Beautiful nature

There are numerous beautiful parks and hiking areas in and around Hafnarfjörður.
Here are a few of our favourite spots.

Hafnarfjörður is surrounded by beautiful nature, and outdoorsy types will enjoy hiking in the surroundings. Mt. Helgafell has an accessible and easy trail and is popular for all levels of hikers, as is Mt. Ásfjall, which offers wonderful views over the town and surrounding fjord. East of Ásfjall is Ástjörn, a small lake and bird reserve that is home to over 44 bird species. This is a delightful outdoor area, perfect for picnics and walks.

Equally idyllic is Lake Hvaleyrarvatn, with picturesque trails winding through the surrounding forest and hills. For the full Icelandic experience, don't forget to bring some hot dogs to grill on the outdoor barbecues. If you'd prefer to ride rather than walk, don't miss the opportunity to cozy up with an adorable Icelandic horse. Tours are available for riders of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced riders.

Víðistaðatún Sculpture Park 49 Features 16 outdoor sculptures by local and international artists. The park also has a six-hole disc golf course, football field, tennis courts and camping grounds. Barbeque facilities.

Hellisgerði 9 An enchanting and enchanted garden tucked away on a quiet street near the town centre. With intriguing lava formations blanketed in moss, it's easy to imagine where the elves make their homes. There is also the Little Elf store, which sells Icelandic designs and products connected to Icelandic folklore, and a small café where you can borrow a lunch basket and blanket for picnics in the park. A lovely place to spend an afternoon.

The Old Lighthouse 100 Built around 1900 and in full service until 1979, this landmark is known for its distinctive red and white stripes. Located on Vitastígur street.

Port of Hafnarfjörður 10 The charming ancient harbour of Hafnarfjörður. During summer the harbour is full of life and activity, bringing together time-honoured seafaring traditions with today's lively arts scene. The area is home to numerous studios and galleries that showcase Icelandic creativity and coolness.

Lækurinn Hafnarfjörður Pond 7 A great place to visit and a popular destination for families in Hafnarfjörður, who are often seen feeding bread to the bustling birdlife.

Hamarinn Cliff 8 Protected nature site and a sightseeing point offering expansive views of the town. Just a few minutes' walk from the town centre.

Ástjörn Bird Reserve 89 This pretty lake is a birdwatcher's paradise. Over 44 bird species have been seen in the area. Ideal for an afternoon stroll.

Lake Hvaleyrarvatn 99 A picturesque lake surrounded by forest and greenery. There are lots of trails to explore and handy barbecue facilities. The perfect spot for a picnic. In stark contrast to the rough, dark lava fields, the quiet and green Hvaleyrarvatn Lake area offers an idyllic spot to spend an afternoon or take a morning stroll. Fir trees stretch across the gentle sloping mountain, the silver and blue lake ripples, and a simple path beckons. Protected from the winds, local flora abounds, draping the landscape in a wash of greenery. In recent years, the Forestry Association of Hafnarfjörður helped revive the area with a sustained tree-planting campaign. With help from the townspeople and local school children, their efforts continue today. A comfortable two-kilometre walking path circles the small tranquil lake where many Icelanders come to fish in the warmer months. Trails also lead away from the water toward the hills, looping their way through the hushed forest and mossy undergrowth. From breaks in the treeline it's possible to catch sight of the cone-shaped Keilir Mountain in the distance. Also tucked along the paths are a memorial grove, a scouting centre, and of course, dozens of pleasant spots where one can stop to rest and to gather serene memories.

Mt. Helgafell – This “Holy Mountain” offers a relatively easy hike to the top and scenic views of the surrounding lava fields.Formed in the late Ice Age when a volcano erupted under a glacier, today Helgafell Mountain anchors Hafnarfjörður. Rising low in the distance beyond the town, this dense sandstone and lava mound is often referred to as the town's mountain. With an accessible and easy trail, walking on Helgafell is popular for all levels of hikers, including young children. An ascent begins at the Kaldársel sheep corral, not far from the small Kaldárbotnum Reservoir. Here, protruding and upheaved lava formations twist into endlessly fascinating shapes, including large expanses of undisturbed ropy pahoehoe and pseudocraters. Passing these, the walk continues up the flat northeast slope of Helluhraun before it hits a grassy slope and finally reaches the top. Despite standing only 338 m (1300 feet) high, the panoramic view from the summit is picture-perfect with views of Reykjavík, Flaxafói Bay, the Reykjanes Peninsula, and of course, Hafnarfjörður. To avoid the excessively steep and rocky face, it is recommended that you take the same route down the mountain. The round-trip can be completed in approximately 1½- 2 hours time. Note: In advance of your climb, be sure to check the weather for adverse conditions and be mindful of the sometimes-high winds on the mountaintop.


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