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What options are available to hike around Iceland? Other questions address camping but are there marked trails on some or all of the way? Is walking on the ring road allowed at all and is it realistic? Are some sections of the road more interesting or popular?

PS: This question is based on a comment on What are the wild camping regulations in Iceland? The original poster did not follow up but it seems interesting so I am reposting it as a proper question.

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You can't ask "Are there any other issues specific to Iceland that one should be aware of?" - it's too broad and makes this multiple questions. I'm removing that part but otherwise it's a good question. –  hippietrail Oct 22 '13 at 12:12
    
This question is really not that broad and perfectly answerable. Obviously, I am not very high up the food chain but I am not a complete newbie and have some experience elsewhere on SE as well. There is no good reason to aggressively enforce some abstract notion of what this site should be like, protect or close questions by the bucket, downvote other experienced users' questions, absurdly complain about subjectivity at every corner or convert so many answers to comments (to mention a few things I observed recently). This site could really benefit from a more hands-off curation. –  Relaxed Oct 22 '13 at 12:25
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Woah Annoyed! I think you have not read very much of the Stack Exchange blog and meta. I can put the second question back in but that would give it a higher chance of somebody closing it based on the reasons I mentioned. The only possible objective answers to "Are there any other issues specific to Iceland that one should be aware of?" are "Yes", "No", and "It depends". If those are not what you want then please have another go at expressing it. –  hippietrail Oct 22 '13 at 12:48
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Nonsense, travel has to be indoors !? –  Relaxed Oct 22 '13 at 14:49
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In my experience, Stack Overflow and especially Meta Stack Overflow are much more hostile than Travel. I didn't downvote or closevote your question, I think it's a good question. If there's a language problem with the add-on question then I'm sorry, please reword it and add it back but I saw no way to interpret it other than "And tell me all kinds of other stuff about travelling in Iceland.". I most certainly made no threats of any kind. I warned you that others may do so and attempted to save your question. –  hippietrail Oct 22 '13 at 15:48

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

There are numerous hiking trails in Iceland, ranging from easy half-days to strenuous multi-day affairs.

The website of the Icelandic Touring Association lists several options, but the list is nowhere near exhaustive. The most notable route is Laugarvegurinn.

I'd certainly recommend a proper nature hike over walking the ring road. It can't be much fun to walk alongside all that traffic.

If you do go hiking in Iceland (and especially if you are not a part of a tour led by an experienced guide) make sure that you are well prepared, that someone knows your itinerary and check in regularly, and keep up with weather reports. Hiking in Iceland can be dangerous if proper precautions are not followed.

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Sorry no upvote for the time being, I already spent all my daily quota ;-) –  Relaxed Oct 22 '13 at 12:30

Walking on or next to the ring road (Road 1) is not advised as there is traffic, sometimes very limited view of the road and most certainly traffic will not expect hikers on the road! You will also be bored to death on most sections as it has very long sections where you see little landscape change.

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The ring road can be boring and also dangerous to hike. There are strong winds in the south including a lot of ashes or sand that sometimes even polishes cars and crashing windows. When we drove the ring road in the south the last time (August 2013), the wind was really really heavy and I was glad to have a car.

I would recommend to hike in the highlands. Choose a route according to your experience, equipment and time of the year. You will see much more of the amazing nature.

I'd like to emphasize again that the weather in the highlands (and all over the island) can change very quick and you should be aware of this when planning your route. There is an authority where you can register your route to get help if you get lost: Safetravel There are also emergency shelters all over the island. Make sure you know where the next shelter is before starting the day. I would recommend to take a mobile phone and get a prepaid card from Simmin and you will have at least GSM all over the island.

Camping is generally allowed in Iceland but you should ask the owner of the land/property where you want to stay. There are also a lot of camping places where you have a shared washing room and kitchen. I think they are quite cheap.

Personally I found Askja especially interesting. It's a bit like hiking on the moon (without marked trails). There are some shelters were you can spend the night or sleep in your tent. If you go there by car make sure you know how to cross a river.

Useful links:

Weather Forecast

Northern Lights Radar

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