Which Trek & Hike in Iceland Calls Out to Your Adventurous Soul?

Arnar

Arnar

A co-founder of Local Adventures and guide, Arnar has a degree in physical education and is certified glacier guide. Along with his education he has worked in tourism for 20 years.

Some Not So Secret But Popular Off-the-Beaten Path Iceland’s Hiking Trails

When everyone thinks of going for a hike in Iceland, they often envision one-day treks, with the Laugavegur Trail being a popular choice.

Like the famous poet Robert Frost, you too need to take the road less travelled by because truly that will make all the difference.

Iceland is full of beautiful hidden treks and trails, and only local guides can take you off the beaten path so that you can marvel at the beauty of Nature.

In this article, we will review three of the best hikes in Iceland if you are travelling for just a week. We will also cover tips and solutions given by hikers who have trodden the secret trail and travelled off the beaten path.

Most travellers choose the unforgettable Laugavegur Trail as their first trek in Iceland. It’s no wonder that National Geographic rates it among the world’s most stunning trails!

Laugavegur Trail, Iceland

This is the prime reason why the Laugavegur trek is renowned as one of Iceland’s must-do hikes. As you traverse this path, you’ll be treated to a visual feast of vibrant landscapes.

You will encounter the beautiful colourful rhyolite mountains, dramatic black obsidian lava fields, and bubbling hot springs. Be prepared to see serene lakes, endless black sandy deserts, and even a rare lush forest.

Multi-day trekking tours for Laugavegur trail include luggage transport, so you don’t have to worry about carrying your belongings.

Tips from experienced Laugavegur hikers:

Be prepared for anything: The weather can change quickly, so pack layers and waterproof gear. Bring good quality rain gear that can handle strong winds.

River crossings: Use sturdy sandals like Tevas that won’t get swept away by the current. Unclip your backpack before crossing rivers in case you take a tumble.

Take your time: Soak in the scenery and enjoy the hike. There are hot springs in Landmannalaugar and some amazing day hikes in Þórsmörk.

Food: No meat or dairy products from the USA are allowed, due to biosecurity concerns. Stock up on food before you get to the highlands. Bonus or Kronan grocery stores are good options.

Relaxation: Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and chapstick. Take some extra time to explore Landmannalaugar, it has a unique landscape and plenty of day hikes. There are also hot springs to relax in!

Embrace the experience: Don’t stress about getting the perfect picture, just enjoy the incredible scenery. Be aware of weather conditions, especially when hiking between Þórsmörk and Fimmvörðuháls pass. Trail runners with good traction are sufficient footwear, and hiking poles are helpful but not essential.

Water: If you’re hiking north to south, there’s no water source between Þórsmörk and after Fimmvörðuháls pass. Make sure you carry enough water for this stretch. Most importantly, have fun exploring the Iceland hiking trails!

Skógafoss Waterfall

Tucked away near Iceland’s southern coast, the Skógá River creates one of the country’s most breathtaking waterfalls – Skógafoss.

This majestic wonder stands tall at 200 feet (60 meters), cascading over dramatic black rock cliffs that seem to defy gravity.

The contrast between the waterfall’s dark, rugged surroundings and the lush, emerald green landscapes is nothing short of magical, earning it the nickname “the perfect waterfall.”

Skogafoss Waterfall Hike: Tips from Experienced Hikers

This sounds like an amazing hike, but there are a few things to consider to make sure it’s a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone:

Watch the Ice: The trail can get icy, especially in winter and spring. Microspikes are cheap and can be lifesavers for traction on slippery sections. Avoid taking unnecessary risks – if you see a big ice patch, it might be best to turn back.

Waterfall Wonderland: The hike offers stunning views of multiple waterfalls along the Skoga River. The difficulty can vary depending on the weather, but it’s generally considered moderate.

