Explore the most popular Parks 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.

backpacking
14 days ago

If you are an avid hiker and love the outdoors, Iceland is probably on the top of your vacation bucket list. There is a wide variety of unique landscapes and beautiful scenery packed into this small island. Have you wondered what is the best way to experience all this country has to offer in less than a week? The Laugavegur Trail has it all. While hiking the 55 km (34 mile) trek, you will experience four days worth of geothermal pools, rivers, lava fields, glaciers, canyons, and mountains; so many beautiful, colorful mountains. It is no wonder the Laugavegur is one of the most popular hikes in Iceland and attracts hikers from all over the globe.
Since Iceland’s summers are short, this hike can only be done between June and September. Expect nights to consist of freezing temperatures and the days to max out at about 15 degrees C (60 F). Also, weather can be unpredictable in the mountains so be prepared for severe wind, snow, sleet, and rain.
Most people start in Landmannalaugar and hike south towards Þórsmörk because of the overall decrease in elevation. To get to Landmannalaugar, there are several bus companies that leave right out of Reykjavik, and the ride is only a few hours. Once in Landmannalaugar the trailhead is easy to find, or pitch your tent and do some of the day hikes in the area.
Camping is only allowed in designated areas around the huts that are located along the trail. If you want to sleep in the huts, you should make reservations up to one year in advance as they fill up quickly and are quite expensive. However, if you don’t mind carrying all your supplies, there is unlimited space for tents at each camp area. Each hut has running water so there is no need to filter your water if you plan to carry enough for the entire day.
Most people do this hike in 3 nights and 4 days. There is an additional 1 to 2 days you can add on if you choose to hike from Þórsmörk to Skógar. Regardless if you continue to Skógar, there is a bus at either location to bring you back to Reykjavik.
 
Day One: Landmannalaugar – Hrafntinnusker
12 km (7.45 miles)
Elevation increase: 470 m (1,541 ft)
Start day one in Landmannalaugar N63°59.600 – W19°03.660. After you get off the bus you should easily be able to find the trailhead. Most of this day is uphill as you climb to Hrafntinnusker. Along the way you will come across several geothermal hot springs.
There will be views of surrounding mountains and you may experience snow cover as you gain elevation. Just before reaching Hrafntinnusker, you will come across a memorial for an Israeli hiker who died of hypothermia. After you reach Hrafntinnusker, there are several short day hikes you can take if time allows. N63°55.840 – W19°09.700.

 
Day Two: Hrafntinnusker – Álftavatn
12 km (7.45 miles)
Elevation decrease: 490 m (1,607 ft)
Day two starts by walking across a ravine until you reach an area with a short climb. Here you will see a spectacular panoramic view of colorful mountains.

This is the highest elevation for the hike. Next you will walk along a ridge until you reach another panoramic view of a green valley.

The trail now descends quickly into this valley towards a lake where Álftavatn Hut lies. This section is very steep with a lot of switchbacks. Once down in the valley, the trail flattens as you walk the final stretch to Álftavatn N63°51.470 – W19°13.640.
 
Day Three: Álftavatn – Emstrur (Botnar)
15 km (9.3 miles)
Elevation decrease: 40 m (131 ft)
Day three does not have as much elevation change, but that does not mean a lack in scenery. From the hut, you wade through a small river and continue hiking through the valley. After about 5 km (3 miles) you come across Hvanngil Hut where you can stay a night if you choose. After passing Hvanngil, you cross a bridge and come to a point in the trail where it splits. Follow the signs for F261 (Not F210) towards Emstrur.

After this, there is a large river that needs to be waded across. Use caution as the water can be deep and fast moving. Use hiking poles if available. Always unclip your waist and chest strap on you backpack in case you fall into the current and need to abandon your pack.

Then the trail leads through several lava fields where you will walk across black sand and lava rocks. Keep following the trail along a road until it splits and follow the signs towards the Emstrur Hut. Once you arrive, you will see much more vegetation. N63°45.980 – W19°22.480.

 
Day Four: Emstrur (Botnar) – Þórsmörk
15 km (9.3 miles)
Elevation decrease: 300 m (984 ft)
For the final day, you start by walking towards a canyon with a fast moving river. There is a steep descent down to a bridge where you can cross the river.

The trail follows this river along the edge of the canyon where you will get views of the river below and surrounding mountains. Towards the end of the day there is another river that needs to be crossed. The last short section of the trail continues through a small forest towards the huts in Þórsmörk. 63°40

hiking
20 days ago

This was a great hike (~2 hours at a leisurely pace, with plenty of time for photos), mostly flat, and offers beautiful, sweeping views of the canyon. Rooted in folklore, Asbyrgi canyon is believed to be the hoof print from Thor's horse, and Eyjan Hill puts you right at the center of it.

You can pick up a map at the visitor's center for around $3USD, but it's not entirely necessary (we kept ours as a souvenir). Just follow signs for "Eyjan" and you'll park near a campsite and (very clean!) bathrooms. From there you'll see signs for the trail.

You start with a short, flat walk along the base of the rock, then you ascend the rock with the help of wooden steps and some short, flat rock ledges. Once you're at the top of the rock, it's a flat stroll to the other end of the rock, with beautiful views all along the way. This hike is easy and family-friendly, and had very little traffic compared to other parts of Iceland.

