Going out in the nature and participating in variety of outdoor activities is something Icelanders do a lot. And so, if you are a visitor in Iceland, there is no better way to learn about this country than to throw yourself into its nature and challenge yourself a little bit. In case you are visiting Reykjavik and looking for some possibilities to get a little bit out of the urban environments yet you are not up to going too far outside of the city, surely consider a nice hike in Esja Mountain – a trail which is perfect day-trip activity that can be completed in three hours.
The hike is relatively easy and this route is very much favored both by locals and foreign visitors alike. The hiking trails are neatly marked and they are of various levels of difficulty, which means that Mount Esja can be visited both by visitors looking for a simple, easy stroll in beauteous environments and by those who are seeking for some more physical challenges. The trails are marked with boots numbering from 1 (easy trail) to 3 (the hardest of trails). Trails 1 and 2 are around 3km long and usually it takes about 1.5 hours to be done. Trail 3, on the other hand, is shorter but it is made for those who are ready to accept the challenge and climb the mountain directly to the top which means that this trail is the most difficult of all.
If you join the majority of visitors by choosing either trail 1 or 2, hike up until you reach the stone (“Steinn”). There, one can find a nice spot to catch one’s breath, take some nice shots of Reykjavik from the top and engage in conversations with other hikers. There is also a guestbook there, so do not forget to sign it for memories! From there, you can chose to either start your way back down or climb higher to Þverfellshorn. It is not too difficult, but the trail is not so neat as the one to stein Steinn and hence, you have to be more cautious.
Summer is the time when there are plenty of people hiking the paths of Mount Esja, so if you are inhibited by crowds and would like to have more solitude, choose the early hours to start the hike! Prepare yourself with good boots, a bottle of water and great mood to be ready to have a wonderful, refreshing time out in nature!
Drive: Highway 1: through the town of Mosfellsbær, turn right after passing Kollafjordur and turn to the huge parking lot in front of the café at Mógilsá.
Bus: Take bus No. 15, which leaves from Hlemmur bus station and get off at bus stop Háholt. From there, take bus No 57 going to Hiking Centre Esjustofa.