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Explore Iceland with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of Walking and Trekking in Iceland
16 Dec 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.9cm
1st Published
5 May 2015
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Walking and Trekking in Iceland

by Paddy Dillon
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook to walking routes in Iceland offers 49 day walks and 10 multi-stage treks including the classic Laugavegur Trail. The total of 100 days of routes described cater for most abilities, from waymarked walks to challenging glacier crossings. Information on public transport, accommodation, facilities and budget travel tips also included.

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A country of extraordinary beauty, Iceland’s incredible variety of volcanic and glacial landscapes makes it a unique destination for walking and trekking holidays. Its three national parks include the mighty Vatnajökull, largest national park in Europe.

The wide range of routes in this book introduce walkers and backpackers to this ‘Land of Ice and Fire’. There are 100 days of walking in this guidebook, stretching over 1722km, split between 49 day walks and 10 multi-stage treks. They climb mountains, cross glaciers, pass lakes and explore coastlines and geothermal areas, and range from easy nature trails to challenging treks. So, there is enough variation to satisfy all kinds of walkers. The routes are spread all around Iceland, grouped into twelve regions. Detailed information is given at the start of each route or trekking stage, including distances, ascents, descents and the nature of the terrain to help indicate if the route is suited to your ability.

With Reykjavik now an established city-break destination, Iceland is easy to get to. Once there, the routes described include both popular and lesser-known trails, from coastal walks and off-island trails, to the remote interior and ice-caps. Most routes are signposted and waymarked, and a number of easy 'starter' treks and walks are included, but there are also rugged mountain routes and glacier crossings – including the classic Laugavegur trail.

Despite Iceland's reputation for being expensive, this guide offers plenty of tips for budget travellers and full details on mountain huts, campsites and public transport. Walking and Trekking in Iceland will enable readers of all abilities, and all budgets, to explore all that's great about this unique destination.

  • covers all the popular trekking routes, including the classic Laugavegur Trail, as well as lesser-known trails
  • illustrated with clear customised relief maps and profiles
  • plenty of hints and tips for budget travellers
  • full details on mountain huts, campsites and transport
  • Seasons
    summer season - highland roads don't open until mid-June and many tourist services close at the end of August; low-lying coastal areas, particularly in the south-west, can be walked from spring to autumn; winter effectively closes the vast bulk of routes to ordinary walkers
  • Centres
    Most towns and villages are not well-placed for walking; essential to travel from place to place, and even far into the interior, to enjoy some of the most scenic and interesting trails
  • Difficulty
    from short and easy routes to tough and steep, over anything from easy to rugged terrain, as well as long-distance routes; no special equipment needed for the easy routes; full backpacking equipment needed for long-distance trails; ropes, ice axe, crampons and experience essential on most glacier walks
  • Must See
    amazing volcanic and glacial landscapes; geothermal areas; the coastline and off-islands and the remote interior; Iceland's highest mountain - Hvannadalshnúkur

August 2015


Walk 48 - Brjánslækur and Surtarbrandsgil - A reader has indicated that from 2015, visitors on this short walk to a 'protected natural monument' should join a guided walk led by a ranger. Check the notice on the gate, or ask at the nearby farm or cafe to discover if a guided walk is available.


June 2015

Walk 19, on the Westman Islands, is 9 km long, and should take 3 hours to complete.

January 2017
Walk 2 transport details should read:
Stræto bus 15 from Reykjavík to Háholt, then bus 57 to

Walk 3 transport details should read:
Strætó buses R2 and R4 serve Fitjar from Reykjanesbær and Reykjavík. Strætó bus 88 serves Grindavík from Reykjanesbær.


