Moss on rock

Heiðmörk hike, Iceland

Heiðmörk is a nature reserve on the outskirts of Reykjavík. Getting to Heiðmörk from the city centre was actually very easy without a car. I’ve put the bus information at the bottom of this post in case anyone needs it for their hike.

A wonderful recreational area with many trails leading through a vast expanse of bushy vegetation and lava formations.

Source: Reykjavík Loves

Icelandic houses

After getting off the bus in a residential area called Bugða (location), we joined a footpath along the edge of Lake Ellidavatn. That lead us to road 408 (Heidmerkurvegur) and took us over an area of water where the river Suðurá joins lake Helluvatn. And off we went!

Scott discovered it’s much easier to find hiking routes on Open Street Map than Google Maps. It helped us navigate the network of paths, so check it out!

Lake view

View across landscape

Most Nordic countries have a substantial amount of forest cover. From what we’ve seen of Iceland, there aren’t a great deal of trees. I quizzed a local about it and he said it was because of the Vikings using the wood to make boats and live from and sheep grazing. More than four million trees have been planted in Heiðmörk since 1950, so if you are looking for a tree fix this is the place to visit.

Trees in forest

My favourite thing about this place was the amount of moss! Scott said to me that if he’d known about my moss obsession before we got married he could have changed his mind.

Moss on rock

Trees on moss

These teeny tiny mushrooms were growing out of the moss above. I had to get into a very undignified pose to get this photo but it was worth it 🙂

Tiny mushroom in moss
Tiny mushroom
Lava rocks
Lava formations
Moss covering ground
Lava formations

It took us just over three hours to walk around most of the reserve. As we got closer to the Reykjavik surburbs on the route home, the ground flattened and revealed a sea of white houses on the horizon.

Wooden bridge over water

Black road over water
Road 408 (deserted!)

Hope you enjoyed the photos! You’ve just ‘walked’ around an Icelandic nature reserve from the comfort and warmth of your own home 🙂

Heiðmörk via bus/public transport

We caught bus number 5 from the Hlemmur bus station, down to Bugða (the closest bus station to the reserve). Bugða is a residential area; don’t think you’ve ended up in the wrong place when you see it 🙂

Icelandic houses

Strætó is the bus company and you can either buy tickets from the bus driver or through the Strætó app. When you purchase a bus ticket you are buying 1.5 hours of bus travel. So it works out to be great value if you are travelling for a while.

If you use the app, you need to activate the ticket before you show it to the driver — which requires data. The app was a bit buggy on Android (which tourist information warned us about) and if activation seems unresponsive, quick the app and load it again. The ticket should go green. You might be fine but in case it’s not, you know what to do.

8 comments on “Heiðmörk hike, Iceland

  1. It looks so beautiful there! I noticed that there were barely any trees while we were there but never really thought anything of it, but I love that I now know why. The hike looks amazing. We only had a couple days so rammed in all the ‘major’ sites, but I’m dying to go back and see some more of the kind of behind the scenes Iceland like this!
    xo April | April Everyday

    • I think it’s good to see the major sites too. We did a couple of tours and then a few days of self planned hiking. I wondered if the fact that a lot of land is covered in lava formations has something to do with a lack of trees too. Do go back, it’s a beautiful place!

  2. Immense! I suddenly want to watch all the Scandi dramas and book a holiday!

    I heard about a school summer holiday mandatory programme where students are required to spend part of their time off working for the communities and part of that was planting trees !

    I’ve gone off a tangent haven’t I!

    • Yes I’ve heard about this! It’s a great idea; getting kids involved with nature early in their lives is a really positive thing. Icelandair recommended some Icelandic films on the plane, if I remember what they are I’ll let you know!

  3. Iceland, it seems to be what everyone is talking about or visiting right now! You’ve just been, a work colleague has just been and my Robb is hoping that the school field trip to there next year goes ahead! Great pics, Gemma.

    • Funny you should say that because after we booked our holiday, I kept seeing people tweeting about Iceland. It’s obviously the place to be 😉

  4. Thanks for your Information. We have Been there this morning and without your post about the public bus we have Not went there.
    Bye Anja

    • Gemma Evans

      Your comment has made me happy Anja! I’m glad you found it useful and I hope you enjoyed your walk around Heiðmörk.

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