top of page

Ultimate Guide to Iceland's Best Hiking Trails

Iceland, known for its dramatic landscapes and diverse terrain, offers a wealth of hiking opportunities for both beginners and experienced trekkers. Here is the ultimate guide to Iceland's best hiking trails.

1. Laugavegur Trek

Duration: 4-6 days difficulty: Moderate

The Laugavegur Trek is Iceland's most famous multi-day hike, stretching 55 km (34 miles) between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk. The trail takes hikers through colorful rhyolite mountains, black sand deserts, and lush valleys, offering a diverse and unforgettable experience.

2. Fimmvörðuháls Trek

Duration: 1-2 days difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

This 25 km (16 miles) trek connects Þórsmörk and Skógar, passing between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. Highlights include the stunning Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, as well as the chance to walk on fresh volcanic soil from the 2010 eruption.

3. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Duration: VariesDifficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Located in the remote Westfjords, Hornstrandir is a pristine wilderness area only accessible by boat. The reserve offers various hiking trails, with opportunities to spot arctic foxes and seabirds, as well as dramatic coastal cliffs and beautiful fjords.

4. Glymur Waterfall

Duration: 3-4 hours difficulty: Moderate

A short drive from Reykjavik, the Glymur Waterfall trail is a 7 km (4.3 miles) loop that takes hikers to the second-highest waterfall in Iceland. The trail involves river crossings, narrow paths, and a steep ascent but rewards with stunning views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape.

5. Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Duration: VariesDifficulty: Easy to Moderate

Part of the vast Vatnajökull National Park, Skaftafell offers a range of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Popular trails include the hike to Svartifoss, a striking waterfall surrounded by basalt columns, and the Skaftafellsjökull Glacier viewpoint trail.

6. Snæfellsjökull National Park

Duration: VariesDifficulty: Easy to Moderate

Located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Snæfellsjökull National Park offers diverse hiking options around the famous Snæfellsjökull Glacier and volcano. Trails range from easy coastal walks to more challenging ascents, such as the summit hike up Snæfellsjökull itself.

7. Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss

Duration: 2-3 hours difficulty: Moderate

This trail in East Iceland leads to two stunning waterfalls, Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss. Hengifoss is Iceland's third-highest waterfall, featuring striking red and black basalt layers, while Litlanesfoss is framed by impressive basalt columns.

8. Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Duration: 2-3 hours difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Just a short drive from Reykjavik, the Reykjadalur Valley offers a 7 km (4.3 miles) round-trip hike to natural hot springs. Along the way, hikers will encounter geothermal features, bubbling mud pots, and a steaming river perfect for a relaxing soak.

9. Kjalvegur Hike

Duration: 4-5 days difficulty: Moderate

The Kjalvegur Hike is a lesser-known but equally stunning multi-day trek that covers approximately 48 km (30 miles) between Hveravellir and Þjófadalir. This historic route takes hikers through the Icelandic Highlands, with striking landscapes, geothermal areas, and vast lava fields.

10. Kerlingarfjöll

Duration: VariesDifficulty: Moderate

Located in the Icelandic Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll is a geothermal wonderland with a variety of hiking trails through steaming valleys, colorful rhyolite mountains, and glacier-carved landscapes. The area offers both day hikes and multi-day trekking options, suitable for intermediate hikers.

11. Ásbyrgi Canyon

Duration: 1-2 hoursDifficulty: Easy

Ásbyrgi Canyon, located in the north of Iceland, is a horseshoe-shaped canyon formed by glacial flooding. The area offers several easy hiking trails, including a short walk to the canyon's edge and a longer loop trail that takes in viewpoints and lush forested areas.

12. Mt. Esja

Duration: 4-5 hoursDifficulty: Moderate

Just outside of Reykjavik, Mt. Esja is a popular hiking destination for locals and tourists alike. The trail to the summit offers panoramic views of the surrounding area, including Reykjavik and the ocean beyond. The hike is moderately challenging, with some steep sections and rocky terrain.


From short day hikes to challenging multi-day treks, Iceland offers a diverse range of hiking trails that showcase the country's unique landscapes and natural beauty. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a casual walker, there's a trail in Iceland that's perfect for your next adventure.


1. What is the best time of year to hike in Iceland?

The best time to hike in Iceland is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is milder, and the days are longer. Some highland trails may not be accessible until late June or early July due to lingering snow.

2. Do I need a guide for hiking in Iceland?

While many trails in Iceland are well-marked and can be hiked independently, hiring a guide can enhance your experience, particularly for multi-day treks or challenging routes. Guides can provide valuable insight into the local environment, flora, and fauna, as well as ensure your safety during the hike.

3. What should I pack for hiking in Iceland?

When hiking in Iceland, it's essential to be prepared for unpredictable weather. Pack layers, including waterproof and windproof clothing, sturdy hiking boots, a hat, gloves, and sunglasses. Additionally, bring a map, compass, first aid kit, and sufficient food and water for the duration of your hike.

4. Are there any specific safety concerns when hiking in Iceland?

When hiking in Iceland, it's crucial to be aware of potential hazards, such as sudden weather changes, rough terrain, and river crossings. Always check the weather forecast, trail conditions, and follow local advice before setting out on a hike.

5. Do I need a permit to hike in Iceland?

For most hiking trails in Iceland, you do not need a permit. However, some protected areas may require a permit or have restricted access, so it's essential to check the regulations for the specific trail or area you plan to visit.

0 views0 comments


Top Tours and Excursions

northern light tour.jpg

Northern Lights Small Group Tour with Hot Chocolate and Photos


15,990 ISK

katla ice cave tour.jpeg

Katla Ice Cave | Super Jeep from Vik


27,900 ISK

snaefellnes tour.jpeg

Snæfellsnes Peninsula in a small group tour with home-cooked meal included


27,990 ISK

south coast tour.jpeg

South Coast day tour in a small group


19,990 ISK

Whale watching tour.jpg

Reykjavík Classic Whale Watching


12,990 ISK

Golden circle tour.jpg

The Golden Circle & Friðheimar Greenhouse


10,999 ISK

Blue lagoon reykjavik tour.jpeg

Reykjavík - Blue Lagoon Premium including admission


22,699 ISK

puffin tour.jpeg

Reykjavík Classic Puffin Watching


7,990 ISK

bottom of page