The ‘huldufólk’, or ‘hidden people’ play an important role in Iceland’s mythological history and, for many historians, they very much represent the innate Icelandic tie with the natural environment. In the past, they were about fearing the power of volcanoes, avalanches, earthquakes and the sea, and somehow personifying this power. When you go on a walking holiday in Iceland, you explore landscapes that are so remote that you can only stay in mountain huts or go wild camping, and you start to get a feeling of how these wild places must have felt hundreds of years ago. How stories evolved, and how people had to believe in magic. Most unbelievably, after negotiating crowds of tourists in and around Reykjavik, you will wake up somewhere glorious like Westfjords and ask yourself, where are all the people? Because you can walk for days and hardly meet a soul. The answer is, of course – they are hidden.
Read our Iceland walking guide for more details