A great hike near Reykjavík, is that of Mt. Thyrill (Þyrill), a beautiful and distinct mountain at the bottom of Hvalfjörður fjord. The hike to Mt. Thyrill (which could be loosely translated to Chopper Mountain) is considered of moderate difficulty as the way up is steep and rocky at times. However it is short and extremely rewarding as it only takes about an hour to get to the top, where you are greeted with magnificent views over Hvalfjörður fjord and surroundings.
How to get to Mt. Thyrill
To hike to Mt. Thyrill you will need to drive out of Reykjavik onto Route 1 heading north to Borgarnes. Shortly before you reach Hvalfjörður under ocean tunnel take the exit on your right for route 47, leading into Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord). Alternatively, take Route 36 from Mosfellsbaer, which takes you in the direction of Thingvellir, and make a left onto Route 48 (Kjosarskardsvegur) which also happens to be the best and safest way to reach Whale Fjord by bike. Once on route 47 (whichever way you choose to get there) drive towards the Botnsvogur cove. The start of the hiking trail is clearly marked only a short distance from the Brunná river. Cars can be parked alongside the road.
A great view of the past
From the top of Mt. Þyrill you are overlooking the scene of one of the Icelandic Sagas – Harðar saga and Hólmverjar. The blood brothers Hörður and Geir ended up as outlaws in Geirshólmi, an islet just off the Þyrilsnes peninsula. They, along with some followers, regularly raided the surrounding areas. Farmers, who had grown tired of their attacks, lured them ashore where they were ambushed and killed. Helga was the mistress of Hörður. She managed to get away, along with her two young sons, by swimming ashore from Geirshólmi and walking over to Skorradalur valley. The route she took to pass Mt. Thyrill is since named Helguskarð.