Hiking in Iceland is one of my favourite activities to do year-round, but the summer months are when the hiking options really open up! In the summer, the days are long and bright, the grass has turned a bright green, and the snow covering many of the hiking trails has finally melted away opening it up for hikers to explore.
If you are heading up to Iceland during the summer months, make sure to pack your hiking boots and add in a hiking adventure or two to your itinerary. This list of hiking trails will provide you will endless options for getting out and exploring the Icelandic nature. From hiking back to waterfalls to climbing steep mountains, there is a trail to fit every hiker's need.
Glymur in West Iceland
Photo: Kaelene Spence
Located an hour away from Reykjavik is one of my favourite hiking trails, the hike back to Glymur waterfall. A hike to Glymur is one of the top 10 things to experience in West Iceland. This hike takes anywhere between 2-4 hours round trip, depending on how many pictures you stop and take. While this hike is accessible year round the blooming nature during the summer months is a sight to be seen. Take a break when you make it back to Glymur waterfall and enjoy the view of the waterfall on one side and the gorgeous landscape down through the canyon on the other side.
Husafell Hiking Trails in West Iceland
If you are looking for an area with multiple hiking options so you can find a hike to please everyone, the Husafell hiking trails are for you. From easy walks through wooded areas to pathways along the Kaldá river, there are several easy walks to enjoy in Husafell. For those looking for a more challenging hike, I recommend checking out the hiking trails up Mt. Strútur or Mt. Bæjarfel. They are steep but still safe hiking trails that have a beautiful view over the area from the top.
If you are interested in exploring more amazing hiking trails in West Iceland, then you might want to check out our Nature, Summer, and Adventure tour.
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the Westfjords
Located in Iceland’s Northernmost peninsula you will find an area full of unspoilt nature, the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Only accessible during the summer months you will feel like you are in a nature wonderland with wildlife running around, towering cliffs that drop off into the sea and panoramic views of the sea and mountains. The best part about Hornstrandir natural reserve is that nature is completely untouched so you can enjoy the Island raw natural beauty in the beautiful Westfjords of Iceland.
Tröllaskagi in North Iceland
The biggest continuous mountain range in Iceland, Tröllaskagi, which means “Troll Peninsula,” is an area that you can spend hours hiking. These magical mountains located in the North of Iceland are full of beauty, from mountain lakes to many small glaciers in the peninsula you won’t get bored exploring this area. Take advantage of the Midnight sun and enjoy a late night hike. The beautiful colours of the Midnight sun reflecting off the mountains will make for a memorable hiking adventure.
Borgarfjörður Eystri in East Iceland
An area that has become known for its hiking trails in recent years, Borgarfjörður Eystri is a gem of the East of Iceland. You know you are in for a treat when the locals go out and mark the hiking trails! Hikers can choose from hour long hikes to day-long hikes, depending on what kind of adventure you are after. The trails in Borgarfjörður Eystri will have you exploring mountains in a range of colours, past black sand beaches and isolated fjords; you will even come across ruins of ancient farms. If you want to have the ultimate hiking experience, I recommend joining in on the tour, In the footsteps of elves, it will take you to all the places off the beaten path, which in my opinion are always the best places to visit.
Note that this is Borgarfjörður Eystri in East Iceland, there is another fjord called Borgarfjörður in West Iceland!
Kerlingarfjöll in the Highlands
With around 20 different hiking trails to explore Kerlingarfjöll is a must visit if you are a hiking enthusiast. Located in the highlands this area can be difficult to reach, especially during the winter months, but if you are visiting Iceland in the summer with a 4x4 vehicle, you should be able to reach this gorgeous area. I recommend hiking the Hverdalir adventure route, which will take you through the Hveradalir geothermal area where the rising steam and the unique features are sure to make for a unique hiking experience in Iceland.
Reykjadalur in South Iceland
Photo: Kaelene Spence
If you are looking for the complete Icelandic hiking adventure Reykjadalur is the trail for you. Located 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik, this 2-3 hour hike will take you back into the mountains, past a waterfall and through geothermal steam before reaching the real gem of this hiking trail, the hot springs. Make sure you pack your bathing suit for this hike and enjoy a mid-hike swim before heading back out. Gorgeous nature and a hot spring, like I said, Reyjadalur is the complete Icelandic hiking adventure.
Esjan in Reykjavík Capital Area
Photo: Kaelene Spence
If you are staying in Reykjavik but still want to get a hiking adventure in, Esjan is the place for you. Less than a 30-minute drive from Reykjavik, and accessible by public transportation, head to Esjan to spend a few hours exploring the mountain before heading back into the city. The views of Reykjavik and the sea from the top are amazing! If you can only fit one hike into your Icelandic itinerary, I highly recommend Esjan.
Be sure to take advantage of the long summer days and get out and hit the trails!