For us outdoor enthusiasts autumn brings the chance of amazing hikes in a colorful environment with crispy clear air and snow covered mountain tops!
Best places for hiking in autumn
Some of the best places to go hiking in autumn are the Icelandic National Parks for example Þingvellir and Skaftafell with their extensive forests and shrubs. Þingvellir National Park is located close to the capital area and in September and August many residents from Reykjavík and the surrounding towns flock to Þingvellir to take a walk through the amazingly colored forest made up of birch, willow and alder. Bilberry, crowberry and blueberry shrubs throw inn vibrant shades of purple and red. An extensive net of hiking and bridle trails will take you to Skógarkot, an abandoned farm or along one of the mighty fissures that are caused by the diving plates as Þingvellir sits right on top of the Mid Atlantic ridge where the North American and Eurasion plates diverge.
Þingvellir Brown Trout
Lake Þingvallavatn is part of the National Park and in October another spectacular event draws many visitors to Þingvellir when large groups of huge Brown Trout leave the lake to swim up through the river Öxará. The clear and shallow water of the river and numerous bridges across make it easy to follow the trout as it wanders along from the lake. Some of these fish are up to 30 pounds and to see them close up in such beautiful surroundings is an incredible experience.
National Forests offer superb hiking
Another popular place for hiking are the National Forests, called Þjóðskógar, that are located almost all around Iceland. Most of them are easily accessible and they are open all year round. Many of them have a network of easy hikes from 30 minutes up to several hours. Often trails are marked and information signs about the different trees and shrubs can be found.
Some of the roughly 50 Icelandic National Forests can be easily reached from Reykjavík for a day´s hike such as Haukadalur Forest near the famous Geyser Strokkur and Þjórsárdalur Forest with its large plantations of spruce, larch and pine.
If you have a bit more time to spend, a weekend trip to Þórsmörk might be the perfect get away. The Þórsmörk Valley is sheltered in between three glaciers and offers some of the best hiking that is to be found in Iceland. Cozy mountain huts and even a Lava Spa with sauna and geothermal pool round up a perfect hiking weekend!
If you feel inspired by these pictures and would like to join us on our guided private small group hiking tours or our new Green Tourism Self drive Tour with easy hikes have a look and let us know! We are always happy to find or tailor the right tour for your wishes!
Text and photos by Meike Witt