Reykjanes Peninsula is located in South-West Iceland. It’s mainly known for the international airport and world-famous wellness resort – Blue Lagoon. It’s often neglected as tourist rush straight to Reykjavik after their landing; even the locals admit their only reason to go to Reykjanes is to catch the plane. And it’s such a shame! Most of the wonders and characteristic were described in our previous blog, so we encourage you to visit it if you’ll looking for something more than just hiking trails in the area. This time, we’re going to take you slightly deeper into this extremely active part of Iceland, which has recently gained some fame thanks to the earthquake that shook up the whole metropolitan area. Learn about the walking paths that definitely draw a more authentic and deep experience than just driving around the peninsula with a car (it’s still fun though!).
There’s actually not that much information on the internet regarding hiking possibilities in the Reykjanes area. The map above pictures them perfectly though! If you click here, you’ll be able to see it in full resolution with perfectly marked trails. They’re titled with particular names and their length and walk times of each of them are clearly marked below the map. But why hike Reykjanes after all? Well, it’s definitely not the first choice for most of the tourists as they’re tempted with the rainbow-like mountains in Landmannalaugar or the lush moss covering the beautiful Þórsmörk valley. And it’s not possible to blame them! As said earlier, there’s not much information covering the trekking possibilities of the Reykjanes area. But it’s such a spectacular place! It’s almost everything that you’ll see across Iceland: vast lava fields, astonishing mountains, dramatic cliffs and restless ocean, unique black sand beaches, charming little towns, countless volcanic craters and what’s the most special: constantly fuming, raw evidence of endless volcanic and geothermal activity going on under the ground – hot springs, mud pools and other signs that the underground never sleeps. One of the best ways to find a hike that might interest you is to download an Icelandic app called Wapp – it’s available both on Android and iOS. Some of the trails’ maps are not available for free but the prices are so low, it barely makes a difference for you and it still supports the local creators. They’re beautifully described; they include not only interesting facts but also practical information, like whether you need to bring extra equipment during winter or not. The app covers the island and it’s an undeniable staple on your next trip to Iceland! Another great option is AllTrails, which was mentioned multiple times in our blogs. There’s not much recorded trails on the app in the Reykjanes area, however you can easily follow in-build Source: visitreykjanes.is paths that are clearly marked on an interactive map. So since now you’ll always know if you lose the trail and if so, you’ll know how to get back on track! So since we’ve covered the practical info about where to source important information, where to find perfectly marked trails and detailed information about them, let’s dive right into the actual places of interest that are so worth the effort! 🙂
Volcanic mountain that rises 243m above sea level. Placed not far away from Grindavík, it’s visible from Blue Lagoon. Its name is till today a male name. The mountain was called like this thanks to a certain young man who sneakily decided to join a group of bandits who were terrorizing nearby farms in order to uncover their plans. He discovered the place they were hiding and it resulted in hanging the criminals. Up to this day, there’s a small canyon pithing the mountain which is called Þjófagjá – roughly translates to Thieves’ Canyon. From the hikers point of view, it’s a gorgeous place with a breathtaking view from the top over the town of Grindavík and seashore. On the northern slope there’s forestry and a recreational area called Selskógur. In January 2020 the mountain gained quite a lot of attention due to an unexpected occurrence – some of the surface rose up to 12 centimeters, which is a strangely significant amount. The reason standing behind it is an accumulation of magma underneath.
Trölladyngja and Grænadyngja
Commonly called as „The Sisters” dwarf mountains, placed not far away from the Sogin geosite. They’re both located on a geothermal active area now but it wasn’t so obvious until 1975. They’re said to be quite forgiving for even inexperienced hikers. At the top you’ll get a stunning view over the nearby natural wonders. The valley between the mountains is a picturesque place, so maker sure to include it in your itinerary.
Often referred to as small Landmannalugar with one exception – it takes only half an hour to get there from Reykjavik. The area is known of high geothermal activity therefore the mountains are like a rainbow – made of various kinds of rock. There are not much visible hot springs on the surface but here and there it’s possible to spot some bubbling clay. It’s definitely a location harder to reach!
