Hike and Climb Three Peaks in Iceland

Three Peaks | Iceland
5.00
2 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go hiking and climbing in Iceland

  • Trip Highlight

    Climb three stunning peaks including an active volcano and a world-famous glacier

  • Trip Highlight

    Non-stop sightseeing under the 24-hour Midnight Sun

  • Trip Highlight

    Visit the Golden Circle, the diamond beach and the black sand desert

Tackle some of the most challenging peaks of Iceland, all under 24-hour daylight. Begin your trip with an ascent of Mt. Hengill for views of Lake Þingvellir and the distant Vestmann Islands. Next, take on the tempestuous 1,651m (5,417 ft) Eyjafjallajökull volcano, that last erupted in 2010. Finish off with Hvannadalshnúkur, the tallest in Iceland at 2,110m (6,922 ft)—an ascent which often takes 12-15 hours to complete. Mixing some of the best hiking with rest day sightseeing over five days, are you ready to take on The Three Peaks Challenge?

Season

May through June

Nearest city

The adventure begins in Reykjavik, Iceland

Duration

5 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Icelandic Three Peaks Challenge

5 days

Combine hiking, climbing, and sightseeing over five days and witness the most beautiful locations Iceland has to offer. Each day brings something new – spectacular volcanoes and glaciers,  lagoons, beaches, and magical waterfalls. Your guide will take care of your safety and guide you every step of the way as you conquer three iconic Icelandic peaks. 

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík – Mt Hengill – Vörðuskeggi Peak

Start your journey with an early morning pick-up at your accommodation in Reykjavik and drive east to the north side of the Hengill Volcano massive. After a short drive, you’ll reach Mt Hengill and hike up the highest peak, Vörðuskeggi Peak (805 m). Spend the rest of the day climbing and after 5-6 hours reach the top — the panoramic views of Lake Þingvellir and Langjökull to the north and Eyjafjallajökull and the distant Westman Islands will leave you breathless! The walking route is quite steep but the trail is still relatively easy for an experienced hiker. In the afternoon, visit the Geysir geothermal area and the waterfall of Gullfoss before driving to your accommodation in the Flúðir area.

This day can be replaced by a hike to the Fagradalsfjall eruption in case of an active eruption taking place.

Peak of the volcano in Iceland

Day 2: Eyjafjallajökull

Today you’ll conquer your second peak, the famous Eyjafjallajökull which erupted in 2010 and caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe for several days. At 1,651m, this high stratovolcano offers a magnificent view from the top. The vertical ascent is around 1,600 m and the tour takes from 9-12 hours.  After descent, head to your overnight accommodation at hotel Skógafoss.  

Woman climbing the three peaks

Day 3: South Coast – Glacier Lagoon

Explore the beautiful South Coast and some of the most photogenic places on this hemisphere. Visit the world-famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara with unique basalt rock formations and dramatic scenery, the picturesque village Vík, and the Skaftafell National Park. Don’t miss the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón and the diamond beach where icebergs from the lagoon drift ashore like scattered diamonds. After a day of sightseeing, relax at your hotel and prepare for the biggest challenge of this tour! 

Basalt rock formations on the volcanic black sand beach at Vik in Iceland. The cliff face is columns of hexagonal rocks. Rock stacks are in the sea. Large waves and spray is being whipped up from the ocean. Rocks lie on the sand and the sky is cloudy and moody.

Day 4: Hvannadalshnjúkur

Expect a long and strenuous day, as you try to ascend Hvannadalshnúkur (2110 m/6922 ft) — Iceland’s highest peak. This will be the most challenging day of the trip with a 2040m (6562 ft) ascent! The pyramidal peak of the Öræfajökull volcano promises an unforgettable climb with rewarding breathtaking panoramas. No special technical skills are required to climb, but prepare for up to 15 hours of walking! Once you reach the summit, return to your hotel at the foot of Hvannadalshnúkur, where a warm meal and bed will await you. 

In case snow/weather conditions are not good on Hvannadalshnúkur, you will have to change the itinerary to another similar summit in the area.

One of the three snowy peaks in Iceland

Day 5: Return to Reykjavík

After three amazing and challenging climbs, you will say goodbye to the snowy wilderness and make your way back westward along the scenic south coast of Iceland. Pass beneath Eyjafjallajökull once again and visit the impressive Skógarfoss waterfall, one of the largest and most elegant waterfalls in Iceland. You can expect to be in Reykjavík in the late afternoon.

Want to explore Iceland more? Make sure to browse through the selection of the best hiking trips in Iceland!

