May 13, 2020

Hiking near Reykjavik – A stroll through raw beauty

It’s Sunday morning, after having a nice breakfast with pancakes prepared by Luise, I was thinking of going for a hike. However, since I have no car, that seemed difficult. After searching, I found a really nice hike near Reykjavik accessible with the bus. So we decided to go to the Esjuraetur Hiking Center to hike the Mount Esja and enjoy some beautiful landscapes and the view of Reykjavik. First of all, going there is about one hour by bus from the closest bus top to the Blue House. (Scroll down for more informations)

Luise and the view of Reykjavik from the Mountain

What do you have to know before going ?

· Difficulty = medium
· Distance = 6.9km
· Highest peak = 914 meters (2.999 ft)
· Time period accessibility = the whole year
· Available for children
· Signs along the way to indicate difficulty of path


I would recommend you to be careful especially in winter (but also in summer) and avoid the difficult portions if you are not experienced.


Firstly, you have to know that this is a really popular hike so do not be surprised if you see a lot of people during weekends and in summer time, especially Icelanders which appreciate this a lot, either for trail (running) or hike.


There is no special time to go hiking on this mountain. You can either hike early in the morning and see a beautiful sunrise or find the motivation at the end of the day and enjoy the sunset ! Everything depends on you.

Furthermore, a little river is running down the mountain and offers you a relaxing sound during the hike. You can also drink this water which is really refreshing. And why not stopping on the top of the mountain and have a snack while contemplating the landscapes ?

In short, we particularly enjoy this hike for the mix of different colours : the brown of the mountain, the green of the trees and the white of the ice. In total we spent 2h30 hiking the mountain and going back to the hiking center. However, this hike could take more time with a bad weather especially if the floor is muddy. Above all, do not forget that the main objective is to enjoy the hike and take a rythme that fits to have a nice hiking experience. Don’t forget to take pictures !


Why it is one of the best hike ?

· Very close to Reykjavik
· Amazing views of Reykjavik & Surroundings
· Accessible with the bus
· Relatively easy & Accessible for children


Hiking in Winter : I would advise you to use hiking shoes and a really good equipment to try this hike during winter (crampons, warm clothes and socks, hiking sticks)


River Esja Mountain

1 – Mount Esja

How to go there ?

By Bus : between 1:00 and 1:30

– Walk to the bus stop Lindarbraut / Hæðarbraut from the Blue House (4min by walk)
– Take the bus 11 in direction to Mjódd – Stop at Mjódd
– Take the bus 57 in direction to Akranes – Stop at Esjuraetur – Hiking Center

Source : Straeto – more infos

By Car : around 30min

– Take Suðurströnd and Eiðsgrandi – direction Hringbraut/Road 49 to Reykjavik
– Follow Road 49 and Þjóðvegur 1 – direction Lækjarmelur
– Continue on Lækjarmelur. Drive to Esjan at Mógilsá and stop at Esjuraetur – Hiking Center

Source : Google Maps


Looking for other hikes accessible by bus ?

2 – Helgafell

Above all, this is an easy and nice hike for people who want to spend one entire day outside, hiking and contemplating different landscapes. This is not a tall mountain and the highest peak reaches 338m (1.108 feet). In addition, it takes about 1.5 hours to reach the top of the mountain and enjoy a great view of Reykjavik.

How to go there ?

By bus : between 1:30 and 2:00

– Walk to the bus stop Lindarbraut / Hæðarbraut from the Blue House (4min by walk)
Take the bus 11 in direction to Mjódd – Stop at Stjórnarráðið
– From the bus stop Lækjartorg, take the bus 1 in direction to Hfj. Vellir – Stop at Fjörður
Take the bus 44 in direction to Lækjargata – Stop at Kaldárselsvegur
– Walk to the mountain – about 6.4km

Source : Straeto – more infos


3 – Úlfarsfell

This is a small mountain located in Mosfellsbær, not far from the Mount Esja. The mountain is about 296m high (971ft ), and you will need 1 to 1.5 hours for a round-trip. Moreover, you will appreciate the view of Reykjavik and surroundings on the top.

How to go there ?

By bus : around 40min

– Walk to the bus stop Lindarbraut / Hæðarbraut from the Blue House (4min by walk) 
and take the bus 11 in direction to Mjódd – Stop at Hlemmur
– Take the bus 15 in direction to Mosfellsbær – Stop at Ártún
– Take the bus 57 in direction to Akranes – Stop at Úlfarsá

Source Sraeto – more infos


You don’t have any car and you are too lazy to take the bus ?
You can rent a car here !


Eléonore - Author

Every been to Brittany? That's where Eléonore, Blue Houses youngest intern is from and she promises that it’s one of the most beautiful region of France (not just because she lives there). You can easily spot her thanks to her round glasses, short statue and of course her beautiful curly hair!

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