Iceland

Description

Iceland - by Henk

This rugged North Atlantic island offers great hiking through surprising nature. Vast lava fields spread out next to massive glaciers. Hot streams emerge from boiling springs. Giant waterfalls come roaring down and of course the famous geysers blow hot steam high into the air at regular intervals. For any hiker who loves wide expanses of clear empty sky, phenomenal views and remoteness. Everything in this country is bigger, larger, more colourful, and wetter. Iceland is paradise.

The volcanic most active part of the island is a band running from the south west to the north east.

There are numerous hiking trails in different parts of Iceland, but not all are clearly waymarked. Given frequent fog and the remoteness of Icelandic nature in general, it is necessary that you always know how to use map and compass. Don’t believe people who argue that a compass will be impaired by the local magnetism: not true. A GPS receiver, and plenty of spare batteries, comes in handy too. The most popular routes pass mountain huts at a day’s hike distance. Make reservations in advance. Always bring your own sleeping bag and food.

The most popular routes are:

  • Laugavegur, between active volcanos, glaciers and colourful mountains;
  • Kjalvegur, a trading route in the remote interior.

Also think of these good hiking area’s

  • Þingvellir, the historic lake and pleasant surroundings;
  • Mývatn, a beloved lake in the north;
  • The eastern fjords;
  • The giant glacier Vatnajökull, with many trails around it;
  • The very very lonely north coast;
  • Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, with its immense waterfalls and spectacular canyons;
  • Hornstrandir, the fjord like north western peninsula.

Although Iceland is not as cold a place as it sounds, hikers must be prepared for frequent and sudden weather changes and fog during all seasons. Also you may have to wade across rivers, and this can be dangerous. The summer months (mid June to mid September) are best for hiking. Prepare well.

Opinions

Rate 7.8 | 4 votes | No 9. in Europe
  • John P July 2020
  • Rate 7
  • Positive A great variety of scenery: lava flows; plains of black ash; hot springs; mountains; braided rivers; yellow, red and black hills; gorges; many waterfalls; glaciers; lakes; fjords; flowers, and arctic foxes. Huts, campsites (normally with flush toilets) and marked trails assist the hiker, and in towns there are hotels, restaurants and bakeries serving coffee and pastries.
  • Negative Outside of the Landmannalauger area public transport for the hiker was very limited, maybe a little because I visited following the Coronavirus pandemic. Hotels and the better restaurants tended to be fully booked even at a time when I was told there were fewer visitors. It is an expensive country unless you camp all the time and arrange your own food. Rain and wind can persist for days!
  • Hiking Is Good July 2017
  • Rate 8
  • Positive Perfect fo hiking. One of the last pieces on wilderness in the "Western World"
  • Negative There aren't many forests; it could get very windy; very expensive country
  • pc22 November 2012
  • Rate 8
More opinions…

