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Hveradalir in Kerlingarfjöll

Discover the odd red mountain landscapes of Kerlingarfjöll with boiling hot springs and glacial rivers


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Kerlingarfjöll is a popular hiking area located in Icelandic highlands, in the middle of the country. Volcanic activity hasn't faded away completely and is still felt through geothermal activity. Hveradalir or The valley of hot springs is a magical place: the pillars of smoke rise right from rusty-red mountains painted here along with the neon-green moss and crystal blue glacial rivers. As you hike up, you'll see a beautiful landscape appear in front of you, you may feel as if you've entered some other world. Photographers come here for their best shots. However, pictures will never embrace what you can feel by being there yourself and experiencing the beauty with your own eyes!

The Hveradalir area is accessible only in the summertime, from late June to mid or late September. Although snow melts revealing the trails with fascinating landscapes around, some stretches might still be covered with snow. Moreover, hiking conditions may also vary, so don't be surprised if you spot a small avalanche on the mountainside. Also, there could be crevasses in the Fannborg Glacier.

Regardless of being an area of geothermal activity, Kerlingarfjöll once used to be a popular summer skiing destination. Since 2000, a local ski school has been closed down due to the geothermal temperature rise and because there's too little snow to enjoy winter sports. However, the two mountains (Fannborg and Snækollur) are still suitable and accessible for skiing enthusiasts. But you'll have to do a demanding hike for the sake of a ride (there are no lift facilities).

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