In the Shadow of Vatnajökull | Four-Day Hiking Tour in East Iceland

No credit card fees
No booking fees
4 days
Minimum age
16 years

Explore one of the most remote regions of Iceland on this four-day hiking tour through the Lónsöræfi Nature Reserve. Avid hikers who seek to escape the crowds should not hesitate to jump on this tour.

This trip starts at Egilsstaðir airport, whether you are reaching the east by plane or car. Once the group is gathered, you will head to the Eyjabakkar area, east of the stunning Mount Snæfell. You will follow the banks of the glacial river Jökulsá, through lush vegetation, surrounded by incredible peaks. From here, you head towards the mountain Geldingafell, to more rugged lands, shaped by the retreating Vatnajökull glacier, before turning into the first of the three mountain huts you will be resting in.

The next day will start with a hike of Geldingafell, for some spectacular views over this vast, otherworldly ice cap. You will be able to see a wealth of stunning glacial tongues and lagoons dotted with icebergs, which are sure to take your breath away. You will then walk along the edge of the valley Vesturdalur, before descending to a lake known for its excellent birdwatching, Kollumúlavatn; you will be sleeping in a serene location at the water’s edge.

You will walk around this lake on the third day, to formidable cliffs known as Tröllakrókar. Along these, you can expect to see fascinating rock formations, as well as beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

The black basalt surrounding you is dramatic and haunting but soon gives way to an explosion of colour as you move into a region of rhyolite mountains. The landscape is dyed with beautiful shades of purple, orange and pink, to the extent that it barely seems natural. You will marvel over this area until reaching the river Jökulsá í Lóni, where you will find your accommodation.

For your fourth and final day, you will cross the river to ascend the hill of Illikambur, for some spectacular, vividly colourful views of the area. Following that, you will follow the river to the old farmstead of Eskifell, where a bus will be waiting. You’ll hop aboard, for a beautiful drive back to the charming town of Höfn, no doubt filled with incredible memories.

Don’t miss your chance to explore one of Iceland’s most remote, unique and spectacular regions, ever in the shadow of the magnificent Vatnajökull glacier. Check availability by choosing a date.


Experienced and qualified guide
Mountain hut sleeping bag accommodation in dormitories
Transportation at the beginning and end of trek
Breakfast (3), Lunch (4), Dinner (3)
Transfer of luggage
Sleeping bag





Daily itinerary

Day 1
In the Shadow of Vatnajökull | Four-Day Hiking Tour in East Iceland - day 1

Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir, Egilsstaðir to Geldingafell

On day one, you will meet your group at Egilsstaðir airport. You can either drive yourself there or specify in booking that you require a flight, which will leave from Reykjavík Domestic Airport in the early morning.

Once the group is gathered, you will be driven to the Eyjabakkar area, besides Mount Snæfell, where the hike will begin. You will trek through a verdant region, surrounded by mountains, alongside the river Jökulsá. Besides the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull, you will reach Mount Geldingafell, where the landscape will become more barren and dramatic.

Your cabin awaits you here; before settling in for the night, however, have a look out for wild reindeer. This is one of the most reliable places in the country to spot them.

Day 2
In the Shadow of Vatnajökull | Four-Day Hiking Tour in East Iceland - day 2

Geldingafell to Egilssel

To begin day two, you will hike up Geldingafell. The view from up here, over Vatnajökull and its many glacial tongues and lagoons, is incredible.

You will then hike alongside the valley Vesturdalur, before descending to the lake Kollumúlavatn. This area is an excellent bird-watching location, as it is a prime breeding grounds for the elusive pintail. Even if you do not spot one, the air will be filled with their distinctive, flute-like whistles.

Besides the lake Kollumúlavatn, you will find your accommodation for the evening, in a hut called Egilssel.

Day 3
In the Shadow of Vatnajökull | Four-Day Hiking Tour in East Iceland - day 3

Egilssel to Múlaskáli

On day three, you will hike around the lake Kollumúlavatn, to the dark and daunting Tröllakrókar cliffs. Here, you can admire an unusual outcrop of black basalt columns, called Tröllakrókahnaus.

The black lava that surrounds you will soon change, as you enter a region of rhyolite mountains. The slopes of these peaks are vividly colourful; expect to find yourself surrounded by vibrant pinks, oranges and purples.

Your trek will take you down to the glacial river Jökulsá í Lóni, where your hut for the night is waiting for you.

Day 4
In the Shadow of Vatnajökull | Four-Day Hiking Tour in East Iceland - day 4

Múlaskáli to Eskifell

Your fourth and final day will start when you cross a footbridge over the river Jökulsá í Lóni to the hill of Illikambur. You will ascend this hill for some more incredible views across the Highlands.

After admiring the landscapes, you will return to the river, and continue hiking along it. Eventually, you will reach the old farmstead of Eskifell, where a bus will be waiting for you.

This bus will take you to Höfn, marking the end of an incredible tour.

What to bring

Sturdy Hiking Boots – waterproof with good ankle support.
Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
T-shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer).
Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell.
Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable, e.g. Gore-Tex or comparable.
Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory in Iceland, poncho is not useful because of wind.
Gloves – Wool or synthetic 2 pairs of different thickness.
Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs.
Warm hat – Wool or synthetic.
A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts. Please avoid bringing a suitcase!
Day backpack for extra clothes and lunch pack during the day. 25 – 40L (1500 – 2500 cu in)
River shoes – Walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job.
Liner for sleeping bag.
Power-bank / extra battery for your electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland so a pre charged power bank is a better option. Charging your electronics in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Having converters adapters for 220 V and/or USB will help.
Towel – light weight and packable.
Sunglasses & sun protection
Water container – thermos flask, water bottle 0.5 – 1L. or camelbak
Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut.
Casual clothes / change of clothes for wearing in the hut.
Personal first aid kit – including blister care.
Prescription medication and other personal health items.
Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc.
Walking pole(s).
Neoprene socks – highly recommended for river crossings.
Pocket knife.
Sun/rain hat or a cap. Shorts
Thermal mat (for lunch breaks).
Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down)
Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing.
Slippers for indoor use.
Pillow or pillow case (to wrap around your warm sweater or down jacket for a pillow)
Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits
Book - to read during the evenings.
Music - and head phones.
Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel
Cash – for the showers, a shower normally costs about 500 ISK.
Powder drink mix – Icelandic water is great – but you might like a bit of variety. Some also contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day.

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