Iceland’s iconic highlands is a majestic natural wilderness that plays host to some of the most incredible wonders that exist. This spectacular trail begins in a volcanic paradise, which has dyed the surrounding mountains various shades of ruby, amber, and turquoise; from there we will cross craggy lava fields and grass-carpeted hills that play host to bubbling hot springs. As we push deeper, we will see mountains, glaciers, volcanoes and idyllic lakes, ending at the beautiful Thorsmork valley, supposedly created by a mighty blow of Thor’s hammer in Icelandic mythology. This spectacular hike was rated as one of the ‘20 best hikes in the world’ by National Geographic. An ineffable experience that words cannot do justice, this majestic trek will allow you to experience the best that Iceland has to offer.
Duration: 8 days
Group maximum: 16 participants
Age limit: 14 years
- Landmannalaugar Geothermal Area
- Laugavegur Trail
- Thorsmork Valley
- Fimmvorduhals Volcano
- Lake Alftavatn
- Botnar (Emstrur)
- Small Group Experience
- Guided Trekking Tour
- Laugahraun Lava Fields
- Hot Springs
- Glacier Views
- Eyjafjallajokull Glacier
- Ljóti Pollur Crater Lake
- Hot Spring Bathing
Dormitory style accommodation in rustic but charming mountain huts with shared facilities. You might have to share a bunk with your fellow travellers. The huts we stay at are Landmannalaugar hut, Hrafntinnusker hut, Álftavatn hut, Emstrur hut and Thorsmork hut.
Transportation from our meeting points, English guided service, huts accommodation, meals and luggage transport from hut to hut.
Please note that showers are not included but they can be purchased at the warden's hut.
Luggage storage: Is for any extra belongings that you will not be bringing on the trek and would like to leave at our luggage storage in Reykjavik.
Rental equipment: You can rent hiking boots, hiking poles, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and a sleeping bag in the booking process.
Special diet: You can add a special diet to your booking for a small fee. Special diets include vegetarian, vegan or gluten free meals. We can also accommodate most allergies. Please make sure that you state which special diet you require.
Want to do this trip for free? Tag us @extremeiceland on your social media stories and photos during your trip and enter a chance to win a full refund. The winner will be picked once a month!
On this magnificent 8-day trekking adventure, we will explore the ever-evolving Icelandic highlands, on an extended version of the iconic Laugavegur trail. It will take you through a world of extreme contrasts, replete with mighty glaciers, coal-black deserts, glassy obsidian fields, emerald valleys, craggy lava fields, capricious volcanos and crystalline glacial rivers. A place crammed full of alien beauty, which will leave you breathless, it is a wild and unspoiled landscape that defines the land of fire and ice.
Landmannalaugar Geothermal Area
The trail begins in Landmannalaugar, an ancient geothermal wonderland, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains that gleam in the sun. From there we will hike towards Ljoti Pollur (Ugly Puddle), which is the total opposite of its name, passing the colorful volcano known as Brennisteinsalda that will reward us of an awe-inspiring view of the entire Landmannalaugar area. After our day of hiking, we will relax in the natural hot spring, a warm pool that lies in a volcanic desert with views of the magnificent multicolored landscapes that will remain in your memories for the rest of your life.
Laugavegur & Fimmvorduhals Volcano
The second half of our eight-day adventure will take us on the Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals Trek, famed for its otherworldly landscapes and majestic natural wonders. We will wander across harsh lava fields, providing an apt reminder of how volcanic activity has shaped the land, cross glassy obsidian fields, wonder at multi-colored mountains, gaze at might glaciers and cross icy glacial rivers. The trip ends in the emerald valley of Thorsmork, an oasis of luscious vegetation that is steeped in rich history, myth, and legend. It also guards the entry to the famous Fimmvörðuháls Pass, which winds between the mighty Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glaciers and provides views over the Magni and Modi, twin craters that were created by the notorious volcanic eruption that grounded much of Europe’s air fleet in 2010.
This magnificent tour will take you through a magical world, replete with more natural wonders than you could ever wish for. Perfect for anyone who loves nature, it will take you on a profound journey through one of the most beautiful wildernesses that our planet has to offer. Truly a bucket list experience!
Day one begins bright and early, at 7:00 am, when we meet at Reykjavik’s tourist information center (close to Reykjavik City Hall), which is located close to the majority of accommodation options in the area. Then, once everyone has got to know each other, we will make the scenic journey to Landmannalaugar, taking us past the magnificent Thjorsardalur Valley and the capricious Hekla Volcano, the most active in all of Iceland.
