Thrilling 8-Hour Hike to Mount Esja and Hvalfjordur with Hvammsvik Hot Springs Bathing

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Tour starts
Reykjavík, Iceland
8 hours
All year
Minimum age


Visit one of Iceland’s most iconic mountains and a famous fjord in West Iceland on this thrilling hiking and geothermal bathing tour. This eight-hour adventure takes you to the foot of Mount Esja, where you can hike up the mountain before heading to the Hvammsvik hot springs and an Icelandic restaurant for a hearty meal.

The tour begins when a driver-guide picks you up from your Reykjavik accommodation in a comfortable vehicle. The guide is friendly and knowledgeable about Reykjavik and nearby areas, so don’t hesitate to ask questions along the way.

Mount Esja or Esjan is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from downtown Reykjavik. The drive to the mountain takes around 20 to 30 minutes. Upon reaching Mount Esja, you’ll see a hiking trail near the parking area.

Mount Esja’s highest peak measures 2,999 feet (914 meters) above sea level. Mount Esja is a volcanic range that started forming at the start of the last Ice Age.

Hiking up the mountain takes about 2.5 hours. It can take shorter or longer depending on pace and endurance. 

Furthermore, the hiking trails lead to separate summits: Pverfellshorn and Kerholakambur. The Pverfellshorn summit is around 2,560 feet (780 meters) tall, while the Kerholakambur summit is 2,790 feet (851 meters) high.

As you hike up the mountain, marvel at the majestic views and sweeping panoramas of the surrounding landscape. You’ll also witness the waters of Faxafloi Bay and the distant volcanic peaks of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Once you reach either summit, you’ll see Reykjavik’s skyline in all its glory.

After this, you'll stop at Thorufoss, a beautiful waterfall. Thorufoss waterfall measures 62 feet (18 meters) high and was used as a filming location for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The next stop is Hvalfjordur, an impressive fjord between Akranes and Mosfellsbaer in west Iceland. Though its name translates to "whale fjord," it is better known for its seabirds, seals, and beautiful wildflowers.

While in Hvalfjordur, enjoy the colorful fields, moss, and small forests featuring conifers and birchwood. Moreover, the guide will share stories about the history and folklore of Hvalfjordur.

Next, you’ll head to an unusual rock called Stedji. The Stedji rock measures almost 9.8 feet (3 meters) tall and resembles the shape of a goblet. 

It’s also believed to be the home of a hermit named Staupasteinn. The rock has been a protected national monument since 1974. 

Next, you’ll ease your tired legs and muscles by soaking in the Hvammsvik hot springs. Located 17.3 miles (28 kilometers) from Stedji, the hot springs feature eight naturally heated pools surrounded by rocks. 

This setup will give you a unique spa and bathing experience surrounded by nature’s beauty. Moreover, the Hvammsvik hot springs provide access to steam baths, hot outdoor showers, and even the sea.

After refreshing in the hot springs, you’ll cap off the trip by dining in a local restaurant. You’ll taste an energizing seafood soup with some of the finest local ingredients and fresh fish from the fjord. Additionally, you’ll get fluffy sourdough bread with sea salt and butter.

After eating, the guide will drive you back to your hotel in Reykjavik. You can take this time to enjoy the views or go over your photos on the comfortable ride.

Grab this chance to experience some of Iceland’s natural wonders while enjoying a filling Icelandic meal by booking this hiking and hot springs tour. Check availability now by choosing a date.  

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A friendly expert guide
A comfortable car
Entrance to Hvammsvik hot springs
Delicious Seafood soup with sourdough bread and seasalt butter (Vegan option available)
Towels and swimwear, though it's advisable to bring your own


Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity

What to bring

Clothes appropriate for the weather in Iceland
A pair of good hiking shoes for mount Esja
Three layers of clothing: An inner layer, a base layer, and a rain and windproof layer

Good to know

Hikers must be in reasonable physical form.

Guests at the Hvammsvik hot springs must be at least 12 years old. If between ages 12 and 18, an adult over 18 should accompany them.

The Hvammsvik hot springs have private stalls available.

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