Located in the remote extremes of Iceland's central highlands, Kerlingarfjöll is a thrillseeker's paradise covering 150 square kilometers. In winter, this majestic mountain range transforms into a white wonderland of heart-pounding adventures. From skiing untouched trails and snowmobiling across icy landscapes to exploring geothermal marvels and gazing at the Northern Lights, winter at Kerlingarfjöll opens a world of awe-inspiring beauty where nature’s primordial powers create epic, unforgettable visions.
Kerlingarfjöll is a paradise for ski lovers. With no ski lifts, there are two prime skiing styles to choose from: backcountry and cross-country.
If you’re up for a challenge that demands skill and courage, backcountry skiing provides a golden opportunity. Here, it’s all about making your way through untouched snow, carving trails through untamed terrain, and testing your nerves with adrenaline-pumping descents. To ensure safety, it’s crucial to equip yourself with avalanche gear and communication devices. If you’re new, there’s an excellent one-day seminar offered by our guides from Outsiders: Backcountry Ski Course. They’ll teach you the basics and how to be safe. If you have experience, the Hot Springs Ski Tour is a heart-pounding journey that takes you across a glacier and into a hot springs area.
If you prefer a more meditative experience, cross-country skiing offers a smooth journey through scenic landscapes. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s a trail for you. To deepen your experience, consider guided tours like the Scenic Nordic Ski Tour, which is an excellent option for various skill levels.
Snowmobiling offers another dimension for exploring Kerlingarfjöll. With the engine roaring and cold wind rushing past, you navigate through snow-covered terrains, scaling icy peaks and cruising down valleys. If you’re seeking an organized tour, Guided Snowmobile Adventure from Amazing Tours is a heart-pounding journey where you’ll glide across sprawling snowscapes, ascend Fannborg mountain, and motor through icy plains towards the mammoth Hofsjökull glacier. The adventure is always thrilling but never the same. For the daring traveler, snowmobiling in Kerlingarfjöll isn't just an activity; it's an experience, a story, a memory etched in white and blue. So, gear up, hop on, and let the mountains guide you through their winter tale.
As winter blankets Kerlingarfjöll, the mountains transform into a dreamy wonderland, ideal for fearless hikers. You can blaze your own trail or opt for an array of compelling guided tours.
This adventure promises an experience that resonates with the soul. The highest accessible peak in the range, Snækollur, invites hikers to conquer its heights and take in the scenery from its summit.
A veritable snow science tour, perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of the winter landscape while learning about the anatomy of snow, when it is safe and when it is lethal. The guide shares fascinating insights and stories about the dangers of winter travels.
An immersive family friendly tour that will take you on a short hike through stunning landscapes, while exploring and learning how Icelanders have managed to survive throughout the ages in this cold and seemingly hostile country.
In Kerlingarfjöll, every trail tells a tale, every hike is a memory waiting to be made.
Stargazing and the Northern Lights
Stargazing in Kerlingarfjöll is an experience like no other. Far from the polluting glow of urban light, the night sky becomes a pitch black canvas that comes alive with stars, constellations, nebulae, and the Milky Way. Another wonder of Kerlingarfjöll’s winter nights is the mesmerizing vision of the Northern Lights. With its vibrant rivers of green, red, and violet, the aurora creates pulsating towers of light. The central highlands provide an unparalleled vantage point, with the snow-covered landscape reflecting the lights' shimmering glow, amplifying the spectacle.
Nestled in the heart of the Ásgarður Valley, on the edge of the magnificent Kerlingarfjöll mountains, lies a haven for winter adventurers—Highland Base. Opened in July 2023, this remote outpost combines modern comforts with nature's raw beauty, offering a warm and rustic refuge in the midst of Iceland's rugged landscapes. From standard rooms to deluxe suites and premium lodges, Highland Base caters to every traveler's whim. Whether you're a backpacker seeking simplicity or a luxury traveler desiring elevated hospitality, this base has it all. Beyond accommodations, the 80-seat restaurant nourishes palates with hearty cooking, while the lounge invites guests for moments of relaxation and camaraderie. With its supremely dark skies, Highland Base also hosts stargazing, where guests can peer through a high-powered telescope as a guide narrates the celestial hallmarks of the Arctic cosmos. Likewise, the destination’s geothermal baths provide soothing warmth and sublime relaxation. You can soak away the day’s fatigue while taking in the snowy wonderland and marveling at the night sky. Building upon the cherished legacy of the Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort, which graced the region from 2000 to 2020, Highland Base redefines highland hospitality. It stands not just as a place to rest but as a launchpad for enthralling adventures and awe-inspiring views.
Journeying to Kerlingarfjöll
Traveling to Kerlingarfjöll in winter is an adventure in itself. The unpredictable conditions and untouched landscapes call for a beast of a machine and a heart full of adventure. Enter the unstoppable super jeeps of Amazing Tours, driven by fearless professionals who thrive on adrenaline and have a wealth of knowledge to share. As you traverse the icy terrains, each turn is a testament to the power of nature and the thrill of the unknown. Although the highland routes remain unserviced during the winter season, from October 1 to June 14, these 4x4 vehicles ensure that Kerlingarfjöll is within reach. Whether your journey spans three hours or stretches to six, with Amazing Tours, every moment is an unforgettable adventure. Prepare for the ride of your life!
Gear up for Kerlingarfjöll
Venturing into the snow-covered expanse of the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range requires careful preparation. Ensure you're equipped with the following essentials:
Layered clothing: Moisture-wicking base layer. Insulating mid-layers for warmth. Waterproof and windproof outer shell. Down coat.
Protection for extremities: Insulated gloves to keep hands warm. Woolen socks for cozy feet. Snug beanie to combat head cold.
Footwear: Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with a robust grip for snowy terrains.
Eye protection: UV-protective sunglasses to shield from reflective snow glare.
Sunscreen: Snow reflects and amplifies UV rays, so always apply a water-resistant SPF sunblock or sunscreen to protect your skin.
Backpack essentials: Map and compass for navigation. If you’re staying at Highland Base, hotel reception provides you with a map. First-aid kit for emergencies. Reusable water bottle for hydration. High-energy snacks for nourishment. Fully charged mobile phone.
In the unpredictable beauty of Kerlingarfjöll, being well-equipped ensures your adventures remain both thrilling and safe.
An unforgettable winter destination
Whether the hushed serenity of a cross-country ski trail, the adrenaline-fueled excitement of a backcountry adventure, the heart-pounding roar of a snowmobile, the timeless beauty of the Arctic cosmos, or the comforting embrace of highland hospitality, Kerlingarfjöll is a thrillseeker’s paradise where winter's enchantment is etched into every snowflake, every beam of starlight, and every gust of icy wind.