Trails

Regions

Books

The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2020
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2020
» Click to close
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Strange Shores
  • A missing woman. A missing boy. Detective Erlendur returns - for the last time. A young woman walks into the frozen fjords of Iceland, never to be seen again. But Matthildur leaves in her wake rumours of lies, betrayal and revenge. Decades later, somewhere in the same wilderness, Detective Erlendur is on the hunt. He is looking for Matthildur... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Boundless
  • "In the end, these people helped me realize that Boundless was more than a job; it was metaphor for life. It came down to one simple, daily decision—do I stand still or move forward?"Filming the hit television series Boundless, Simon Donato has raced thousands human-powered kilometres across the globe—from the frigid tundra of Iceland to the... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Boundless
  • "In the end, these people helped me realize that Boundless was more than a job; it was metaphor for life. It came down to one simple, daily decision—do I stand still or move forward?"Filming the hit television series Boundless, Simon Donato has raced thousands human-powered kilometres across the globe—from the frigid tundra of Iceland to the... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Reisgids Living Abroad Reykjavik | Moon Travel Guides
  • Uitstekende Amerikaanse reisgids van uitgever Moon. De gids is vergelijkbaar met Lonely Planet en Rough guide en is voor de backpacker - zelfstandige reiziger geschreven; toch is deze door de grote mate van details en achtergronden geschikt voor alle reizigers! De gids onderscheidt zich door gedegen en uitgebreide achtergrondinformatie over... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2014
  • Iceland
  • The Rother Walking Guide to Iceland leads the reader along 49 selected, safe and reliably-described trails to the natural splendours of Iceland which are only accessible to hikers. In the introductory chapters, as well as in the presentation of the regions, the authors prepare the hiker in a safe and knowledgeable manner for the distinctive... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2019
  • Wandelgids Iceland - Ijsland | Rother Bergverlag
  • The Rother Walking Guide to Iceland leads the reader along 49 selected, safe and reliably-described trails to the natural splendours of Iceland which are only accessible to hikers. In the introductory chapters, as well as in the presentation of the regions, the authors prepare the hiker in a safe and knowledgeable manner for the distinctive... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2020
De Zwerver
Netherlands
  • Natuurgids Botanical map Ijsland | Mal og Menning
  • The botanical map provides clear and accessible information on Iceland's main plants. It shows 78 flowering plants, together with distribution maps and information on size, habitat and season of flowering. The map also includes pictures of Iceland's principal cryptograms (spore-bearing plants), grasses, algae, lichens and fungi. The map's... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2017
  • Reisgids Marco Polo NL IJsland | 62Damrak
  • Eindelijk zijn ze er weer: de Nederlandse versie van de alom bekende en gewaardeerde serie van Marco Polo. Het is een handige en overzichtelijke, kleine reisgids voor een goede kennismaking met de vakantiebestemming. Globale uitklapkaart achterin, makkelijk binnenzakformaat. Toch best veel aandacht voor de toeristische hoogtepunten en leuke... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2017
  • Wandelgids Island - IJsland | Conrad Stein Verlag
  • Handzaam boekje met routebeschrijvingen inclusief een heleboel praktische informatie. De beschrijving is uitstekend, maar kaarten zijn beperkt en schetsmatig aanwezig. Duits Island, die „letzte Wildnis Europas“; gilt als Eldorado für Naturliebhaber und begeistert mit einem dichten Netz hervorragend markierter Wege. Dieses Buch beschreibt die 22... Read more
More books…

Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Hofsjökull
  • Hofsjökull, map no. 16, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Mývatnsöræfi
  • Mývatnsöræfi, map no. 21, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Seyðisfjörður
  • Seyðisfjörður, map no. 30, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Reykjanesskagi
  • Reykjanesskagi, map no. 1, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Iceland 1:100,000 Complete Set (31 maps)
  • Iceland at 1:100,000 in a Complete Set of 31 topographic survey maps published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and mudflats,... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Arnarfjörður
  • Arnarfjörður, map no. 6, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Iceland South-West: Reykjavik – Eyjafjallajökull
  • South Western Iceland at 1:200,000 on a detailed map from Mál og Menning with exceptionally vivid presentation of the country’s topography and landscape, hard surface or gravel roads and numerous country tracks, superb drawings of local birds and flowers, etc. Coverage includes Reykjavik, the Reykjanes Peninsula, Þingvellir, Hekla and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Jökulfirðir
  • Jökulfirðir, map no. 7, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Kverkfjöll
  • Kverkfjöll , map no. 22, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Reyðarfjörður
  • Reyðarfjörður, map no. 31, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Dalir
  • Dalir, map no. 4, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and mudflats,... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Iceland East: Vatnajökull - Egilsstaðir
  • Eastern Iceland at 1:200,000 on a detailed map from Mál og Menning with exceptionally vivid presentation of the country’s topography and landscape, hard surface or gravel roads and numerous country tracks, superb drawings of local birds and flowers, etc. Coverage extends from the central part of the Vatnajökull Glacier with Grimsfjall in the... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Iceland Mal og menning Road Atlas 2019-2020
  • Road Atlas of Iceland at 1:300,000 from Mál og menning in a spiral-bound glovebox format, with 35 street plans, several thematic maps, and cartography derived from the company’s outstanding mapping at 1:100,000.The representation of country’s topography is particularly vivid, with excellent relief shading based on satellite imagery supplemented... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Árnes
  • Árnes, map no. 12, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and mudflats,... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Öræfajökull
  • Öræfajökull, map no. 23, in the topographic survey of Iceland at 1:100,000 published by Mál og menning, with excellent, vivid presentation of the terrain, footpaths and bridleways, campsites, etc. The maps have contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by bold relief shading plus colouring and/or graphics to show glaciers, lava fields, sands and... Read more
More maps…

