The hike to the Remundargil Canyon and Remundargilsfoss is an off-the-beaten-path adventure that starts at the Þakgil campsite, in the south of Iceland. Canyons. Glaciers, Waterfalls, and stunning landscapes are the highlights of this hike.
Located at only 20km and a 40-minute drive from Vik, Þakgil is a location full of natural beauty that too many still miss while touring the ring road. Some of the best hiking near Vik!
Also, While it is a short drive from the busy village of Vik, it feels ages away. Here you can have a bit of a highlands feeling without actually having to access them.
Indeed, apart from the trail and the campsite, there are no visible signs of civilisation on this hike, which is one of the reasons why the hike to Remundargil and Remundargilsfoss is so attractive.
Hiking the Remundargil trail in Thakgil
Overview of the Remundargil Canyon and Remundargilsfoss Hike & Map
The trail is fully marked with purple trail marks. It isn’t a difficult trail, except for a couple of steep, slippery sections (more on this below) for which I’d recommend having hiking poles.
This is the perfect trail if you want to also get a glimpse of the majestic Kötlujökull as well as Huldujökull in the distance.
Here is also a map of this hike. You can download the GSP track for free from the Komoot activity.
How to get to Remundargil and Parking
The road to Thakgil is rough, but it is not an F-road, so it is accessible to 2WD cars. Normally the drive takes about 40 minutes, but that depends on the type of car. it may take a little less with a 4WD car with higher ground clearance a bit more to standard 2WD cars.
- Driving Directions: Þakgil can be accessed via a 14km long dirt road called Kerlingardalsvegur, or road 214. The road is a 5-minute drive from Vik, and you will need to turn to your left at Hotel Katla. While the dirt road is rough, it is not an f-road and can, therefore, be accessed by 2WD cars. Anyway, this is a very scenic drive too, and while it can take 20/30 minutes, it may take longer as you will probably stop a few times along the way to snap some photos.
- Parking: the last time I was there, parking by the camp was temporarily allowed to register at the campsite. If you are not planning to spend the night there, there are a few pullout areas you can leave the car at, such as the one here.
- Public Transport: none
The scenic Mýrdalssandur viewpoint on the road to Thakgil.
The Remundargil Canyon and Remundargilsfoss Trail
Like all the hiking trails in Þakgil, also the one to Remundargil and Remundargilsfoss starts at the campsite. The trail is marked with purple trail posts and it is easy to follow although the trail posts are difficult to see in places along the trail.
Also, while it is a loop hike, the first and the last part of the trail are the same. The first (and last) parts of the trail that connect Þakgil to the Remundargil Canyon are the most steep and difficult. The terrain is also very soft and crumbly, with rocks and stones popping up here and there. I’d highly recommend hiking poles just for this section.
The first part of the trail, leading up to the saddle above Remundargil.
The same trail on the other side of the saddle. Here the terrain is particularly soft and crumbly.
Once you are in the Remundargil Canyon it is an easy walk to Remundargilsfoss, except for the last bit. Nothing too challenging but there is a lot of scree you’d need to walk on. The waterfall is a good place to take a short break before turning back for the last part of the trail.
From here, you’ll have to first backtrack into the canyon, then turn left up a small hill. Here you’ll have to hike up to a small saddle which will open up the view of the majestic Kötlujökull – a tongue of Mýrdalsjökull.
This viewpoint is the endpoint of the trail too, so you’ll have to go back the same way, minus the detour to Remundargilsfoss.
Kötlujökull Panoramic view
The Kötlujökull viewpoint, at the end of the purple trail.
The Remundargil Canyon and Remundargilsfoss Hike Photos and Photography Tips
The waterfall and its settings are pretty unique. Deeply encased into the gorge, you almost have the feeling as if you were entering a cathedral – or perhaps a place sacred to elves since it’s Iceland.
While the location is extremely beautiful and awe-inspiring, the waterfall is a bit on the low-volume side, so photographically speaking it does not make much of an impact.
It is also quite dark in the ravine, so you will need to report to exposure bracketing to properly capture all the dynamic range and contrast between the sky’s brightness and the ravine’s darkness.
I barely made it to cover the dynamic range with three exposures at +/-2 EV, and it was a grey and overcast day. You’d also need an ultra-wide lens (14mm full frame) to capture the whole waterfall in one frame.
The Canyon is also very beautiful and offers some rather “primordial” landscape views that can compare to those you’d find in Thorsmork.
Looking toward Huldujokull.
Anyway, the other most scenic spot is the viewpoint at the end of the marked trail, the one overlooking Kötlujökull. Here you have some fantastic views of the glacier, which would be great to capture for sunrise.
Unfortunately, I did not have much luck with the weather when I was there. Still, I’d imagine on a clear day you can have fun with a telephoto lens, capturing bits and pieces of the vast landscape in front of you.
Video of the Hike
Here is also a short video I made during this hike:
Where to stay
I’d highly recommend staying at the Þakgil campsite. You can either camp in a tent, rent a hut, or just camp with a Van.
My best tip to camp there is to avoid weekends and camping by the cave if you seek quiet. This is a popular location among Icelanders and some will come here to also party during the weekend.
Resting and enjoying a beer while cooking dinner in Thakgil.
Otherwise, you’d need to go back to Vik for a wider selection of Hotels and guesthouses. However, those would have to be booked well in advance. Vik is a busy small village.
Car or Camper Van Rentals
I can definitely recommend two companies here:
- Cars: Blue Car Rental, (5% discount when booking through The Photo Hikes) which is the largest Car rental company in Iceland, and for good reasons. Free Cancellation, Unlimited mileage, 24-hour breakdown assistance, SCDW, CDW, TP, and GP insurance are included in the price. Blue Car Rental is also located within walking distance of the Keflavik Airport, so you can be on your way to explore Iceland right away. I’ve always been happy with my rentals there, which is why I’m happy to recommend their services here on my blog.
- Camper Vans: CampEasy. With CampEasy, you can rent 2WD or 4×4 campers alike. With a raised Chassis, larger tires, and extra insurance with reduced liability for river crossing, their 4X4 campers are the best choice for your trip into the Highlands. Their Website also provides extensive information about roads you can take and instructions on river crossings. Perfect choice for a hiking holiday in the highlands!
These are my two favorite companies in each respective rental area, which I why I am happy to recommend both here. If you also like this blog, booking through them is a great way to support it. I’ll get a small commission fee at no additional cost, so you can essentially support the running costs of this blog for free too.
Do you have a question or your own experience to share? Let me know in the comments below!