Discover Iceland On The Run With These Seven Tips

Discover running in a truly unique environment...

Trail running through Iceland is truly a unique experience. Rugged trails in an untamed landscape are never more than 10 minutes away, even in the city centre. Mysterious smoke rising from hot springs, volcanic lava fields, frozen glaciers, dark mountains, wild rivers and calm lakes are all within easy reach.

1. Join A Trail Race

This is a great way to explore new routes. These races are on some of the most amazing trails in Iceland – in the highlands and in all parts of the country, each offering their own different challenges. Aid stations mark the route, so there’s very little chance you’ll get lost while exploring.

2. Explore Reykjavíks Coastal Paths

Enjoy the amazing views across the ocean and keep well away from the busy streets. If you’re located in the centre of town you can run along the coast to the south of Reykjavík, around Elliðaárdalur in the east, and then over to the north side of Reykjavík along the ocean—well over 20 kilometres—only crossing the road once.

3. Leave The Towns Behind

The urban areas in Iceland are relatively small which means that wherever you’re staying, great paths are never far away. On the edge of Reykjavik is Heiðmörk, the dreamland of Reykjavik trail runners, with tens of kilometres of woodland trails.

4. Visit A Swimming Pool

A swimming pool? Yes! There’s nothing Icelanders enjoy more after a run than a relaxing dip in a hot tub. As running has become more popular many pools also have ice baths to help you recover. You will also find that most pools have route maps for nearby runs too.

5. Meet Up With A Local Club

There are running clubs all over Reykjavik and the surrounding towns so you’re never far from a club. You don’t have to sign up before, just turn up and introduce yourself. Enjoy a run with some local guides and make some new friends too!

6. Run In The Midnight Sun

One of the most unique opportunities for running in Iceland. In the summer here the sun barely sets, so the middle of the night is as bright as the day. Running under the midnight sun in this magical setting is an experience you will not soon forget.

7. Keep To The Trails

Roads, in particular the ones leading to tourist traps, are very busy. They can be quite tight in heavy traffic, but with so many miles of trails on your doorstep you should have no trouble avoiding them!

There is everything to like about running in Iceland. You will only see an occasional hiker or runner; sheep are much more common than people on these trails. The weather reflects the landscape, completely unpredictable from one moment to the next, when running in this environment you must expect the unexpected.

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Running in Iceland


Running In Iceland is a blog Gudmundur Kristinsson and Halla Bjorg Thorhallsdottir created to share their passion for running, and encourage everyone to discover Iceland on the run. The site has a race calendar, maps of running routes, race description and information about the running clubs in Iceland.

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