Explore the most popular trail running 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.

on Mount Esja (Esjan)

hiking
1 day 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.

backpacking
1 day 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.

Magnifique trail! Paysages très différents d’une journée à l’autre. On se sent seul au monde dans l’immensité de ces montagnes. Nous sommes allés fin juin et il y avait encore de la neige! La Trail n’est pas toujours bien indiquée lorsqu’il y a de la neige, car les marqueurs sont enfouis sous la neige (Landmannalaugar seulement). Avec le brouillard, c’était un peu troublant de pas savoir où on s’en allait. À ce moment, je n’avais pas découvert cette application, mais je crois que j’aurais bien aimé! Quatre rivières sont à traverser donc des petites chaussures d’eau sont très utiles. Pour l’hébergement, je recommande les refuges pour un peu plus de confort ou des sacs de couchage chauds si vous dormez en tente. Des bottes de gortex sont aussi très utiles, puisque la pluie est fréquente! J’en garde un souvenir inoubliable!

hiking
3 days ago

This was a beautiful trail. I will say it was difficult, not so much for the terrain, but the weather. It is extremely volatile. The first day out it was sunny and gorgeous, and then the next day it was 30-40 mph winds coupled with rain and sleet. Tents poles were easily being broken and there is very little cover if any at the camp sites.

backpacking
4 days ago

Such a great backpacking hike! Probably the best I’ve done, simply stunning and unique. It has its difficult sections and weather changes quickly, I would recommend being an experienced hiker/backpacker. Truly an amazing experience!

hiking
8 days ago

If you are in the area, and you hike, it's easy to incorporate that along your normal route, and it's worth it.

hiking
8 days ago

A classic. That's a great hike. I would strongly recommended going all the way to skogar. I did it north-bound also, which seemed better because that gave me time to do day hiking in landmannalagur after the bakcpacking.
I won't describe in detail the hike, but it is very doable to skip every other hut. I did skogar to landmannalagur in 48 hours. The trail is VERY easy to follow - it's good to have a GPS but you probably won't need it at all. Also, you should expect some river crossing. When I did it, the worse were about knee deep - so it's good to have extra shoes for that.

trail running
9 days ago

Great place for a quick run!

backpacking
11 days ago

Just finished this trail, and it was full of gorgeous views. I was lucky enough to have very little rain

hiking
20 days ago

This hike is primarily flat, if a bit uneven throughout. There's a fair bit of mud on wet days (not uncommon for Iceland) and optional chain assistance on the actual crater itself but this trail should not pose much of an issue for most folks who'd consider themselves to be in okay shape.

The crater has an observation area at the top with chain ropes on each side that seem to dissuade walking around the entire crater, but I've read elsewhere that walking along the entire edge is possible.

If you leisurely walk this trail, it could easily take over two hours. However, if you hustle and/or trail jog, it can be completed in between 75 and 90 minutes.

It terms of locating the trailhead itself, drive about 32 km (about 20 miles) north of Borgarnes until you see a sign and road for Snorrastadir Farm. You can drive this road down to the farm itself, where there is a parking lot. The gate for the trail is just over the nearby bridge.

I'd say moderate hike (at least with our difficult windy rainy conditions), but so worth it! Tons of geothermal activity. Bring your suit but I was a little bummed that the river we swam in was a bit shallow and about as hot as a bath (not a hot tub). But still recommend this !

We hiked to the river swimming area and back, 4.6 miles. Very pretty and make sure you bring a swimsuit!

This was a fun hike. That being said the out and back to the bathing area is an easy hike. We followed the map provided here and completed the 7 miles which goes beyond the bathing area doing a loop and then joining the trail at the bathing area and back down. The upper loop should not be considered easy and hiking boots should be worn. There is a spot where the trail narrows and chains are fastened to rocks that help you hang on. We were not in shoes with enough traction and had to cross here barefoot.

Best trail in the world.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike! Good workout, when you get to the split at the bridge go right for "easier" but longer route and left for strenuous but shorter route.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing hike. We went the first week in June when the trails are first open and there was still a ton of snow at the top of the peak. Just as a heads up, it does make a difference which way you go. If you start at Landmannalaugar, you do the steepest and snowiest trek the first day up to the first hut. After that it's more gradual downs and ups, and you descend into different beautiful terrains. Going the opposite way I'm sure is just as beautiful but prepared to end with snow.

Also be prepared to cross a lot of rivers - you will undoubtedly get wet in at least one of them.

Did this hike in mid March. We were the first car in the parking lot ~7AM. The first 2-ish miles have a decent amount of elevation gain. Unfortunately there was some dense fog in spots so we couldn't enjoy the views as much as we would have liked. The thermal river is really interesting. It was in the low 30's F when we were there, so we did our best to submerge our bodies entirely. It's almost more of a stream than a river (at least by my American standards). Getting out was definitely the worst part. Having to dry off and change while it was snowing was an interesting experience. 2 other couples came while we were in the water, and saw several more people hiking up on our way down. Get there early if you want some privacy.

camping
2 months ago

Beautiful! It can get a little slippery on certain parts but there was usually enough gravel to mix with the snow and ice that it wasn’t too bad. Very well marked hike but would recommend good hiking boots! I’d also recommend continuing past the hot springs for just a little bit. My husband and I were able to see a beautiful waterfall a little further down that we wouldn’t have even known was there!

hiking
4 months ago

Cheating a little bit . . . we did a full day hike during a day tour from Reykjavik. Other than climbing on a glacier, the best thing we did in Iceland. Beautiful, ever-changing landscapes with multi-colored hues. Absolutely stunning. THIS is why you came to Iceland!

hiking
6 months ago

Stunning trail, particularly if you are fortunate enough to traverse it on a sunny day. Hike (on a well-maintained trail) through lava fields and past fumaroles, enjoying fantastically colorful mountains.

backpacking
6 months ago

challenging , breathtaking. Like hiking through a painting with changing landscape around every turn.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing! Hard! Stein!

Incredible, breathtaking views from the top. Hiking Esja got me into hiking. Highly recommend it. The climb to the top of Esja can be a little intense for beginners and the final section will need one to hang on to chains and use all fours at places.

Buses to and from Reykavik makes Esja very accessible.

This is a great trail, lots of thermal activity to see. The hot spring river is nice to soak in, there are 2 sided chest high platforms to change up but your sure to show a little cheek. The end is not as warm as Id have liked so go further up if ypu want warmer. tThe elevation gain is pretty serious the first 1.1km or so of about 330m. def worth the effort and time. leave yourself at least 3 to 4 hrs to hike and soak and take photos.

hiking
9 months ago

Great walk. We actually walked all the way to Skógar with an extra day-hike in the Þórsmörk valley. So, 7 days in total.
Truly amazing landscape but very crowded in summer (although a river crossing is easier because you'll see where others are crossing). Unfortunately no wildcamping allowed.

Challenging with gorgeous views. Weather changes quickly so come prepared. Make the extra hike to the top if weather permits. There is a chain at the top that makes the descent a bit easier.

Pretty hike with a soothing payoff at the end. As of this review the address within AllTrails is incorrect...the trailhead is located next to the Hot River Cafe!

Very beautifull trail

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