Anyone looking to set foot atop the roof of Iceland will need to head towards the Öræfajökull volcano, located in massive Vatnajökull National Park. Here you’ll find the Hvannadalshnúkur massif, a towering 2,110 m peak that looms over both the North Atlantic (just a handful of kilometers to the south) as well as the largest glacier in Europe. Pretty decent scenery, if you ask us.
The hike to the highest point in Iceland is not much in the way of a technical challenge, however it does require crampons, ice axes, fitness and, due to rapidly fluctuating weather and an abundance of potentially deadly crevasses, good working knowledge of Hvannadalshnúkur. For this reason it’s almost always worth it to bite the bullet and pay for a guided trek (which can run over $300 USD), especially if you don’t have your own experienced glacier-hiking team making the journey with you. Ascending and descending the mountain will usually take in the neighborhood of 10-15 hours, and is generally done via the more-accessible Sandfellsleið route. Prep for a strenuous day, and make sure to plan your trek sometime between mid-April through mid-August when it’s safest to go. Other than that, good luck and enjoy the view from the top of one of Europe’s most adventure-laden countries.