Most Popular Hiking Trails In Iceland

Are there any hiking trails in Iceland?

You bet. 

I didn’t know either when I first planned my trip to Iceland that I would be hiking. From my research, most places look deserted and the thing is to drive around and see out-of-this-world landscapes.

Are there any hiking trails in Iceland?

You bet. 

When I first planned my trip to Iceland, I didn’t know that I would be hiking. From my research, most places look deserted, and the thing TO DO is to drive around and see out-of-this-world landscapes. 

And yes, that’s Iceland in a nutshell. But that doesn’t mean that those beautiful waterfalls, canyons and lava fields don’t have a hiking trail around them, taking you deeper into Icelandic nature. 

And that’s when I realised that Iceland offers a diverse range of hiking trails. These can vary in difficulty, and you can find one that suits your fitness level, regardless if you’re a beginner or a seasoned hiker. 

From glaciers to volcanoes to verdant valleys, here are some of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland.

Hiking Trails In Iceland

Laugavegur Trail hiking in Iceland

Laugavegur Trail

  • Length: 55 km
  • Starting Point: Landmannalaugar
  • Ending Point: Þórsmörk (Thorsmork)
  • Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult 
  • Description: One of the most famous trails in Iceland, this trek takes you through geothermal springs, colourful rhyolite mountains, glaciers, and deep valleys.
  • How to get there: by car on F road (June to September), super jeep tour (all year round)
Fimmvörðuháls Trail hiking in Iceland

Fimmvörðuháls Trail

  • Length: 25 km
  • Starting Point: Skógafoss
  • Ending Point: Þórsmörk
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Description: This trail connects to the Laugavegur and passes between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. It’s especially known for the volcanic craters Magni and Móði, formed during a 2010 eruption.
  • How to get there: by car to Skógafoss (all-year round), arrange pickup from Þórsmörk (book transfer here). 

Here’s a video of the first part of the hike, up to the bridge (about 7.5 km). It started raining, so I turned back after racing the bridge. You can add this to your 7-day Iceland itinerary if you want to prioritize hiking.

planning for iceland Glymur waterfall hike hiking in Iceland

Glymur Waterfall Hike

  • Length: 5-6 km round trip
  • Starting point: Botnsdalur parking
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate. 
  • Location: Just north of Reykjavik in Hvalfjörður fjord.
  • Description: A shorter trail leading to Iceland’s second-highest waterfall, it offers dramatic canyon views.
  • How to get there: by car to Botnsdalur (Suitable for summer. The last few km are on a dirt road, a bit bumpy but suitable for all cars)
  • Here’s a video of the hike. You can go on a round trip around the waterfall. You can hike on the right side of the mountain first, to get a good view of the waterfall, then reach the top and cross over the river and descend on the other mountain. You’ll reach the same starting point at the end. 

Reykjadalur Hot Springs Hike

  • Length: 7 km round trip
  • Starting point:    Reykjadalur
  • Difficulty: Easy. It should take about 45 minutes up to 1 h to get to the springs, suitable for everyone.
  • Location: Near the town of Hveragerði, south of Reykjavik.
  • Description: This hike takes you to a warm river where you can bathe in natural hot springs.
  • How to get there: By car from Reykjavik, accessible all year round. 

You can easily add this to your day when exploring Golden Circle. Check my 5-day Iceland itinerary.

Kerlingarfjöll Mountains hiking in Iceland

Kerlingarfjöll Mountains

  • Length: 4 km
  • Starting point: Kerlingarfjoll Hot springs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Highlands
  • Description: A geothermal wonderland, with rhyolite peaks, steam vents, and hot springs set against glacial rivers.
  • How to get there: drive on F35 and F347 (during summer), need a 4×4 car
Mt. Esja Trail hiking trails in Iceland

Mt. Esja Trail

  • Length: Varies by route; 7-9 km round trip for the most popular one.
  • Starting point: Mt. Esja parking
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Close to Reykjavik
  • Description: A favorite among locals, this mountain offers several routes and provides a stunning view of Reykjavik and the surrounding bay.
  • How to get there: by car on Ring Road (1)
Múlagljúfur Canyon hiking trails in Iceland

Múlagljúfur Canyon

  • Length: 8 km (road trip)
  • Starting point: Turn to Mulagljufur Canyon
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: South Iceland
  • Description: Popular route in the Vatnajökull National Park, surrounded by a beautiful canyon and glacier tongues.
  • How to get there: by car from Ring Road, might need to drive on gravel road the last part. 
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve hiking trails in Iceland

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

  • Length: About 120 km
  • Location: The remote Westfjords region.
  • Starting point: Veiðileysufjörður Campsite and Ferry Pickup
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Description: A less-travelled multi-day trek in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve that takes you through coastal areas, fjords, and the highlands, showcasing the varied landscapes of Iceland. This is one of Iceland’s last true wilderness areas, perfect for multi-day treks. It’s home to Arctic foxes and boasts dramatic sea cliffs.
  • How to get there: You need to take a ferry from Ísafjörður (book here).  

Here are some of the trips to take around the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve:

  • Veiðileysufjörður to Tafla (9 km) 
  • Veiðileysufjörður to Hornvík (15 km).
  • Hornvík – Hornbjarg – Hornbjargsviti – Hornvík (21 km) 
  • Hornvík – Kirfi – Hlöðuvík (22 km) 
  • Hlöðuvík to Aðalvík (25 km)
  • Aðalvík – Straumnesfjall – Hesteyri (29 km) 
  • From Hesteyri take the boat back to Ísafjörður.
Heimaey, Westman Islands hiking in Iceland

Heimaey, Westman Islands

  • Starting point: Herjólfur
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Location: South Iceland, off the coast.
  • Description: Explore Eldfell, a volcano that last erupted in 1973, and enjoy panoramic views of the island and its surrounding waters.
  • How to get there: You need to take a ferry from Landeyjahöfn (book here).
Iceland Volcano Eruption 2023 hiking in Iceland

Volcano hike

  • Starting point: Volcano Skali Parking P2
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Location: South-West Iceland, off the coast.
  • Description: Since 2021, there has been a yearly volcano eruption in Fagradalsfjall. Since the eruptions are so close to each other, you can see the lava fields from the recent eruptions. 
  • How to get there: by car, there is a parking.

I wrote this guide about the hiking trail for the 2023 volcano eruption in Iceland, but the eruption has stopped. You can still hike this trail to see the fresh black lava from the 2021, 2022 and 2023 eruptions. 

Here are two vlogs from the 2023 eruptions, shot on different trails but around the same area.

This is the first hike I did, from P2.

This was my second hike from Krýsuvík. It’s not official. I don’t recommend it, especially now that the eruption has stopped.

Ready to try some of these hiking trails in Iceland?

When considering any of these trails, always ensure you’re well-prepared for the unpredictable Icelandic weather and have the right equipment. 

Many of these trails are only accessible during the summer months due to snow and weather conditions.

If you need more tips on planning a trip to Iceland, make sure to check my other Iceland blog posts. Don’t miss my top Iceland travel tips as well. 

And remember that there is no best trail; they’re all magnificent! It will most certainly come down to the weather on that given day and your determination, but most of these trails aren’t too challenging and can be done even by some children (I don’t have children, but I have seen many families hiking in Iceland). 

And one last thing – don’t underestimate the Icelandic weather. If the weather changes suddenly, and you feel unprepared, simply turn around! Don’t wait too long, so you don’t get trapped on the trail if the weather turns really bad. 

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog,

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