Beautiful walking paths:
Many beautifull walking paths are in the neighborhood of Guesthouse Skálafell. The most popular one, Hjallanes loop, goes thru the Vatnajökull National Park to the glacier Skálafellsjökull and follows the river Kolgríma. You can see details of the walkings paths here below.
1. Hjallanes loop
Pleasant, 7-km hike, taking about 2-3 hrs and rising 120 m
Going east from the farm, you pass the rock pile of a seeress’s grave. Still farther east, note the old hearth, made of sod and rocks and once used when washing wool. You can also look into Kistugil ravine before reaching the posts marking the trail that leads to the outlet glacier Skálafellsjökull and around Hjallanes. This route allows you to observe clearly how previous glacial ice has eroded the landscape, and you can see a variety of fauna, particularly birds and sheep and with luck even a fox or some reindeer. Be wary of going too close to the glacial tongue, since old ice may be melting under moraine a considerable distance away and creating dangerously soft spots. A former porphyritic basalt quarry can be seen down by the river, which you can also follow on your way back, although the riverbank route has no posts.
2. Skálafell – Káravatn lake
Pleasant, 9-km hike, rising about 440 m
Despite the substantial rise in elevation, this route is an easy one, first walking east on hayfields. After ascending Hjallanes (cf. Rte 1), head up the slopes of Skálafellshnúta, keeping right of Svartagil ravine and proceeding down to Káravatn. We recommend returning to Skálafell by the same route.
3. Skálafell – Skálafellssel ruins
Nice and easy 4-km walk from the Skálafell farmyard, with no rise in elevation
Follow the vehicle track southwest along the foot of the mountain, until reaching the easily recognised turf and rock ruins of Skálafellssel farm. You can then opt to walk down along Smyrlabjargaá river to Rte 4, by the high rocks of Gleypuhraun.
4. High rocks of Kambahraun – Gleypuhraun
From Road No. 1 south of Skálafell; 2-km walk, with no rise in elevation. Easy pleasant walk for any age group
The high, pretty rocks of Gleypuhraun, near the main road south of Skálafell, are home to both elves and numerous birds. Following the old vehicle track, you soon reach a massive rock arch, through which it was said that four people could ride side by side. The area takes its name from the old dry-stone sheepfold to the north, named Gleypa, while the area of high rocks northeast of the arch is named Kambahraun. You can extend your walk by going up along Smyrlabjargaá river and more or less taking Rte 3 on your return.
5. Austurland, short loop
Starting point above the main road just east of the river Kolgríma; 2,5-km, with only a small rise in elevation
If you choose to go counterclockwise, follow the posts alongside the rough rocks associated with Austurland, the land east of the river. Along the way you can view remains of earlier agricultural practices, such as a dry-stone sheepfold and a cave once used for housing sheep. Having passed this cave, turn up onto the rocks to reach the beautiful Hellisvatn lake. Finally, go back along the banks of Kolgríma.
6. Austurland, long loop
Starting point above the highway just east of the river Kolgríma; 8-km or 3-4 hrs, with only a small rise in elevation
Head east skirting the rough rock faces in Austurland (cf. Rte 5). Note the remains of fallen turf and rock buildings and other signs of habitation in among the scenic cliffs, where elves are said to live. Turn left up onto the Ásar ridges, then keep the easternmost spot of high rock in Austurland, Hánípa, on your right. The bridge just north of Hánípa once led over the dangerous Heinabergsvötn river, but that water now runs through other channels. Walk west to the river Kolgríma and go down along it to where you began. Part of Rte 6 is marked by posts.