Icelandic nature is beautiful and going hiking is the best way to enjoy it. Luckily, you don’t have to travel far to be in the middle of nature. If you want to go hiking close to Reykjavík, there are a couple of magnificent mountains to choose from. In 2017, we wrote an article about hiking up Mt. Esjan, Mt. Helgafell and Mt. Keilir. Read that article to know more about hiking up these mountains. In this article, we will tell you more about hiking up three different mountains in the vicinity of Reykjavík – Úlfarsfell, Skálafell and Akrafjall.
Hiking up Úlfarsfell
Mt. Úlfarsfell is a small mountain located south of Mosfellsbær, one of Reykjavík’s neighbouring towns. The hike up Úlfarsfell is perfect for people who only have limited time but still want to spend time outdoors. There are different trails leading up to the top for hikers of different levels. The mountain is about 296m high, and most people take 1 to 1.5 hours for a round-trip. The view from the top over Mt. Esjan, Bláfjöll, Reykjanes, Reykjavík, Faxaflói bay and the glacier Snæfellsjökull is amazing!
How to get there – It’s easy to get to by car, located only 15km from downtown Reykjavík. Just follow Route 49 out of the city and follow it to get to road 1. Then turn onto Lambhagavegur and follow Route 430. You can also get there by bus. First you take bus 15 from Hlemmur to bus stop Ártún. Then you change to bus 57 at Ártún. Get off the bus at the Úlfarsá bus stop.
Hiking up Skálafell
Mt. Skálafell one of two ski slopes in the vicinity of Reykjavík. The other is the very popular Bláfjöll ski resort. Mt. Skálafell’s skiing season runs from January till April, and outside of the season, this is a very lovely hiking area. The view from the top of Mt. Skálafell is beautiful, as you can see Iceland´s largest lake, Þingvallavatn, and Þingvellir National Park. The highest peak is 774m high, and the mountain is quite easy to hike. A round-trip will take you about 3 to 4 hours.
How to get there – From Reykjavík, follow Route 49 out of the city, and follow Route 1 north. As soon as you have passed Mosfellsbær, you’ll come across a roundabout where you take the second exit. Drive straight for about 20km and then turn to the left on Skálafellsvegur, which leads you straight to the mountain. Driving from downtown Reykjavík to Mt. Skálafell takes about 40 minutes.
Hiking up Akrafjall
Mt. Akrafjall, a scenic mountain with two peaks, lies next to Akranes, a small port town north of Reykjavík with about 7 000 inhabitants. There is a hiking trail up Mt. Akrafjall that will take about 2 to 5 hours. The mountain has two main summits, with Berjadalur valley in between. The north summit Geirmundartindur (643m) is higher than the more popular south summit Háihnúkur (553m). There is a trail that connects the two summits along with other minor high points. This loop has an elevation of 600m and is about 10km long. Hiking on Mt. Akrafjall offers one of the best views in western Iceland, over fjords, mountains and the ocean. You also have a nice view over Akranes, and in the distance, you can even see Reykjavík. There are many more hiking options in the area for hikers of different levels.
How to get there – Mt. Akrafjall lies 40km from downtown Reykjavík, and driving there will take about 40 minutes. First, you drive east on Vesturlandsvegur (Route 41). Follow this road for 13.5km to get onto Route 1. Continue north for 14.5km on Route 1 to the tunnel Hvalfjarðargöng. Please note: it costs 1 000 ISK to go through it. Turn left when you leave the tunnel, onto Kalmansbraut (Route 51) and continue for another 2km around the south side of Akrafjall.