Hiking Mount Esja


Hey there,

I was wondering what the best time of the year to hike up Mnt. Esja is? Is it possible in winter? Also, do I need to be a good hiker to climb it?



The best time of the year would definitely be in summertime.

In springtime in recent years there’s also been a free concert halfway up the mountain, last year Gus Gus was playing and the year before that (or 2 years earlier) Ásgeir Trausti was playing - so if you look out for that then that’s a great time to go! :slight_smile:

It is possible to hike Esjan all year round, but in winter there might be heavy snow there. Last winter a small avalanche occurred and a hiker was killed as he tumbled down onto rocks. This is not common, but something you should be aware of.

And finally, although Mt Esja is not a tall mountain, it is rather steep, so you do need to be in average health to climb it. There’s no need to be a professional hiker (I’ve hiked it both when I was 8 years old, and again when grown up with my 60+ year old mother) but you will get out of breath on the way!

Other good hike in the area is to Glymur waterfall - definitely worth checking out! Enjoy!


Summer is the best time. As Nanna points out, winter is a bit different as you should check the weather forecast and the general conditions before you head up there.

Most people hike up to a place called Steinninn (the Stone). You can go higher, but that is a bit more of a climb.

Going up to Steinninn will take you about 1-1,5 hour.

During summertime there is a restaurant at the foot of the mountain where you can buy a good traditional Icelandic meat soup.


I’d not do it in winter, because you never know how the weather will be as you get higher up. But in summer it’s a great hike to take :wink: You need ot be moderately fit to reach the ‘Stone’ as it is called, which is about three-fourth of the way up and makes the end of the trail before the climbing part begins. I would not recommend doing the rest unless you’re with a group and someone who knows the mountain a bit. In general, it’s a good rule never to hike unless you’re certain you can walk both up and down, so always check the weather before you head up.


Hey Richard!

I would strongly advice you to stay away from climbing the mountain in the winter! Even though the weather might appear to be nice that day, it can change in the blink of an eye and a sudden gush of wind, falling rocks or an avalanche might appear. If it’s very early or very late in winter however, you can check out the Icelandic Weather Central for information - www.vedur.is or call them at +354 522 6000 :slight_smile: