Best of Iceland's Highlands

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Highlands
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Highlands Essentials

Volcanic Landscapes of Landmannalaugar in the Iceland Highlands
Iceland’s Highlands: The Ultimate Guide to Getting off the Beaten Path

Iceland’s interior is by far its most rugged area. The terrain can be tough, and the F-roads are only accessible by jeeps with 4WD (in Winter, only by modified “super jeeps”). But the increased difficulty level means you will have the place to yourself, as few tourists reach the highlands.

The colorful volcanic mountains at Landmannalaugar.
Map of Hiking in the Highlands: Iceland's Volcanic Trails
Hiking in the Highlands: Iceland's Volcanic Trails

Get off the beaten track and discover Iceland’s otherworldly volcanic landscape on a multi-day hike in the country’s less traveled Highlands region. Choose one of these 3 trekking itineraries and experience everything the storied Volcanic Trails have to offer: lava fields, mountains, and so much more.

Explore the colorful hills of Landmannalaugar
Map of Guide to Landmannalaugar: Where to Hike, Stay, and Play
Guide to Landmannalaugar: Where to Hike, Stay, and Play

Landmannalaugar is a geothermal wonderland in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, home to lava fields, hot pools, and steam puffs that rise from the earth. Hike among vibrantly hued mountains and explore highlands dotted with glaciers, black sand beaches, geysers, and waterfalls. Stunning and remote, this area is a perfect representation of all the Icelandic landscape has to offer.

Geothermal vents in the highlands
Map of Guide to Thorsmork - "Thor's Valley", Home to Some of Iceland's Most Striking Landscapes
Guide to Thorsmork - "Thor's Valley", Home to Some of Iceland's Most Striking Landscapes

Thorsmork is a mountain range nestled between major glaciers Tindfjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. The ridge, named “Thor’s Valley” in Icelandic, is a dramatic landscape of towering peaks, glacier rivers, and black deserts. Craggy mountains and ice-topped peaks slope down to lush birch forests and mossy gulches. Luckily for visitors, it’s also home to some Iceland’s most beautiful hiking routes.

Highlands Itineraries

Taking in the view above Slyppugil
Map of Hiking Thorsmork - Day Tour
Hiking Thorsmork - Day Tour

From striking glacial formations to richly green valleys, Thorsmork offers some of the best views in all of Iceland. On this convenient day trip, you'll get the chance to hike in some of the region's most-visited — and most beautiful — nature reserves.

Sunset in camp near Alftavatn Lake
Map of Trekking Off the Beaten Path in the Icelandic Highlands – 7 Days
Trekking Off the Beaten Path in the Icelandic Highlands – 7 Days

The Icelandic Highlands are home to some of the most spectacular scenery and breathtaking landscapes on the planet. Trek the famous Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails, camp in the Valley of Thor, and walk through volcanic valleys and canyons on this epic week-long adventure.

Amazing colors in Landmannalaugar, Iceland
Landmannalaugar - Day Tour

Landmannalaugar is an otherworldly, sprawling landscape of lava fields, geothermal pools, steaming hot springs, volcanoes, and multi-colored mountains. In other words, an exquisite setting for a day trip. This tour offers an excellent introduction to Landmannalaugar and the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in Iceland's remote Central Highlands. Go off the beaten path and spend the day exploring and hiking around the area.

Þórsmörk
Map of Hiking in Thorsmork - 2 Days
Hiking in Thorsmork - 2 Days

Explore Thorsmork, the valley of the mighty Thor. Cross rugged terrain in a Super Jeep and hike in the remote wilderness of southern Iceland on this 2-day itinerary. Discover ice-capped volcanoes, deep canyons, and stunning black sand beaches — all while breathing in the fresh mountain air on this adventure tour.

Thor and Odinn crossing Krossá river
Map of Thorsmork Super Jeep Adventure  - Day Tour
Thorsmork Super Jeep Adventure - Day Tour

Drive through rivers, canyons, and highlands to explore one of Iceland's most iconic natural destinations. From imposing glaciers to lush hills, Thorsmork's varied landscape is a sight to behold, and this day-long tour will give you the full experience.

Explore Iceland's Remote Highlands
Map of Volcanic Trails: The Backroad to Landmannalaugar - 3 Days
Volcanic Trails: The Backroad to Landmannalaugar - 3 Days

From brightly colored rhyolite mountains in shades of red, pink, green, and gold to vast 500-year-old lava fields, this three-day trek will take you through the unique, exquisite landscape of Landmannalaugar. Experience unexpected views full of steaming hot springs, boiling mud pools, and raven-black fields of lava.

Get lost In Thorsmork
Hiking Þórsmörk, Fimmvörðuháls &  Þríhyrningur - 3 Days

Follow the Þórsmörk, Fimmvörðuháls, and Þríhyrningur hiking and biking routes through stunning valleys, along exposed ridges, and across gravelly rivers. Trek next to the powerful Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which caused international air traffic mayhem when it erupted in 2010. Visit the isolated Troll Church, a speck of white architecture in a landscape of fire and ice. These day hikes are designed to take you through incredible scenery and give you a varied experience of Iceland's dramatic landscape.

