1. Vatnajökull Glacier
Hiking in Iceland is hardly imaginable without experiencing Vatnajökull—partly because it’s hard to miss. Covering almost ten percent of Iceland’s territory, it’s the largest glacier in Europe and boasts some of the world’s most beautiful glacial landscapes. In turn, the Vatnajökull National Park (around 15 percent of Iceland) encompasses the areas around Skaftafell (including the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon) in the southwest and Jökulsárgljúfur in the north. Now for some potentially disappointing news: hiking here is mostly confined to the areas around the glacier. If you want to go on the glacier, you need to be prepared for technical glacial travel aided by ice axes, crampons, and ropes. This is done only during summer and even then there are no guarantees that you will be able to experience Vatnajökull in all its frozen glory due to bad weather conditions. But now for the good news: hiking around Vatnajökull is easily accessible and can take you to various outlet glaciers, ice caves, and waterfalls. For my money, it’s one of the best places in Iceland for day hikes.