Explore the most popular trails in Iceland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Super look over the sea and the port and what a nice city!!!

The return is via sheep trails that don’t interconnect. It is a bit dangerous given all the steaming steams and holes. Use one of the other well marked trails. The area is lovely

hiking
2 days ago

One of the best hikes I have done - As mentioned by other reviewers this hike has three distinct parts - all amazing. The first 5 miles or so is along a river with 20+ waterfalls and cascades. The middle 5 miles is a climb across alpine tundra to the summit where you cross snowfields and recent volcanic landscape. The final 5 miles is a beautiful descent into a green canyon with stunning views across mountains and valleys.

This hike is impressive! I was getting a bit bored of the “walk-up” touristy waterfalls in Iceland and this one is definitely not that, but also is not for the faint of heart (in many ways)! You can’t see the waterfalls you are hiking to when you leave the parking lot and the first (wrong) waterfalls you see may lead you to believe this hike won’t really be worth it, but just wait!

The drive to the trailhead only requires a 2WD vehicle. We spent 4 hours on this hike; it probably would have been 3 if I didn’t stop to take so many pics. There are no restrooms. Women (and men): please please please PACK OUT YOUR TIOLET PAPER TRASH! Bring an extra ziplock bag or napkin to stick your used toilet paper in, or better yet, just skip the toilet paper altogether. It was really sad and disgusting to see this trail littered with toilet paper. I’m not sure why people think it’s okay to toss their toilet paper in nature.

There are two decent river crossings. The first river crossing happens after you go through the cave. There is a rope to hold onto with large rocks to step on part of the way, and then a log the rest of the way, but a sign said that the log is taken away in winter when it’s too dangerous and slippery. We went in August and the river crossing was not bad at all and I didn’t even think it was slippery.

After the first river crossing is when the hike finally gets real. I didn’t read reviews of this hike before tackling it, but even now that I’m looking at reviews, I’m shocked at how hardly anyone mentions how tough and scary this hike is! If you are afraid of heights or are out of shape, this hike is not for you. I’m from Colorado and used to hard hikes and don’t even consider myself afraid of heights, but this hike is absolutely no joke! There are cliffside exposures practically the whole way after the first river crossing and although there are ropes and poles to help people up some of the steep sections, there are still plenty of spots where you are on your own on very loose dirt/rock sections that are inches away from a cliff. It also doesn’t help that this trail has high traffic so you may have to move aside on a steep section to let opposite traffic by.

There are several sections that level out on cliffs to get a perfect view of the canyon and waterfall and each view gets better and better. If you reach one of the first views of this magnificent waterfall and don’t think this hike is for you, just turn around because the trail doesn’t get any easier.

At the top of the waterfall is when you can cross the water a second time and keep going on a loop to continue down the other side of the canyon instead of coming back the way you came. I would recommend this option to get back since the loop trail going back is not nearly as steep. This is where you will most certainly have to take off your shoes to cross a wide river because you’ll be in water that is at least ankle deep. Stay on the loose rocks rather than the big flat rocks under the water because the big rocks have moss that is very slippery. The water is relatively shallow at the top and there are plenty of sections that do not have strong current.

There are also two trail options to return back on the other side of the canyon. The trail options on the other side of the canyon are not nearly as scenic as the first trail to get up to the waterfall and there are not good views of the waterfall along the way, but as such, they are not nearly as steep or scary. You may wonder afterwards why the first trail going out doesn’t just take you up on the non-steep/non-cliff trail, but it was definitely worth it to do the trail going counterclock -wise and go up the steep section first because you can only see the waterfall from that angle.

