Whether your visiting Reykjavík for the weekend or spending a month exploring every inch of Iceland you can find beautiful hikes! Make your own day tour from Reykjavík by bus or in a rental car and go hiking! In this blog I will cover three of my favorite hiking spots around Reykjavík and hopefully you will leave Iceland feeling the same about them! :) Enjoy!
I know people that hike up mount Esja every morning of the working week! And for good reason. It's a great exercise and is just a short drive from the city center. It will take you about 20 minutes to drive from the city center to Mount Esja since it's only about 20 kilometers. It is well marked and you will probably find it in the gps in your car. You can choose between different hiking trails once you're there depending on the time you have and your shape. Of course I recommend going up to the top to enjoy the view but remember that safety should always come first! The highest point on the most popular hiking trail is 780 meters above sea level.
This hike is even closer to Reykjavík city center. It will take you about 15 minutes to drive from the city center to your starting point. You can choose from different hiking paths up to the top but I'll tell you about the easiest one in my opinion. Simply drive like you are driving out of the city with your heading to Mosfellsbær. When you pass Bauhaus on your right and then Korputorg on your left take the first right turn out of the next roundabout. You can see this clearly on the picture below. Park your car in the parking lot in front of the forest. If you make it to the top the hike shouldn't take longer than 1,5 hours both ways. The highest point is 295 meters. Up there you will have great views of Reykjavík.
The reason I point out that it's in Hafnarfjörður is that you can actually hike another mountain close to Úlfarsfell that is also called Helgafell. To get to your starting point from the city center set your heading towards Keflavík (or Leifstöð airport). When you pass N1 gas station on your right in Hafnarfjörður (while driving through a roundabout) head straight out af the roundabout and take the first turn to the right to the road Kaldárselsvegur (it's up a hill). Simply follow that road all the way to the parking lot. The hike itself will take about 2 hours up and down if you walk slowly. Experienced hikers do it in less than an hour. The highest point is 338 meters above sea level.