We are a small Icelandic family-run adventure company focusing on small group tours with a variety of activities in and around Iceland. Erla, the founder and owner of Fjallhalla Adventurers, lives in Reykholt and knows very well that she is lucky to be surrounded by the beauty of nature that the centuries of harsh weather and the active ground has shaped it to.
Off the beaten track tours with experienced passionate guides trying to make your memory of Iceland unforgettable. We love the outdoors just as much as you do. Hiking is our passion and we would love to show you our favourite spots! We are an adventure company focusing on small group tours with a variety of activities in and around Iceland. All the guides have been studying to become licensed hiking guides and have a minibus license.
My name is Erla Thordis, I am the CEO of Fjallhalla Adventurers. Hiking has always been an interest of mine, but what stopped me for so many years was maybe immaturity and insecurity. My mother then brought me with her on an adventure that was a game-changer. The project was called ‘52 Mountains in One Year’. Sounds extreme, doesn’t it? Needless to say, I got hooked!
It wasn’t all smooth sailing however, 8 out of these 12 months we had bad weather. In Iceland, this means rain and snow with the wind sometimes exceeding more than 35 m/s! We learned the hard way what real outdoor clothing was… NO COTTON!
No “waterproof” shell can hold intense 35 m/s wind and driving rain for many hours, this is just a fact. That is unless you are wearing an unbreathable raincoat that makes you just as wet on the inside as you are on the outside. What kept us alive was staying on the move, having enough to eat and drink, following a very experienced guide and most importantly, wearing Icelandic wool! Reaching the summit after going through such an ordeal is one of the most gratifying rewards you will ever get, even if it’s a touch foggy at the top!
It was only until after I started leading the outdoor club at the University of Iceland that I realized my true passion for the outdoors. It was something that I must admit I liked much more than studying! After a very fun trip hiking Hekla, an exchange student named Quinten Verdonck asked me where he could buy crampons. This one question made me very happy because he realized just how important it is to always have crampons in your backpack while hiking during the winter. This was only just the start of a great collaboration, from which he gave me the name Fjallhalla as a Christmas present.
So why the name Fjallhalla Adventurers?
In Icelandic: ‘fjall’ means mountain and ‘halla’ means elevation but is also a woman’s name. Halla and Fjalla-Eyvindur were outlaws and famous characters in Icelandic history that survived by living in the wilderness. Those characters were certainly an inspiration when deciding on a fitting name for the company. We wanted it to be different, but more authentic.
Quite simple really; we enjoy leading these trips and being in the untamed Icelandic wilds just as much as you do. We love our jobs. As the saying goes: do what you love, and love what you do!
Looking back on it now, I can definitely say that my time spent in the outdoor club was the launchpad for me to found Fjallhalla in 2014, obtain the minibus licence in 2015 and then finally claim the hiking guide license. After meeting my husband in November 2016, I decided to make the move to the countryside in March 2017. Since then I have asked him to join me on a hike every day! I consider myself so fortunate to live right at the doorstep of such incredible nature, something that only centuries of harsh weather and active ground could possibly create. It is the perfect location for an adventure company and I look forward to seeing my baby grow big.
This magical island and the great outdoors are some of my greatest passions. So to combine the two and be able to make a living from showing visitors the greatest of my country is truly a dream come true. I grew up in Sweden and always loved coming over here for summer vacations and for Christmas. I have been in this business since 2010 and have all the necessary qualifications for guided hiking tours as well as guided driving tours.
Ívar Sæland lives to be outside and catch the right moment on his camera. He has a great eye for nature and most of the photographs on this website are his.
Ívar is a local from Reykholt in Bláskógabyggð, and in 2011 he decided to let his dreams come true and go study photography at Medieskolerne Viborg.
Fjallhalla Adventurers recommends that all our hikers take the Icelandic Pledge before coming to Iceland. ‘The Icelandic Pledge’, is a unique ‘oath’ for tourists, agreeing to respect Iceland’s nature and to travel responsibly during their visit.
I pledge to be a responsible tourist
When I explore new places, I will leave them as I found them
I will take photos to dies for, without dying for them
I will follow the road into the unknown, but never venture off the road
And I will only park where I am supposed to
When I sleep out under the stars, I’ll stay within a campsite
And when nature calls, I won’t answer the call on nature
I will be prepared for all weathers, all possibilities and all adventures