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Matkaopas: Þakgilin kanjoni

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Þakgilin kanjoni

Thakgil, spelled "Þakgil" in Icelandic, is a canyon in South Iceland with campsites and hiking trails. 

Hiking and camping enthusiasts often visit Thakgil on self-drive tours and spend a night there by renting a cabin. Those who want to explore the area while stopping at other popular attractions near the Highlands may rent a car.

Thakgil's name derives from the words "Þak," meaning roof, and "gil," meaning canyon. Thakgil ("Roof Canyon") is characterized by enormous moss-covered rock walls that protect the entire area from strong winds and other elements.

Camping and Hiking at Thakgil

The weather at Thakgil canyon is often surprisingly pleasant, making this place a perfect spot for hiking and camping. The hiking routes and campgrounds are surrounded mainly by hills and mountains clad in vibrant green moss.

Camping enthusiasts may pitch up their tents or rent one of the rustic cabins at the foot of the canyon. Each cabin has two bunk beds, a kitchen with a stove, fridge, water closet, and running water, and can accommodate up to four persons. Campers may also use a naturally formed cave with a grill and fireplace as a dining room.

There are three main hiking routes in Thakgil. These are the Maelifell Trail (the Red Trail),  the Austurafretta Range Trail (the Yellow Trail), and the Remundargil Ravine Loop (the Purple Trail).

Austurafretta Range is the longest among the three trails, with a distance of 10.5 miles (17 kilometers). But all three will lead visitors to some of the most incredible scenery, like the Remundargilsfoss waterfall and a breathtaking 360-degree view of the glacier-covered Katla volcano.

When exploring the area, visitors should stay on the trails and not step on the moss because this beautiful luminous green flora took many years to grow. 

How to Get to Thakgil

Located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) northeast of the town of Vik, many consider Thakgil a hidden gem because it has managed to stay off the radar for so long. Compared to the many other hiking attractions in Iceland, Thakgil is less crowded, allowing visitors the freedom to explore the area as much as they want.

There is no direct public transportation leading to Thakgil. Visitors may take a bus from Reykjavik City or Selfoss to Vik, then organize a local trip to take them further inland. But the best way to reach Thakgil is by self-drive. 

Visitors coming from Reykjavik will have to drive about 112 miles (180 kilometers) on Ring Road to the town of Vik, then another 3 miles (5 kilometers) near Hotel Katla onto Road 214. This gravel road is a bit challenging, so drivers should be careful. It is also best to drive your own 4x4 car or rent one.

Other Popular Attractions Nearby

This beautiful haven is one of South Iceland's wondrous gems, situated near Myrdalsjokull glacier, where visitors can take part in many tours like this Epic 2.5 Hours Glacier Snowmobiling Tour.  Other nearby landmarks include the Remundargil canyon, Remundargilsfoss waterfallMyrdalssandur outwash plain, Hjorleifshofoi cave, and the world-famous Reynisfjara beach.


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