Hiking in Iceland – discover rugged beauty and soaring vistas

Iceland is the perfect country for hiking. It has countless hiking trails with different levels of difficulty. Hiking in Iceland is one of my favorite things to do in life, and I take pride in providing my readers with travel stories and articles about hiking in Iceland.

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Challenging hiking trips on glaciers and mountains

The most difficult hike I have ever been on was the 24 peaks challenge in the mountain range above the town of Akureyri. I have hiked to the top of Iceland´s highest peak, Mt. Hvannadalshnjúkur, and the top of neighboring Hrútfjallstindar peaks.

Which are the most popular hiking trails in Iceland?

These would be the ancient  Kjalvegur route, the stunningly beautiful hiking trail of Fimmvörðuháls, and the popular Laugavegur trail. The hiking trail to Grænihryggur in the Fjallabak natural reserve is also very popular.

Where are hiking paths close to Reykjavik?

Easily accessible hiking trails close to Reykjavik include the following:

Hikes where you don’t see anything

It can quickly happen in Iceland. You dress up; you wake up early. Then the weather is utterly s****, and you don’t see anything. You are left cold and disappointed. Yes, it can happen to you too!

Download the Icelandic hiking app

Hiking trails in Iceland are abundant. A quick way to discover the right hiking trail for you is the hiking app Wapp by the Icelandic guide Einar Skúlason.

What to eat on a hike in Iceland?

I like to pack food that has high energy density. This saves space in my backpack. I like to bring Snickers chocolate bars, Icelandic flatbread with a copious amount of butter, and slices of smoked lamb meat. Trail mix is always nice too. I also like to have cartons of flavored whey protein drinks and Powerade. I know that Icelandic water is legendary, but if I am carrying liquid, it better has additional energy to make it worth my while.

Is the water in Icelandic water always safe to drink?

Icelandic water is tasty for sure. But it is a myth that drinking water from streams and pools in Iceland is always perfectly safe. Avoid drinking from stagnant water or streams near birds, sheep, or other livestock nearby. Their poo can easily pollute water. I like to drink from fast-flowing clear streams with little or no vegetation. The higher up you are, the streams will be closer to their source and thus cleaner.

How to stay safe when hiking in Iceland?

Before you go hiking in Iceland, please study and follow the advice given on the Safetravel website. Follow the weather forecast and stay safe!

How to dress for hiking trips in Iceland?

The weather in Iceland changes quickly. Make sure to dress appropriately, think of layers, and consider that you likely have to contend with strong wind, low visibility, rain, sleet, or even snow at some point on your journey. So make sure that your shoes and clothing are waterproof and warm. Read this article on how to dress for Iceland.

Be extra careful when hiking in winter.

Hiking in Iceland in winter is not for the faint of heart. Never go on any long hiking in winter trips unless you have an experienced guide with you.

Is it safe to be alone on an Icelandic glacier?

NO! Never go on an Icelandic glacier without an experienced guide. They are death traps for those who don’t know them inside out.