Go to the mysterious Heidmork, picnic in the forest or walk in a lava field. Heidmork is a perfect half-day trip from Reykjavik.
This day trip is perfect if you have a short weekend trip or a layover in Iceland. Heidmork is located just outside Reykjavik and is easy to reach. Do you want to have a peaceful walk in a forest or a spectacular lava field? The choice is yours. There are numerous walking trails in the forest and around a lake. Mostly locals go there during the weekends. As it is just outside Reykjavik and the walks are quite easy. Do not miss out on this place 🙂
If you want to go for a bit more adventure. Go for the hike up to the Glymur Waterfall! A day trip from Reykjavik! Iceland’s second-highest Waterfall!
I used to go here a lot when I was a kid since it’s so close to the city, it was an ideal day trip from Reykjavik for my family. Heidmork is a nature reserve area just outside Reykjavik. Since the 1940’s it has been a weekend recreational area for the people of Reykjavik. A lot of work has been put in there to build up a forest (very hard to do in Iceland’s harsh nature). Due to these efforts, an amazing nature area has been formed with great wildlife and natural scenery. There are numerous places throughout the area where you can picnic or even BBQ with your friends. Many of them are equipped with tables/benches, a play area for kids, and even a grill for everyone to use. So it’s a perfect place for you to bring some food, have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
How to do a day trip from Reykjavik to Heidmork?
From downtown Reykjavik to Heidmork: 17km, about 20 or a 30-minute drive.
You drive like you are going towards Hveragerði but as soon as you leave Reykjavik, you turn to the right where the sign is to “Heiðmörk” and into a lava field. You can choose to park your car there, where you can walk in beautiful red lava formations. That area is also a very popular horse riding route, so you will most likely see a lot of horses around there.
If you keep driving you will find a parking spot to go into the forest area. At the parking spot you can find an info sign with several different walking trails. There are many marked walking routes.
If you want to do a long walk and do a picnic, then I would recommend going into the forested area. There are lots of benches and the trees provide excellent shelter from the wind (which is very necessary for Iceland haha). If you take the blue walking route which is 7.5km it will take you through a forest and around the big lake (Elliðaárvatn). The website for Heidmork is for some reason not in English. But, they have a detailed map that is somewhat translated to English and you can see the walking routes there.
The location of the parking spot can easily be found on google maps!
This day trip is ideal to do before or after you self drive the golden circle – check out our post about this popular route, it may surprise you 🙂
City Bus (Strætó):
It is possible to take a bus towards the area, but there is no bus going exactly to it. So you have to walk a bit before you get to the main nature area. The website for the buses is your best friend here, you can find the most ideal route on Straeto.is. I recommend you to stop at “Dalaþing” and walk from there. That is the closest stop I could find to Heidmork.
The entrance to the Heidmork area is free!
Just make sure you clean up any trash you produce. Don’t leave anything behind!
City bus: 480Isk per trip (€3, at the time of writing)
Where to stay?
Unfortunately, there are no camping places close to Heidmork, so camping there is not an option. But there are a few hotels right next to it. If you like the area, it is possible to stay there. But, since it is so close to the city it is ideal just to find a hostel /guesthouse or camp in a campsite there.
What to bring for a day trip from Reykjavik to Heidmork?
- Picnic food!
- Comfortable shoes
Tip: Shop at Bónus grocery store for the best deals 🙂
When to go to Heidmork?
It is open all year round. it is beautiful all year round. Ideal weather would, of course, be sunshine. But, as we know the weather in Iceland is quite stubborn and doesn’t always cooperate. The best thing about Heidmork is the trees, they provide so much shelter and make the area calmer during strong winds. In the winter it turns into a beautiful winter wonderland because of all the trees. But the road there can be quite tricky during that time and sometimes covered with ice and snow. So just be careful and go slow 🙂
That was it, a nice little half-day trip or evening walk just outside Reykjavik! Feel more adventurous? We recommend hiking up the Glymur Waterfall! In case it is your first time in Iceland, make sure to check out the Golden Circle. Which is an absolute must!