© Fjallabak Iceland Trekking - Black sand beach - The Elves Mountains

Backpacking – The Elves Mountains

7-day journey with a 6-day backpacking adventure hut to hut

Stock of food en-route stocked in every hut - Backpack not exceeding 6-8 kg  - International group guided in English -

We have been conducting this beautiful trek for more than 15 years was nominated in 2005 by the National Geographic Magazine as one of the 25 most beautiful treks in the world!

We have no reason to contradict this classification, but one thing is certain this trek remains for us among our favorites and is keeping our heart in shape. Another thing is certain: the shelters in this region are among the best managed in the country. Running clear water, warm and ventilated dryer for wet clothes and shoes, 12V charger, comfortable mattresses, well equipped kitchens, beautiful dining room and a wood stove appreciated when the first frosts of autumn arrive.

In Northeastern Iceland, the Víknaslódir trail (“Trail of the Deserted Inlets”) extends over an area where coastal mountains plunge abruptly into the sea. This isolated region is considered to be the central province of the elves. Their queen resides in her fortress at Álfaborg (Behind the small wooden Bakkagerdi church in eastern Borgarfjördur Bay). The imposing mountain massif of the area displays the entire colour spectrum of rhyolite, an acidic form of lava (If you know Landmannalaugar already, just imagine it softer, surrounded by ocean, with the noise from crashing waves and the cries of thousands of nesting seabirds – a truly stunning location!).

From these blue, pink and ochre colours fortresses of dark rock soar hundreds of feet into the sky. In lush, green valleys, limpid torrents run from peat marshes powdered with the white, fluffy seed heads of cotton grass. The ocean’s colour changes with its moods - from the most exotic opal to turquoise to oil-black. Almost systematically when the evening comes a lid of mist descends on the landscape, adding to the mystery of the clear night. Just as methodica lly, the gleaming morning sun burns through these layers which, after some resistance, escape spectre-like through the mountain pass. Down on the riverside there are beautiful cottages, very comfortable and each equipped with a wood-fuelled stove.

Driftwood in large numbers, whitened by the salt of the sea, arrives regularly from Siberia and runs aground on these remote black sand beaches. You will be sure to bring home with you the memory of one of those magical evenings around a fire on the inlet bank, a most serene feeling in this extreme corner of the world. As nearby fulmars soar over the surf, a curious seal comes for a glance. And on the mountain above the cliffs, where the smoke of our fire and the haze of the evening mix, the invisible elves will be observing you. They already see you coming.

To reach Egilsstadir from Reykjavik or from Torshavn in the Faroe Islands several options are available to you:

Contact us to discuss and ask for a quotation.

  1. Departure by ferry on Wednesday evening from Torshavn capital of the Faroes for arrival on Thursday morning in Seydisfjördur where the trekking begins. (We can offer you a stay of 4 to 6 days in the beautiful Faroe Islands)
  2. Domestic flight early morning from Reykjavik to Egilsstadir
  3. Self-drive from Reykjavik  to Egilsstadir / Seyðisfjörður in 4 days (or more) along the South Coast and the Eastern Fjords.
  4. From Reykjavik join Akureyri by domestic flight, then self-drive in 4 days or more by rental car to Egilsstadir / Seyðisfjörður;
  5. Self-drive from Reykjavik  to Egilsstadir in 5 days (or more) through West and North Iceland.

To return Reykjavik from Egilsstadir after the trek several options are available to you:

  1. Flight to Reykjavik in the late afternoon
  2. Self-drive through the East Fjords and along the South Coast in 3-4 days (or more)
  3. Self drive through North and West Iceland in 4-6 days (or more)
  4. Stay two days in the beautiful East fjords and take the Ferry to the Faroese Islands on Thursday

The prices shown below do not include domestic flight(s) between Reykjavik and Egilsstadir. If you want us to book them for you, then choose between the following options which are proposed in the booking form

  • Round trip flight approx.30.000 ISK (approx.240 €)
  • One-way flight appox.15.000 ISK  (approx.120 €)
  • Return flight appox.15.000 ISK  (approx.120 €)

Please note that the prices for the domestic flights are only indicative because they depend on the day of which the reservation is made. The price shown when booking your trip is just an average price and could be revalued. Passenger taxe is not included (about 1500-2000 ISK)

You can book your domestic flights yourself at Air Iceland Connect, but be careful to be at the start of the trekking:

Trek departure of : Meeting is at 9 am at Egilsstadir airport or at 10 am at Seydisfjordur
Return of trek: Do not book your flight before 9:30 am the last day of the trip


The two nights spent in the village of Bakkagerði are in sleeping bag in hostel. You can choose to spend these two nights with more comfort in a small hotel next to the hostel. You can choose this option at registration

