FATMAP by Strava

Hike the Rugged Mountains of Northern Iceland

Some of the wildest and most remote day hikes in Europe!

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Gvendarskál Photo: Sigríður Björnsdóttir


The small village of Skagafjörður isn't the sort of place you stumble across. It's not on Iceland's Highway 1 (which circles the entire country) and you have to make a conscious decision to visit. Even towns on Highway 1 can go hours without seeing a visitor, so towns like Skagafjörður are pretty peaceful! The village became even tougher to reach in 2018 when the regular flights to Skagafjörður from Reykjavík ceased.

For those who like their mountains quiet and wild, the above explanation of why Skagafjörður is so hard to reach should read like an explanation of why it's so appealing. You will have all of these hikes to yourself and at the end of each day you'll be able to sit in silence and enjoy the huge open spaces of northern Iceland. The hikes described in here are all pretty straightforward (albeit fairly long in a couple of cases) so this is a great area to explore for families.

Being out in the North Atlantic Ocean, a sunny climate is one thing for which Iceland is not known. The winters are frankly brutal and there are plenty of wet days in the summer. As such you'll need to factor in a few bad weather days when planning a hiking trip to Skagafjörður, but there's plenty to do on even the wettest days. Perhaps the most relaxing option is simply to sit inside with a good book and watch the clouds swirl around the fjords, but if you want to get out and about then boat tours to Drangey Island (a birdwatching paradise which is home to thousands of amazingly tame puffins) are popular, as are fishing trips. The area around Skagafjörður also contains a number of museums, exhibitions and traditional Icelandic villages, so there's plenty to explore. There are even several horse stables nearby so if you need a break from hiking you can saddle up and let a horse take the strain for a day or 2!

It's tough to get to, the weather is wild and there's no nightlife in sight, but if you want an unforgettable ambience, untamed mountains and deep blue fjords, look no further.

Routes included