Hike through Iceland's unique, world-renowned backcountry from Vatnajökull National Park to the Eldgjá Canyon of Fire. Waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, deep blue lakes, craters, and lava formations abound on the route, so don't forget your camera — or your sense of wonder.

Highlights

  • Visit the Eldgjá Canyon of Fire
  • Trek in Iceland's stunning Vatnajökull National Park
  • Climb Explorer's Peak for sweeping vistas
  • Explore the eerie volcanic landscape of Skælingar

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Reykjavík – Sveinstindur, The Explorer’s Peak Sveinstindur
Day 2 Sveinstindur - Skaftá - Skælingar Skælingar
Day 3 Skælingar - Gjátindur - Eldgjá - Hólaskjól Hólaskjól
Day 4 Hólaskjól - Landmannalaugar - Reykjavík  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík – Sveinstindur, The Explorer’s Peak

Enjoy striking views of the mountains on your hike to Mt. Sveinstindur

From bustling, cosmopolitan Reykjavík, make your way to Mount Sveinstindur by Lake Langisjór — one of Iceland's most beautiful lakes. From here, put on your hiking boots and hit the trails, climbing the peak for panoramic views of the mountains and the Vatnajökull Glacier. Once you've had your fill of sweeping panoramas, descend to a rustic mountain hut on the other side of the pass. 

Hiking distance: 4 miles

Day 2: Sveinstindur - Skaftá - Skælingar

Don't forget your camera!

Walk along the edge of the Skaftá River, with its many rapids and waterfalls, as it leads you into the impressive Hvanngil Canyon — a landscape of black lava, green moss, and volcanic rock formations. Past the canyon, continue on into the ancient, magical lava forest of Skælingar before winding your way to the night's rustic mountain hut.

Hiking distance: 11 miles

Day 3: Skælingar - Gjátindur - Eldgjá - Hólaskjól

Take in views of unspoiled wilderness for miles around

On your third day in Iceland's wilderness, follow the trail to the famed Canyon of Fire (Eldgjá) — an impressive canyon in the center of a 25-mile fissure located under the extremely active Katla Volcano. The canyon is home to the beautiful Ófærufoss Waterfall. When you've had your fill of natural wonders for the day, continue on to your comfortable hut (with showers and modern plumbing) at Hólaskjól.

Hiking distance: 11 miles

Day 4: Hólaskjól - Landmannalaugar - Reykjavík

A lake near Landmannalaugar

Bid Iceland a fond farewell as you pack your gear and board the bus from Hólaskjól to Landmannalaugar for one last soak in the geothermal pools before you continue on to Reykjavík and home. 

Map

Map of Volcanic Trails: Explorer’s Peak to the Canyon of Fire - 4 Days
Map of Volcanic Trails: Explorer’s Peak to the Canyon of Fire - 4 Days