Stairway to the beautiful waterfall: There are 527 steps to reach the top viewpoint of Skogafoss. Take your time and let others pass if you need to catch your breath. The total hike can take up to 90 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Many tourist calls it as “One of the top 5 experiences in my life” and “Greatest Hike of My life.”

Weather matters: Pleasant weather makes the hike even more enjoyable. Be prepared to adjust your plans if conditions worsen. As the Icelandic proverb says, “Væntan á góðu veðri er aldrei mein.” (Hoping for good weather never hurts).

Enjoy the journey: This hike is known for its stunning scenery. Take your time, soak it in, and create lasting memories.

Katla Iceland

The Katla Volcano Ice Cave Tour is an exhilarating adventure that takes you to the heart of Iceland’s stunning natural wonders.

Thd full-day tour from Reykjavik or Vik offers an unforgettable experience as you explore the majestic ice caves beneath the Katla Volcano.

Overall, it is a thrilling 3-day trekking adventure that takes you deep into the heart of Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes.

The journey begins with a scenic drive along the famous Road 1, leading you to the majestic Katla Ice Cave.

With professional local guides ensuring your safety, you’ll explore the ice cave and its surrounding area, marveling at the stunning blue and black ice formations.

The adventure unfolds as you cross ice fields, wade rivers, and hike through a majestic gorge, camping overnight in Þakgil with tents provided. On the second day of Katla volcano tour, you will descend into the green valleys of Presthil, where you’ll enjoy a peaceful evening under the stars.

On your return journey to Reykjavík, you’ll stop at the stunning Black Beach, a highlight of the South Coast tour. This unforgettable experience combines breathtaking natural beauty with expert guidance, ensuring a safe and exhilarating adventure.

Highlights of the Katla Ice Cave Trek and Hike

Hikers can expect to witness the following:

Awe-Inspiring Experience: The Katla Ice Cave is an amazing and impressive sight, even more so in person than in photos. The unique landscape and natural ice formations are truly breathtaking.

Crampons and Glacier Hike: Putting on crampons and walking onto the glacier is the highlight of the experience, even though it’s not a rigorous hike. The crampons provide excellent traction and allow you to safely explore the glacier.

Unique Ice Caves: The ice caves at Katla are special, with beautiful and shiny ice formations, despite being relatively small in size. The caves are a unique product of Mother Nature’s power.

Competing Tour Groups: There may be other tour groups visiting the ice cave at the same time, but the tour operators like Local Adventures ensure each group has their own dedicated time and space to explore.

Jeep Transportation: The Super Jeep used to transport visitors to the site is an exciting part of the experience, with its large 50-inch tires that are adjusted for the different terrain conditions.

Scenic Surroundings: The overall scenery in the Katla area is stunning, with the volcanic ash-covered glacier providing a unique and dramatic backdrop.

Accessibility: The hike to the ice cave, while not overly strenuous, may still be challenging for some. However, the use of crampons makes it accessible for most visitors, including the 62-year-old hiker.

Horseback Riding: In addition to the ice cave tour, the unique Icelandic horses and their special “tölt” gait offer another memorable activity in the area. However, the Super Jeep experience as well as trekking to the Ice Cave is the best.

Before You Go

Iceland is a dream destination for hikers and trekkers. The landscapes are unlike anything you have ever seen. It really has colourful mountains, black sand beaches, and glaciers all in one place.

There are trails for every ability level, from short day hikes to multi-day adventures. You can even trek on top of a glacier! But Iceland isn’t just about beauty. The geology here is unreal. Volcanoes, hot springs, and ever-changing glaciers make you feel like you’re on another planet.

There’s an Icelandic saying that goes, “Að leggjast undir feld,” which means “to lay under a fur blanket.” It captures that feeling of peace and connection with nature you get when you’re surrounded by such an incredible landscape.

Going for a hike in Iceland isn’t just about the challenge, it’s about connecting with something bigger than yourself. You will experience what it means to be in sync with Nature, so what what are you waiting for, book your tour as Iceland awaits!

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