Best Day Hikes in Iceland

Home to one of the largest volcanos and glaciers Iceland is one of the best countries for hikers and nature lovers.  Iceland also is known as a country of ice and fire provides many breathtaking and photogenic views that show the power nature holds. Walking through every trail you will experience the vibe of nature as you may get a glimpse of volcanos and glaciers at any moment. it takes many days to fully explore this beautiful piece of nature, but if you don’t want to spend days but want to get the most of the experience in a day. Don’t worry I got you a list of the best day hikes in Iceland, which are easily achievable in a daytime.

1Best day hikes in Iceland

Best day hikes in Iceland
skogafoss waterfall


Series of landscapes, waterfalls, and volcano is what defines the Fimmvörðuháls trail. This mysterious and amazing trail is filled with adventure and challenges.

Start your journey from the Skogafoss waterfall. After passing through the waterfalls and leaving the greenery behind, you will see the black soil when you make your way through the glaciers- Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull. After making every step forward, you come closer to Thorsmork, where the lime green mode covers the rock and black soil.

And at the end by giving your all, you have to walk through the forest to reach the Bosor.
This long journey of 24 km requires full equipment and a guide to make the trip successful and harm-free.

  • Distance- 24-25 km
  • Time- Average 10 hours( if you walk fast you can complete this journey in 7 hours also).
  • Elevation- about 1400metres
  • Level- challenging yet easily achievable if you are fully prepared.
  • Best time to visit- the best time to visit here is between July-September.

If you have an interest in hiking and exploring new places then you may like- Best Multi-day Hikes in the Canadian Rockies

Skaftafell national park

Best day hikes in Iceland
svartifoss waterfall

Another popular destination for best day hikes in Iceland Skaftafell national park is loaded with breathtaking views of glaciers, sand beaches, and trails that ranked from easy to difficult by the colors. Blue symbolizes the easy route or trail, red symbolizes the moderate, and black means the difficult of all.

But if you are looking for a day hike, the best option would be the Svartifoss waterfall trail. During your short journey, you will get a beautiful view of Svartifoss waterfall which is tumbled down 80ft over a cliff. Through your journey you will meet another three waterfalls i.e thieves fall, dogs fall, and fall of Magnus. To get a close view, there is a bridge close to the waterfall.

The journey is 1.2 km long and can easily be completed. The journey starts from the and ends at

  • Distance – 1.5 km (one way)
  • Time – 50min
  • Level- easy
  • Elevation gain – 120meters

See the best hiking destination near Chicago


Best day hikes in Iceland

The second highest waterfall in Iceland Hengifoss’s journey is filled with beautiful views. The best that catches your attention is two big waterfalls which make you think at one second that you are in heaven.

The journey to this route starts from the parking lot, followed by the gate and stairs. After that, there is a moderate trail for 2 km. About 1.3 km you will see the Litlanefoss.

  • Distance – 2,5 km
  • Elevation-980 feet
  • Best time to visit- Summer {when the sun is up}
  • Level- medium

Snaefellsnes peninsula

Best day hikes in Iceland
reykjavik iceland

Snaefellsnes peninsula is the historical and natural wonders region. From caves to valleys, from glaciers to lava fields, you will get everything here.
So, now you know this is a beautiful natural region loaded with breathtaking views. Then you will also amaze to know that it is a 90km long region. But that’s not a problem you can easily explore the natural beauty of the Snaefellsnes peninsula in 12 hours by car. Car is the best option to explore this region, you can always rent a car for a day to fully explore the natural beauty.

To reach the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Start your journey from Reykjavik, and after 2 hours of drive, you will reach your destination.

  • Distance- 90km Time- 12 hours
  • Level-  easy
  • Best time to visit- all year round (check the weather alerts before visiting)


Best day hikes in Iceland

Resting between the Iceland central highlands, Kederlingarfjoll is a small mountain range that can give you an experience that you will never want to forget.

Don’t fall into the blindness of a small mountain peak, this range is filled with beautiful views that every photographer is keen to capture in their album. Starting with snowy peaks(geothermal area of Hevradalir), to the valley of red rhyolite mountains, and bubbling rivers.

This is the best day hike for any traveler who has a short period. You will get more in return for the time you give.

To know what’s suits you Kederlingarfjoll provides you with 20 different hikes options from short as 1km trails to 47 km trails range.
The best options Kederlingarfjoll provides for a day hike are-

KERLINGARFJOLL hot spring jaunt-

As the name suggests this is a warm spring jaunt that lies 1.5 km upstream from Kerlingarfjoll mountain resort. The trail is followed by the river banks alongside.

Kerlingarfjoll mountain resort to hveradalir

This route is easy as you will get signs at every end to make the navigation easy. This is a 7km long journey (described above) and the best of all options.

Some other options
● Sneakollur submit ● Shortcut to Hveradalir

  • Distance- 7km
  • Time- 3hours.
  • Level- medium
  • Elevation-4,846 ft


Best day hikes in Iceland 4
GLYMUR waterfall trail

Losing its spot to MOSARFOSS GLYMUR waterfall is now the second tallest waterfall in Iceland at 198 meters.
Through your journey, you will cross two rivers, and walk through the cave, with beautiful views alongside.
This is a journey of 7.5 kilometers which is short but if you love trekking or hiking you will love this.
To reach the location is very easy as it is located near Reykjavik. Basically, in the northeast of Reykjavik, and close to the Golden Circle.

GLYMUR waterfall is in Havalfjorour, which is a 1.5-hour drive from Reykjavik. The hike starts from the parking lot labeled as Botnsa. There are two ways to hike GLYMUR waterfall 1. Out and back hike 2) loop hike. Search for what suits you best. My personal recommendation is a loop hike, as you get different views, which means more adventure.

  • Distance – 7-7.5 km
  • Time – 4 hours Level- medium
  • Best time to visit- mid-June to September

Mount Esja

Mount Esja

Mount Esja is the most visited and popular trail on this list or you can say in Iceland.
The trail ends at a volcanic mountain which is known as Mount Esja. The route to Mount Esja is easy, but due to sudden weather changes, it gets sometimes difficult to continue the journey.

To begin your journey to the volcanic mountain, start from Reykjavik by public transport i.e bus. Take any bus from Helemur station that is headed towards Artun. No.5 usually takes you from Helemur station to Artun. From Artun take another bus to Arkekuri station, but get off the bus after 18 km when you reach Esja hiking center.

Esja hiking center is where the real journey starts. You will see the route clearly from there. It is the narrow path that splits into two paths. Both paths are good and reach the same point.

After hiking for 2.5 kilometers, you will see the rock and the sign of Stenn on it. Which in my sense is a sign that the further route will be more difficult, and in reality also the path becomes more difficult, you will start seeing the steel cables. After a 400m climb you will reach the Teverfellshorn peak, from where you have to hike for 3 kilometers more to reach the highest mountain peak, which is Habunga.

  • Distance – 7km
  • Time- 4 hours
  • Level- medium
  • Best time to visit- summer in July when the mountains are snow-free


Landmannalaugar, Iceland

The lava fields and colorful rhyolite mountains of Landmannalauger draw the attention of many visitors all around the world every year. There are several hikes to choose from, like Landmannalauger trail which is around 54 km long trail and you need around 3 to 4 days to complete this trail. But if you don’t have the time and want to explore the beauty of lava fields then the best one day is the Landmannalauger loop trail which is 4 to 5 km long.

It starts from the northern part of Landmannalauger campsite and ends near the Mt. Brennisteinsalda.

  • Distance – 4km
  • Level- too easy
  • Elevation gain – very low
  • Time –  2 hrs maximum