Have questions? We're here.
The capital city of Reykjavik, Iceland

14 Extraordinary Hikes and Treks in Iceland - Unforgettable Outdoor Adventures

Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Iceland trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip

Top Things to Do in Iceland

Iceland, with its otherworldly landscapes and unique natural wonders, is a destination that promises unforgettable adventures for every traveler. From awe-inspiring glaciers and dramatic waterfalls to geothermal hot springs and the captivating Northern Lights, Iceland has something special for everyone. Let's explore the top things to do and see in this enchanting land of fire and ice.

Gullfoss waterfall during summer
Gullfoss waterfall during summer

Explore the Majestic Gullfoss Waterfall

The Gullfoss Waterfall, also known as the 'Golden Waterfall,' is a breathtaking natural wonder that cascades in two tiers into a deep canyon carved by the Hvítá River. The sheer power and beauty of this massive waterfall are awe-inspiring, making it one of Iceland's most iconic attractions. Visitors can witness rainbows forming in the mist on sunny days, adding to the enchantment of the experience.
Who it appeals to: Nature enthusiasts, photographers, and adventure seekers will find the Gullfoss Waterfall mesmerizing. The site is also suitable for families, but caution is advised with younger children due to its powerful and rugged terrain.
Insider Tips: Visit during the early morning or late evening to avoid the crowds and experience the waterfall in a more serene setting. Additionally, bring suitable waterproof clothing to protect against the mist and spray.
Practicalities: Gullfoss is easily accessible by car from Reykjavik, with a travel time of approximately 1.5 hours. The site is open year-round, and during winter, it offers a unique and dazzling icy landscape. The viewing platforms provide safe vantage points for incredible photo opportunities.

Incredible landscape with icebergs in Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. Vatnajokull National Park, southeast Iceland, Europ
Incredible landscape with icebergs in Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. Vatnajokull National Park, southeast Iceland, Europ

Discover the Natural Wonders of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a spellbinding natural masterpiece where massive icebergs break away from the Vatnajökull Glacier and drift serenely in a large glacial lake. The glistening blue ice formations against the backdrop of black sand beaches create a surreal and captivating scene that is truly unique to Iceland. Visitors can take boat tours that navigate among the icebergs, offering an up-close look at the otherworldly beauty of the lagoon.
Who it appeals to: Photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, and nature lovers will be enchanted by the ethereal beauty of Jökulsárlón. The site also offers family-friendly activities, such as boat tours, making it suitable for visitors of all ages.
Insider Tips: Opt for a boat tour to gain a deeper appreciation of the ice formations and potential wildlife sightings such as seals. Additionally, visiting during sunset or sunrise provides an extraordinary play of light and colors against the icy landscape.
Practicalities: Jökulsárlón is located in the southeastern part of Iceland, approximately a 5-hour drive from Reykjavik. It is recommended to allocate a full day for the excursion to fully immerse in the glacial wonders and the surrounding natural beauty.

Dynjandi Waterfall
Dynjandi Waterfall

Embark on a Journey to the Majestic Dynjandi Waterfall

Hidden in the remote Westfjords region of Iceland, the Dynjandi Waterfall, often referred to as 'Fjallfoss,' is a series of stunning cascades that collectively form an impressive natural spectacle. The main tier of the waterfall stands at approximately 100 meters in height, and the surrounding smaller falls add to the grandeur of the site, creating a mesmerizing display of nature's power and beauty.
Who it appeals to: Adventure seekers, hikers, and those seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences will relish the journey to Dynjandi. The site is suitable for visitors with a sense of adventure and a readiness to explore Iceland's more remote and less crowded attractions.
Insider Tips: Hike up to the top of the waterfall to witness the source of the cascades and to take in panoramic views of the surrounding fjord landscape. Additionally, bring sturdy footwear for the hike and be prepared for varying weather conditions.
Practicalities: Access to Dynjandi involves a scenic drive through the Westfjords, with the journey taking approximately 3.5 to 4 hours from Reykjavik. Due to its remote location, it's advisable to plan this excursion as a full-day adventure to fully appreciate the natural splendor and tranquility of the area.