Rainbow over a stunning waterfall
Reviews

Reviews (2)

Kim T about Icelandic Mountain Guides

The next two days were set aside for an expedition to Hvannadalshnjúkur. We got up at 4 am and left from Sandfell. At 1,050 m we built a campsite and practiced self-arrest, snow anchors, avalanche risk assessment and avalanche beacon search both solo and as a group. After spending the night we had glorious weather on summit day. Around noon we were all standing on the highest peak in Iceland, enjoying the blue skies and the sun.

George about Icelandic Mountain Guides

We did the Three Peak Challenge over 6 days. Since I love to hike and climb mountains and I love the landscapes of volcanoes, so the choice was obvious to pick a tour that combined all of these…The tour was ideal for me since I was able to get alpine experience: mountains that have ice and snow especially without having to go up to very altitudes. Iceland has more extreme conditions at lower altitudes, which means that it is not necessary to go through several days, even up to a week of altitude training acclimatisation, before commencing a journey.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Iceland

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Iceland please refer to Iceland’s official Covid website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 5 full days of hiking, climbing, and sightseeing
      • Breakfasts and dinners during the tour
      • Accommodation in twin/dbl rooms in 3* hotels for 4 nights
      • Transport in 4×4 minibus
      • Safety equipment

Special dietary supplements, such as vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten free or other, can be ordered at some extra cost. The supplement will include meals that meet the requirements of your diet.

What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Reykjavík 
      • Accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the tour
      • Single supplement

How fit do I need to be?

This adventure in Iceland is an advanced tour of three peaks ranging from 1446m (4745ft) above sea level to 2000m (6562 ft). Advanced hikes include full days of hiking and climbing with steep descents and challenging switchbacks. This adventure doesn’t require any technical climbing knowledge or equipment, but you should be prepared to hike between 6 and 15 hours. This tour requires great fitness and endurance, as well as previous hiking experience. Keep in mind, you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between hotels
    • Day backpack for extra clothes and lunch pack during the day (around a 25-40L bag)
    • Hiking poles — optional
    • Gaiters — optional but recommended
    • Gloves – wool or synthetic 2 pairs of different thickness
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – wool or synthetic
    • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – wool or synthetic
    • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer)
    • Warm, down jacket
    • Puffy jacket e.g. Primaloft — optional
    • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable, e.g. Gore-Tex or comparable
    • Soft-shell trousers – strong and light material that dries quickly
    • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable — full raingear is mandatory in Iceland, poncho is not useful because of wind
    • Socks – wool or synthetic
    • Change of clothes for wearing in the hut
    • Sunhat
    • Wool hat
    • Sturdy hiking boots – waterproof with good ankle support
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
    • Pocket knife
    • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits – liquor laws in
    • Sunglasses
    • Portable power bank
    • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing — optional
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans. Iceland is home to infamously unpredictable weather, so you need to be prepared with the right gear.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • For this group adventure, the usual client to guide ratio is 6:1. Groups can have up to 12 guests.
    • The cost is per person and does not decrease as the group grows.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 16, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 16 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has hikers under the age of 16, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

Registration for an adventure with your guide requires a 30% deposit.

The balance of program fees will generally be due 90 days prior to the starting date of the program. It is your responsibility to adhere to the fee payment schedule. Late payment will result in cancellation of program reservations and forfeiture of all fees paid.

All cancellations must be made by letter or e-mail. In conformity with business practices within the Icelandic travel industry, the travel agent is obliged to charge cancellation fees to passenger(s). If clients formally cancel their participation:

  • 15% of the tour price is non-refundable
  • 50% of tour price is refunded if cancelled 30-59 days prior to departure
  • 25% of tour price is refunded if cancelled 16-29 days prior to departure
  • 0% of tour price is refunded if cancelled 15 days prior to departure.

Icelandic Mountain Guides reserve the right to alter tours and itineraries due to weather or road conditions. All programs can be changed or cancelled at any moment during the trip to assure the safety of the clients and staff.  No responsibility is accepted for losses, expenses due to delays, changes of flights, or other services or because of strikes, accidents, sickness, damage, negligence, weather, war, changes in schedules, or other similar causes. Icelandic Mountain Guides does not assume responsibility for accidents or death that can be traced to the participant’s negligence, acts of third parties or exterior circumstances such as weather, natural occurrences, war or other similar causes.

Any eventual changes in rates (due to purchasing prices, currency fluctuation and such) will not be made with less than 8 weeks’ notice prior to arrival.

After the invoice has been issued, the price is guaranteed against any surcharge, unless an increase is due to government laws or currency changes. Your guide will absorb an amount equivalent to 5% of the package price. Amounts that exceed the 5% will be charged and clients will be entitled to cancel their booking with a full refund if the surcharge exceeds 10%.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Reykjavik, most people fly into Keflavik International Airport just under an hour away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to Reykjavik. Your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at your accommodation in Reykjavik.

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