Backpack Hut to Hut Between Icefields, Peaks and Fjords in Remote Eastern Iceland

Eastern Iceland, or Austerland, is bounded to the west by the stark, stunning volcanic highlands along the east flank of the massive Vatnajökull glacier, and to the east by the remote fjords, verdant hills and small picturesque villages of the country’s far-east seacoast. In between are peaks, glaciers, valleys of basalt columns, dramatic waterfalls, wild rivers, and miles of trails, some featuring cozy reservable huts and stunning remote scenery. Come and get way off the Ring Road in a part of Iceland that few people have experienced!

Trekkers in East Iceland can experience trails that can hit anyone’s highlight reel!  Walk the Víknaslóðir trails, sometimes also referred to as Trails of the Inlets - a network of well-marked routes along deserted islets and fjords between isolated villages and comfortable hiker huts.   Flanking the coast are mountains in all shapes and sizes and in colors from black sand beaches to fluorescent green of moss, to stark black basalt, to the pinkish orange mountain ridges. Abandoned houses and ruins of ancient farms leave their mark on the surroundings.  And then, perhaps at the other extreme, are the trails in the Lónsöræfi mountains east of the Vatnajökull glacier – the largest glacier in the country.  The area features deep, rugged canyons and a kaleidoscope of colors owing to the presence of rhyolite and other colorful rocks, as well as lush sheltered valleys with a good chance of spotting reindeer. Numerous hiking trails and simple huts make this area perfect for multi-day trekking off the beaten path.  In between are a myriad of day-hike and driving highlights including high waterfalls, hot springs and walk-up peaks.  It’s no surprise that many people in the know consider this part of Iceland a secret Paradise!

Getting there:

The main gateways to East Iceland are Egilsstadir to the east, with regular flights from Reykjavik’s domestic airport, and Hofn to the south, which also has periodic flights as well as public bus service to Reykjavik.  The Ring Road passes through both towns if you want to make this part of a driving trip.

  • Suitable Activities: Global Adventures, Backpacking, Day Hiking
  • Seasons: Year-round, May, June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
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