Take a Hike & Meet the Trolls
From Hafnarfjordur, drive the road via Kaldársel all the way to the end of the road where you can park. Just before the parking area there are two houses on the right used by the YMCA for their children‘s summer camp. Next to the parking area the river Kaldá emerges only to disappear again in the lava 1 km away. The town of Hafnarfjordur gets its cold water from Kaldárbotnar since 1918.
Start by walking on the left side of the fence (toward north) and you will soon see a path. After following the path awhile you’ll see Helgadalur, a small drift valley where boy scouts used to have big gatherings. The last one was in 1959 before the site became a water conservation area. Continue along the path and when you see trees it’s a sign that you are at Valaból, a cave belonging to Hostelling International in Iceland. It’s in between the trees and was used as a hostel for decades despite a serious lack of basic modern facilities.
From Valabol, walk on top of Valahnukar (205 m) and go east until you get to the strange rock formations, 3-4 m high. Some tales say they are a family of trolls with their dog that turned into stone in the sun while others claim that these rock formations look like falcons (valir). We like the troll story better and it’s a nice gesture to salute them before going back a bit and then head toward mount Helgafell (304 m).
A nice path leads up to the top, but it can be slippery in the winter. There is a guestbook on top, where you can sign your name and feast on the wonderful view. Afterwards head down the same path and continue toward the parking area.
The hiking area around Kaldársel is popular all year round, but please show caution during winter; check the weather forecast before embarking and wear appropriate clothing. Bring equipment for winter trekking and something to eat and drink. The weather can change suddenly and you should always be prepared.
This area is uninhabited and there is no service, however mobile phones work well and usually you’ll meet other hikers on the way. This trail is around 7 km with 300 m elevation gain (a 5 km and 140 m elevation gain if you skip Helgafell).
Need a track for the hike? No problem, just click this link.