HIKING IN ICELAND
Iceland is the hiker's paradise. More than half of the country lies above 400 meters (1300 feet) and the landscape is extraordinarily diverse, with large areas covered with colorful mountains, lava fields, glaciers, hot springs, lakes, and black sands. The rugged nature has been shaped by the elements to form a majestic scenery unlike any other place in the world.
Hiking trails are as numerous as they are diverse, so trek overviews for the entire country are hard to come by. Individual trails can be examined in great detail at local tourist information centres around the country. Many mountain huts are also available for booking along known paths, allowing visitors to prolong their hikes and explore their destinations in greater detail.
During the summer months, hiking in the highlands of Iceland becomes a popular pastime. The Laugavegur trail, which runs between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk, is as popular a destination with locals as it is with foreign visitors, and remains one of the most extraordinary walking trails in the world. It offers a great variety of landscapes, mountains in various colors, hot springs and glaciers, rivers and lakes. The difficulty of the track depends largely on the weather conditions.
Limited accommodation is offered in six huts along the trail, subject to booking, and campsites around the trails. The roads in the highlands usually open from around mid-June or later depending on road and weather conditions and are open throughout September. The roads are only accessible with a 4x4 drive vehicles and there is a daily bus schedule into the area with various companies once the season starts. Camping in the wild is not allowed within nature reserves and not recommended in the surrounding area due to environmental reasons.
THE LAUGAVEGUR TRAIL IS ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY WALKING TRAILS IN THE WORLD.
Organized hiking tours are available for booking all around the country. Day or weekend tours are popular during wintertime, and longer tours are organized during summer. You can take an organized excursion or go hiking yourself. If you organize your trip independently, caution should be exercised at all times. Make sure you bring adequate clothing and provisions, and that someone knows where you are going. Visit www.safetravel.is for further safety information and to register your travel plan in case of an emergency.
The extreme dark of the Icelandic winter has a few perks. Between September and April, Iceland is treated to a magnificent natural display: the phenomenon of aurora borealis, named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas. This is what we commonly call the Northern Lights.
Travelling around Iceland on two wheels is both challenging and rewarding. There is no better way to experience the beauty of Iceland than from the saddle of your bicycle. Many bike enthusiasts come to Iceland to enjoy the Ring Road, the well-known highway number 1, that runs around the country. Others choose more difficult paths into the highlands.
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