The Troll Peninsula is situated in northern Iceland and is characterised by its dramatic mountains, deep valleys, and steep cliffs. The terrain results from volcanic and glacial activity, giving rise to majestic peaks and beautiful fjords. Travellers visit the region for its breathtaking natural beauty.
- Best time to visit
- All year round
- Distance from Reykjavík
- 375 km ( 233 mi)
Ski from the impressive summits to the ocean along the renowned Troll peninsula in the north of Iceland, a bucket-list trip for avid skiing enthusiasts! Tröllaskagi (Troll peninsula) is Iceland's #1 ski destination – and for an excellent reason, the terrain is fantastic. Picture yourself skiing to the ocean, cruising down the slopes in relatively stable conditions. Expect a demanding 6-day tour not intended for beginners; there will be long days, steep runs, and plenty of feel-good slopes. This is a small group tour with 4-12 participants, and you can expect 3-8 hours of skiing per day. All transportation is included, as is full board with meals and cottage accommodation. Furthermore, a local expert guide who knows the ins and outs of living and skiing in Iceland and will keep you informed and safe during the tour.
Towns and Villages of Tröllaskagi
Just a one-hour drive from Akureyri, you will find scenic Siglufjörður, the northernmost town on the island. It’s’ easy to swoon over this beautiful harbour town with its effortless charm and bustling marina, which is home to much of the activity in the village. There, you will find restaurants, cafes, and a few museums focusing on local history, including the herring industry, folk music, and shipbuilding.
For much of the year, the town of less than 2,000 is quiet as it endures a sometimes-punishing winter with wind that feels like it’s cutting through you. That said, skiers are attracted to the region, and there are a couple of trails to enjoy. In the summer, however, the town comes alive with exhibitions, concerts, and packed coffeehouses and restaurants.
One of the main attractions in Siglufjörður is the Herring Era Museum. The leading exhibition is in a large red building named Róaldsbrakki, a former Norwegian salting station built in 1907. Inside are interactive exhibits of photographs and film clips showing how fish was processed and salted, which was the source of the town’s livelihood for generations. There’s a boat inside, along with a lot of fishing gear and equipment. It’s’ clear that great care went into creating this museum. If you’re in town, this is worth a visit.
Dalvík is a small fishing town perhaps best known to tourists as the gateway to Grímsey and Hrísey islands, as the ferry to those places departs from the Dalvík harbour. But it’s’ also a great summer spot for hikers up for the challenge of navigating the hilly and mountainous landscape around the town. In the winter, skiers have numerous opportunities to take to the slopes.
A unique attraction outside of Dalvik is the Beer Spa, owned and operated by local brewery Kaldi, which offers daily brewery tours. The Beer Spa features seven spa tubs (maximum two people) made from Kambala wood that are full of beer for a relaxing soak. Guests have 25 minutes to soak in the beer bath and then head to a relaxation room for another 25 minutes. The Beer Spa is located 12 kilometres southeast of Dalvík.
Hrísey is a tranquil island situated in the Eyjafjörður fjord, accessible by a short ferry ride from Dalvik. The island is known for its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and opportunities for bird-watching; it’s ‘particularly famous for its large population of Arctic terns.
Hrísey was established as a herring station and is today’s significant tourist draw. Known as the “pearl of Eyjafjörður,” the island, 35 kilometres north of Akureyri, is 7.5 kilometres long and 2.4 kilometres wide. Just 200 people call the island home. Its population soars during the summer months when ferries full of tourists come to shore.
This moderate 9 km hike starts from the Dalvík church, where you will find a marked gravel road that leads to the mountain Bæjarfjall. During the beginning of the walk, you will have beautiful views of a trickling stream and a vast gorge that opens into a valley. As you continue up, you will have a clear view over Dalvík if the weather cooperates. You will reach an altitude of 744 metres during this trek. After enjoying some time at the top, you follow the path back down.
The Troll Peninsula is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. It boasts excellent ski resorts, including the town of Siglufjörður, which offers ski slopes with a variety of difficulty levels. The region’s reliable snowfall, scenic landscapes, and quiet surroundings make it an appealing location for skiing and snowboarding.
While Iceland is not known for skiing, there are a few ski areas in the north, with the Siglufjörður Skiing Centre one of the best. Three lifts carry skiers up to the slopes, with the highest lift measuring 530 metres in length with a vertical rise of about 180 metres. The top of the lift is over 650 metres. The scenery is breathtaking, all the necessary equipment is available for rent, and instructors are on-site. Snowboarding and cross-country skiing are also possible. It’s’ typically open November-April, but that can change due to weather; be sure to call ahead.
Swimming is a very popular pastime for the locals, and there are ample opportunities to enjoy Icelandic bathing culture in Trollskagi. Hofsós is a small village on the Troll Peninsula’s eastern coast. It is renowned for its stunning geothermal swimming pool, Sundlaugin á Hofsósi, which offers panoramic views of the ocean and the surrounding fjords.
The region is known for its rich birdlife, including puffins, arctic terns, and various seabirds.
The Troll Peninsula is home to diverse wildlife on land and surrounding waters. Additionally, the coastal waters are frequented by seals and whales, offering opportunities for wildlife spotting.
In Dalvik, visitors can take a three-hour whale-watching tour where you are likely to see whales and/or dolphins. You might see white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, harbour porpoises, and if you’re lucky, a humpback or enormous blue whale. At the end of the tour, you will have an opportunity to do some fishing, and the fresh catches (most likely cod) will be grilled back on land for all to enjoy. Tours leave from Dalvík harbour year-round.
Bird-watching enthusiasts will be delighted in Tröllaskagi. About 40 bird species nest in Hrísey, and its populations thrive because hunting and egg collection are strictly prohibited, and there are no predators (such as mice, mink, or foxes) on the island. Hrísey is known for having the densest population of ptarmigans in Iceland during the nesting season. The southern part of the island has the best bird-watching opportunities along the edges.
Svafaðardalur Nature Reserve
In a valley just west of Dalvík, the Svarfaðardalur Nature Reserve is about 8 square kilometres of wetlands on the banks of the Svarfaðardalsá. The unspoilt environment is a breeding ground for a number of bird species, including great northern divers and harlequin ducks. Watch where you walk to avoid nests and wear rubber boots in wet weather.