Hiking areas in Iceland
The areas mentioned below are only a few of the many exciting places to be found in Iceland.
Víknaslóðir between Seyðisfjörður and Borgarfjörður EystriBetween Seyðisfjörður and Borgarfjörður Eystri is a very nice and relatively uncrowded area. There are many beautiful, deserted fjords and bays surrounded by steep mountains. In the north, the impressive Dyrfjöll Mountain overlooks the area. It is said that many elves dwell in this area.
Ferðafélag Íslands (the travel club of Iceland), in coorporation with the locals, offer long and short guided hiking tours in this area. There are a few mountain huts in this area.
This area is a short drive from Egilsstaðir and buses run regularly between Egilsstaðir, Borgarfjörður and Seyðisfjörður.
LónsöræfiLónsöræfi is a vast and special area that is becoming increasingly popular among hikers with its colourful scree slopes and weird rock formations. A jeep track leads into the area. Guided hikes are offered by the petrol station/shop in Stafafell, Ferðafélag Íslands and Útivist. There is a hut in the center of this area.
Regular jeep trips leave from Stafafell into Lónsöræfi. Stafafell lies on the ring road a short distance from Höfn in Hornafjörður and is easily reached on the scheduled Höfn-Egilsstaðir bus.
Fjallabak regionWithin the Fjallabak region lie some of the pearls of Iceland – Landmannalaugar, Eldgjá and Strútslaug. The route between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk, known as the “laugavegurinn” is one of the most popular treks in Iceland. Two jeep tracks run into the Fjallabak region, the northern Fjallabak route and the southern Fjallabak route. A dirt track suitable for smaller family cars and non-4WD vehicles leads up to Landmannalaugar for summer travels.
A number of companies offer guided treks in the area. The main ones are Ferðafélag Íslands, Útivist and the Icelandic Mountain Guides. There are many huts in the area.
The schedueled bus running from Reykjavík-Landmannalaugar-Skaftafell stops both at Landmannalaugar and Eldgjá.
Kjölur and KerlingarfjöllNo one will be disappointed if they take the time to travel in the Icelandic highlands. The Kjölur road is one of two main highland routes, and runs between two large glaciers. Here you’ll be surprised and delighted by oases of green vegetation in an almost barren landscape. The hot springs in the geothermal areas of Hveravellir and Kerlingarfjöll tend to be the main attraction here.
Ferðafélag Íslands and Útivist offer long summer hikes in Kjölur. There are many huts in this area: one good one is in Hveravellir, and there is an even better one in Kerlingarfjöll.
The bus company Norðurleið runs buses along the Kjölur road between Reykjavík and Akureyri.
SnæfellsnesSnæfellsnes is the long peninsula that extends from the west-central coast of Iceland. Along the center of the peninsula runs a mountain chain that terminates at the western end as the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Lowlands surround the mountains to the north and south. Both in the mountains and in the surrounding lowlands there are many beautiful spots that are well worth a visit. The road around the peninsula is good apart from a small section on the western most tip. Many tour companies offer guided walks on Snæfellsnes and there is also a range of sleeping accommodation available. The scheduled bus from Reykjavík travels the road along the southern side of the peninsula.
HornstrandirThe northern most part of the West fjords is called Hornstrandir. The area used to be sparsely populated but since the middle of the last century it has been uninhabited. A large part of it is now a protected conservation area and there are many native birds and plants to see. The landscape is characterised by steep-sided mountains 500-700m (1500-2300 ft) high with deep valleys in between. There are many popular trekking routes there.
Travel companies based in Ísafjörður, as well as Ferðafélag Íslands and Útivist, offer guided treks in this area. There are a few public huts in the area.
Hornstrandir is best reached by boat from Ísafjörður. There are regularly scheduled buses and domestic flights to Ísafjörður.
TröllaskagiOf the areas that are mentioned here, Tröllaskagi has the fewest visitors. You could say that this is one of Iceland’s hidden natural treasures. Tröllaskagi is the mountainous peninsula lying between Skagafjörður and Eyjafjörður. Mountains 1200-1500m (3900-4875 ft) high drop away into deep valleys. Some of the mountains are flat on top and it is often possible to walk from one to another along spectacular ridges.
There aren’t many organised trips to this area although Ferðafélag Íslands and Útivist may offer some. There are a few huts in the area.
There is a road around the whole peninsula. The scheduled bus, Reykjavík-Siglufjörður, runs along the western side of the peninsula, while the Akureyri-Dalvík-Ólafsfjörður bus travels the road on the eastern side.
KverkfjöllKverkfjöll lies on the northern slopes of Vatnajökull and is an area where the interaction of ice and geothermal activity cause continual change. The area is well known for it’s huge ice caves and lagoons that shrink and grow rapidly. To travel around in the Kverkfjöll Mountains requires some crossings of crevassed glaciers, so make sure you have the right equipment with you.
There are not many guided trips on offer to this area, probably because of the remote location, but Ferðafélag Íslands has taken groups into this area in the past.
A jeep track runs from the Mývatn area to Kverkfjöll and in the summer there are regular buses there from Akureyri and Húsavík.