View this post on Instagram
Did you know that Reykjanes has multiple colorful geothermal areas? One of the most beautiful areas is Sogin, but it’s the hardest to reach. You will need a well equipped SUV as the road is very rough. Sogin is part of Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark because of its geological heritage. You can find more info about the road and the location of Sogin on our website, link in our bio 🌋
It’s one of those places in Iceland where you fell like it’s a completely other planet. It’s a row of craters that formed in the 13th century during an event called Reykjanes Fires. The row of craters stretches up to 10km and some of them are still pretty warm with steam evaporating from the ground. The area provides hot water to the nearby Blue Lagoon resort and geothermal power plant Svartsengi. It’s said that the housewives of Grindavik used to take advantage of it to bake bread, hence that’s why the trail leading to the lava field is called Brauðstígur – the Bread Trail.
Spákonuvatn, Grænavatn og Djúpavatn
Very pretty three lakes that are located in a unique place – at the top of a mountain range. Djúpavatn is a partly crater lake, Spákonuvatn a full crater lake but all of them contain groundwater. It’s a gorgeous place to visit, especially if you plan a longer hike – there’s a lot of other landmarks nearby so you definitely won’t get bored.
View this post on Instagram
Djúpavatn, or “Deep Lake” is a beautiful crater lake located west of Sveifluháls ridge on Reykjanes Peninsula. If you hike up the ridge on the left side of the image, you will get a stunning 360° view over Reykjanes. If the visibility is good, you will be able to see Reykjanesbær and the capital of Iceland, Reykjavík 🏙 • Can you spot the house? 🏠🔍
It’s a geothermal area named after the angry ghost called Guðrún, which supposedly came back after her death to deal with her unfinished business, aka killing her enemies. The lively place is full of fumaroles, steam vents, and mud pools, which happen to be the biggest in Iceland! Don’t forget to be cautious though, the paths may be designated, but it doesn’t mean they control the warm steam and boiling mud that’s being shot in the air. In 2014 the activity increased distinctively which resulted in destroying one of the ramps. There are currently two safe ramps from which you can admire the view over the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.
What seems like an innocent hill, it really is a hidden gem. It’s basically broken apart and you can gladly walk between the two rocks through a very narrow gorge. It’s 150m long, 50m deep but only 3 to 6m wide, with pillow lava walls. It really is a unique experience to add to you hiking itinerary.
View this post on Instagram
Enter the unknown. Lambafells ravine is amazing . . #icelans #hiking #hikingadventures #ravine #split #splitmountain #lambafellsgjá #reykjanes #reykjanespeninsula #stefaningvarphotography #travel #traveldestination #destination #destinationiceland #guide #hikingguide #mountainguide
Whereas there’s lots of options to choose from, sometimes it can be overwhelming to choose them on your own. Given the fact that it’s not such a popular area and the trails are mainly used by the locals, there’s always a slight fear of getting lost, not being prepared well enough or not selecting the sights that are worth your time the most. That’s why we would like to offer you an organized tour that you are more than welcome to join. The route we offer goes from the Reykjanes Lighthouse through Gunnuhver, Stóra-Sandvík black beach, following the Prestastígur trail up to Eldvörp, the series of craters. At the end we reach Þorbjörn and Blue Lagoon, when we can relax after a good few hours of trekking. The whole trip takes about 7 hours and is somewhere between 18-20km long. It’s not a challenging hike as most of the terrain is flat – there’s not a lot of climbing. Feel free to contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to provide you some more details!
View this post on Instagram
Looking over one of the hidden gems of the beautiful and underrated Reykjanes peninsula. I was very surprised when I realized how many epic hikes Reykjanes has to offer, so close to the city. In the coming weeks and months I'll be doing a lot of hiking around some lesser known mountains of the region. Stay tuned! @visitreykjanes . . . . . #thrainnko #thrainnkolbeinsson #djireykjavik #reykjanesgeopark #visitreykjanes #reykjanes #moreadventures #randomadventures #adventurespirit #mthrworld #minimalmag #minimal_mood #cpfeatureme #beyondthelands_ #folknature #dscvr_earth #icelandadventure #icelandroadtrip #traveliceland #ísland #guidetoiceland #discovericeland #adventureenthusiasts #adventureinspired #discovernature #inspiredbyiceland #roamearth #amongthewild #moodnation #mystopover