4 days ago

nice viewpoint, small trail to stretch your legs.. climbing the boulders is fun too

Most amazing and unforgettable experience. Mind blowing scenery. Difficult hike - physically challenging climb through the lava field (like a scene from the Lord of the Rings) and to the summit. Unpredictable weather. Did it last week of June, not sure it ever gets any warmer than 8 degrees Celsius though. Do not miss this one!

hiking
4 days ago

The highlight of our trip. Brennisteinsalda (a dormant volcano) featured a 1000m climb. We did a day trip and the hike was roughly 3.5 hrs. Amazing experience. Sun, snow, wind, rain - changes without warning in an instant, so be prepared. The climb through the lava field was like a scene from Lord Of The Rings. Unforgettable. You will never see colour palette like the rhyolite mountains. People were dumbfounded at my unretouched photos taken with my iPhone!

hiking
6 days ago

Active climb. Gravel path all the way up, moderate beginning to flat mid-section and loop with periods of uphill. Lots of horse manure on the out-and-back, sheep manure on the loop. Bugs made it somewhat miserable on the hike back as the day warmed up. Not too much to see if you’ve already been to Geysir, but it’s Iceland so everything is pretty.

on Helgafell

hiking
6 days ago

Good for a quick jaunt up a mountain. Flat and easy for the first 0.9 miles before the moderate section straight to the top. If you take the right fork on the way down, it is more moderate but sandy and loose with gravel so watch your step.

I really enjoyed this hike! The cave and log river crossing were novel.

very short hike but amazing waterfall!

The wind was quite strong the day we went which made the cold hard to bare. It is an interesting stop. I would not go twice though

There isn't a trail or waterfall I didn't enjoy in Iceland

The start point appears to be a private property. You will need to park in the bit of land that has water on both sides just before the house. This isn't a marked trail, so you are really just exploring. We hiked up a bit to have lunch with a nice view of the valley, though if you are like us and used to marked trails, it's hard to shake the feeling of wandering illegally.

Very beautiful!

this has been my favorite hike so far. no one was on the trail, excluding the horses, and the view was amazing. trail gets very muddy.

easy walk with more to see than the waterfall

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful loop - crowd thins after Svartifoss - awesome overlook on to Skaftafellsjokull glacier and icebergs. I recommend instead starting on the S3 (left side) to waterfall and onto s6 for less traffic than main central corridor path. Take Sjonaripa from the Falls across to breathtaking lunch spot overlooking the glacier. then go down on the Austurbrekkur.. Nice 6 mile loop. glacier views,, waterfalls, wildflower meadows... easy to moderate

With hot speings! Defenitly go for the hike and bring swim suit

hiking
17 days ago

I’m from Colorado and hike every weekend and this was the most incredible and beautiful hike I’ve ever done. We experienced all the weather elements on this day trip... rain, 50+ mph winds on the glacier, cold/sleet (but bearable), and heat at the end. So pack accordingly. I though navigation was easy, but tracked the trail by GPS thru this app. If you plan on shuttling back to Skógar that day, have a plan. We were able to shuttle to Seljalandsfoss on a 6:15 bus, but there were no connections that evening to Skógar. I ended up hitching a ride to my vehicle and had to drive back to get the family.

hiking
17 days ago

Trailhead was hard to find. GPS coordinates were a little off. Park by a small pond on the west side of the road. Trail is not marked or defined at all. Must have GPS working. Lots of loose lava rock. Beautiful views from the top!

Loved this. I did Landmannalauger to Skogar. Please be advised there is wayyy more snow than anyone anticipated at Hraftinnusker (sp?) and over the pass to Skogar. So many people did not have proper gear and many parties paid 1,000 USD to get rescued. Also, to Skogar mapped with Gaia GPS it was approximately 50 miles with 9,500ft of elevation gain (we did small day hikes once we checked in and hiked 56 miles with 11,100 ft of gain), Way more than any site prepared us for. Views are insane and ever changing. Be prepared for 5 river crossings total (three being from Álftavatn to Thorsmork), bring sandals! The deepest river crossing was thigh deep. Check in is after 1230 at each hut so if you’re gonna haul ass just know they won’t let you check in because they are still cleaning.

Hraftinnusker - the hut has a warming area that is jammed pack, everyone tenting wished they made arrangements for a hut, you’ll be wet. (2,200 ft of gain in around 7 miles)

Álftavatn - it’s mainly a hike up and down through snow until you head down a ridge and see the rolling hills into the valley. My knees appreciated my poles as we lost about 2,500ft (still gained 750ft ~ 7 miles) p.s there is a new restaurant here!