Once we arrive at our base camp in Landmannalaugar, we will have a spot of lunch, before going on a 10-kilometer hike to Ljótipollur (The Ugly Puddle), which most certainly does not live up to its name. Despite its less than complimentary epithet, Ljótipollur, is a truly magnificent sight that all visitors are bound to enjoy. A stunning sapphire pool of water surrounded by ruby red cliffs it is rated as one of the world’s most beautiful crater lakes. There are a number of bubbling hot springs in the surrounding area, allowing visitors to enjoy a relaxing bath, in magnificent surroundings. We will spend the evening in a comfortable hut in the Landmannalaugar area, allowing us to appreciate the majesty of the unpolluted night sky.
( L, r, D) Driving: 4 hours Hiking Distance 10-12 km (6-7,50 mi)
On day two we will hike to the summit of Sudurnamur: an ancient rainbow-colored mountain, whose rhyolite slopes change color in the light and are a majestic sight that will remind you of the profound power of nature. Once we reach the peak of this multicolored natural wonder, we will be rewarded by spectacular panoramas over the entire of the Landmannalaugar area, including the grass-covered beauty of Mt. Kirkjufell, the volcanic wasteland, known as Laugahraun, the imposing Blahnukur volcano, and the magnificent Brennisteinsalda, Iceland’s most colorful mountain. After this busy and fun day, we will spend the second night in our cozy Landmannalaugar hut.
(B, L, r, D) Driving: 0 hours Hiking Distance 11 km (6,84 mi)
The morning of day three is free, allowing you to explore the majestic volcanic wonderland of Landmannalaugar or relax and enjoy a natural bath in a hot spring, in preparation for the busy next few days. In the afternoon, we will press further into the Icelandic highlands, crossing the iconic Laugahraun lava field, renowned for the magnificent contrast between its dark black volcanic rocks and the emerald slopes of the mountains that surround it. We will pass the magnificent rainbow-colored Brennisteinsalda volcano, whose rhyolite slopes are dyed various shades of red, amber and blue as the sun hits it.
After Brennisteinsalda, we will be greeted by the picturesque spring of Storihver, a hidden oasis of luscious green in an otherwise foreboding landscape. The day will end as we cross the shimmering obsidian desert by Hrafntinnusker, famous for the mysterious glass-like orbs of gleaming rock that populate its surface. It is here, in this otherworldly landscape that the day’s hiking will finish, and we will pause for some well-deserved rest in one of the most secluded and remote huts in all of Iceland.
(B, L, r, D) Distance: 12km (7.5 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs Ascent: 470 m (1540 ')
Day four begins with a delicious Icelandic breakfast set to a magnificent backdrop, replete with mighty mountains, emerald hills and much, much more. After that, we will press deeper into Reykjafjoll, a meandering mountainous path that will reward us with stunning views over the surrounding area. Once we have reached its summit, we will begin to descend into the majestic Jokultungur area, which has been dyed a ruby and caramel color by the persistent volcanic activity that has taken place over the centuries.
After Jokultungur the scenery starts to get darker, swapping rainbow-colored mountains for darker palagonite hills, which are no less beautiful. This when blended with the spectacular glacial views, makes it an unforgettable part of the hike. As we leave Jokultungur, the landscape will change once again, with luscious vegetation suddenly in abundance, thanks to the fertile valley, which encircles the river Grashagakvisl. Then, after fording a small stream, we will arrive at the crystalline waters of the Alftavatn Lake, which is rimmed my yet more imposing mountains, where we will spend the night.
(B, L, r, D) Distance: 12 km (7.5 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs Descent: 490 m (1610 ')
Day five begins with an invigorating steam crossing as we skirt around the emerald Storasula volcano and make our way into the coal back desert of Maelifellssandur, which hides the unique flat-topped Hattafell Volcano that rises out of the otherwise foreboding landscape. We will continue through this black glacial desert until we reach Emstrur, famous for its majestic views over the Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glaciers. Our penultimate stop will be the ancient 200-meter canyon that has been carved over many millennia by the river Markarfljot, the perfect illustration of how ice and water have helped to carve Iceland’s stunning landscape. We will spend the night in Botnar, an idyllic green oasis, which acts as the perfect contrast to the dark landscape that we have crossed.
