Iceland’s mountains are plentiful and stunning, viewed from almost everywhere in the country, whether you’re in the capital or driving the famous Ring Road. Here’s everything you need to know about Iceland’s most popular mountain peaks!

Does Iceland have mountains?

Yes! Iceland has thousands of mountains, most of which have given names.

Iceland rests perfectly where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. The pulling apart of these plates is what causes Iceland’s notorious volcanic activity and what created the country’s beautiful mountain ranges and peaks.

There are huge numbers of mountains in Iceland

5 Best Mountains to See When Traveling in Iceland

Although there are thousands of mountains in Iceland, some are extra worth the trek out to. These are five Icelandic mountains that are worth seeking out

1/ Kirkjufell Mountain

There’s one mountain in Iceland that you might already be familiar with. Its name is Kirkjufell. Appearing in the Game of Thrones series, covered in snow, Kirkjufell Mountain is a stunning spire on the northern edge of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Famously captured by photographer Don Fleming, Kirkufjell is accessible—and beautiful—at any time of year! That means you can visit no matter which season you choose to travel to Iceland.

How long does it take to drive from Reykjavík to Kirkjufell?

It takes approximately 2.5 hours to drive from Reykjavik to Kirkjufell Mountain. You’ll take the Ring Road (Route 1) in a clockwise direction until you reach the town of Borgarnes, known as the Gateway to the West. Tucked near the town of Grundarfjordur, you’ll find a parking lot near Kirkjufellsfoss, a nearby waterfall that’s easily accessed and provides great views of the mountain.

the Kirkjufell mountain under the dancing northen light

2/Vestrahorn Mountain

Vestrahorn Mountain is a jagged peak that sits right on the Atlantic Ocean. Its sheer cliffs and barbed peaks are perfectly reflected in the sea, with sprawling beach landscapes to accompany the striking views. Also called Batman Mountain, there are several hiking trails near Vestrahorn, taking you across the black sand beaches and up to the Viking Village.

The best time to visit Vestrahorn Mountain is in summer or autumn as road conditions can become treacherous in winter and early spring. Although the road to get there is paved, Eastern Iceland is rugged and remote.

How long does it take to drive from Reykjavík to Vestrahorn?

Vestrahorn Mountain is about a 6 hour drive from Reykjavik. The path to get there is extremely easy to navigate as drivers will simply follow the Route 1 Ring Road in a counterclockwise direction to the east. As you start to approach Vestrahorn, make a right hand turn at the Stokksnes sign. Follow the road that leads out to the Stokksnes Peninsula and provides excellent views of Vestrahorn. The parking lot for the Viking Village also has exceptional views!

the Vestrahorn mountain in Southeast Iceland

3/ Lómagnúpur Mountain

Situated on Iceland’s southern coast, Lómagnúpur Mountain is one of the most breathtaking peaks in the Land of Fire and Ice. Rising like a spire in Iceland’s south sand plains of Skeidararsandur, this mountain was once a sea stack.

You can visit Lómagnúpur Mountain at any time of year. Visitors will want to make sure they rent a 4WD vehicle in months when weather conditions can be difficult, including winter and parts of the shoulder seasons. Always check Iceland’s official website for road conditions before heading out.

How long does it take to drive from Reykjavík to Lómagnúpur?

It’s extremely easy to reach Lómagnúpur Mountain as it sits right on the Ring Road. This is one reason why it’s such a recognizable silhouette. The drive from Reykjavik takes 4 hours by car to reach Lómagnúpur Mountain. A viewing area, just off the Ring Road, is a great spot to grab a peek at the peak itself. As it’s near Vatnajokull National Park, you can easily tack on a visit to this beautiful preserve.

Lómagnúpur Mountain in south Iceland

4/ Mount Esja

Mount Esja might be Iceland’s most iconic mountain, viewed easily from Reykjavik’s waterfront. Hidden beneath a glacier, this mountain is actually an extinct volcano and a popular hiking destination for visitors and Icelanders alike.

Visitors can see Mount Esja year round from the capital or get up close and personal. Drivers can, once again, follow the Ring Road in a clockwise direction until they reach the mountain.

How long does it take to drive from Reykjavík to Mount Esja?

It takes 50 minutes to drive from Reykjavik to Mount Esja. Visitors can park at the Esjuræter Hiking Center, which also makes for a great place to take off on your own hike around the mountain!

enjoy the view of Esja mountain at the sea of reykjavik

5/ Landmannalaugar Mountains

Landmannalaugar is one of Iceland’s most elusive and beautiful locations. Also known as the Rainbow Mountains for its colorful mineral deposits, this volcanic mountain range is located in the core of Iceland, and its landscapes are breathtaking and dramatic to match.

Visiting the Landmannalaugar Mountains is a summer only adventure! Weather and road conditions prevent even the most thrill-seeking from making their way into Iceland’s interior Highlands.

How long does it take to drive from Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar?