Botnar/Emstrur- the day with three river crossings, third being the deepest right before you walk through a flat desert. Mostly through sand which blows. (1200ft gain ~ 10.2 miles)

Thorsmork- my favorite day. The terrain changed so much and was truly beautiful. We stayed at the Volcano huts. One river crossing which was knee deep. (1500ft gain ~ 10.4 miles)

Pass- this was rough, flat until a little past Basar and then it’s up up up! This day was also my favorite but the gain on the 4th day was a bitch. Back into the snow. (3,400ft gain ~ 9.2 miles)

Pass to Skogar- so many waterfalls! You’re out of snow almost immediately and it’s all downhill to Skogar. (350 ft gain, a lot of loss, and 8.2 miles)

Gorgeous scenery along the coast. Straightforward and simple. A must if you are staying in the area!

Okay the falls are beautiful and no they are not the ones you see from the parking lot. Also theres a cave too that you pass through however thats the start of the difficulties of this trail. This is not a moderate trail and I regularly hike in Colorado. Shortly after the cave which is slippery when wet, you have to cross the river which requires walking through the river and then walking on a wet slippery log over to the other side. You have to roll up your pants and take you shoes off. The water is freezing. Then the trail becomes narrow and steep and there are 4 spots where you must use the ropes provided to climb up the mountain. A few of the poles are loose and doesnt help your ascent or descent. We did an out and back and stopped at the last lookout point between check points 5&6. Also the trail is well marked with signs but also look for the yellow dots on rocks (esp around check point 2 because of tangents from the trail). Other than that if you are an experienced hiker, you should do this. If not, you are welcome to try.

hiking
22 days ago

What a fantastic trail. We took the blue route to Stein (“peak”) which is the one i recommend to do. Took us 2 hrs. Although we saw people in strappy sandals and brand new white converse, it would be better to wear trail shoes or hiking boots, as the trail is very wet. It also is apparently easier to go left on the loop (aka at check point 3 go straight, dont cross the bridge), but both ways are doable. It rain on us and was very windy and i got cold. Other than that the trail is very well marked and there is a small cafe at the bottom.

on Mount Esja (Esjan)

hiking
29 days ago

Good challenge! Took the left up and the right down...hard work out of the way first and less pounding on the joints back down. Chains in the rock the last 0.1 mile don’t help that much but they’re there, and the trail is quite gravelly and loose.

hiking
29 days ago

Do not, under any circumstance, use this trail map. The original recorder took an access path to some smaller falls and then made up his own route. There is no trail, no markers, and it requires you to cross tops of waterfalls and walk over glacial flora. Use the other Glymur Falls Loop Trail map instead.

on Gullfoss Waterfall

29 days ago

Not so much a trail, per se, as an overlook. Path is heavily maintained and many tourists are around. Short and easy. The views are great, of course.

hiking
29 days ago

Short but active hike with rewarding views on both the ways up and down! Worth a visit while you’re traveling in Iceland near Reykjavík.

on Strokkur Geysir Blesi

nature trips
29 days ago

Not really a trail as much as it is a tourist stop. Several geysers worth viewing, if you don’t mind crowds and cameras everywhere.

backpacking
29 days ago

Looking into this hike I was thrilled! I spent months planning and packing and preparing. The pictures I found and the reviews read all for good reason say amazing things. That being said I am now currently camped with a group of 5 at Álftavatn. This has easily been one of the harder hikes I have ever done. I’ve hiked 13k mountains and spent weeks at a time on trails. But this was a completely new experience. From day one going north to south the trail tricks you with the simplicity of an easy hike as you meander down the trail. Ignorance was my main problem for day one. We then climbed up more mountain ridges than I can count! Up and up and up until you are trekking through snow on top of the mountains. Generally I am not one to complain, but wow! This was like some alpine hiking. It was unreal the level of altitude we gained. Mind you the first day is around 12k. Nothing big. However when it’s 12k in pretty much entirely upwards direction, it tends to wear on you. The campsite that night was a winter wonderland, the campsites are obsidian glass that have been piled to help break the wind a little. That night my water bottle froze... the hut warden had previously been tanning when the sun was out. The second the sun was gone... bamb! So cold! From day 2 we then started the decent out of the snow. From all the up we did we must have done just as much down. The day itself was much easier and the site has a bar!!! Much needed. Can’t wait To see what the next days hold.

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