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Frequently Asked Questions

About Mountain Tours in Iceland

One of Iceland's most distinguishing features is the country's ever-present mountain horizon, composed of snow-capped peaks, misty volcanoes and rugged ridges of cold, hard lava. Mountain tours are a selection of unforgettable adventures that take you on hikes, super jeep excursions and sightseeing trips to some of Iceland's most powerful and breathtaking regions.

1. What equipment do I need for mountain hiking?

Warm, waterproof and windproof clothing, and sturdy hiking boots that support the ankle. On snowy or icy peaks, you will need crampons, but your tour operators will provide them when they are needed.

2. What is the tallest mountain in Iceland?

Hvannadalshnúkur, on Vatnajökull glacier, is Iceland's tallest mountain at 2,110 metres (6,922 feet). Mt. Snæfell, in East Iceland, is the tallest freestanding mountain, at 1,833 metres (6,014 feet).

3. Why is Iceland so mountainous?

Iceland is divided by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates drift apart. This results in extreme volcanic activity that perpetually creates both the country and its mountains.

4. Where are the oldest mountains in Iceland?

The oldest mountains in Iceland are in the Westfjords; they are approximately 16 million years old.

5. Are all the mountains in Iceland volcanic?

All mountains in Iceland were originally created by volcanic activity, but many old volcanoes are now dormant or cold. None of the mountains in the Westfjords, for example, are volcanically active anymore.

6. What is the easiest mountain to climb for beginners?

Reasonably easy hiking trails lead to the top of Mt. Esja and many other mountains in the greater Reykjavík area. All mountain hiking excursions require a minimal level of fitness to be safely completed, but multiple super jeep and helicopter tours will take you to mountain summits without subjecting you to any strenuous activity.

7. Can you go rock climbing on Iceland’s mountains?

Experienced climbers can ascend some of Iceland’s rocky mountains, such as Mt. Kirkjufell.

8. What dangers are associated with the mountains of Iceland?

Most accidents happen due to a lack of experience and an overestimation of one’s abilities. Avalanches, caused by inclement weather, can also pose serious threats, so be sure to check the weather forecast and evaluate the risks before you depart.

9. Is it possible to ski on Iceland’s mountains?

Yes, the country's most popular ski resorts are Akureyri's Mt. Hlíðarfjall in North Iceland, and Bláfjöll mountains in the greater Reykjavík area.

10. Why aren't Iceland's mountains taller?

Although there are many mountains in Iceland, they do by no means reach the heights of their Alpine and Himalayan counterparts because here, the Earth's tectonic plates are drifting away from each other, but only when tectonic plates push together do truly titanic mountains form.

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