Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

To say that the ascension to Kristinartindar is the best trekking in Iceland It's aiming very high, but you would definitely find it in the top 5 of the routes you can do in a single day. This wonder marked a before and after during our trip to Iceland, being later much more demanding when choosing our future routes. Therefore, if you do not have the necessary time to be able to make several trekking through this beautiful island, Kristinartindar It is your choice.

Kristínartindar The best trekking in Iceland

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

After 8 days of travel and several trekkings behind us, including the Landmannalaugar, the day came when we would have to "taste" what is supposed to be the best trekking in Iceland or one of them. The place where he is is well known, the Skaftafell National Park, the place of residence of one of the most beautiful and strangest waterfalls in Iceland, the waterfall of Svartifoss. It also houses the highest peak in the country, the Hvannadalshnúkur, more than 2000 meters high and whose image we will not take off on the entire route.

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Ascent to Kristinartindar (1125m). The best trekking in Iceland

To begin we must know that the route is 100% circular and that its hardness will depend on the state of the terrain. Generally the route opens between the months of June and September, when the snows have left the route and especially the summit, a place that can be quite dangerous if found. In fact it was, but the snow was soft enough not to pose a real danger. Therefore it is advisable to inform the state of the route at the reception of the national park of Skateftafell, especially in the month of June.

The route starts at less than 100 meters high, from the same parking lot that has access to the national park and the route of the Svartifoss waterfall. Moreover, during the first 300 meters we will follow the same path, until we find a fork on the right after ascending our first slope. A pity, because the road to the waterfall is well maintained and is especially comfortable, things of mass tourism.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

From now on we will continue along a narrow shadow path whose trees will quickly disappear to give way to wonderful views of one of the languages ​​of the glacier Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Iceland.

This path is also used by those people who go to the lookout of the Glacier, returning to the parking lot by the same path they had traveled.

Ascension to the Kristinartindar

On the contrary we continue the path until it begins to narrow more of the account and its state begins to get worse, having one to be guided by the milestones placed along the way.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

From this point on Kristinartindar you cannot see, only a very rocky mountain range that ends in the same glacier. We know that our destiny is behind and that some snow and a lot of slippery trails are waiting for us. In fact the snow appeared at 700 meters high on several unimportant snows.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

Several sections over snow, some of them a little exposed, we divert to a couple of viewpoints. These are a great place to stop along the way and have some food and water.

The rest did not serve to analyze the weather and at the moment the rain that marked the meteorological part did not seem to be close to appearing.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

After the viewpoints, the route deviates in two, one of them going straight up and another turning to the left, just the one we take. Be careful with this point because it is not marked and everything seemed to indicate that we should continue along the other path, but the GPS as a good helper, he corrected us and we followed the right path. Buff, even the one that can be the best trekking of Iceland It is sometimes poorly marked.

Ascension to the Kristinartindar

The slope begins to lean more than the bill and the path becomes a mass of inconsistent pebbles. In some sections we have to exercise caution and the sticks come as a ring to the finger.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

After overcoming a slope that had been complicated by a stream and its consequent mud, we reached a hill located 940 meters high where a good ice sheet had formed. Here we were about to take out the crampons of our backpacks, but finally it was not necessary. Even so, we took the ice ax and we kept the canes, although 100 meters later we had to change the tools again :-D.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

We started the final climb and the almost 200 meters of unevenness that separated us from the Kristinartindar. The road promised to be very steep and not suitable for people with vertigo, especially the descent. The stones that fell from any point seemed to be positioned under our feet to stumble. This only made us forget the wonderful views and put all our senses on the road.

Route through the Skaftafell National Park

Until we finally did top in the Kristinartindar and we could sign in the mailbox of the conquerors. Curiously, we were the second group that went up this year and the truth is that we were also the only people who went up that day. A true privilege.

Kristínartindar The best trekking in Iceland

The top is quite exposed and one of its sides contains a fall of several hundred meters. A lot of eye. Anyway from up there we can move 50 meters ahead and take photographs of another language of the glacier.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

It is time to get off and we have to go down the same road, at least to the hill located at 940m. The descent is not easy and we try to be as cautious as possible. Once on the hill we had to go down a slope with lots of snow and no footprint, having to make extra effort to cross it.

Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

From here the road becomes easier and the path had no loss. It is enough to go down and down, going through an occasional step with wooden planks and even bridges. Personally it seemed that this part of the road was being prepared for another kind of route, one dedicated to the ornithology, due to the large number of birds that nest in this area.

Route through the Skaftafell National Park

We begin to leave the Kristinartindar behind and we see in the background a great fall where a great desert of sand is created created by the retreat of the glacier Vatnajökull. Simply from movie.


After several kilometers we will arrive at a viewpoint next to a crossing. This already indicates the parking lot where we left the car and also warns of an alternative detour going through the famous waterfall of Svartifoss, which we logically take.


We arrived at the waterfall quite late and it was really good time because it was practically empty, without people. Here we take our last breath and take the opportunity to drink water, water of the gods. Once back on the road, we only had to walk 15 more minutes to get to the parking lot and finish the route. A joy.

Practical data Kristinartindar. The best trekking in Iceland

When to go?

It is a long route of approximately 7 hours and is only open from June to the end of September. Because of its situation, it is advisable not to go too soon because of the orientation of the sun.

How to get?

To get there, just go to the entrance of the Skaftafell National Park and park in the access parking to the waterfall of Svartifoss.

What to wear

The route is very cool and requires warm weather, with windbreaks and goretex mandatory. In some cases the ice ax and crampons are necessary, so it is advisable to find out the status of the route from the information office located in the parking lot. Also, for the most part there is no water.

Is the route hard?

It is not a ride and requires acceptable status. For those who suffer from vertigo or balance problems it is not advisable.

Where to sleep?

Iceland is a country with a very low hotel offer and therefore very expensive. To not vary near Skateftafell There is not much therefore the recommendations are based on the hotels closest to the route.

  • Hotel Skaftafell: large capacity hotel used mainly by large groups.
  • Hof 1 Hotel: comfortable hotel with SPA, restaurant and wifi in the rooms.