5 Best Hikes in Iceland

By: Anja Mutic

Other Posts by this Author


October 28, 2022 | Adventure Experts

There is no better way to experience the truly magical scenery of Iceland than hiking right through it. The island’s beauties are found in its lava fields, glaciers, waterfalls, snowy peaks, and the raw and remote windswept landscapes strewn with charming villages. Whichever of the following hikes in Iceland you decide to pursue, don’t miss a soak in the legendary Blue Lagoon.

 

Overview

1. Natural Wonder Hiking

2. Geysers, Glaciers, and Waterfalls of Iceland’s Southern Coast

3. Hiking Iceland’s Eastern Fjords

4. Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Hike

5. The Laugavegur Trek or the Hot Spring Route

 

1. Natural Wonders Hiking

Blue lagoon in Iceland

This eight-day trip, tailored to experienced hikers, provides a stellar opportunity to experience the magnificence of Iceland’s volcanic landscapes on spectacular daily hikes. Hikers get to traverse moonlike lava fields and reach snowcapped volcanoes from Akureyri, Iceland’s northern capital. You’ll be awestruck by Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and trek along beautiful canyon trails beside rumbling rivers. Along the way, you’ll pass storybook villages with their colorful timber houses and marvel at the sight of one of Iceland’s largest puffin colonies. At the end of the day, soak your weary muscles in natural geothermal spas – a one-of-a-kind experience.

 

2. Geysers, Glaciers, and Waterfalls of Iceland’s Southern Coast

Diamond Beach, Iceland

Come face to face with the magnificent landscapes of Iceland’s southern coast on this four-day light trip that includes two to three hours of walking per day, along easy paths. Highlights include walking across vast black-sand plains that stretch to the mighty Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest ice cap, and admiring the wonders of the Glacier Lagoon (Jökulsárlón), complete with huge icebergs and sunbathing seals. Finish the day with a walk on one of Vatnajökull’s glacier tongues. You’ll also get to take in scenic landscapes of Skaftafell National Park and the Svartifoss waterfall, surrounded by basalt columns. The trip ends with the exploration of Iceland’s south coast, via the impressive canyon of Fjaðrárgljúfur, a stroll along the black-sand beaches of Vík and Reynisfjara, and taking in the grand waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

3. Hiking Iceland’s Eastern Fjords

This 10-day hiking adventure to the eastern fjords follows the impressive Víknaslódir Trail, a journey that takes you hiking in the foothills of volcanic mountains and cruising among black and blue icebergs. The deep fjords are full of streams and waterfalls, the valleys are endlessly green and strewn with wildflowers, and mountains come in many formations. The trail winds through isolated coves and fjords, through verdant valleys all the way down to the coast. Abandoned houses and ruins of ancient farms add special charm to the already incredible landscape. On this trip, you experience the remoteness of simple hiking huts and the luxuries of comfortable modern hotels, as well as a healing soak in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famed geothermal spa.

4. Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Hike

Laugavegur hike in Iceland

This hike can take around six days, starting with the Laugavegur trail in Landmannalaugar, an awe-inspiring geothermal oasis, and leading through the beautifully varied landscapes of the Icelandic highlands. It leads through the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, with hot springs surrounded by black lava fields and multicolored rhyolite mountains. Expect to see snowcapped peaks and moss-covered slopes, and walk across glacial rivers and black-sand deserts before arriving in the birch forests of the fertile Þórsmörk valley. The Fimmvörðuháls trail takes you over a steep mountain with views over the dazzling green valleys and jagged, mossy ridges, ending at Iceland’s most iconic waterfall, the majestic Skógafoss.

5. The Laugavegur Trek or the Hot Spring Route

This is Iceland’s most famous hiking trail and it takes you through landscapes of black lava fields, bubbling hot springs, technicolor rhyolite mountains, deserts of black sand, and moss-coated oases. Starting in the Landmannalaugar valley, take a dip in a natural hot spring before commencing the hike; carry on by climbing up to snowy peaks, and then descend into pastoral valleys and meadows. The hike ends with a walk through a lovely birch forest that slopes down into the valley of Thorsmork, ringed by steep, green mountains and stunning glaciers. This four-day hike can be completed at a relaxed pace, sleeping in mountain huts along the way. 

Ready to explore? Check out all of MT Sobek’s hiking adventures in Iceland here.