Video: Hiking Across Iceland, or Sparkling Wine in Stinky Boots

The celebratory toast.

The celebratory toast. Photo/Hrólfur Vilhjálmsson

Vala Hafstað

They hiked across Iceland, from east to west, and recorded the adventure on video, which shows the most stunning landscape.

“We just wanted to do it,” states Hrólfur Vilhjálmsson, who crossed the country along with his father, Vilhjálmur Árnason, and American hiker Richard Shenton.

Drying the clothes.

Drying the clothes. Photo/Hrólfur Vilhjálmsson

“You feel like you have to do it,” he explains. “It’s something you know you would enjoy, so why not do it? It’s not that different from any other summer vacation.”

“We hiked from east to west, starting in Dalatangi, [the East Fjords,] … and ending on Öndverðarnes point [the Snæfellsnes peninsula]. It took us five weeks.”

In Snjódalur valley, West Iceland.

In Snjódalur valley, West Iceland. Photo/Hrólfur Vilhjálmsson

The hike went better than they had dared to hope, and the weather, for the most part, was good. By the end, they had covered nearly 1,100 km (684 mi), or 30-45 km a day.

The main challenges involved planning the route and where to reach supplies of food and clean clothes, Hrólfur states. Most of the nights were spent in a tent in the highlands, and some were spent in mountain cabins.

“Walking for such a long time is much tougher psychologically than physically,” he admits. There are so many unknowns, since you have to plan your own route, without being able to rely on trails.

Luckily, the threesome benefitted from having friends and family bring them supplies on a regular basis, which made the hike easier.

The route the threesome hiked.

The route the threesome hiked.

This hike was not Hrólfur’s longest, for in 2018, he hiked across the US, from Canada to Mexico, in 129 days. That’s when he met Richard Shenton, with whom he has since hiked close to 5,000 km.

To celebrate the end of their journey, the two of them did a shoey — poured sparkling wine into their boots, that is, and took a sip. A video, recording their adventure, was posted on YouTube by Hrólfur. Enjoy the stunning landscape!




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