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
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Reisgids IJsland - Island - Faroer eilanden | Reise Know-How Verlag
  • Uitstekende - meest uitgebreide - reisgids van dit land. Hoge kwaliteit, veel kaartjes en praktische informatie. Duits, 780 (!) bladzijden. Reisgids IJsland van uitgeverij Reise Know-How is een duitstalige praktische reisgids voor alle leeftijden, boordevol informatie over accommodatie van budget tot luxe, vervoer en plaatsbeschrijvingen... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Reisgids Island - IJsland | Michael Müller Verlag
  • Zeer uitgebreide reisgids over IJsland, met alle bezienswaardigheden en natuurverschijnselen, maar ook veel praktische informatie. Goede deelkaartjes, routesuggesties, camping informatie etc. To­sen­de Was­ser­fäl­le und blub­bern­de Schwe­fel­quel­len; mäch­ti­ge Glet­scher und un­ter­schied­lichs­te La­va­for­ma­tio­nen; auf­sprit­zen­de... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Wandelgids Bergtochten op IJsland | Jolanda Linschooten
  • IJsland is een land vol uitersten. Besneeuwde bergen en immense gletsjers naast kokende modderpoelen en nog na gloeiende lavastromen. Met zijn overdaad aan natuur leent IJsland zich er bij uitstek voor om langzaam, te voet, verkend te worden. In dit boek staan 31 bergwandeltochten, zowel dag- als meerdaagse tochten, in totaal 57 dagen... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
  • Reisgids Off the Beaten Track in Iceland - IJsland | Skrudda
  • Een gids voor de avontuurlijke 4x4 off the road reiziger, die gedetailleerd 40 routes beschrijft. This book provides detailed descriptions of interesting routes in Iceland that are off the beaten track, especially in the highlands. A map is provided for each of the 40 route descriptions, most of them in the south and west of the country, and... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
  • Vogelgids - Natuurgids - Opruiming Vogels kijken op IJsland | KNNV
  • Vogels kijken op IJsland Wie van vogels houdt, kan op IJsland zijn hart ophalen. Jan-van-genten, papegaaiduikers, zeekoeten, stormvogels, maar ook talloze soorten steltlopers zijn er 's zomers te bewonderen. Vogels kijken op IJsland is de ideale gids voor iedereen die deze rijkdom wil ontdekken. Het beschrijft alle belangrijke vogelplekken op... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Lonely Planet Iceland
  • Features two chapters, one showcasing Iceland's highlights, and the other focusing on the many outdoor activities, such as glacier-hiking, dog sledding and whale watching. Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Lonely Planet Iceland
  • Features two chapters, one showcasing Iceland's highlights, and the other focusing on the many outdoor activities, such as glacier-hiking, dog sledding and whale watching. Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Reisgids Insight Guide IJsland (Nederlands) | Cambium
  • Een rijk geillustreerde reisgids met diepgaande teksten: één van de beste reisgidsen die er bestaan. Eerste deel bestaat uit een beschrijving van de unieke aspecten van de regio, daarna een deel echte reisgids en als afsluiting een deel met praktische informatie. De uitstekende informatie wordt vergezeld van prachtige foto's en heldere kaarten.... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Lannoo's Autoboek Denemarken, Zweden, Noorwegen en IJsland | Lannoo
  • Fotoboek, inspiratiegids én atlas in één In Scandinavië viert de natuur hoogtij: vredige duinlandschappen in Denemarken, uitgestrekte scherenkusten, maar ook dichte bossen in Zweden, machtige fjorden en watervallen in Noorwegen, smeulende lavavelden en gletsjers in IJsland. Bovendien lokken Kopenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo en Reykjavík in de... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
2017
  • ANWB Ontdek reisgids - IJsland
  • ANWB Ontdek reisgids IJslandVerken IJsland op een andere manier met de uitgebreide ANWB Ontdek reisgids IJsland! Natuurlijk mag je bezienswaardigheden zoals de geisers in Haukadalur en vulkaan Hekla niet missen, maar ga ook eens van de gebaande paden en ga op zoek naar de elfjes in Bakkageroi, wandel over het rode strand Raudasandur of struin... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2017
  • ANWB Ontdek reisgids - IJsland
  • ANWB Ontdek reisgids IJslandVerken IJsland op een andere manier met de uitgebreide ANWB Ontdek reisgids IJsland! Natuurlijk mag je bezienswaardigheden zoals de geisers in Haukadalur en vulkaan Hekla niet missen, maar ga ook eens van de gebaande paden en ga op zoek naar de elfjes in Bakkageroi, wandel over het rode strand Raudasandur of struin... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2017
  • Reisgids ANWB Ontdek IJsland | ANWB Media
  • Een nieuwe ANWB reisgids: deze titel is een vertaling van de Duitstalige Dumont reeks. Ze staan bekend als zeer degelijke en behoorlijk complete reisgisden in compact formaat. Met zowel veel achtergrondinformatie, maar ook veel tips over bezienswaardigheden en adressen voor bijvoorbeeld eten en drinken. Het boek is ook nog voorzien van leuke... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Iceland
  • <DIV><DIV>Exotic, yet conveniently close, Iceland attracts a majority of visitors from North America and the rest of Europe. With its colossal glaciers, vast lava flows and thundering waterfalls, the country’s primordial landscape awards visitors with unforgettable vistas and incredible trekking beneath the glowing northern... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Iceland
  • <DIV><DIV>Exotic, yet conveniently close, Iceland attracts a majority of visitors from North America and the rest of Europe. With its colossal glaciers, vast lava flows and thundering waterfalls, the country’s primordial landscape awards visitors with unforgettable vistas and incredible trekking beneath the glowing northern... Read more
» Click to close
More books…

Maps

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
  • Nýjabæjarfjall
  • Nýjabæjarfjall, map no. 17, 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
  • Snæfell
  • Snæfell, map no. 26, 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
  • Vestmannaeyjar
  • Vestmannaeyjar, map no. 13, 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
  • Mýrar
  • Mýrar, map no. 2, 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 South East: Southern Vatnajökull
  • South-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 southwards from the central part of the Vatnajökull Glacier with... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Snæfellsjökull
  • Snæfellsjökull, map no. 3, 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
  • Eyjafjörður
  • Eyjafjörður, map no. 18, 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
  • Fljótsdalshérað
  • Fljótsdalshérað , map no. 27, 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
  • Kelduhverfi
  • Kelduhverfi, map no. 20, 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 Cental: Langjökull - Hofsjökull - Vatnajökull
  • Central 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 Havmmstangi in the north-western corner of the map to the Grímsvötn... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Barðaströnd
  • Barðaströnd, map no. 5, 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
  • Öxarfjörður
  • Öxarfjörður, map no. 19, 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
  • Vopnafjörður
  • Vopnafjörður, map no. 28, 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
  • Langanes
  • Langanes, map no. 29, 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 - 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
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
More walking holidays…

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