Price / Estimated
To change the indicative price in your prefered currency, choose it from the available list in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
Conversion rates are from the Icelandic National Bank

To reach Egilsstadir from Reykjavik  several options are available to you: (Contact us to discuss and ask for a quotation)

  1. Domestic flight early morning from Reykjavik to Egilsstadir
  2. Self-drive from Reykjavik  to Seyðisfjörður in minimum 3 days  along the South Coast and the Eastern Fjords.
  3. Self-drive from Akureyri  to Seyðisfjörður in minimum 3 days. You join Akureyri by domestic flight, then drive through Lake Myvatn, Husavik for whale watching, Plateau of Mödruldalur

To return to Reykjavik from Egilsstadir  several options are available to you: (Contact us to discuss and ask for a quotation)

  • Domestic flight from  Egilsstaðir to Reykjavik
  • Self-drive from Egilsstaðir to Reykjavik in minimum 3 days  along the Eastern Fjords and the South Coast
  • Self-drive from Egilsstaðir to Reykjavik in minimum 3 days through drive through the plateau of Möðruldalur, Lake Myvatn, Húsavík (whale watching) and Eyjafjörður. To Reykjavik by domestic flight from Akureyri.
  • Continue your journey through the North Atlantic Ocean for Torshavn the small capital of the Faroe Islands: Trek ends on Tuesday morning in Egilsstadir, (2 days / 2 nights rest and / or stroll in the Seydisfjördur fjord and / or in the beautiful region of Egilsstadir) Boarding Thursday morning in Seydisfjördur aboard the Ferry MS Norröna Ferry company Smyril Line. Arrival at Torshavn in the Faroes 15 hours later. (We can assist you for a discovery of beautiful Faroe Islands). The airline Atlantic Airways operates daily flights to Europe and Iceland



Please note that this route can be reversed without prior indications.

D1: (Reykjavik ✈ ) Egilstaðir - Loðmundarfjörður
5-6 hours hiking 300 m elevation gain/loss – Loðmundarfjörður Mountain Hut
Domestic flight in the early morning from Reykjavik domestic to Egilsstaðir. Check in 45 minutes before departure. An awe-inspiring 60 minutes flight over the Icelandic Highlands to Egilsstaðir in eastern Iceland includes views of Mount Hekla, the Vatnajökull ice cap, and Mount Askja. Rendezvous with your guide at Egilsstaðir domestic Airport. From Egilsstaðir we will drive to colourful Seyðisfjörður, an important fishing village and the arrival harbour of the only ferry connecting Iceland to Europe. A dramatic mountain pass to carry on along the side track to the deserted Loðmundarfjörður fjord.

D2: Loðmundarfjörður  
5-6 hours hiking - 300-400 m elevation gain/loss – Mountain hut 
Wandering in the beautiful fjord which remains for many years one of the most isolated and inaccessible communities in Iceland (it is now uninhabited). There are thousands of nesting eider ducks, as well as seals and reindeers and some wild horses in the vast moorland and swamps on the bottom of the large fjord. If weather permit we climb in the rhyolite mountains in the direction to the pass of Kækjuskörð where the view is breath-taking.

D3: Loðmundarfjörður - Húsavík:
5-6 hours hiking - 300 m elevation gain/loss – Mountain hut
To the West we can admire countless snowy mountain peaks, to the South and to the North the alignment of fjords and coves and to the East the curvature of the ocean. Somewhere at less that 280 miles away are the beautiful Faroe Islands. Of course we can’t see them but we nearly feel their presence. At the pas to Húsavík a large cairn is the only telephone connection possible to receive or send messages. (Otherwise each shelter is equipped with a radio transmitter that connects us to civilisation); Down the pass and through moorland we reach to the foot of Mount Hvítserkur one of the most picturesque and bizarre mountains in the country. Hvítserkur consists of bright ignimbrite, fancifully streaked with darker veins. Descent toward Húsavík. The lodge is located on the site of a small, old farm, deserted in the 1950s after centuries of occupation

D4: Húsavík - Breiðavík:
6-7 hours hiking - 400 m elevation gain/loss– Mountain hut
We walk up and down toward the beautiful wild bay of Breiðavík. A wonderful place with coastal marsh and a black sandy beaches covered with incredible amounts of Siberian driftwood and other treasures of the sea. Curious seals will almost certainly come to observe our evening fire and our strange attitude!

