2 hours to get down the Mountain, it is quite an easy adventure. You do not have to carry food and water, you will find freshwater from a stream along the way, so you will be refreshed. Just carry a bottle from when you are not near the stream. And for food, there is a restaurant by the base of the mountain, so you are treated to great Iceland food.
This is one experience you would find interesting, if the plan was just to have a short hike, then this the perfect choice for you.
The Glymur Waterfall Hike: This is that experience that tests your bravery, your ability, your fears, and your courage. It tests everything you ever thought you knew how to do. On this hike, you are taken to the highest waterfall in Iceland. Because of its location, only the brave can dare to hike. On your way, you are greeted by beautiful sites and nature’s own attempt at architectural designs- caves. You will encounter rivers leading up to the waterfall, which is not unusual.
What to expect:
The rivers you would encounter on the way need crossing as there is no path between them. so you might either have to do this on foot or a log of wood. The path to the waterfall is quite steep, so you will need to be a tad careful. The hiking duration is not exactly long as it takes around 4 to 6 hours, however, a can of water and some snacks will be a great carry along with the idea.
It is slightly easy to navigate, there are not a lot of difficulties, as long as you are not hydrophobic.
You might not need to have a tour guide with you when you take this hike, you most definitely would not be hiking alone. While this place is not popular amongst tourists because no one likes to ruin their shoes in water, it is very popular amongst hikers, because the beauty it holds is not something that an adventurous person would like to miss.
The path leading up to this waterfall is not lonely, you are bound to come in contact with travelers passing through this path, so a few hellos can be said while you hike.
You will come in contact with sites that might be too exposed for you, and as stated before, it is one steep hike. These are the only challenges you might face that has nothing to do with the water.
Fimmvörðuháls ‘Thorsmork Volcano Hike’:
This is one of those trails you see in movies and scream “Dope graphics!” Only, this is not a graphic creation, this is real. Between 2010 and now, there has been a major eruption that created two different volcanic craters and a trail that leads up to the highland, goes between glaciers and straight into a valley.
Close your eyes and try to imagine how this looks. It is nothing next to how you will feel when you are experiencing it while taking a hike.
What to expect:
There will be cold, you will come in contact with a lot of ice and snow, of course, you are hiking between glaciers, and if you are up for a freezing experience, maybe you should try letting the ice flow through your fingers, just take out your gloves first, you are going to need them back on.
There will be climbing, so drop your fear of heights at home, or better yet, come along with a friend you can hold onto. There is also water that you might have to cross.
The entire hike might take up to 10 hours, with a maximum of 12, you should take food along. You might not need to carry water, because you will come in contact with a lot of clean snow if taking in melted snow is a thing for you. if it isn’t, don’t worry, there is fresh clean water from some of the rivers flowing along the trail. What is a hike with nature, if you cannot drink water provided by nature huh?
The hiking process is a bit moderate, but then again, this depends on what the definition of challenge is to you.
You would need an experienced tour guide to take you on this hike.
In all, prepare yourself for a beautiful experience.
The seven peaks of northeast Iceland: If you thought the biggest test for bravery you ever had to go through was the Glymur waterfall, well think again. Because this is not just hiking, this is a challenge. So, here is how it goes. The locals come together and chose 7 of the best peaks in northeast Iceland, and then they dare you to finish hiking all of them. And if you finish, you will have to bring forth a document to prove that you finished all of these peaks. Then you will be named among the mountain Vikings.
You are given the option to decide if you will finish them in one day or on different days, and if you can finish them in one day, you will win the most coveted title of the super mountain Viking. Hold up, before you start thinking of ways in which you can finish all of these 7 peaks in one day, remember that you are not under any pressure to. the idea is to have fun while communing with nature. All you have to do is make sure you finish all seven peaks and show a document that said you did and you are going to be named a mountain Viking.
What to expect:
You will not find a creek or a stream along the way, so it is a great idea to have a filled water bottle with you at all times. The path is very steep so you just have to be twice as careful as you usually are when hiking. The peaks are steep as well, so climbing is just as difficult as getting to the mountain.
This is a very difficult hike, well; it would not be a challenge if it wasn’t.
You need a very experienced tour guide on this hike, and more importantly, you should be a very experienced hiker, a day or two in training will not do, this is going to be one of the most challenging hikes you will ever have to do, it will not be easy.
Thankfully, there are no time limits placed on the challenge, unless you are looking to call a super mountain Viking.
May the odds be with you if you decide to take on this challenge.
As a hiker, you are not only exposed to the beauties that nature has to offer, you are also at an advantage as you can find few treasures of your own, known to just you.
So, get out that part of you that cannot get enough of nature, get you a hiking gear, meet up with a couple of friends or strangers, take that long hike in the best hikes in Iceland, see the country for the beauty that it is, explore the beauty that the country has to offer, make new friends, see things that you never thought existed. Be a hiker!
You surely cannot get tired of hiking in Iceland, it is impossible to get bored, there are just way too many interesting things to keep you interested. You have to hike to find out, so, go hike.