Dominating dramatically the Reykjavík city skyline and providing a stunning backdrop to the capital area is the impressive Mount Esja, a popular destination for day-trippers and riddled with well-worn hiking trails. Once surmounted, the view from the top of this 914 metre high mountain is breath-taking.
There are several different routes up and around the mountain, varying in terms of difficulty. The path is divided into sections, marked with signs along the way. Each sign gives an indication of the difficulty of the path ahead with a grade system ranging from 1 boot (easy) to 3 boots (challenging). At sign 3, experienced climbers can choose to climb directly to the top, instead of following the path which goes off to the right. Approximately 200 from the top, there's a point marked with a big rock called "Steinn". Most inexperienced climbers choose to stop here and take in the view before going down again, as the path becomes increasingly difficult from there on. If you do get to the top, don't forget to sign the guestbook!
Please remember to take care when climbing. It can be steep in places and large quantities of snow are often present on the upper slopes. Follow your chosen route closely and definitely take advice on the weather conditions before attempting a climb.
Mt. Esja is located in Kjalarnes, past the town of Mosfellsbaer just east of Reykjavík. It is accessible by the number 15 bus from Hlemmur bus station. Get off at Háholt in Mosfellsbaer, then take the number 57 to the foot of Esja at Hiking Centre Esjustofa.