D5: Breiðavík - Brúnavík -Bakkagerði:
6-7 hours hiking - 400 m elevation gain/loss – B&B Inn 
We progress across stunningly massive rhyolite mountains displaying an incredible range of all possible ochre and pastel colours from blue to pink. Then we walk, to Borgarfjörður via Brúnavík (“Brown Bay”), At the very foot of the majestic Dyrfjöll Mountain range we arrive at the small coastal village of Bakkagerði. The rocky hill Álfaborg, right next to Bakkagerði, is the source of the fjord's name. Acknowledged home to the fairies, it is said to be the dwelling place of their queen in Iceland. We walk to the islet Fagrihóll, current fishing harbour for the locality. A great variety of birds nest here; among common species are the fulmar, kittiwake, eider duck and puffin.

D6: Dyrfjöll- Storurð:
6-8 hours hiking - 500 m elevation gain/loss BB Inn
Our trek ends by hiking in the grandiose Dyrfjöll Mountains, whose massive presence dominates the bay of Borgarfjörður. We cross the Vatnaskarð pass, between the faces of the Skeggjaklettur cliff (“Bearded Cliff”) to reach Stórurð (“Big Rocky Ground”), an enormous chaos of large rocks intersected by a calm glacial stream. Between the dark rocks rest calm turquoise-collared basins of icy water surrounded by tender green short grass.

D7: Bakkagerdi - Egilsstaðir (Reykjavik):
70 km driving
Early morning departure (8 am) Drive up the plateau to the little town of Egilstaðir where we arrive one hour later. Egilsstadir is located on the bank of the long turquoise lake of Lagarfljót, where the legendary monster Lagarfljótsormurinn, close cousin of the one in Loch Ness in Scotland, lives. Fly back to Reykjavik or self-drive post-tout.

Rendezvous day 1. You will have to arrange your own taxi transfer to Reykjavik domestic airport in the morning of day 1. This airport is in the heart of Reykjavik few minutes away from downtown. You will have to meet there 40 minutes prior to departure. We will let you know in advance the exact flight schedule and flight reservation number. We cannot be more specific than that because, at the time we publish our program, the schedules of domestic flights program for 2017 have not yet been published. If your guide does not fly with you, then he will welcome you at the small airport in Egilsstadir. We'll let you know.

If you do not need domestic flight from us rendez-vous with your travel companions at the Domestic Airport of Egilsstadir is at 09 am  day 1 (or other time on some departures. We will let you know in time! )

Composition of the group: In general, the participants of our trips come from several countries: French speaking from France, Switzerland, Belgium and Quebec but also English speaking people from Great Britain, Ireland, United States (Democratic trending), Australians, New Zealanders or other nations who know how to express themselves in English like Scandinavians, Germans, sometimes Japanese or Russians, and even sometimes Icelanders.
Your Icelandic or French guide is fluent in French and English and masters very well at least one other European language. Traveling with Fjallabak can represent a unique opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and socialize with companions from other countries than yours that you might otherwise never have approached. A unique opportunity to make friends from all around the world and twist the neck to certain prejudices and misconceptions inked

Languages ​​spoken:

The departure dates are all marked as
¬ International,
(multinational is more accurate) this means that the guide can express himself both in English and in French (possibly in other languages). Participants can be from all around the world if they speak at least one of these two languages: French and / or English

¬ French, it means that the guide is French-speaking as the group that is composed solely of participants from French-speaking countries (Swiss, French, Belgian, Belgian, etc.) or non-French speakers wanting to improve their French. If you want to test your French, do not hesitate

¬ English
means that the guide and the group speaks English. That said, this guide probably speaks also other languages, which may be French (please consult). The group is made up of participants from English-speaking countries or participants from non-English speaking countries with good English skills.

Group size: Group of 8 to 14 (+/- 1) participants (Note: for groups of 6-7 people, a small group supplement applies) Fjallabak staff or representatives of Fjallabak accompanying professionals (photographers , Journalists, etc.) and other discounted travelers such as children are excluded from the number of participants (minimum and maximum).

Transport: Domestic flight and return from Reykjavik Airport as to booked apart. Chartered bus will transfer us from Egilsstaðir to the starting point of the trek and return. A local farmer is carrying all luggage in his jeep, equipment and supplies as well as tired or injured members of the group. Taxi between your hotel and Reykjavik domestic airport.

Food: We pride ourselves on providing the best cuisine in the highlands! Breakfast is Scandinavian-style, with muesli, breads, jams, fish and cheese. Packed lunch, with a variety of sandwich fillings, from smoked meats and fish to local cheeses and salads. Dinners involve fresh, local fish and meat dishes, with pasta, rice or potatoes, fresh vegetables and salad. Vegetarians and those with food allergies can be fully catered for with a range of tasty options. It is essential that you inform our office of any special food requirements at the time of booking!

For usability, but no obligation, you can bring with you a little speciality of your home country to share with your companions as well as a flask of some thing for a short drink in the middle of nowhere.