Lake Álftavatn at sunrise
Map of Hiking in Iceland's Highlands: Laugavegur Trek - 7 Days
Hiking in Iceland's Highlands: Laugavegur Trek - 7 Days

Embark on the famed Laugavegur Trail on this seven-day Icelandic trek. Journey through active, geothermal lava fields, the Rhyolite Mountains, and snow-covered passes. Cross through a black-sand desert and land in a native forest. Learn about wild and rare plants and animals, and soak in the hot springs along the way. This scenic-yet-basic camping trek allows you to maximize your time in this unique destination. You can choose to travel with just a day pack (luggage storage can be arranged), and you can opt for a guided or self-guided tour, depending on preference.

Landmannalaugar
Map of The Laugavegur Trek - 8 Days
The Laugavegur Trek - 8 Days

Discover Iceland's famous Laugavegur Trail on this eight-day adventure. Journey through an active geothermal world of lava fields, the Rhyolite Mountains, and snow-covered passes. Cross through a black-sand desert and reach the enchanting, native forestry. Enjoy the wild and rare flora and fauna, typical Icelandic food, and hot springs. This back-to-basics camping trek follows a rhythm designed to maximize your connection to—and enjoyment of—this unique environment. Available as a guided or self-guided tour, luggage transport can be arranged if you prefer to trek with just a day pack.

Silfra Fissure at Þingvellir National Park
Map of South Coast & Laugavegur Trek - 10 Days
South Coast & Laugavegur Trek - 10 Days

Discover two sides of Iceland on this 10-day trip. Begin in the Golden Circle, home to Þingvellir National Park, where the tectonic plates meet and go snorkeling in a fissure. Then, explore the waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and cliffs along the South Coast, followed by a day surrounded by stunning glaciers. Next, visit a few notable sites on the way back to Reykjavik, before hopping a bus to embark on the Laugavegur Trek for the next few days. Hike around the landscapes rich with volcanoes, mountains, scenic lakes, and deserts before reaching the iconic Thorsmork Valley. Return to the capital for one last night, and soak in the Blue Lagoon before departure.

Reynisfjara Beach, along Iceland's South Coast
Map of Iceland Highlights: South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 7 Days
Iceland Highlights: South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 7 Days

Visit several scenic areas on this weeklong trip to Iceland. Encounter stunning waterfalls, geothermal areas, black-sand beaches, glaciers and more in the Golden Circle and South Coast. Venture to local gem, the Westman Islands, to enjoy the historic beach tours (there’s an active puffin colony in the summer months). Then, embark on an incredible hiking journey through the valleys and peaks of Thorsmork, before returning to Reykjavik for some enjoyment in the capital city.

Þingvellir National Park
Map of Golden Circle, South Coast, & Thorsmork - 5 Days
Golden Circle, South Coast, & Thorsmork - 5 Days

This fast-paced Icelandic trip spans three regions—the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Thorsmork—and offers plenty to see over the course of five days. Explore Þingvellir National Park and snorkel in the Silfra Fissure in the Golden Circle. Then, view beautiful waterfalls, like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, along with black-sand beaches in the South Coast. Next, take a bus to Thorsmork to embark on a day of hiking trails through the valley, and end in Reykjavik to discover the best of the capital city.

Thorsmork Valley
Map of Self-Drive Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Westman Islands, Thorsmork, & More - 9 Days
Self-Drive Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Westman Islands, Thorsmork, & More - 9 Days

In nine days, enjoy Iceland's best waterfalls, black-sand beaches, cliffs, fishing towns, and hiking in the highlands, along with a trip to a locals’ island hideaway. The itinerary includes minimal driving, scenic trails, and a nice balance of popular sights—like the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Thorsmork—and lesser-known gems—including the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westman Islands. Explore several glaciers, soak in hot springs and warm lagoons, enjoy the highlights of the capital city, and more.

Skogafoss
Map of Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 10 Days
Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 10 Days

In 10 days, discover the highlights of five areas in Iceland. Prepare for minimal driving, thanks to the close proximity of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a ferry trip to the beautiful islands, and on-foot exploration in Thorsmork. Embark on a number of great hikes—from breathtaking coasts and cliffs to lava fields, and through lush valleys and scenic glaciers. This trip is a great way to balance out visiting popular areas (including the Golden Circle) with lesser-known destinations (like the Westman Islands).

Hiking near three of Iceland's biggest glaciers
Map of Iceland Remote Hiking Adventure - 10 Days
Iceland Remote Hiking Adventure - 10 Days

This active 10-day itinerary highlights two major hiking areas in Iceland: the southern highlands and the Westfjords. Start off with a bus trip to Thorsmork for a plethora of trails overlooking moss-covered mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, and glaciers. Next, you'll fly to Isafjordur—a great base for activities in Hornstrandir, accessible only by boat and trail, where you'll take a 3-day trek with a local guide. Return to Reykjavik for a night on the town and a chance to soak your muscles in the Blue Lagoon.