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Hiking in Arnarstapi

Region: West Iceland
Coordinates: 64.7702031° N 23.6211189° W
Hiking time: Various
Difficulty: moderate
Length: Various km
Elevation: Various m
Highest Point: Various m


The main hiking routes in the Nature Reserves are marked. Organized walking tours under the guidance of a warden are on offer during summer.

Budir – Arnarstapi

It is possible to walk from the Budir Nature Reserve to the beach at Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Hikers should assume 6-8 hours for this walk.

Arnarstapi – Cliff Solvahamar

An old route lies along the Solvahamar cliff to the foot of the glacier, the site of the Solvhamar ruins, which are protected by the National Museum of Iceland. A walk from Arnarstapi to Solvahamar takes less than an hour and is never a disappointment.

Arnarstapi – Hellnar

The lava field between Arnarstapi and Hellnar, all the way from the sea up to the glacier, is called Hellnahraun. A trail called Nedstavatn lies across the lava along the beach. From the clear path it is amazing to watch the never-ending sculptures of nature and strange landscapes. This walk takes a good hour.

Just above Hellnar is lake Bardarlaug, an explosive crater from the close of the last glacial epoch. The crater was protected as a national treasure in 1980.

East of lake Bardarlaug are the ruins of the ancient Laugarbrekka, a former parliamentary site. Gudrun Thorbjarnardottir, one of the most widely travelled women of her time, was born here (the earlier Saga Period).

West of the Hnausahraun lava field the Raudfeldsgja ravine cuts into the east side of Mt. Botnsfjall. The river Sleggjubeina runs along the bottom of the ravine. There is a short walk from the road to the ravine.

Photo Credit: Visit West Iceland

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