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Hiking in Iceland

Þakgil – Everything You Need to Know

With Iceland being one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, it goes without saying that if you want to explore the unexplored, you’ve got quite the task on your hands. Lesser-known off-the-beaten-path natural gems however are scattered all around the island, as long as know where to look: Þakgil region is undeniably one of these hidden territories.

Located only a shorts drive away from Vík lies Þakgil – a truly magical hiking expanse painted with vividly contrasting colors and graced by stunning views overlooking the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the distance. During the summer months between June and September, this area turns into a hikers paradise with Þakgil campsite providing all the needs and necessities for a comfortable and most importantly memorable experience.

Interested in knowing how to get to Þakgil and what to expect? If so, then read on.

Hiker walking the Þakgil trails.

How to get to Þakgil

Getting there is half the battle and Þakgil is by far one of the best examples of this saying. From Vík, continue onto road F214 that will take you across rugged Icelandic natural backdrops until you reach the camping site. From there, you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet picnic whilst admiring the bespoke views that lie ahead or choose from one of the three available hiking routes in the region. In Iceland, F roads are legal off-road roads that require a decent 4×4 vehicle and driving experience in order to safely reach your destination. Road F214 is particularly uneven, with tight turns following you all the way up to the campsite therefore before embarking on this adventure, make sure you and your vehicle are well equipped.

Hiking routes in Þakgil

This is where the fun part begins. Þakgil is dotted with numerous hiking opportunities for those brave enough to come face to face with Iceland’s rugged yet mesmerizing mountain ranges. Three loop paths all with different lengths and difficulty offer hikers a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of the region.

Hiker having a rest in Þakgil region

Remundargil is a 12.5km path, considered the fastest route, with an estimated completion time between three to five hours at a climb of only 250 meters. It takes you across a few scenic ravines passing Remundargilsfoss waterfall on your way to Vatnsrásarhöfuð headland. Towards the end of your hike, exquisite views of Kötlujökull glacier unveil before your very own eyes, returning to Þakgil through Láguhvolar.

Mælifell is the next hiking trail on offer. With a distance of 13.5km, a completion time of around four to five hours, and a climb rate of 400-500 meters, it is the second-longest path out of the three. This route takes you from Midfellshellir cave up the Midafrétt range until you reach Leynir waterfall. From there, you continue your hike to Bard, passing by the Eastern rim of the Raufargil ravine before reaching the Mýdral Travel Association hut and back to Þakgil.

Depending on the season and weather, there is a chance you might need to cross a river to get back to your starting point therefore it’s always good to check the path conditions by asking other hikers or enquiring at the campsite before you begin your Þakgil adventure.

View over Þakgil region

Austurafrettur range is the last trail offered in this region. With a distance of 17km and a climb of 500-600 meters, it is advised to leave at least a good six to eight hours to comfortably complete it. The hike initially follows the same route as the Mælifell trail, until reaching Leynir waterfall. After that, you head towards Sker before reaching Rjúpnagilsbryr from where you’ll be able to enjoy magnificent views of the Kötlujökull glacier and the whole south-eastern part of the island. Þakgil ravine is reached upon passing by Austurafrettur range to Idrunarstandi.

Regardless of which trail you choose to take, it is guaranteed that you’ll have an unforgettable time in Þakgil!

Want to experience Þakgil on your own? Then our Road Trips are the perfect fit for you!

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