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Rock climbing areas

Where to go rock climbing in Iceland

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Hnappavellir is the best sport climbing area in Iceland.


Hnappavellir is the biggest and best sport climbing area in Iceland. It’s located in Örævasveit on the southeast coast, about 25km (15 mi) from Skaftafell park. The cliffs are 10-25m high. At present there are some 90 bolted routes, all single pitch, graded from 5.6 to 5.13.

Be aware that this area belongs to the people at Hnappavellir who have kindly allowed climbers to climb there. The area is closed to the general public. Take good care of the area, only camp in the marked camping area, and use the toilet provided.

It takes 4 hours to drive to Hnappavellir from Reykjavík along the ring road. It is also possible to get there on the scheduled Reykjavík-Höfn bus. Drive south off of the ring road onto a gravel track by the farm Hnappavellir. The track leads between the fields for 300-400m and then the same distance in a westerly direction. You can drive right up to the climbing cliffs. You will be able to see the parking area, by the marked camping area and toilet. Alternatively, the climbing area is not far from the main road and easy to walk in. The climbing routes are anything from 0 to 10 minutes walk from the campsite. The Alpine Club has published a book of routes on these cliffs (in Icelandic)


The Stardalur cliffs are only 30km (19 mi) from Reykjavík and therefore very popular. It’s forbidden to put bolts and pins into these cliffs and only traditional gear is allowed (but it’s usually very easy to place the equipment). The area contains about 60 routes, all single pitch. They range in difficulty from 5.3 to 5.11 although most are 5.5 to 5.8.

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Climbing in Skinnhúfuklettar.

From Reykjavík drive west on road number 1. Take road number 36 towards Þingvellir and eventually turn left off to the farm Stardalur. Before you drive over the bridge to the farm turn left. Park in front of the gate. From there it is about a 10 minute walk up to the cliffs.

Skinnhúfuklettar í Vatnsdal

At Skinnhúfuklettar you can do unusual, technical climbing in the cracks of the cliffs. There are about 15 bolted routes, all single pitch, graded from 5.8 to 5.13.

From road number 1 take road number 722 into Vatnsdalur, east of Vatnsdalsá. Once you drive just to the south of the farm Hvammur you can see the cliffs. The routes are a 5 minute walk from the road.


Munkaþverárgil is in the southern part of Eyjafjörður, about 20km from Akureyri in the north of Iceland. There are about 30 routes in the area, some bolted, others traditional. They are all single pitch routes ranging from 5.3 to 5.12.

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From Akureyri take road number 1 heading east and shortly after, road number 829 to south Eyjafjörður. A litlle south of Munkaþverá there is a bridge over the river Munkaþverárgil. The climbing area is under and to either side of this bridge.

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