Palpable Beauty of Esjan Mountain
Esjan is one of Iceland’s most famous destinations for day hiking. Located in Kjalarnes in the South West area of Iceland, it will surely intrigue you if you want to experience some thrill. Iceland’s magnificent mountains and widespread water bodies are captivating. A volcanic range, Esjan mountain is another gem from Iceland that is breathtaking. The mountain is an ancient gift to the land but in the absence of any volcanic activity, it has changed a little bit. Basalt and tuff rock are the two components of Esjan, giving a raw and edgy look to the flat mountain. On a summer visit, explorers can find various lupin and wildflower fields across this Icelandic peak.
Esjan Mountain- A Fantastical Experience
Situated at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the city of Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, Esjan Mountain offers mesmerizing views. The easy access and short distance from the city is the beauty of this place. Considered the mountain queen in Reykjavík’s skyline, Esjan’s walking trails are an experience worth taking given its 914 meters height. The mountain has an ancient history attached to it that dates back to the last Ice Age. For hikers and trekkers, Esjan has many surprises as it is considered a paradise for hikers. Enriched green trails will rejuvenate you. Keep your camera with you certainly as you may spot some iconic birds who could pose for you. Mount Esjan has recently been the location for many concerts, with helicopters carrying music lovers to the top for a fantastic display under the midnight sun.
Hiking Mount Esjan
Esjan mountain is quite famous among the locals and visitors for hiking, considering its short distance from Reykjavík. There are different paths through which you can hike to the mountain. The paths are well-marked and there are display boards to reflect the difficulty of each route. This makes it easier to decide which path will best suit you. Two popular paths are Þverfellshorn which is 780 meters and Kerhólakambur which is 851 meters. Hábunga is the highest point situated at an additional three-kilometer distance northeast from Þverfellshorn. Trek takes about two to four hours but the time may vary depending upon the fitness level of the hikers. You will meet many local hikers and runners all along your way, absorbing the beauty of this mountain.
It is crucial to be equipped with proper hiking gear when hiking Esja, with a good knowledge of your hiking capabilities. Hikers, who have newly started the activity, should only take a simple route, and only expert climbers should try to scale challenging peaks. Proper clothing and sturdy shoes are a must.
The hiking season to Mount Esjan is the summer months. Usually most of the hikers that you will meet on your way are locals enjoying their daily activity and nature. Most people do not hire a professional guide since the hiking routes are very clear and you will meet a lot of people on the way if you have any questions. Mount Esjan looks lovely in winters with its snow-capped visuals, but it is not recommended to hike there when it is snow covered.
Being highly careful while climbing is mandatory, especially through winter with ice, rain, and heavy fog. For safe climbing, you should have a pair of sturdy boots. Keeping a thorough check on weather forecasts is important as the weather can turn anytime during winters.
How to Get to Mount Esjan
You can easily reach the mountain in only around 20 minutes drive from Reykjavík, via car. You will start from Vesturlandsvegur- Route 49 and thereafter follow road number 1 (Þjóðvegur). This leads you out of the city to a small fjord called Kollafjörður. You have to take the exit to the right at the northeast edge of the fjord and you arrive at a large parking lot which offers free parking. Right beneath the slopes, there is a great café-restaurant where you can relax for a while. You can start the trek that runs uphill from there.
Alternatively, you can also use public transport to reach Esjan. The public buses also go there every hour. Bus number 15 starts from Hlemmur bus station and routes towards Mosfellsbær. You have to get off at Háholt and change to bus number 57 which goes towards Esja Hiking Centre.
Where to stay near Mount Esjan
Since Mount Esjan is located close to the capital city, it is ideal to go there on a day trip when you are staying in Reykjavik. It might also be your first or last stop when driving the Ring Road of Iceland. If you decide to stay in Reykjavik you can find variety of hotels and guesthouses, you can also choose to stay at camping grounds. If you would like to stay near Mountain Esjan you can choose Hotel Laxnes in Mosfellsbær. It has fine and spacious rooms available on a sharing basis if you are looking to save some costs. Facilities like free parking and wifi are also available. There are plenty of simple options on the outskirts of Reykjavík that might better suit your needs, depending on the tour and itinerary.