(B, L, r, D) Distance: 15 km (9.5 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 40 m (130 ')
Our next destination will be the magnificent Thorsmork valley, which we will reach by traversing a meandering path that passes the stunning Myrdalsjokull glacier. From there we start to descend towards, Almenningar, where sporadic groups of trees begin to populate the landscape, and everything starts to feel slightly more alive. As we move deeper into this chaotic highland landscape we will pass Einhyrningur (“The Unicorn”) a beautiful mountain with a genuinely unique shape.
Following this we will pick our way through a dense birch forest that announces our arrival at Thorsmork: an oasis of sapphire and emerald, nestled between two mighty glaciers. Icelandic legend holds that it was created by a mighty blow of Thor’s hammer. We will spend the night in this spectacular valley bathed in green and blue, which is the perfect place to get some rest and gaze up at the bright stars, which illuminate this magnificent place of natural beauty.
(B, L, r, D) Distance: 15 km (9.5 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 300 m (985 ')
Day 7 will take us to the notorious volcano that grounded much of Europe’s air fleet in 2010, via a winding mountain pass which bisects the mighty Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull Glaciers. This ever-evolving landscape is now scarred by Magni and Modi (The sons of Thor in Icelandic legend), a duo of gigantic craters that were created in 2010. On our way to them, we will see a waterfall of petrified lava that now stands, frozen in time, as a fitting memorial to the wonder of nature’s capricious power. Upon reaching the summit of this volcanic masterpiece, we will be greeted with spectacular vistas over Thorsmork and the surrounding area. After a brief moment enjoying the view, we will retrace our steps and then return to Thorsmork, for some traditional Icelandic lamb, called Lambalæri.
(B, L, r, D) Distance: 16 km (10 mi) Walking time: 7-8 hrs Ascent: 800 m (2600 ')
Our final day in Iceland’ finest unspoiled wilderness will be slightly less intense, as we enjoy a leisurely breakfast and take in some more of our majestic surroundings. The area around Thorsmork has been crafted by the Katla and Eyjafjallajokull volcanos, making it an almost otherworldly place, populated by surreal rock sculptures. After that, we will hike up Valahnukur, a steep mountain that provides stunning panoramic views over the surrounding area. Although this part of the tour is not mandatory and those who wish to stay at ground level, can simply enjoy Thormork in all of its emerald beauty. After that, we will bid Iceland’s geothermal wilderness goodbye and arrive back in Reykjavik at around 18:30.
(B, L) Driving: 4 hours Walking time: 4-5 hrs
|Note: Some of the mountain huts have hot showers, a hot shower costs 500 ISK and this is not included in the tour price.|
|Hiking boots, good sturdy boots with sufficient ankle support for walking on rough trails. They should have a robust sole and preferably be waterproof|
|Long sleeve top, thermal underwear made of wool or synthetics, not cotton|
|Rain jacket with a hood,preferably of breathable fabric such as Gore tex or similar|
|Rain trousers, preferably of breathable fabric such as Gore tex or similar|
|Gloves and mittens, one pair each. Wool or synthetic|
|Hiking socks, wool or synthetic, 2-3 pairs|
|Warm hat and/or balaclava|
|EXTRAS OF IMPORTANT HEALTH SUPPLIES OR SPECIAL PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE IF NEEDED|
|Backpack, 25-40 L|
|Sleeping bag and travel pillow|
|Travel sack for your baggage that is transported between huts. Suitcases are not recommended|
|Towels & bathing suit|
|Tooth brush and personal toiletries|
|Hiking poles (recommended, especially for crossing rivers)|
|Camera, batteries, memory card|
|Headlamp for trips in late season, after August 10th.|
|River shoes, old sneakers or similar for fording rivers.|
Pick-up in Reykjavik:
|07:00am||from Tourist information center at Reykjavik's city hall on Vonarstraeti.|
|07:15am||from Hallgrímskirkja Church – bus pick up/drop off nr. 8|
|7:30am||from Reykjavík Campsite in Front of Reykjavik City Hostel|
Pick-up outside Reykjavik:
|08:35am||from Selfoss N1 gas station|
|9:15am||from Hella Bus Terminal|
- Hallgrímskirkja Church
- Reykjavik Campsite (Laugardalur)
- Tourist Info Center at Reykjavik City Hall
- Selfoss N1 gas station
- Hella bus terminal