To walk abroad is, not with eyes,Thomas Traherne
But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
Else may the silent feet,
Like logs of wood,
Move up and down, and see no good
Nor joy nor glory
There’s not a travel quest that Iceland doesn’t solve. The idyllic glistening glaciers that cap sky-piercing alpines lounging over stunning steppes aren’t all that Iceland is about. In short, Iceland is not for the faint-hearted — for if looks could kill, Iceland would be a weapon of mass destruction.
Talking Iceland, here’s a list of the top hiking trails that can get you closer than ever to exploring this beauty.
10 Route 35, the Kjolur Route
Accessible mainly from the months of June to September, this route is a paradise for those who love driving. Prefer exploring it on foot rather than on wheels? Go ahead as both are equally rewarding. Kjolur route, is called the haunted highway for a reason — it’s challenging in the months of extreme cold as heavy snowstorms are expected.
Where to: Gullfoss waterfall – Blonduos
Trail length and Duration: 45 Km, 3 – 4 days
9 The Hornstrandir trek
Iceland’s most remote hiking trail is that which leads to the Hornstrandir nature reserve. A thrilling adventure for those interested in taking the road not taken, however be on the top of your game as this trail is known to intimidate even the best of hikers.
Where to: Hesteyri – Hornstrandir
Trail length: 11 Km, 2 – 3 days
8 Laugavegur trek
Accredited by National Geographic as one of the best hikes in the world, this trail is a wrap of dramatic landscapes laden with geothermal hot springs and lush green valleys. Laugavegur is also known for some of its best camping sites. A famous legend has it that Thorsmork valley was born when Thor, the god of thunder struck this greenland with his hammer.
Where to: Landmannalaugar – Thorsmork
Trail length: 55 Km, 3 – 5 days
7 Fimmvorduhals trek
You will start at one of the most picturesque waterfalls of Iceland, the Skogafoss waterfalls, walk through steamy hot springs and ascend the colourful Fjallabak mountains before you catch a heavenly view of the Thorsmork valley down under.
Where to: Skogafoss – Thorsmork
Trail length: 25 Km, 1 -2 days
6 The Askja Trek
In the heart of Iceland lie Askja and Viti, shiny blue waters sheltering in the contours of the Dyngjufjoll mountains. These are some of the most impressive natural phenomena in Iceland as well as the world. The trail snakes through many volcanos and deserts tainted with age-long eruptions.
Where to: Herdubreidalindir – Svartarkot
Trail length: 100 Km, 4 days
5 Vatnajokull Wilderness Trek
Most suggested for the experienced hikers, the Vatnajokull glacier is the largest ice cap in Iceland and the third largest in Europe. Apart from housing some extraordinary long hikes in Vatnajokull alone, this trek has many more untrodden paths enroute Kerlingarfjoll and Langjokull. Also if you’re looking for ice sports and ice cave tours(which are very popular in Iceland), Vatnajokull is where you go!
Where to: Skaftafellsjokull – Kjos
Trail length: 64 Km, 2 days
4 Hvannadalshnukur Summit Trek
A jewel in the crown of Iceland. This excruciating yet rewarding hike is for the George Billy Goats and the Grandma Gatewoods in you. While a view from the top of the colossal Hvannadalshnukur may be the answer for your every existential quest ever, I strongly recommend choosing this trail only after you’ve conquered all other levels of difficulty in hiking.
Where to: Sandfell – Hvannadalshnukur peak point
Trail length: 25 Km, 15 – 20 hours
3 Reykjadalur valley hike
If you want to feel the stroke of warm waters against you in ice cold weather, take this popular yet unspoilt trail that offers a phenomenal hot spring bath its end. This trail being easy and short, is suitable for family hikes as well as solo hikes.
Nevertheless, if you travel anytime between September and March, your trip won’t become complete without watching the Northern lights from Reykjavik, the best spot in Iceland to watch it from.
Where to: Hveragerdi – Reykjadalur
Trail length: 17 Km, 1 day
2 Mount Esja hike
This endless stretch of breathtaking views is best for a quick hike. You can either choose the Steinn trail engulfing small forests and short ascents or the Varda trail with glossy boulders and steep ascents, based on the season and the kind of experience you would prefer.
Where to: Reykjavik – Esja
Trail length: 7 Km, 1 day
1 Snaefellsjokull Summit Hike
Believing Snaefellsjokull to be the centre of the earth, the classy Professor Otto Lidenbrock embarks on thrilling adventures with his nephew and their guide Hans. Yes, I’m talking about the famous novel of “A journey to the centre of the Earth” by Jules Verne. Go on and pin this location, Brendan Fraser was here!!
Where to: Snaefellsjokull summit
Trail length: 8 Km, 10 hours
After all, the best view comes after the hardest climb(I’ve been dying to say this!). But if you could enjoy the journey as much as the destination, no climb is hard. In this way a journey to the Icelandic wilderness best alludes life, don’t you think?
Now who would you prefer to walk these walks with? Pickyourtrail picks you! What say?