Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is home to some of the most scenic hikes in the world. With plenty of hikes to choose from, Iceland trekking ranges from beginner to advanced. While planning your Iceland trip, don’t forget to add one or two of these treks to your itinerary. Strap on your hiking boots and charge your drones as we explore the best day hikes in Iceland!
It only seems right to start off with one of the most popular Iceland hiking trails- Glymur. Glymur is Iceland’s 2nd tallest waterfall and is sure to take your breath away (in more ways than one). Picture mossy green canyons, a hidden cave, multiple river crossings, and an epic waterfall all wrapped into one hike. Sounds pretty majestic, right?
This round trip excursion clocks in at about 6.1km with an elevation of 369 meters. Expect to finish this hike within 3-4 hours, as the trail can be steep in some areas and should not be trekked quickly. But, then again, Iceland hiking should never be trekked quickly as there is so much beauty to take in with every step! This epic Iceland day hike is available on Travendly’s 6 day summer trip to Iceland!
Next up is a longer trek, one not for the faint of heart but definitely one to add to your Iceland itinerary if you’re an avid hiker. Hvannadalshnukur is Iceland’s highest peak, located on Iceland’s largest volcano, and next to Iceland’s highest glacier. Sensing where Iceland’s “land of fire and ice” nickname came from? This steep, yet rewarding hike is 24 km round trip, with 2110 meters of elevation, and can be finished within 12-15 hours.
Reykjadalur Valley Trail
The Reykjadalur Valley hike is one of the easier day hikes in Iceland. This 3km hike takes you along the ocean and through the smoky mountains. The trail is well groomed, with only a slight elevation change. Along the way, you’ll come across multiple hot springs, but they will all be scorching hot so wait until you see the river before taking a dip. Expect the trek to last around 3 hours and maybe a little longer if you take advantage of the hot springs (which you definitely should).
The Fimmvorduhals Mountain Pass
Planning this trek can be tricky, but don’t let the extra time needed for planning steer you away as this is definitely one of the best day hikes in Iceland. The reason why this hike takes some extra planning is because it is not a round trip. The trek begins in Skógar and ends in nearby Pórsmӧrk. Luckily, there are buses that will pick you up from Pórsmӧrk and take you back to your car in Skogar.
Fimmvorduhals Mountain Pass is a 25 km hike including: 26 waterfalls, 2 volcanoes, and 2 glaciers. Amongst the 26 waterfalls is Iceland’s most famous- Skogafoss. This trek is stunning, but not for the light-hearted as it also includes several advanced areas such as the “Cat’s Spine” which takes you alongside a mountain leaving you only with a chain to grab ahold of as you walk across. Expect to finish the hike in 8-12 hours and be sure to plan your ride accordingly!
If you’re wanting to see some waterfalls but don’t have the time for Fimmvorduhals Mountain Pass, then check out Hengifoss. Hengifoss is a 6km round trip trek that takes you by 2 waterfalls. The first waterfall you pass is called Litlanesfoss, and just a little further you will see the popular Hengifoss. Each waterfall is surrounded by black basalt and red clay, bringing even more beauty to the already stunning falls. Expect to finish this day hike in 1-2 hours, with only a moderate elevation gain.
Hverfjall Crater Rim Trail
Hverfjall is an easy 3 km hike that loops around an entire volcano crater, one of the most epic Iceland hiking trips you can partake in! The volcano is said to be about 2800 years old. As you begin this hike, you will have a steady climb up lasting only about 15 minutes until you reach the top. Prepare to be amazed as you will feel as though you’ve hiked to a completely different planet!
Brennisteinsalda Hike in Landmannalaugar
Located in the Highlands of Iceland, this 8.7km round trip hike is in the heart of the most colorful mountains Iceland has to offer. The yellow, red, blue, green, and purple mountains are due to the volcanic rock and cause the mountain’s colors to have a wave-like effect. Hence, why the mountain is nicknamed “sulfur wave”. Upon reaching the top of the mountain, you will be amazed by the surrounding valleys and colorful mountains as far as the eye can see. With relatively easy terrain, this hike can be accomplished in 2 about hours, finishing up as one of the best hikes in Iceland in Landmannalaugar. This epic Iceland day hike is available on Travendly’s 6 day and 5 day Iceland trip.
Melissa is originally from Quebec, Canada. She has been traveling and living abroad since June 2014. After living in Australia and the United Kingdom, she decided to move to Asia. She is now living her best life in Bali.