Geology and landscape
National parks
Getting to Iceland
Getting around Iceland
When to go
Food and drink
Tourist information offices
What to take
Health and safety
River crossings
Footpaths, waymarking and access
Using this guide
1 Reykjavík, Reykjanes and Hengill
Walk 1 Reykjavík and Seltjarnarnes
Walk 2 Þverfellshorn from Esjustofa
Walk 3 Keflavík to Grindavík
Walk 4 Grindavík to Vogar
Walk 5 Grindavík and Prestastígur
Walk 6 Krýsuvík and Krísuvíkurbjarg
Walk 7 Seltún and Kleifarvatn
Walk 8 Seltún and Djúpavatn
Walk 9 Þingvellir and Skógarkot
Walk 10 Hveragerði and Reykjadalur
Walk 11 Ölfusvatn and Ölkelduháls
Walk 12 Hellisheiði to Hveragerði
Walk 13 Nesjavellir and Vörðuskeggi
Trek 1 The Reykjavegur
Stage 1 Nesjavellir to Múlasel
Stage 2 Múlasel to Bláfjallaskáli
Stage 3 Bláfjallaskáli to Kaldársel
Stage 4 Kaldársel to Djúpavatn
Stage 5 Djúpavatn to Brattháls
Stage 6 Brattháls to Þorbjörn
Stage 7 Þorbjörn to Reykjanesviti
2 Fjallabak and Þórsmörk
Walk 14 Landmannalaugar and Suðurnámur
Walk 15 Landmannalaugar and Bláhnukúr
Walk 16 Hvanngilshauser and Tangafoss
Walk 17 Þórsmörk and Valahnúkur
Walk 18 Fljótsdalur and Þórólfsfell
Walk 19 Vestmannaeyjar – Heimaey
Trek 2 Hellismannaleið, Laugavegur and Skógar Trail
Stage 1 Hellismannaleið – Rjúpnavellir to Áfangagil
Stage 2 Hellismannaleið – Áfangagil to Landmannahellir
Stage 3 Hellismannaleið – Landmannahellir to Landmannalaugar
Stage 4 Laugavegur – Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker
Stage 5 Laugavegur – Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn
Stage 6 Laugavegur – Álftavatn to Botnar/Emstrur
Stage 7 Laugavegur – Botnar/Emstrur to Þórsmörk
Stage 8 Skógar Trail – Þórsmörk to Fimmvörðuháls
Stage 9 Skógar Trail – Fimmvörðuháls to Skógar
3 Skaftafell and Vatnajökull
Walk 20 Sandfell and Hvannadalshnúkur
Walk 21 Svinafellsjökull and Hrútsfjall
Walk 22 Skaftafell and Kristínartindar
Walk 23 Skaftafell and Svartifoss
Walk 24 Skaftafell and Morsárdalur
Walk 25 Jökulsárlón – Glacier Lagoon
4 Snæfell and Lónsöræfi
Walk 26 Snæfellsskáli and Snæfell
Trek 3 The Lónsöræfi Trail
Stage 1 Bjálafell to Geldingafellsskáli
Stage 2 Geldingafellsskáli to Egilssel
Stage 3 Egilssel to Múlaskáli
Stage 4 Múlaskáli to Stafafell
5 Egilsstaðir and the Eastfjords
Walk 27 Egilsstaðir and Fardagafoss
Walk 28 Neðri-Stafur and Seyðisfjörður
Walk 29 Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss
Walk 30 Hallormsstaðaskógur
Walk 31 Vatnsskarð and Stórurð
Trek 4 The Víknaslóðir
Stage 1 Seyðisfjörður to Loðmundarfjörður
Stage 2 Loðmundarfjörður to Húsavík
Stage 3 Húsavík to Breiðavík
Stage 4 Breiðavík to Borgarfjörður
6 Jökulsárgljúfur
Walk 32 Ásbyrgi and Áshöfði
Walk 33 Svinadalur and Rauðhólar
Walk 34 Selfoss and Dettifoss
Trek 5 The Jökulsárhlaup
Stage 1 Dettifoss to Vesturdalur
Stage 2 Vesturdalur to Ásbyrgi
7 Akureyri and Eyjafjörður
Walk 35 Akureyri and Súlur
Walk 36 Eyjafjörður and Hrísey
Walk 37 Grímsey
8 Kverkfjöll and Askja
Walk 38 Kverkfjöll and Hveradalur
Walk 39 Herðubreiðarlindir
Trek 6 The Askja Trail
Stage 1 Herðubreiðarlindir to Bræðrafell
Stage 2 Bræðrafell to Drekagil
Stage 3 Drekagil to Dyngjufell
Stage 4 Dyngjufell to Botni
Stage 5 Botni to Svartárkot
Stage 6 Botni to Grænavatn
Trek 7 The Mývatn Trail
Stage 1 Dimmuborgir to Reykjahlið
Stage 2 Reykjahlið to Víti
Stage 3 Víti to Reykjahlið
9 Sprengisandur and Kjölur
Walk 40 Nýidalur and Kaldagil
Walk 41 Nýidalur and Sprengisandur
Trek 8 The Kjölur Trails
Stage 1 Kerlingarfjöll Circuit – Ásgarður to Klakkur
Stage 2 Kerlingarfjöll Circuit – Klakkur to Ásgarður
Stage 3 Ásgarður to Gíslaskáli
Stage 4 Gíslaskáli to Hveravellir
Stage 5 Kjalvegur – Hveravellir to Þjófadalir
Stage 6 Kjalvegur – Þjófadalir to Þverbrekknamúli
Stage 7 Kjalvegur – Þverbrekknamúli to Arbuðir or Hvítárnes
10 Hornstrandir Peninsula
Trek 9 The Hornstrandir Trail
Stage 1 Hesteyri to Hlöðuvík
Stage 2 Hlöðuvik to Hornvík
Stage 3 Hornvík and Horn
Stage 4 Kjaransvík to Látravík
Stage 5 Látravík to Hesteyri
11 The Westfjords
Walk 42 Hnífsdalur, Bolungarvík and Ísafjörður
Walk 43 Suðureyri to Flateyri
Walk 44 Þingeyri and Kaldbakur
Walk 45 Helluskarð and Lómfell
Walk 46 Foss to Krossholt
Walk 47 Brunnaverstöð and Látrabjarg
Walk 48 Brjánslækur and Surtarbrandsgil
Walk 49 Flatey and Breiðafjörður
12 Snæfellsjökull and Snaefellsnes
Trek 10 The Snæfellsjökull and Snaefellsnes Trail
Stage 1 Snæfellsjökull – Ólafsvík to Arnarstapi
Stage 2> Snæfellsnes – Arnarstapi to Djúpalónssandur
Stage 3 Snæfellsnes – Djúpalónssandur to Öndverðarnes
Stage 4 Snæfellsnes – Öndverðarnes to Hellissandur
Appendix A Route summary tables
Appendix B Glossary of place-name elements
Appendix C Further information
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