It takes at least 3 hours and 20 minutes to reach Landmannalaugar from Reykjavik. You’ll need to take F-roads, which can only be accessed via a 4WD vehicle. Even then, conditions like swollen rivers can prevent you from reaching your destination.

you can see a view of blue peaks at Iceland hightland

Except the mountains, What Volcanic and Glacial Wonders Can You Explore in Iceland?

Iceland’s landscape is dotted with active volcanoes and hot springs, adding another layer of adventure to your mountain exploration. The country’s volcanic activity is due to its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. This results in frequent volcanic eruptions, creating dramatic changes in the landscape.

One of the most famous areas for volcanic activity is the Reykjanes Peninsula. This region is characterized by its lava fields and geothermal activity, offering visitors a chance to witness the raw power of nature. Exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula, you can visit the famous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that provides a unique way to relax after a day of exploring.

the best volcano map in Iceland

What Can You See in Vatnajökull National Park and Glacier?

Vatnajökull National Park is home to the largest glacier in Europe, the Vatnajökull Glacier. This park is a must-visit for those interested in Iceland’s natural beauty. The park offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, ice caves, and glacial lagoons. Hiking trails throughout the park provide opportunities to see the diverse landscapes, including volcanic craters and vast ice fields. The proximity of Vatnajökull Glacier to peaks like Lómagnúpur Mountain makes it a convenient and enriching addition to your mountain adventures.The Influence of Literature and Geography

How Do Literature and Geography Connect to Iceland’s Mountains?

Jules Verne, the renowned author, was inspired by Iceland’s landscapes. In his novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” Verne describes the Snæfellsjökull volcano as the entrance to a subterranean world. This literary connection adds a layer of intrigue to your visit, as you can explore the same landscapes that sparked Verne’s imagination.

Kirkjufell Iceland

What is the Significance of Iceland’s Highest Mountain?

Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnúkur, rises 2,110 meters above sea level. Located in the southeast part of the country, this peak is part of the Öræfajökull volcano, which is covered by the Vatnajökull Glacier. Climbing this mountain is a challenging adventure, but the panoramic views from the summit are incredibly rewarding.

What Can You Discover in the Western Landscapes of Iceland?

The west part of Iceland is rich in natural wonders, including the striking cone-shaped mountains. This region is less visited than the south, offering a more serene experience. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula, often called “Iceland in Miniature,” features a variety of landscapes, from volcanic craters to picturesque fjords. Kirkjufell Mountain, located in this region, is a prime example of the scenic beauty found in the west.

Best rental car to rent for this trip: 4WD rental cars

The best car option for adventurous travelers, photographers, and those who are simply curious visitors who want to get close to the mountains is, without a doubt, a 4WD vehicle.

While some of these mountains can be seen even without a car, some will require a 4WD vehicle. Instead of taking a chance on whether or not you’ll need one, it’s best to book a car that can go the distance.

you need to rent a good 4wd car to visit the canyon located in the highland

Conclusion

Visiting Iceland’s mountains is an exercise in adventure! From the multicolored peaks of Landmannalaugar to Kirkjufell Mountains’ movie-quality scenery, any of these summits is worthy of a road trip.

Be sure to book your 4WD rental car through Firefly Iceland Car Rentals to ensure you get the cheapest rates with the best quality vehicles. With the right vehicle, you can explore even the most remote areas in Iceland and experience all the natural beauty the country has to offer.

Cheapest rental car options in our Fleet

DUSTER

Dacia Duster or similar | Manual | 4×4 | 2020-2021 (CFMX)

Group E2 Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 3 Large
  • 5 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

Suitable for the highland F-roads. Please read Terms & Conditions.
You must be 23 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 4 Wheel Drive
  • 116 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • ABS
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
VW-GOLF

VW Golf or similar | Automatic | 2020-2021 Model (CDAX)

Group: B2 Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 2 Large Bags
  • 5 Doors
  • Automatic
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 1 Small Bag
  • 2 Large, 1 Small
  • 138 cc
  • Adjustable Steering
  • Cruise Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • ABS
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
VW-GOLF

VW Golf or similar | Manual | 2020-2021 Model (CDMX)

Group: B Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 2 Large Bags
  • 4 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 1 Small Bag
  • 2 Large, 1 Small
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • 125 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
VW-POLO

VW Polo or similar| Manual | 2020-2021 Model (EDMX)

Group A Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 2 Large
  • 5 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • 99 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
  • Satelite Navigation
TIGUAN

VW Tiguan or similar | Automatic | 4×4 | 2020-2021 Model (IFAX)

Group: OReservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 3 Large
  • 5 Doors
  • Automatic
  • Airconditioning

Suitable for the highland F-roads. Please read Terms & Conditions.
You must be 23 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 4 Wheel Drive
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
VW_UP

VW Up or similar | Manual | 2020-2021 Model (MBMX)

Group: Z Reservations are made by car category only. ,We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 4 Passengers
  • 1 Large
  • 4 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • Petrol or Diesel
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • 95 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Remote Locking
  • Fog Lamps