Accommodation: 4 nights in huts (3 nights) and  2 nights hostel in Bakkagerði


Trip preparation and notes: The walking level is from moderate to strenuous. You will  carry XXXXXXXXXXXX. This should present no serious difficulty for persons with at least some mountain walking experience, plus a good level of personal fitness. An experienced Icelandic guide leads the trek. The group is expected to assist with all aspects of making and breaking camp, including meal preparation. Once in the mountains, each group becomes an independent entity. The camaraderie, teamwork and friendships forged, add much to the richness of each person’s experience. This trek passes through some areas of complete wilderness. Some of the walking is partly off-track, with terrain conditions constantly changing, with underfoot conditions constantly changing. Therefore, sturdy, well worn-in hiking boots are a must. Most days involve river crossings, so it is essential that all trekkers carry suitable footwear to change into. See our kit list for more information. We trek for 6-7 hours per day, on average, but this may be longer, depending on weather conditions and group speed. Maximum altitude doesn’t rise more than 1000m. Elevation change for most days should be no more than 300m.

You’ll need to bring comfortable and adequate clothing to protect you from cold and wet weather, such as polypropylene, capilene, or pile. Wool and wool/synthetic blends are also suitable - though wool, if wet, dries slowly compared to synthetic fabrics. We discourage the use of cotton in wet conditions it dries very slowly. When camping, tents are provided. You will be responsible for bringing your mattress and sleeping bag.

When layering, the innermost layer should be long underwear. The middle layer can be a synthetic turtleneck or wool shirt, and pants. The outermost layer must be a breathable waterproof jacket such as a good quality Gore-Tex wind/rain parka and over-pants.
For quantities for each item listed, use your own judgement, based on the expected weather conditions and overall packing/weight restrictions for your luggage.

  • Regular underwear. Synthetics are easier to wash and dry
  • Synthetic thermal underwear
  • Long-sleeved, synthetic or wool shirt
  • Short-sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic T-shirts
  • Medium-weight synthetic fleece sweater or jacket
  • Full-length pants, quick-drying synthetic fabric
  • Down jacket from mid-August to September (optional)
  • Hiking shorts, quick-drying synthetic fabric
  • Pile/fleece pants, ideal for around the camp
  • Sun & rain hat
  • Wool hat
  • Gloves (wool or pile)
  • Waterproofed shell gloves
  • Medium weight synthetic socks
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind parka
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind pants
  • Hiking boots, medium-weight, all leather, with padded ankle, good arch support, and a lug sole traction. Your hiking boots should be waterproof, well broken in, and suitable for rocky terrain or possibly snow.
  • Comfortables shoes to wear when not hiking (optional) Teva-type sandals for river crossing. Absolutely recommended! Gaiters. Highly recommended.

Travel Accessories

  • Comfortable sleeping bag +10°C to –10°C which can be opened all the way
  • Cotton sheet to cover the hut’s mattress
  • Pillow if you can’t sleep without one (optional)
  • Swimsuit and towel for hot spring bathing and swimming pool
  • 1-to-2 liters capacity unbreakable water bottle or thermos
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries (essential from August onwards)
  • Swiss Army-type pocket knife (Must be kept in duffle bag, not in hand luggage, when flying !)
  • Sunglasses
  • Eye shades. Highly recommended from April to last July!
  • Wax ear plugs
  • Spare pair of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses (but not only lenses, as wind-blown dust can make them very uncomfortable)
  • Toiletry kit—soap, toothbrush, and so on.
  • Moisturizing lotion. (The air in Iceland is very dry)
  • Sunscreen and lip protection (The sun in Iceland is much more intense than you probably imagine)
  • Personal first aid kit

Optional Travel Accessories

  • Hiking poles. Highly recommended
  • Binoculars
  • Repair kit with needle, thread, and safety pins
  • Reading and writing material
  • Your favorite snack food such as raisins or chocolate
  • Protein supplements for vegetarian
  • Your own food reserves if you are vegan
  • 1 or 2 good bottles of wine or a bottle of something stronger
  • Netting hood in June and July *

There are no mosquitoes in Iceland (not yet), but in early summer midges swarms invade the banks of rivers and lakes in the lowlands like Lake Myvatn "Lake of gnats." With global warming now midges start to colonize certain areas of higher land with swamps vegetation. The outbreak period is short, but extremely difficult for the hiker. Gloves a long sleeve shirt and especially a safety netting hood that slips over your hat or cap can save you if you find yourself a day without wind in the midst of clouds of these very annoying critters. You will certainly not use it but in case... and that's not a huge investment.

This is an interactive map. Click on the icons and the trail to get more information and photos.