The blue lagoon in Iceland
The blue lagoon in Iceland

Unwind in the Geothermal Paradise of the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a world-renowned geothermal spa nestled in a lava field, offering a rejuvenating and surreal experience set against a backdrop of otherworldly landscapes. The milky-blue waters, rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, are known for their skin-healing properties, making it a must-visit for relaxation and indulgence.
Who it appeals to: Wellness enthusiasts, couples seeking a romantic getaway, and those in search of leisurely experiences will find the Blue Lagoon to be a haven of relaxation. Families can also enjoy the lagoon, making it suitable for visitors of all ages.
Insider Tips: Pre-book tickets and consider opting for premium experiences that include added amenities and exclusive access areas. Arriving early in the morning or later in the evening can provide a more tranquil atmosphere amidst the soothing geothermal waters.
Practicalities: The Blue Lagoon is conveniently located near the Keflavik International Airport, making it an ideal stop either upon arrival or before departure. The site offers various entry packages, and visitors are encouraged to plan for at least half a day to fully unwind in its restorative waters.

Northern Lights light up the sky in South Iceland
Northern Lights light up the sky in South Iceland

Witness the Enchanting Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, paint the Icelandic skies with an ethereal dance of colorful lights during the winter months. This natural spectacle is a bucket-list experience for many travelers and offers a profound and awe-inspiring connection with the Earth's magnetic and cosmic forces.
Who it appeals to: Astronomy enthusiasts, romantics, and those seeking transformative experiences in nature will be mesmerized by the enchanting display of the Northern Lights. Families and children can also partake in this celestial marvel, making it a memorable experience for all.
Insider Tips: Consult with local guides or tour operators to determine optimal viewing conditions and find the best vantage points away from light pollution. Additionally, dress warmly and bring hot drinks and snacks for a cozy viewing experience.
Practicalities: Northern Lights tours are available throughout Iceland, and the best viewing opportunities occur during clear, dark nights. It's advisable to plan for flexible scheduling to account for varying weather and solar activity.


Hike the Spectacular Trails of Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar, nestled in the Icelandic highlands, is a trekker's paradise, offering a tapestry of vibrant rhyolite mountains, natural hot springs, and breathtaking hiking trails. The otherworldly landscapes provide a sense of exploration and adventure that is unparalleled, making it a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.
Who it appeals to: Hikers, outdoor adventurers, and nature lovers seeking rugged and untamed beauty will find Landmannalaugar to be an exhilarating destination. The site is suitable for experienced hikers and those with a high level of fitness due to the challenging terrain.
Insider Tips: Engage in a guided trek to gain insights into the geological formations and the unique flora and fauna of the region. Additionally, pack essential supplies, including water, snacks, and sturdy hiking gear, and always adhere to designated trails for safety.
Practicalities: Landmannalaugar is best accessed by a combination of driving and hiking, with the journey involving rough terrain. Due to its remote location and challenging trails, visitors are advised to allocate a full day or more for the excursion, ensuring ample time to savor its natural splendor.

glacier hike over Vatnajökull
glacier hike over Vatnajökull

Set Foot on the Majestic Vatnajökull Glacier

Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier, is a glacial expanse of pristine ice and snow covering an otherworldly realm in the southeast of Iceland. Guided glacier hikes offer travelers the opportunity to venture onto the glacier, exploring ice caves, crystal-blue crevasses, and surreal ice formations that showcase the dynamic forces of nature.
Who it appeals to: Adventure seekers, photography enthusiasts, and those with a deep appreciation for the wonders of the natural world will find the Vatnajökull Glacier to be a compelling and immersive experience. The site is suitable for visitors with a moderate level of fitness and a willingness to engage in outdoor exploration.
Insider Tips: Opt for a guided glacier hike led by experienced professionals to ensure safety and to gain insights into the glacial ecosystem. Dress in layers and wear appropriate footwear for traversing on the ice and snow.
Practicalities: Access to Vatnajökull involves guided tours that depart from nearby towns and visitor centers. Depending on the chosen tour, visitors should allocate a full day for the glacier experience, including travel and exploration time.

Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe
Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe

Experience the Raw Power of Dettifoss Waterfall

Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall by volume discharge, is a colossal natural spectacle that captivates visitors with its sheer force and unbridled power. The thundering cascades and the abyssal Jökulsárgljúfur canyon create an intense and primal experience, leaving an indelible impression of nature's overwhelming might.
Who it appeals to: Adrenaline seekers, geology enthusiasts, and those drawn to monumental natural phenomena will relish the awe-inspiring presence of Dettifoss. Families with older children can also appreciate this primal display, but caution is advised due to the rugged terrain.
Insider Tips: Explore both the eastern and western viewpoints of Dettifoss to gain different perspectives of its immensity and power. Additionally, don sturdy, waterproof footwear and be prepared for mist and spray emanating from the falls.
Practicalities: Dettifoss is accessible via a combination of driving and hiking, typically involving off-road paths that require appropriate vehicles. The site is open year-round, but weather conditions can impact access, so visitors should allocate sufficient time for the journey and exploration.

Strokkur Geyser bubbling up
Strokkur Geyser bubbling up

Behold the Unique Strokkur Geyser's Eruptions

The Strokkur Geyser, located in the geothermally active Haukadalur Valley, is a natural wonder that captivates onlookers with its regular and powerful eruptions, sending scalding jets of water and steam skyward. The geyser's displays occur approximately every 5-10 minutes, creating an enthralling spectacle that connects visitors to the Earth's fiery and dynamic elements.
Who it appeals to: Geology enthusiasts, families, and those fascinated by natural phenomena will appreciate the mesmerizing eruptions of the Strokkur Geyser. The site is also suitable for visitors of all ages, providing a captivating educational experience on geothermal forces.
Insider Tips: Position yourself upwind to avoid the spray and steam from the eruptions, allowing for clearer views and better photo opportunities. Additionally, combine the geyser visit with nearby natural attractions, such as the Gullfoss Waterfall.
Practicalities: Strokkur is located within the popular Golden Circle route, approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Reykjavik. The site receives a high volume of visitors, so planning for early or late visits can enhance the experience and minimize crowds.


Volcanic rock formations in Lake Myvatn
Volcanic rock formations in Lake Myvatn
Revel in the Serenity of Lake Myvatn and its Surroundings

Lake Myvatn, nestled in a geologically rich area in northern Iceland, is a tranquil oasis surrounded by otherworldly geological formations, volcanic craters, and bubbling mud cauldrons. The area offers a serene and contemplative escape, providing a profound connection to Iceland's raw and untamed natural landscapes.
Who it appeals to: Nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers, and visitors seeking tranquility and contemplation will be enamored by the serene beauty of Lake Myvatn. The area also offers family-friendly activities, such as birdwatching and easy hikes, making it suitable for visitors of all ages.
Insider Tips: Explore the pseudocraters surrounding the lake and visit the nearby natural baths and hot springs for a relaxing and therapeutic experience amidst the geothermal wonders. Additionally, take binoculars for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
Practicalities: Lake Myvatn is located in the northern part of Iceland, with a travel time of approximately 5-6 hours from Reykjavik. Visitors are encouraged to allocate a full day or more to savor the tranquility and explore the surrounding geological wonders, including Dimmuborgir and Hverir.

Hraunfossar's beauty in Icelandic winter
Hraunfossar's beauty in Icelandic winter

Marvel at the Whimsical Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls

Hraunfossar, or the 'Lava Falls,' is a series of cascading waterfalls that emerge from the Hallmundarhraun lava field, creating a unique and enchanting natural phenomenon. Nearby, Barnafoss, the 'Children's Falls,' presents a separate spellbinding cascade with its own folklore-rich narrative and intricate rock formations.
Who it appeals to: History enthusiasts, folklore aficionados, and those drawn to magical and mystical landscapes will find Hraunfossar and Barnafoss to be captivating and full of cultural significance. The site also offers family-friendly trails and gentle paths for all to enjoy.
Insider Tips: Gain insights into the folklore and legends surrounding Barnafoss and Hraunfossar, and consider combining the visit with nearby historical sites and nature trails for a more immersive experience. Warm and waterproof clothing is advisable due to the mist and spray near the falls.
Practicalities: Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are easily accessible by car from Reykjavik, with a travel time of approximately 1.5 hours. Visitors can allocate a half-day to explore both waterfalls and the surrounding picturesque landscapes, offering delightful photography opportunities.