It was one of our favorite hikes during our week-long trip there, just due to the few people we saw, and beauty and peace of it all.

Absolutely beautiful scenery. The lava field portion is a bit hard on the knees and ankles but it’s worth the hike.

Easy, but fun. Great falls.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing hike, like trekking through a Dr Seuss book. With ongoing elevation changes, trekking poles are highly recommended. We hiked August 30th - September 1st and had variable weather - be prepared for anything! Hiking over the Fimmvörðuháls Pass to Skógar would have made this even better, but go visit the town even if you don't hike there. Great museum and restaurants, as well as 2 very different waterfall experiences. This is a hike that should be on everyone's list.

hiking
2 months ago

Cool area. Very busy and hard to find parking.

hiking
2 months ago

In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful falls in Iceland of the ones I saw. The hike has a incline on the way there and a decline on the way back. Recommend!

hiking
2 months ago

This was hands down the most incredible hike I have done so far, and it will be very hard to top. The weather does change quickly, and rain clothes are a MUST. There was a little more snow than we anticipated but the trekking poles worked wonders. If you are thinking about doing this hike, DO IT!

Recommend doing the loop with Austerbrekkur on the way up to see the glacier, then to the waterfall. Or if you need and easier hike do the A. Trail on the way down. But it’s a great view on the whole way up to look at the glacier!

A simple walk around the geysers. Enjoyable but crowded - you'll struggle to get a photo without either dozens of people or tour buses in.

Wonderful loop and definitely one to do. the scenery is lovely throughout and ever changing. You will see on the trial a little extra bit do keep climbing to the top and round the corner as the views of the mountains are excellent and they vary in colour (one for morning or evening photography depending upon the time of year)

My favourite hike in Iceland. Takes in varied scenery and the views of the mountains with all their colour is spectacular. Be sure to continue beyond the end of the trail for another 0.5km or so for some of the best views. Ideal for an evening hike. When returning (if going anti-clockwise) follow the white trail markers next to the large thermal pool

This waterfall is located within Pingvellir National Park. In my opinion, the waterfall is not the highlight of the things to see. The history is interesting and i've never seen a fissure before. You can walk to the several attractions in about 2-3 hours.

A bit of a crowd but still a beautiful and worthwhile walk

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great hike. I am not very a very experienced hiker and was still able to do this in 2 days with ~7.5 miles before lunch and ~7.5 after. Add a third day to get to Skogar. Recommend 3 nights camping (but packs could be much lighter if you do all huts!). First pre-hike night at Landmannalaugar. Second night at Hvanngil (had dinner in Alftavatn). Third night at Basar or Skagfiorosskaili.

hiking
3 months ago

Spectacular views from the top. Note to first timers: most other sources of information can mislead you and point towards other places called Helgafell in Iceland or even to the lower formation next to Helgafell; stick to the route here and look for the highest peak of the two.

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible hike with amazing views you won’t see anywhere else! The weather is tough and can make an otherwise pleasant walk a miserable trudge. We narrowly missed a snowstorm in late August that would have shut our trek down. It’s well worth the effort though, no matter the weather!

backpacking
3 months ago

Amazing Trail. Also went all the way to Skógar. Definitely worth the extra couple days to see all the waterfalls at the end.

Great easy hike while you’re recovering from jet lag or if you only have a day or two in Iceland. Stunning views and a fun way to learn about some local history.

walking
3 months ago

Although not as beautiful as Yellowstone, they are very pretty. There are geysers & hot springs. This is more of a gentle walk but there are a lot of tourists (as expected).

Svartifoss is a tiny but very idyllic waterfall because it’s situated in a forest of bushes which is rare in Iceland!

Beautiful waterfall surrounded by basalt columns. The hike starts at the National Park visitor center. It takes about 25-35 minutes to the Falls and is a gradual climb. You can go back the same way or continue on a loop that adds about another miles or so. Definitely worth your time when in Iceland!

Super quick to walk to. It erupts every 5-10 min and some blasts are better than others. So it’s worth sticking around for a couple eruptions to see it. Also, watch where the wind is blowing. A huge shot of water came up and blew lukewarm water right at us.

There weren’t as many tourists as I anticipated. Beautiful waterfall and the whole surrounding area too.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall an enjoyable loop. However, there is a new route in the south side of mtn that should be used. Not sure why the route went up the way it did on this app. Way too steep and closed. Definitely not an easy walk going up the switch backs on the south side. I considered turning around a couple times. However, no special equipment was needed the day I summit. Going down the north side to base camp was very easy and I wondered why I was so nervous going up the other side minutes before. Great views from the top and glad I did this hike

A trail you have to hike. Recommend to visit at the end of August.

My favorite multi-day trek to date. Geothermal activity, glaciers, volcanos, lava fields, waterfalls - it has everything. We stayed in the Huts and met great people. Felt fortunate with the weather - only light rain a few days. Could see how fog or snow could make the trail harder to follow, but otherwise was well trafficked and marked. Would highly recommend staying a night in landmannalauer and also continuing on either 1 or 2 days to Skógar - possibly the most beautiful part of the trip.

Beautiful area with fascinating history, but not very peaceful due to the crowds. As with most Iceland points of interest, recommend going early to beat the tourist crowds.

hiking
4 months 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!

on Helgafell

hiking
4 months 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.

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