If you are looking for an amazing mountain to hike in Iceland, then you cannot miss Hólmatindur, in the east region of the country.
It was one of the best hikes of my life and even one of the hardest. Why? For two reasons:
- First, there are no hiking trails! You can maybe find some but they won’t bring you up to the top of the mountain. They will start and stop after some meters maybe in front of a wall of stones and that’s when you will have to start inventing your own path.
- Second, the ground is very crumbly and full of hidden traps like holes and stones. It’s easy to trip on them or to put the foot in the wrong place and easily fall down.
Moreover it is not only about walking but climbing also. We had to climb on short walls like two times. It was fun but very dangerous at the same time because the walls were made of unstable rocks that had previously fell down.
Last thing you should know about the ground is that is pretty slippery and in some areas covered by moss and wet grass like the one that you can see in the picture below (and if you find a carpet like this just lie down on it! 🙂 )
The reason why the ground is wet in some areas is for the presence of little watercourses and small waterfalls. The good is that you don’t have to worry about getting thirsty because you will have various occasions to refill your flask during the hike. The water in Iceland is very pure and you can drink it directly from the rivers without worrying about anything!
Besides this, I must tell you that it was totally worth it! Really! Just look at the view! Even before reaching the top it was just unbelievable!
We reached it after five hours , despite we were a group of 13 people and we stopped a lot of times to take little rests and wait for the slows 😀 .
If you want to try hiking Holmatungur I will suggest you to start early in the morning in order to have the entire day to reach the top . The weather in Iceland can change very quickly. It could be sunny and after only some minutes could be rainy that’s why it would be better to have as much time as possible. Try always to check the weather before starting. Never do it when there is a high probably that it starts raining. And if it starts raining and you weren’t expecting it, then stop somewhere and wait for it to end. The rain is the worst enemy in a place like that.
Fortunately we were very lucky: it was 20°C and sunny the entire day. We started walking at 11 am and we reached the top at 4 pm more or less. The mountain is 985 meters high so yeah, we did it very slow BUT (!) we were very careful 😀 which is the most important thing.
Once on the top of Holmatungur we found a pyramid of rocks. One thing you gotta know is that there is one of it in almost every mountain in Iceland in which you can find a box with a stamp and a little notebook. On it you can write down what you want, your name, your feeling and use the stamp to collect it on your diary or just on your face like I did! 😀
Before leaving the top don’t miss the best part of the journey: the window on the beautiful gulf of Eskifjörður!
Just follow the East and you will find it. For some minutes more you won’t feel your stomach begging for food! 🙂
Last thing to say is that in Iceland you can go camping everywhere and Holmatungur has a great huge area just 30 minutes before reaching the top that can keep you out of the wind. So if you love camping that’s an amazing place to do it and see the northern lights in the nights 😉 !
That’s all! I put some pictures more here below and if you have any question just leave me a comment 🙂 .