Why Everyone Should Go Hiking in Iceland at Least Once

Jennifer Cauli /
Jennifer Cauli / | © Culture Trip
Camille Buckley

Iceland offers a lot culturally, with its history of Viking settlements and being the birthplace of the sagas and origins of Norse Paganism. The backdrop to all this exists in the landscape plotted by these ancient texts. One of the best ways to experience ancient culture in Iceland is by stepping foot on these paths on your own. From waterfalls to glaciers, places of geothermal activity, and to awesome rock formations, inspiring attractions are to be found seemingly around every corner of the Icelandic landscape. Sometimes though they can be hidden, which is why hiking is a great way to explore the nature of Iceland’s attractions in an intimate way. On this small island just over 100 square kilometres in size, these monumental attractions leave a lasting impression.

Jennifer Cauli /

While summer is the best time for hiking, it is possible to explore the countryside on foot during other seasons but with a little more caution and planning in place because of the weather conditions, but that goes for the summertime as well.

During the summertime there is endless daylight, making for more hours in which to view the amazing landscape, as well as receive an energy boost. In Iceland, there are no ants, mosquitoes, and very few ticks (a recent migrant to Iceland). Also, there is plenty of fresh water trickling from a glacial source in many of the popular hiking areas.

In some places in Iceland, you can hike and witness the variety of five continents in one square kilometre. At Landmannalaugur, for example, glaciers, ancient volcanoes, and rivers, are all on the same trail, as well as the height from atop a mountain promontory to view it all in sweeping panoramic views.

Jennifer Cauli / © Culture Trip

In other instances of hiking in Iceland, you can actually hike on a glacier. Iceland is one of the rare places on earth where glaciers are abundant, making up 11% of the land surface. In Iceland, there is ample access to hike along the glaciers’ crevasses and walls. The immense beauty and force of this natural feature will take form beneath your feet on a glacier hike with guides who can advise you on safely traversing the ridges and shapes.

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