Walking holidays

Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Landmannalaugar & Thorsmörk
  • Wandelreis vanuit berghutten door het sprookjesachtige Landmannalaugar en het groene Thorsmörk. Loop over goed gemarkeerde wandelpaden langs glimmende obsidiaanvelden, groen bemoste lavavelden, pruttelende zwavelpoeltjes en kolkende smeltwaterriviertjes. Wandel naar de top van de Valahnúkur en de Tröllakirkja in het door de ijskap van de... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Noord-IJsland per tent
  • Avontuurlijk kamperen zonder zorgen in de mooiste streken van Noord-IJsland. Dit deel van IJsland is vergeleken met het zuiden nog niet zo druk bezocht en tijdens deze actieve kampeerrondreis maak je dan ook kennis met eindeloze lavavelden, grillige vulkaanketens, spetterende watervallen en steile vogelkliffen waar je het gevoel hebt dat je nog... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Landmannalaugar, Thorsmörk & Myvatn
  • Wandelvakantie door twee prachtige IJslandse wandelgebieden, gevolgd door een indrukwekkende rondreis. Loop in Landmannalaugar langs lavavelden, zwavelpoeltjes en kolkende smeltwaterriviertjes. Wandel in Thorsmörk naar de top van de Valahnúkur en de Tröllakirkja. Rijd met uw huurauto via de zuidkust naar Myvatn en verken vanuit het Muggenmeer... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Laugavegur
  • De Laugavegur is dé meerdaagse rugzaktrektocht op IJsland. Trek door het wonderschone Landmannalaugar met zijn kleurrijke rhyolietheuvels naar het groene Thorsmörk. Loop langs pruttelende zwavelpoeltjes, sissende stoombronnen en gitzwarte obsidiaanvelden. Laat je overweldigen door contrastrijke natuurfenomenen: warmwaterbronnen en sneeuwkappen,... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Laugavegur & Myvatn
  • Spectaculaire rugzaktrektocht in IJsland, gevolgd door een rondreis per huurauto. Trektocht van Landmannalaugar over de Laugavegur naar het bosrijke Thorsmörk. Loop langs pruttelende zwavelpoeltjes, sissende stoombronnen en gitzwarte obsidiaanvelden. Maak vervolgens per huurauto een indrukwekkende rondreis met als hoogtepunten de vulkanen van... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Ultima Thule
  • Tijdens deze kennismakingsreis verkennen we het zuiden van IJsland. We maken dagwandelingen in het Hengillgebergte waar stoombronnen en dampende riviertjes het landschap versieren en op het schiereiland Reykjanes wandelen we over dikke mos pakketten en grillige lavavelden. In Skaftafell wandelen we naar de Svartifoss en de Skaftafellsjökull en... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Zuid-IJsland
  • Een korte wandelreis naar het zuiden van IJsland met lichte wandelingen en natuurlijk een bezoek aan de ‘highlights’. Vanuit een knus hotelletje met uitzicht op de Heklavulkaan verkennen we de zuidkust met de Seljalandsfoss, de Skogarfoss, de gletsjer Solheimajökull en de zwarte stranden van Reynisfjara. Met de ferry gaan we naar Heimaey, het... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Rondreis Zuid-IJsland
  • Tijdens deze afwisselende rondreis in het zuiden van IJsland maak je kennis met de vele verschillende landschappen aan de rand van de hoogvlakte en de enorme ijskappen. Natuurlijk bezoek je de ‘must seen’ Geysir, Gullfoss, Skogarfoss en de zwarte stranden van Reynisfjara, maar gelukkig zijn er ook nog plaatsen waar het minder druk is. Wat te... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Kjölur
  • Kampeerrondreis langs de landschappelijke hoogtepunten van Zuid- IJsland. Van het vulkanische, dampende Hengillgebergte, naar de Kjölur steenwoestijn tussen de Langjökull en de Hofsjökull. Via de zwarte hellingen van de Hekla naar de beroemde kleuren van de ryolietbergen in Landmannalaugar en in het onbekende Thakgill wandelen aan de voet van... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • IJsland - Kerlingarfjöll
  • Sneeuwwandelen in het gebergte van Kerlingarfjöll, gelegen op de Kjölur hoogvlakte, betekent op sneeuwschoenen langs pruttelende modderpoelen en sissende stoompluimen, over dichtgesneeuwde vulkaanhellingen en ijzige vlaktes, door besneeuwde dalen en over door de wind kaal geblazen bergruggen. Spectaculaire tocht naar het binnenland en verblijf... Read more
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