Kirkjufell Mountain
Kirkjufell Mountain

Behold the Spectacular Kirkjufell Mountain and Waterfall

Kirkjufell, or the 'Church Mountain,' is a stunningly symmetrical peak that rises dramatically from the coastline, creating an iconic and photogenic landmark. Adjacent to the mountain, Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall adds to the allure with its cascading streams, providing a splendid juxtaposition of mountain and water that is a favorite subject of photographers.
Who it appeals to: Photographers, landscape enthusiasts, and those in search of iconic vistas will find the Kirkjufell Mountain and Waterfall to be a visual delight. The area offers family-friendly trails and easy access, making it suitable for visitors of all ages.
Insider Tips: Discover prime photography spots and vantage points around Kirkjufell Mountain and the nearby waterfall, taking into account different lighting conditions and compositions. Additionally, visit during the less crowded times of day for a more serene experience.
Practicalities: Kirkjufell is located in the western part of Iceland, approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Reykjavik. Visitors can allocate a half-day or more for the visit, including photography, leisurely walks, and immersing in the coastal scenery.

Historic town of Husavik on the North Coast
Historic town of Husavik on the North Coast

Experience Icelandic Whale Watching Adventures in Husavik

Husavik, often referred to as the 'Whale Watching Capital of Europe,' offers thrilling opportunities to witness majestic whales and other marine life in their natural habitat. The abundance of marine species, including humpback whales and minke whales, provides an unforgettable and educational adventure on the open seas.
Who it appeals to: Wildlife enthusiasts, families, and adventure seekers keen on marine conservation and ecological experiences will be enthralled by the whale watching adventures in Husavik. The activity is suitable for visitors of all ages, providing a hands-on educational encounter with marine wildlife.
Insider Tips: Consider choosing tours led by knowledgeable guides and naturalists who can provide insights into the wildlife and marine ecosystems. Additionally, bring motion sickness remedies if needed, and dress warmly for open-air excursions on the boat.
Practicalities: Husavik is located in the northern part of Iceland, approximately a 5-6 hour drive from Reykjavik. Whale watching tours are conducted seasonally, and visitors should allocate a half-day for the excursion, including travel, the boat tour, and potential exploration of Husavik's charming town.

Mountain hut on the Laugavegur trail
Mountain hut on the Laugavegur trail

Laugavegur Trail: Trekking Through Iceland's Breathtaking Landscapes

The Laugavegur Trail is a world-renowned trekking route that traverses diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes, including volcanic terrain, colorful rhyolite mountains, steaming geothermal areas, and expansive vistas that showcase Iceland's raw natural beauty. The trek offers a multi-day adventure through some of the most captivating and surreal scenery in the country.
Who it appeals to: Seasoned hikers, outdoor adventurers, and those seeking transformational experiences in the wilderness will find the Laugavegur Trail to be a physically and spiritually rewarding journey. The trail is suitable for physicallyit individuals who are comfortable with hiking long distances and camping in remote wilderness settings.
Insider Tips: Plan your trek carefully, taking into account factors such as weather conditions, daylight hours, and trail difficulty. Be sure to pack essential gear, including sturdy hiking boots, waterproof clothing, a reliable tent, and a warm sleeping bag. Bring a portable stove and ample food supplies, as well as a water filtration system for refilling bottles from streams along the trail.
Practicalities: The Laugavegur Trail typically takes four to five days to complete, covering approximately 55 kilometers (34 miles) from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk or Skógar. Hikers should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions, including rain, wind, and even snow, even during the summer months. Permits are not required for hiking the trail, but camping is only permitted in designated areas, and hikers are expected to practice Leave No Trace principles.

With its incomparable natural wonders, Iceland invites travelers to embark on a journey of discovery, from the powerful forces of its geothermal landscapes to the serene beauty of its unique attractions. Whatever your interests or travel preferences, Iceland's diverse array of experiences promises unforgettable adventures and cherished memories. Embrace the allure of Iceland and immerse yourself in the magic of this enchanting destination with Adventure Life.
Our expert trip planners are ready to assist you in crafting the perfect Icelandic getaway, customized to your preferences and needs. Whether you seek exhilarating outdoor pursuits, tranquil retreats, or immersive cultural explorations, your Icelandic adventure begins here. Discover the wonders of Iceland with local guides who speak English, ensuring a seamless and enriching travel experience every step of the way. Contact us today to start your journey into the heart of Iceland's natural splendor.

Want to Go?

Beautiful arctic landscape



Top Iceland Travel Destinations

Iceland Trips by Departure Date

Top Experiences in Iceland

Iceland Trips by Duration

Iceland Trips by Activity

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By