Iceland is dubbed the Land of Fire and Ice: a small country filled with volcanic activity and covered with glaciers. Between hiking, backpacking, riding, climbing, and scuba diving, there is no shortage of ways to explore the land.
But some ways are better than others—and these five are the very best.
1. Backpack the Lanugavegur Trek
Iceland’s most popular long walk is the Laugavegur Trek, which stretches 33 miles from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk. Along the route, hikers pass through snowfields, lush green mountains, and black sand desert. Hikers’ huts are available along the way, but hikers are still required to carry sturdy four-season tents.
This trek can be done without a guide, but we recommend the $795 five-day guided trek from our friends at Carpe Mundo.
2. Hike some more in Thórsmörk
Whether you get there via the Laugavegur Trek or by a tourist bus, you’ll want to carve out some time for this nature preserve’s spectacular day hikes. Though most hikes in this area can be done in just a few hours, we recommend spending a night or two in one of the area’s many campgrounds and huts.
Our favorite hike is the Tindfjöll Circle: a loop that takes you up Tindfjöll Mountain, along Stangarháls Ridge, down to the Krossá riverbed, and up and over the small Valahnúkur mountain. From the end point of the loop, you’ll find yourself mesmerized between the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier and the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. Wear proper foot wear, carry rain gear, and don’t forget your camera.