Walking in Iceland
All content by World Expeditions
Explore on foot Iceland's impressive lava fields, glaciers and volcanoes
Iceland’s distinctive volcanic landscape offers the perfect backdrop for day walks in the company of an expert guide. The extensive lava fields, huge moss-filled volcanic craters, serene fjords and trails that lead into the heart of the renowned Skaftafell National Park are part of this carefully devised itinerary. Each day will reveal new scenery and activities will include a glacier walk, visits to historical sights and even an opportunity to bathe in steaming hot springs. The series of day walks are fully supported ensuring rewarding days on the trail while our nights are spent in a comfortable hotel in easy reach of southern Iceland's most inspiring locations.
- Visit Iceland’s most attractive areas, including the famous Geyser and Gullfoss, Skaftafell National Park, the Jökulsárlón glacier lake and the famous Laki volcano
- Hike through stunning volcanic sceneries to view glaciers and mountains
- Experience the dramatic northern lights or the phenomenal midnight sun (subject to time of year)
- Stay in a charming countryside hotel
Day 1 Join Reykjavik, drive via the Great Geysir area to our base for the trip (2-3hrs)
Meet in Reykjavik. You will be picked up from your hotel in Reykjavik. We begin the day driving east to visit the Great Geysir geothermal area, where we can see Strokkur (the Great Geysir is now blocked) which spouts every 5-10 minutes. Close by we find Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. In two giant steps the water falls 32 metres into a deep gorge. Our drive continues east through one of the largest agriculture areas. We pass by two very impressive glaciers, a huge sand desert and one of Iceland’s biggest lava fields to reach our hotel where we shall stay for the next 4 nights. Total: 6 hours drive.
Day 2 Skaftafell National Park (4-5hrs)
Skaftafell National Park is Europe’s biggest National Park. It is composed of natural forest growing between glacial tongues, reaching down almost to sea level - a unique place to visit. We walk through a birch forest up to the Svartifoss waterfall, which is famous for its black basalt columns. On the way we will get fantastic views of Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull and Hvannadalshnúkur (2110m), its highest peak. As an afternoon option you may try an inspiring walk on the glacier (2-3 hours, not included in trip cost). You will be provided with all the necessary gear (crampons and ice axes) to discover the amazing blue world of ice and explore its ridges and crevasses – carefully! Return to the hotel. Total: 2 hours drive.
Day 3 Volcano Laki #(3-4hrs)
Today we head for the craters of Laki. In 1783 a 25km long fissure opened and lava flew out of 130 craters, devastating huge pasture fields. Clouds of poisonous gases killed over 50% of the livestock in Iceland. This led to a great famine which soon killed about 20% of the population. This was the greatest eruption in Iceland since the original settlement and naturally had a deep impact on the Icelandic population. However, today these craters are mostly covered with green moss which makes a huge contrast to the black and red colour of the underlying lava. In good weather we will climb to the top of the highest of the Laki craters. From there we have a splendid view over all the craters and the ice cap of Vatnajökull. Return to the same hotel. Total: 4-5 hours drive. #IMPORTANT NOTE: In winter departures the road to Laki can be impossible even for our well equipped 4x4. In that case we will explore the lower parts of the lava fields from the volcano and turn to an alternative program in the afternoon.
Day 4 Transfer to Jökulsárlón Lagoon, walk to the foot of the Öræfajökull Glacier (4-5hrs)
Today we head east along the Öræfajökull glacier which covers one of the country’s greatest volcanoes and its highest summit. We then cross great flatlands in front of the huge Breiðamerkurjökull glacier before arriving at Jökulsárlón lagoon with its picturesque floating icebergs. This location has served as the backdrop for many Hollywood films - for example the James Bond movie “Die Another Day”. We discover a great variety of icebergs of different forms and shapes and the wide range of blue and white colours in the ice. In the afternoon on our way back, we will take a walk to the foot of the Öræfajökull glacier, with fantastic views over the vast sand plains of the river Skeiðará. In 1966 the great glacier outflow (a Jokulhlaup – now used as a term in glaciology as a result) from under the Vatnajökull icecap destroyed the longest bridge in Iceland. A huge mass of ice (3000 billion litres) melted and the water reached a flow rate of 55,000 cubic meters per second and covered these huge plains with water. Return to the same hotel. Total: 3-4 hours drive.
Day 5 Return to Reykjavik via Vík and a walk over the geothermal area of Reykjadalur (3-4hrs)
On our return to Reykjavik we pass by the village of Vík (Vik y Myrdal) where we can enjoy a walk on the black beach. The pinnacles of Reynisdrangar are to be seen just offshore. According to legend, the pinnacles were left standing there after two trolls tried to pull a three masted ship past the headland, but were caught and petrified by the first rays of sunshine. North of the village Hveragerði, famous for its greenhouses, we enjoy our last walk over to the geothermal area of Reykjadalur where we can enjoy a relaxing bath in a warm stream before returning to the hectic life of Iceland’s capital. Trip concludes in Reykjavic. Total: 4 hours drive.
- 4 breakfasts - continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of bread, selection of cold cuts and other toppings, muesli, yoghurt, fruit, tea and coffee
- 4 dinners, the dinner buffet includes a selection of starters, fish, meat and vegetables meals, including desserts and coffee
- 4 nights in good quality hotel with private facilities on a twinshare basis
- Experienced walking guide for 5 days
- All internal transfers in 4X4 vehicle
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Accommodation is in a countryside hotel which is rated in category 4, (they do not use the star rating system). All rooms have private bathrooms. Single rooms can be requested and a supplement applies.
Wet weather gear, day pack, sunscreen, good walking boots / shoes and sun hat. A full clothing list is provided in our pre-departure kit, available on booking.