Trek in the Elves Mountains – The running Queens

This beautiful trek has been nominated by the National Geographic Magazine as one of the 25 most beautiful treks in the world! It is geared for all nature lovers in search of an immersion in nature at its best.

If you are looking to visit Iceland as most people do, this is not for you, we will not drive in a coach to reach the fenced best known sites in Iceland, along with hundreds of people . Instead we invite you to get acquainted with a powerful remote nature, that will make this journey really unique in the eastern fjords of Iceland.   

One thing is certain this trek remains a favorite and keeps our heart beating.

In Northeastern Iceland, the Víknaslódir trail (“Trail of the Deserted Inlets”) extends over an area where coastal mountains plunge abruptly into the sea. For the Icelandic people, 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 color spectrum of rhyolite, an acidic form of lava.

From these blue, pink and ochre colors, 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 color 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 methodically, the gleaming morning sun burns through these layers which, after some resistance, escape specter-like through the mountain pass.

Driftwood in large numbers, bleached by the salt of the sea, arrives regularly from Siberia and runs around 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......

The prices shown below include domestic flight(s) between Reykjavik and Egilsstadir.

The price shown on the website is based on 8-9 participants, but the final price will depend on the exact number of participants signed up on the trip.

6 to 7 participants: Price 3460 Euros
8 to 9 participants: Price 2895 Euros
10 to 12 participants: Price 2745 Euros
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D1: Egilstaðir - Seydisfjördur - Loðmundarfjörður
6-7 hours (9 miles) hiking 1200 ft elevation gain/loss – Loðmundarfjörður Mountain Hut
Meeting in Reykjavik at your hotel, drive to the domestic airport - Early morning flight to Egilsstaðir.  Drive to the colorful village of 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 sidetrack to the deserted and beautiful Loðmundarfjörður fjord which remained for many years one of the most isolated and inaccessible community 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

D2: Loðmundarfjörður - Húsavík
5-6 hours hiking (7,5 miles) - 1200 ft elevation gain/loss – Mountain hut
Weather permitting, we climb in the rhyolite mountains in the direction to the pass of Kækjuskörð where the view is breathtaking. 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 less than 280 miles away are the beautiful Faroe Islands.  At the pass 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 civilization). During the descent through moorland we reach the foot of Mount Hvítserkur one of the most picturesque and strange mountain in the country. Hvítserkur consists of bright ignimbrite, fancifully streaked with darker veins. Descent toward Húsavík. The hut is located on the site of a small, old farm, deserted in the 1950s after centuries of occupation.

D3: Húsavík - Breiðavík
5-7 hours hiking (9 miles) - 1320 ft elevation gain/loss– Mountain hut
We walk up and down toward the beautiful wild bay of Breiðavík. A wonderful place with coastal marsh and 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 human behavior!

D4: Breiðavík - Brúnavík -Bakkagerði
5-7 hours hiking (9,5 miles) - 1320 ft elevation gain/loss – B&B Inn 
We progress across stunningly massive rhyolite mountains displaying an incredible palet of all imaginable ochre and pastel colors from blue to pink. Then we continue 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, and eider ducks. Tonight we will be staying at one of our favourite accommodation in all of Iceland, Blabjorg, where there is a nice jaccousi and spa.

D5: Dyrfjöll-Storurð-Bakkagerði
6-8 hours hiking (9,5 miles)- 2300 ft elevation gain/loss B&B 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. Second night at the charming Blabjorg Guesthouse.

D6: Bakkagerdi - Egilsstaðir (Reykjavik)
44 miles driving
Departure and drive up to the plateau and 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. Transfer back and night at the hotel Alda in downtown Reykjavik.

The prices shown below include domestic flight(s) between Reykjavik and Egilsstadir.

The price shown on the website is based on 8-9 participants, but the final price will depend on the exact number of participants signed up on the trip.

6 to 7 participants: Price 3460 Euros
8 to 9 participants: Price 2895 Euros
10 to 12 participants: Price 2745 Euros

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: 3 nights in huts and 2 nights in a nice guesthouse with a spa.

Trip preparation and notes: This is an assisted hut-to-hut trekking. The walking level is from moderate to strenuous. You will only carry in a light day-pack what you need for the day. 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.

What are the huts like on this trek?
The huts are lovely small painted wood cabins. A large entrance allows you to leave your hiking gear, luggage, shoes before entering the main room, that is to say a friendly dining room opening on a well-equipped kitchen. In the center of the dining room stands a wood stove always working and giving a very special ambiance to our evenings and very much appreciated when the weather is getting colder. Upstairs , a large room offer separate or bunk beds , next to each other, the mattresses are comfortable , but there are no sheets or pillows, this why you will need to bring your sleeping bag, cotton sheet to cover the  mattress and a small pillow if you can’t sleep without one (optional).Outside there is another building where one or two showers are located as well as the toilets. There is also a warm and ventilated dryer for wet clothes and shoes.

The huts are maintained and kept all summer. The hut keepers are in charge of the building maintenance and supplies.

Our Icelandic guide and I, we will be happy to be your cooking chefs, preparing some delicious Icelandic specialties..

It certainly will not be as fancy as many of the accommodations you have been used to stay in most of the hiking trips I have offered, but I can guarantee you,  you will love the experience of these 3 nights in the Deserted Inlets huts.



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 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.
  • Comfortable shoes to wear when not hiking (optional) Teva-type sandals for river crossing. Absolutely recommended! Gaiters. Highly recommended.
  • Hiking poles. 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 onward)
  • Swiss Army-type pocketknife (Must be kept in duffle bag, not in hand luggage, when flying!)
  • Sunglasses
  • Eye shades. Highly recommended from April to late July!
  • 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

  • Binoculars
  • Repair kit with needle, thread, and safety pins
  • Reading and writing material
  • Your favorite snack food
  • 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 Alcohol is very expensive in Iceland, I usually buy 1 or 2 bottles in the Duty-Free shop as I arrive at Keflavik airport.

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