There are amazing day hikes in Iceland that will give you a different perception of this country. There is an abundance of hiking opportunities in Iceland, and many people are looking for ways to summit different mountainous regions and valleys. No hiking trail is the same as the other. Whichever route you choose, you are sure that you will experience the best hiking experience that you have ever seen.

Iceland is blessed with a unique environment, and when you reach the top of the escarpments or mountains, you can see snow-capped peaks, colorful hills, volcanoes, and majestic waterfalls. These are sites that you cannot find anywhere else. You do not need weeks to explore the hikes in Iceland. 

What you need to know about day hikes in Iceland

It is imperative to note that all the hikes in Iceland are not readily accessible. However, you can complete several hiking trails in a day. Some of the trails are accessible even during the winter period, and during this period, you will need to take extra caution because anything happening will cause injuries. The best way you can hike in the country is to go with someone who understands the trail properly. This way, you can explore more within a day. The fantasy you may have about this beautiful country will come true once you see the volcanoes, escarpments, beautiful hills, and fantastic ice rinks.

You can taste the smooth glacial water as you hike through the significant trails and smell the fresh breeze from the ocean. During the summer period, the arctic flowers bloom into life, and you will see vivid colors that you have never experienced before. Iceland has a vibrant life, and you are sure that you will not be bored during your visit.

You can either choose a well-traveled path or a path that is well marked if you want to be both adventurous and save time. Iceland sees many tourists every year, and most of them will stay in the areas where cars can access. However, hiking gives you a chance to explore the hidden gem. Here are the top hiking trails that you should research on your visit to Iceland.

The Brennisteinsalda to Landmannalaugar trail

This hiking trail is classified as a moderate hiking trail hence a perfect spot for people who are learners and those that are moderately experienced. The trail’s distance is about ten kilometers, and it will take you about six hours to complete it. The hiking trail is well marked and well-traveled; hence you cannot miss the best trail in all the areas are indicated. Landmannalaugar is a popular destination that presents you with an amazing panoramic landscape and geothermal valleys that you can see.  

The site is famous for hikers who are looking for something mild and challenging at the same time to explore. There is a hot pool where you can dip yourself after the hike. The most unique place of this trail is from the Brennisteinsalda to Bláhnúkur, which features a climb to the scenic mountains. You will move through the obsidian lava, small Sulphur springs, and once you are on the summit of the small mountain, you can enjoy the most exquisite panoramic view.

Landmannalaugar

The Snaefellsjokull Summit trail

The hiking trail is classified as challenging, and some places are moderate. It covers eight kilometers, and it will take you anywhere from 7 to 12 hours to finish it. The path is unmarked, and there are colossal snow and glaciers in the terrain. Since there are crevices and heavy snow, you should be highly cautious, especially in the steep areas.

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It is a perfect hiking trail if you do not want to meet many people. The fantastic landscape in the peninsula is impressive, and there are volcanic tubes that are believed to go to the earth’s interior. Reaching the summit of this trail can be pretty tricky because once you are there, especially during the summer period, you can see a far distance of up to 100 kilometers.

You should carry the right equipment if you are planning to go on this hiking trail. You should complete the hike with a guide.

Snaefellsjokull

Mount Esja hiking trail

The mount Esja hiking trail is one of the best and easiest trails to explore while in Iceland. The hiking trail is classified as easy, and it will take you a maximum of three hours to complete it. You do not need any prior experience to trek this trail. The path is well marked, and you have multiple options that you can explore in the region.

There is a stream of water running down the mountain, and you can replenish your water you continue with your hike. Once you are back at the foothills, there is a fantastic café where you can take some lunch and break from the strenuous activity of hiking the mountain. The local staff is amiable, and you can indulge in some local treats. This trail is popular because you can catch a bus at the foothills to the capital.

Explore the Thakgil hiking trail

The Thakgil hiking trail is easy, and it will take you about two hours to complete it. The path is flat and soft; however, it is not fully marked. Therefore, you might need to check out some areas during the hike. You do not need any experience to hike this trail as the changes in gradient are not very huge.

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There are multiple rivers and streams along your route, and you can refill your water bottle as you move up the trail. There is a campsite that is open from June to August annually. Located between volcanic sand plains and glaciers, this hiking trail has numerous attractions that will make your day worthwhile. 

Fimmvorduhals Hiking trail 

This fantastic hiking trail is classified as moderate and will take you almost the whole day, around 12 hours to complete it. You will need some hiking experience if you are going to explore this trail. Besides, it is better to go with a guide to help you navigate some areas that can be challenging.

Some paths are covered with massive snow, and you should dress well when going on this trail. You will find rivers where freshwater flows, and you can drink as you continue with your hike. The area becomes popular in the last decade after the mountain erupted. However, currently, there is no volcanic activity recorded. The scenes from this trail are memorable, and you can explore while in Iceland.

The Glymur Waterfall Hike

The Glymur hiking trail is classified as a moderate hiking trail, and it covers around six kilometers, and it will take you about six hours to complete it. The path is well marked, and you can easily read the direction to where you are going. The Glymur waterfall is the highest in the country.

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Therefore, you have the opportunity to see the most exquisite location with paved roads and exceptional features. The waterfall is located high up in the hike, and you can explore the region well before you can reach the summit and see the surrounding environment. There is a cave that you can see the beautiful trail, and at the vantage point, you can take pictures that will remind you of your trip to this famous waterfall.

Glymur

Hvannadalshnúkur Summit

This is the most challenging hiking trail in the country, and it may take over twelve hours to complete. The distance covered is about twenty-four kilometers, and it is tough. The challenges experienced are both mentally and physically hence the need to prepare adequately before choosing that you are going to summit the highest point in Iceland.

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One of the best views in the country is when you are at the top of the mountain. Here you can explore the surrounding environment and understand how nature is unique as well as enchanting. If you are an experienced hiker and you want to put your hiking skills to the test, then this is the right destination that you should visit.

The Seven Peaks of North East Iceland hiking trail

This hiking trail is considered among the top challenges in Iceland. The time taken to complete it will largely depend on your preparation and handling the challenges on the road. It is recommended only for experienced hikers, and you must have a guide to help you explore the region.

The locals created the seven peaks, and you have to ensure that you have passed through all the peaks. You will be given a paper to prove that you have reached each peak hence recognizing your achievement of being among the best hikers.

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

The hiking trail in this nature reserve is ten to fifteen kilometers long, and it will take you up to eight hours to complete it. The trail is classified as moderate to challenging, and the path is poorly signed and less traveled.

Since it is a remote location, there is a high chance of bad weather, and you should be well prepared for any sudden change in the weather condition while hiking. It is always recommended that you have proper hiking boots and warm clothes to help you defeat the cold that usually comes when you reach high elevation.


In summary, when planning for day hikes in Iceland, you must understand a little bit of the history of these trails before you embark on them. With adequate information, you can prepare well for your hike. Go out and explore. There are more trails in the country, and you can check out others that are not listed.

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